Temples, though considered to be sacred by many people, have become the centers of unholy activities, especially money laundering. Nobody knows whether the presiding deities of these temples answer the prayers of the poor and the downtrodden who toil to earn their livelihood, but it appears that they certainly answer the prayers of the black money hoarders. If the newspaper reports are to be believed, they are, in the post demonetization, buzzing with activity and many of the babas, matas and panditjis in the well-known pilgrimage centers are busy turning black money into white for hefty commissions. And, it is all happening in the name of God.
Many people, who are unable to get their black money turned into white, are dumping their ill-gotten wads of currency into the temple hundis. After the central government stated that the temple money from hundis will not come under scanner, the unscrupulous elements have got a chance to exploit the situation. The authorities of these temples are manipulating accounts to show black money as a donation in back date and exchanging the old notes for new ones pocketing a handsome commission in the process.
Theologists keep harping on the religion’s power to force people stay honest and disciplined. However, these incidents prove that religion and God are miserably failing in their avowed duty. If the high priests, who are considered to be the middlemen between Gods and people, are not able to resist the temptation to accumulate wealth in an illicit manner, how can they be expected to inculcate honesty and discipline among the devotees?
It appears that the only thing the clergy is interested in is to further their illegitimate interests by tightening their grip over the society. They always frighten the masses by raising the bogey of devil and hell, and at the same time, don’t miss any opportunity to allure them by dangling the carrots called God and heaven with an intention to exercise full control over them. They also describe hell and heaven in vivid detail to tempt people to make them more devout. However, it appears that none of these apply to the clergy and they have full freedom to indulge in anything. After all, they are spiritually enlightened and have already seen the God. And the common people, who are blissfully unaware of the misdeeds of the clergy, keep circumambulating them in the expectation of gaining ‘moksha’ from God.