Tag: crore rupees

Padmanabhaswamy Temple Treasure

The wealth of Padmanabhaswamy temple has become public knowledge and some consider it the richest temple in the world. The wealth is valued at one lakh crore rupees. We do not know how much wealth other temples have so it is difficult to say which is the richest temple in the world. Till few weeks back people in general did not have any idea about the wealth of Padmanabhaswamy temple.

Opinions are divided about what should be done with the treasure of Padmanabhaswamy temple. Some want the government to take over the treasure. Some want it to remain with the temple. Some want it go to a museum. Some want the assets to be sold and money used for various purposes including charity while some oppose it saying it is very easy to do charity with other people’s money. BJP is opposed to secular governments taking over temple properties. Oomen Chandy, chief minister of Kerala, has said that the treasure will remain with the temple and the matter rests there.

The value of the treasure is notional. If the offerings to temple are not to be sold because of religious beliefs then the value is zero. If the gold coins, chains and other valuables are auctioned then we will know the value. However there is question of demand and supply. When large amount of gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other gems are auctioned their prices will come down and the amount may not be one lakh crore rupees.

Government should not take over temple property and any private property without paying market price unless the property is without owner. How temples spend their money is for people who own or run the temples to decide. The people to whom the temples belong may question the administrators. Temples should not be brought under RTI, more so, when CBI is taken out of the ambit of RTI. Some temples run schools and colleges, hospitals, provide meals and do charitable work.

Two issues are involved: one is religious freedom, second is private property. Taking over a temple property affects religious freedom and if one temple’s property can be taken over, then property of other temples, mosques, gurudwaras, churches, synagogues, fire temples and other places of worship can be taken over. If the principle is that since the value of treasure is one lakh crore rupees it should be taken over by the government to do good to the people, same principle can be applied to billionaires in India like Laxmi Niwas Mittal, Anil Agarwal, Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, Tatas, Birlas and others.

Club over country

There is a feeling that cricketers prefer club over country. Gautam Gambhir playing IPL matches when he had an injury and opting out of West Indies tour is one instance. As Dean Jones put it was a choice between 11 crores for IPL and 2 crores for West Indies tour. It is said that as per contract Gautam Gambhir would have got the full amount of 11 crores for IPL if he had played five matches. He did not have to play other matches. However the contract could have something in fine print that required Gautam Gambhir to play all matches to get the full amount. When Sri Lanka wanted its players to return early for practice for England tour they were told that payments to players will be held up. Lasit Malinga retired from Test cricket instead of giving up IPL.

BCCI owns IPL. Franchisees pay money to BCCI and players. They want to recover their money. Franchisees drop players whom they do not want. BCCI wants money and does not care about players getting medals for country and did not send a team to Asian Games.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh are not in ODI team for West Indies tour and some of them will miss Tests. Zaheer Khan did not ask for rest. BCCI has rested him. Some feel India is sending its B team to West Indies.

Making a choice between club and country is limited to few players. For those who have played many Tests and ODIs and are sure of their place in the team it does not mean much playing for the country. Players who are tired are given rest. Some players are in ODI team but not in Test team and vice versa. Players who play both formats ask for rest. Players who play one format don’t ask for rest. Players of ODI team are also in T20 team.

If players get more money for playing for the country than playing for club they will opt for country.

Cricketers play for money and they are not hesitant about it. When the team won the world cup, BCCI gave one crore rupees each to players. BCCI was not obliged to give. But cricketers demanded five crore rupees each which was a surprise. The demand was justified by senior cricketers saying that only top players benefit and future is uncertain. When everyone is given the same amount it is wrong to say only top players benefit. All know future is uncertain. BCCI again gave one crore rupees each to players.

Cricketers today make more money than ever before. Besides money from cricket they make money from endorsement of various products. If a cricketer is presented with the choice of receiving Padma Shree from the president of India or earning one crore rupees by shooting for an ad film and he chooses to do the ad film there is nothing strange about it.

TRPs for IPL 4 were lower than any previous edition. If franchisees find IPL a loss-making venture they will not pay huge sums to cricketers and the problem of choosing between club and country will disappear.

The story could have been killed

When Manu Joseph was asked on Last Word why he did not talk to journalists to get their side of the story regarding Nira Radia tapes the answer was the story could have been killed.

The tapes were in circulation for a long time. Headlines Today had telecast some excerpts that had conversations of Kanimozhi and A. Raja. It did not telecast any excerpt that had conversations of Barkha Dutt or Vir Sanghvi. One possibility is that Headlines Today contacted them for their version and the story was killed. Another possibility is that one tape had Prabhu Chawla’s conversation, so they did not want to telecast anything about journalists.

Why other channels did not telecast anything? Why no newspaper or magazine published the transcripts till Outlook and Open published? Possibly, the story was killed.

After Outlook and Open went public about the tapes CNN-IBN discussed it on Last Word. After that the story could not be killed.

Previously Outlook had reported on phone tapping which had exposed crime and corruption. No guilty person was punished. We do not know the names of a bureaucrat who wanted Rs.8 crores bribe, a minister in UP who wanted a bribe from engineer, the wife of an air vice marshal who talked to a beautician about prostitution racket and an industrialist had sent a starlet to Calcutta. The story was killed. It would have been good if Outlook had mentioned the names of guilty persons. Now also Outlook can reveal the names. Better late than never.

In one conversation there was mention of a Delhi High Court judge who was paid nine crore rupees bribe. He became Chief Justice of a High Court. Who was the judge? Who benefitted from his judgment? Who lost? The story has been killed.

Who murdered Arushi and Hemraj? The story has been killed.

How many stories have been killed over the years? Those who own a channel or newspaper or magazine decided the content. Ad revenue is a consideration.

Sucheta Dalal is blacklisted by RBI, SEBI and Finance Ministry. People who expose corruption do not get invited on TV channels. People like Rahul Mehra and Arun Kejriwal are not seen on TV nowadays.

Ratan Tata said the real scam was out of turn allocation of spectrum. Rajeev Chandrasekhar has written that Tata Teleservices received out of turn spectrum that resulted in a loss of 19,074.8 crore rupees to the exchequer.

Supreme Court remarked that something is rotten in Allahabad High Court. The Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court must transfer incorrigible judges. How things came to such a pass? Before the judgment on Babri Mosque came out Harish Salve had hinted that it will not be judgment giving everything to somebody and others getting nothing. Different parties will get different parts. How did he know that? The story has been killed.

The Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court did not take action. All judges of Allahabad High Court decided to appeal to the Supreme Court to delete the remark.

How some reports get leaked and several channels claim they have exclusive excess? If one channel gets a report, that is exclusive. If several channels gets a report, that is not exclusive. Who leaks for what purpose? Every such leak is a story by itself.