Celebrating the Spirit of Science and the Scientific Method
On similar lines:http://www.livemint.com/2011/04/28200650/Our-goldplated-culture-of-cor.html
A great article indeed. Here is an excerpt:Religion is transactional in India.We give God cash and anticipate an out-of-turn reward. Our plea acknowledges we aren’t really deserving. The cash compensates for our lack of merit.In the world outside the temple walls, such a transaction has a name: “bribe”.In India God accepts cash from us, not good work, for which there is no reward. We don’t expect something from God in return for sweeping our neighbourhood streets. We go with money.Observe this in another way.Why does the wealthy Indian give not cash to temples, but gold crowns and such baubles?To ensure his gift isn’t squandered on feeding the poor. Our pay-off is for God. It’s wasted if it goes to man. See what this has produced.In June 2009, The Hindu published a report of Karnataka minister G. Janardhan Reddy gifting a crown of gold and diamonds worth Rs. 45 crore to Tirupati.According to the temple’s website, Tirupati got 3,200kg silver and 2.4kg of diamonds in just one year. The temple encourages such giving, according to a report in The Telegraph in April 2010. Those who gifted a kilo of gold, worth over Rs. 21 lakh, got “VIP darshan” (which means cutting the queue) of the idol.In 2007, Vellore’s Sripuram temple was built with 1,500kg of gold. By weight alone it is worth Rs. 325 crore.In May 2010, according to The Economic Times, 1,075kg of gold was deposited by Tirupati with the State Bank of India (SBI) for safe keeping.In 2009, 500kg was deposited with the Indian Overseas Bank.
Here is another excerpt from the same article:When God accepts money in return for his favours, what is wrong with my doing the same thing? Nothing. This is why Indians are so easily corruptible. Our culture accommodates such transactions morally. This is key. There is no real stigma. The demonstrably corrupt Indian leader can harbour hope of a comeback, unthinkable in the West.