Scandal gnaws at Buddha's holy tree in India
Religion and gods are created by people.
People can be (amongst other things) dishonest and selfish.
Religious people can be (amongst other things) dishonest and selfish.
There's a temple in the Bihars state of India, in the town of Bodh Gaya. The Mahabodhi Temple is where for three days and three nights, Siddhartha Gautama sat under a fig tree, in the sixth century BC. He then gained enlightenment and became the Buddha
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100,000 tourists and pilgrims visit every year. Temple donations means lots of money. And here comes the problem. Money is unaccounted for. The fig tree at the back of the temple has had a thick branch cut off and sold, and statuettes of the Buddha have gone missing.
The temple is run by Hindus who see Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu. Buddhists, on the other hand see Buddha as, err, Buddha. Buddhists claim that they should be responsible for the temple, and not the Hindus.
District magistrate Jitendra Srivastava has been running the temple committee since the scandal surfaced and the last committee's term expired. On the handover of temple supervision to Buddhists he said:
"A thief can be a Hindu or a Buddhist," he said. "A thief is a thief, he has no religion."