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IPFS News Link • Gold and Silver

Time to Become a Hindu

•, by Jeff Thomas

They keep it as close as possible, sometimes in coin form, but often as jewellery, since "wearing wealth" means that it can be kept very close. They're often especially reluctant to trust banks to hold their gold.

Hindus make up 80% of India's population and, to Hindus, gold is sacred. Lakshmi (pictured above) is the Hindu goddess of purity, prosperity and good fortune. Her symbol is gold, so gold plays an important part in Hindu ceremonial occasions and Hindus donate large amounts of gold to the temples in Lakshmi's name.

In recent years, the Indian government has tried one ploy after another to gain control of the temples' gold. The most recent ploy was a programme whereby the temples could deposit the parishioners' gifts to Lakshmi in banks. The gold would then be melted down and the temples would be given cash in an amount that would exceed the value of the gold.