Temple Treasure Turmoil
The disposition of the gold found in the vaults of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala is still unclear, due to the lawsuit that forced open the vaults for an inventory in the first place. Although it appears the lawsuit is frivolous in nature, the consequences are real, and no one knows what the court will decide what to do with the offerings that have been placed in the vaults for centuries. Anyone who has followed the state of Hindu temples in India knows though that there is a real risk of the government coming in and seizing the treasure by invoking laws that lets them take control of the temple trust by alleging mismanagement, even if none exists. The courts in India need to guard against this and make sure the treasure is not sold off to fund some politician’s pet cause, and that some form of an independent temple trust retains control.