Yesterday, I came across a lady who received an award from the Jain community in America for gathering $50,000 in funds – to build a temple. Now, as I have been informed by someone on Twitter, “Temples are spiritual centers, protectors of an ancient civilisation  They provide peace of mind to people.”

Yet, I wonder if that money couldn’t have been used for creating a better life for people. For instance, it could have supported villages with sanitation, better infrastructure, solar power facilities, water and irrigation, and even a school or two. It could provide livelihood via skills to many, it could improve the lives of thousands in real and measurable terms.

When will we stop using our money to create inanimate structures that in turn create emotional and psychological dependencies and instead just use the money towards the actual betterment of living things, towards making this a better world?

If temples were the answer to all our problems, we would have been a heavenly planet right now. Apparently, it’s not that simple – our world is not exactly a great place to live, and disparities only keep growing. Do temples solve any problems? Or do we hope that in it’s escapism we can find moksh?