On 9th October 2016, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao presented the Badhrakali Temple in Warangal with a 3.5 crore worth gold crown as a ‘gift’. Chief Minister Rao had promised to make this offering if Telangana was separated from Andhra Pradesh, and since that did happen, this ‘gift’ was a fulfilment of HIS promise.
Even though it was a promise that was made by the state’s Chief Minister, it was fulfilled by the cabinet, which means that it was fulfilled using public money. The Chief Minister proposed this to the Cabinet, and surprisingly, it was approved too.
The 11kg crown is seen as an offering under the Common Good Fund of the Endowments Department. The funds from this department are used for ‘restoration’ work of dilapidated temples, and this was certainly not required for the Badhrakali temple in Warangal.
This Is Not The Only Offering
Rao vowed to present a necklace to Sri Venkateswara Swamy in Tirumala, nose stud to Sri Kanaka Durga in Vijayawada, crown to Goddess Badhrakali and moustaches to Kurivi Veerabhadra Swamy, and not surprisingly enough, all these ‘gifts’ are sanctioned by the Cabinet and will be fulfilled by the Common Good Fund.
Telangana seems to have its priorities set right, and the hard-hit agriculture sector doesn’t seem to be one of them. The state plans to vehemently spend almost 5.59 crore in order to fulfill their Chief Minister’s vows, and these are just numbers that have been put on paper. The actual expenditure is sure to be a lot more. For example, the crown itself that was initially penned to be of 57 lakh, however, the actual one is worth 3.5 crores.
So, where did the extra money come from? Maybe from the Chief Minister’s pocket, but mostly from the public’s.
For years we have been blindly paying respects to beautifully carved rocks, but it really needs to stop. There is no personal grudge against idol worship, but mindlessly spending money on enhancing and glorifying them, in the name of faith and belief, and doing it with money that is not even yours, is definitely wrong.
That’s sad truth of this country. It’s not like we don’t have the resources or the money, it’s just that we accept it being spent on ‘gifts’ by people who think it is theirs. Every single time the state goes through a division, it is always the people who pay the price and quite literally in this particular case.
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