Gods Go Hungry in Food Crisis

Inflation takes bite out of traditional offerings at Indian temples
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2008 1:13 PM CDT
Gods Go Hungry in Food Crisis
Hindu widows offer prayers at the Lingaraj Temple to mark the end of a month long festival of Kartik Purnima, in Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa state in this Nov. 4, 2006 file photo.    (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout, File)

Skyrocketing food prices have a new victim in India: Hindu deities. Supplicants offer milk and other food at temples where they pray, but with the cost of staples soaring, many are unable even to feed themselves, the Washington Post reports. "If poor people don't even have enough for bread, how will they donate milk to the gods?" asks a priest.

The head priest at a New Delhi temple says donations of milk used to bathe statues of gods have been halved with the price of milk up 11% in the past year "We had to stop eating lunch," says one man who came to the capital looking to improve his lot. "And we had to completely stop drinking milk." (More India stories.)

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