Today s a day of posting on temples. Earlier pointed to how temples helped develop cuisines in India.
And now this one on Somnath temple signing up for the Goldscheme. Well if Indian temples sign up for the scheme, nothing much is needed. Though the amount is small, but a start nevertheless. It has politicians on board which has helped push the scheme.
All this is so exciting really. Indian financial history is coming back in interesting ways. Temples were the original bankers/financiers and you had kings which are today’s politicians in many ways. There were deep connections between the two and one is seeing them today as well:
The Somnath Temple Trust is all set to become Gujarat’s first temple to deposit its idle gold in the Gold Monetisation Scheme as its trustees including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have given their nod to invest the yellow metal reserves in the scheme.
The trust has around 35 kg of gold and will deposit the gold which is not in day-to-day use of the temple. The decision was taken during the recently held meeting of trustees at Modi’s residence in Delhi on January 12, said the trust secretary P K Lahiri, who is also one of the trustees of the Somnath Temple, situated in the Gir-Somnath district. “During the meeting, all the trustees have agreed to the proposal of depositing the gold, which is not in day-to-day use of the temple, in the Gold Monetisation Scheme,” said Lahiri.
Other trustees of the Somnath Temple trust include former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, who is also the chairman of the trust, veteran BJP leader L K Advani, Harshvardhan Neotia and JD Parmar. All these six trustees were present during the meet. BJP president Amit Shah was appointed as the seventh trustee during the meet on January 12.
There is more on Gujarat temples:
Gujarat has three main temples — Somnath Temple, Dwarkadhish Temple in Devbhoomi, Dwarka district and Ambaji Temple in Banaskantha district. All of them are run by their respective trusts, which are governed by Gujarat Pavitra Yatradham Vikas Board. However, apart from the Somnath Temple, no other prominent temple in Gujarat, which has the capacity to deposit their gold, have shown interest in the scheme. While Dwarkadhish Temple body is yet to give a thought to the scheme, Ambaji temple authorities have outrightly rejected any possibility of depositing their gold in the scheme at present.
If we could somehow get the financials of India’s temples, it will be a great analysis. These ancient banks could be larger than most of India’s banks. Could some be size of global banks as well? In a way these banks will also be operating as if on gold standard.