Days after former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Indian National Congress (INC) leader Prithviraj Chavan stoked a controversy by suggesting the government to extract gold from the Hindu temples in the country to use in the war against coronavirus, the mahants of Shiva’s abode and Jyotirlinga Kashi Vishwanath have decided to ban Chavan and his family from entering the temple in Varanasi.
The issue has once again turned live the long-standing demand of Hindus to free their temples of government control. In India, the places of worship of Hindus alone are state properties, with the government having a say in their treasuries and management as well while all centres of Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis and other faiths are autonomous.
The mahant of Jyotirlinga Kashi Vishwanath temple has not only decided to ban Chavan and his family from entering the temple situated in Varanasi but also urged Jyotirlinga temples other than Kashi Vishwanath temple to take similar action against the INC leader for his irresponsible comment.
Another mahant of the famous temple said, “Before taking gold from Hindu temples, money should be taken to combat Coronavirus from INC leaders who have amassed huge wealth since independence.”
Earlier, Hindu priests from various trusts had slammed the former Maharashtra chief minister for saying that gold should be seized from religious bodies for combating coronavirus. They had said instead of taking gold from temples, money should be taken from the accounts of INC workers.
Chavan had taken to Twitter suggesting that union government should immediately appropriate all the gold lying with all the religious trusts in the country. He stated that the gold was worth at least $ 1 trillion, according to the World Gold Council.
While stating that the country is going through an emergency, Chavan said that the government could borrow the gold through bonds at a low-interest rate.
Chavan affirmed that the gold reserve lying with the religious bodies was worth $ 1 trillion is equivalent to Rs 76 lakh crore. He had further stated, “If it is borrowed from these trusts at a nominal interest rate, the money can be generously spent on the lower middle and poor class to increase their spending capacity.”
The World Gold Council (WGC) has stated that the gold reserves in India, which are lying with the religious sects, are worth $ 1 trillion. Mentioning that Chavan also said that “there is a little scope for raising funds from the open market.”