Monday, June 15, 2009

Donations, offerings and our apathy

The recent offering to Lord Venkateswara by one minister from Karanataka had created news and there is resentment against this act of faith in the blogging world. As I discover spirituality myself and the importance of places of worship for a living society, I'm saddened by this one act of selfishness/devotion. I'm certainly not campaigning against donations/offerings to places of worship or our acts of faith; but the above said offering is financially too huge to be accepted.
For the perspective on the hugeness of the amount involved, look at the following calculation from which it is evident that the money is sufficient enough to feed 1000 people for their lifetime.

A 420,000,000 total amount
B 420,000,000 / 20 = 21,000,000 total meals that could be bought @ 20 rs. per day
C 21,000,000 / 1000 = 21,000 total days assuming 1000 people
D 60 * 395 = 21, 900 number of days in a persons life span

This amount can build 10 kilometers of 4 laned highway and similarly numerous other things. I remember my college days when our dean advised us to be
agents of change. I appreciate that statement more now than at any other time in the past. If we are in a position and have the ability to effect change for the good, we should give it a shot. Mr. Minister with 42 crores was one such agent and it is a lost opportunity now.

I do appreciate that this is a sensitive subject. I personally donate/offer during my visits to places of worship and it gives me immense satisfaction as well. We should always distinguish between being responsible or being excessive. We can of course endlessly debate on the exact line that differentiates responsibility and excessiveness. Are we not matured enough to get into such a debate? We can clearly see it.