With Lord Venkateshwara’s demat account, Dalal Street now has divine holdings
Now, we have even the divine dabbling in stocks, at least through earthly servitors. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the managing body of the Tirupati Balaji temple, has opened a demat account with the Stock Holding Corporation of India that will enable devotees and philanthropists to donate electronically-held shares and securities; devotees have been dropping hard copies of share certificates in the hundi (donation box), and managing these donations was proving to be a hassle for the temple authorities. While the temple, according to one report, holds some 5,000 kg of gold received as donation and tributes in banks, even the face value of shares donated has never been revealed by its managers.
Stock donations to religious organisations/institutions are not entirely unheard of—in the US, many popular and fringe churches, in fact, solicit such donations and have the necessary structure in place to manage these. Many faithful undertake tithing, or the religious duty to contribute a tenth of one’s annual earning to the church/religious institution, through a stock-cash mix. As for Lord Venkateshwara, the reigning deity at the Tirupati Balaji temple, the god counts many well-known industrialists, traders and high net-worth individuals among his devotees. While many of them will be donating stocks, some would be praying for a push of providence at the bourses. Now that the god’s vassals on earth will be trading on his behalf, can we expect more bull runs?