In our on going discussion on the construction of Ekanatheswari Temple by Devadiga Community, there are many interesting opinions that are expressed.
On this subject, we are publishing here an opinion of eminent Businessman & Thinker Mr. Navin Ullal, Mumbai .
" I thank you for your mail that seeks to inform me about the upcoming temple project. Every facet of such a monumental project needs to be examined in its entirety. The financial, ethical, social and functional aspects need a threadbare interaction to arrive at a cost-benefit analysis of the project before the project goes on stream.
It appears that the decision is swayed by the emotional urge to have a temple for our community as other communities in Dakshin Kannada have their own temple. The advocates of building the temple, when it comes to marriages of their children, are liberal about caste and community concerns but when it comes to temples, want a dedicated temple for the community. It is pertinent to ask ourselves why we require our conception of the deity based on our individual cultural rooting, especially when Hindus, which we are to the core, anchor their faith in Sanatana Dharma, which by its very essence is a term that is devoid of sectarian leanings and ideological divisions. Idolatry is the wrong interpretation of Hinduism.
It is in Kali-Yuga when temples appeared on the horizon. True worship and sacrifice are now lost. It is a time of anger, lust, passion, pride and discord. There is exclusive preoccupation with things material. It is interesting to observe that the word "temple" and "contemplate" both share the same origin from the Roman word "templum" which means a sacred enclosure. Indeed, strictly speaking, where there is no contemplation, there is no temple. It is an irony of our age that this individualistic contemplative factor, associated with the temple, is taken to be its highest positive virtue, which according to the fact of legend; it is but a limitation which arose due to our continuous spiritual impoverishment over the ages. We have lost the divine who resided amongst us (Krta Yuga).
Looking at the financial aspects, the estimated expense of Rs 6 crores (which you can safely conclude will overshoot), does not appear financially viable. Add to it the maintenance costs and the project seems financially doomed.
The project does not conform to the ethics of social good. Social good must benefit the largest number of people of our community in the largest possible way. I cannot fathom how a temple at a far flung place in Barkur would benefit the largest number of people of our community in the largest possible way.
Experience tells us that whenever our community undertakes any project which involves collecting and spending money, it has vertically divided us to the extent that the acrimony has had a cascading effect on the morale of the community. The financial aspects of every project need thorough planning, strict monitoring and proper checks and balances to prevent any possibility of history repeating itself.
Coming to the ethical aspect, the amount of Rs 6 crores could be better utilized towards creating a center of learning of international standards, which has always been the cherished dream of our community. You may have a temple in the educational campus as also a culture center to reinforce India’s great tradition of tolerance and religious harmony. The culture center would also help our community members, our younger generation, to understand our roots and traditions. It is sad that Dakshin Kannada, as indeed the rest of the country, has more temples than centers of learning.
There must be a debate whether the funds, when collected, should be used to build a center for excellence in learning or whether it should be used to build a temple.
Readers are requested to air their opinion / comments / suggestions on this issue here in the site.