The chairman of the Infosys Foundation has joined the board of the largest and richest temple trust in India and the second-richest in the world.
From The Hindu:
The appointment of Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Narayana Murthy as a member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Trust Board is being seen as an initiative that will bolster the image of the board.
The nomination of Ms. Murthy, a prolific writer, philanthropist, and member of public health care initiatives of the Gates Foundation, meets the long-standing demand that only iconic personalities with a religious bent of mind be nominated to the board.”
The Hindu piece doesn’t tell you exactly who Mrs. Narayana Murthy is. She is the wife of the Infosys co-founder, and Infosys is one of the leading business consulting and outsourcing companies in India.
Narayana Murthy, often regarded as the father of Indian IT, figured prominently in Thomas Friedman’s “The World Is Flat” (which I have trounced on several occasions). Murthy, a Kannada Madhwa Brahmin, may be an entrepreneur but he is a self-proclaimed socialist.
He, like fellow-globalist Nandan Nilakeni, the other co-founder of Infosys, is also an ardent promoter of the digitilization and e-surveillance of India.
Nilekani heads the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which, along with the RBI, is the driving force between the imposition of the national biometric ID card, Aadhar. His former boss, Narayan Murthy, formerly headed the National Payments Corporation (NPC), the umbrella outfit that covers all retail payment systems like merchant cards, ATMs, etc.
His father worked as a general manager of Mysore and Minerva Mills and subscribed to Fabian Socialist ideals that influenced Nilekani in his early years.”
The Hindu article also doesn’t mention the significance of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).
They oversee the work of the second richest and most visited religious center in the world, taking in some 130 million rupees a month (about 13 crore rupees or nearly 2 million dollars). The trust earned 2600 crore rupees (26 billion dollars) last year.
The trust oversees not only the Tirumala temple in Andhra Pradesh, but Hindu temples all over the world. Besides this, it is involved in numberless charitable works and in the propagation and preservation of Hindu and Sanskrit classics.
Please note that enormous amounts of gold, silver, and other donations flow into the temple coffers regularly:
While gold alone is estimated to add up to one tonne a year in offerings, silver, diamond and other items also flow into the temple trust’s exchequer. “In the case of property deeds, due procedure is followed by the concerned department to transfer the title,” noted an official.”
The temple trust said in April that it had deposited 1,311 kg of gold with Punjab National Bank under India’s Gold Monetisation Scheme. The deposit apparently is under a three-year short-term programme that earns the trust an annual interest of 1.75 percent.
In a statement, the temple’s investment committee expressed satisfaction at the interest rates earned from its investment so far. Further, it sought a shorter investment time frame between one to three years for depositing its yearly turnout of gold. The temple trust may negotiate with banks that would offer higher interest rates.
The trust, which seeks gold, not cash, in interest on its gold deposits, has chosen the government’s monetisation scheme’s three year short-term programme primarily for that benefit. Evincing interest to plough in more gold as deposits, it has requested the Reserve Bank of India to extend the same for other gold monetisation programmes that range from medium to long terms.”
Sudha Narayana Murthy replaces mining baron Shekhar Reddy on the board. Reddy was arrested in December 2016, for allegedly laundering money. A widely circulated picture showed him standing in front of the Tirupati temple with current chief minister O.P Paneerselvam.