No thanksgiving in recent history could possibly match Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao\u2019s (KCR\u2019s) splurge\u2014gold ornaments worth R5 crore, given to Lord Venkateshwara at Tirupati. KCR had pledged the rather generous gift at the height of the movement he spearheaded for the creation of Telangana. What is interesting here\u2014other than, of course, the wrenching irony that the god\u2019s earthly abode continues to be a part of Andhra Pradesh\u2014is the fact that the R5 crore came from taxpayers\u2019 money. It came from the Common Good Fund of the state\u2019s Endowments Department, created to restore dilapidated temples. So, in effect, Telangana temples needing repair gave the gift to arguably the richest temple in India, in a year the state is reeling under drought. Apart from the fact that KCR had no business using public money to redeem a pledge he made to the divine in his personal capacity\u2014he could have well used his own resources, considering as per disclosures made for the 2014 assembly elections in Telangana, he had movable and immovable assets of over R15 crore\u2014the CM\u2019s act raises questions about the separation of the church (read religion) and the state. You might also want to see this: To be sure, managing temples and other places of worship and financing their restoration, especially if they are of historical value, can be a legitimate function of the state. But why should public money be spent on the chief minister propitiating a deity?