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Recently released Bollywood movie, Oh My God, has resulted in a dip in the revenue forecasts of religious sites across the country. The movie’s plot revolves around the travails of a petty Gujrathi shop-keeper, Kanjibhai, whose belief in God disappears after an earthquake destroys his antique store, prompting him to embark on a mission to bring down God and the prevailing temporal religious order.
All temples, churches, gurudwaras and other places of worship are expecting donations to drop in the next couple of weeks, but the clergy remains optimistic that things will limp back to normal in a few months.
The Unreal Times got in touch with authorities of Tirumala Venkateshwar temple where annual collections amounted to a staggering 650 crore Indian rupees while gold received annually is about 3000 kg. “The donations collected in the past couple of days have been on the lower side. But since the film released on 28th Sept, just two days before the quarter closing, we don’t expect it to have much of an effect on the second quarter financials. We’ll get to know that in a couple of days,” said a senior official from the temple’s board, on condition of anonymity.
“However, we have had to revise our forecast for the third quarter because of the movie. We are expecting a 20% drop as compared to quarter 2. But public memory is quite short and so we expect to be back to usual business by the time quarter 4 starts,” he added.
“The sector is on the cusp of a cyclical downturn. The market is not very favourable. This is the first time we are facing this sort of a difficult situation, but I’m sure we’ll recover from this slump” said the CFO of the Shirdi Saibaba shrine.
Meanwhile, fans of Sachin Tendulkar are using the message of the film to propagate the fact that Tendulkar is an avatar of God. “The film says that God wants us to love and respect him, not fear him. God wants us to believe in him. Look at Sachin, he has earned everyone’s love and respect. Bowler’s revere him, but certainly don’t fear him. And throughout the 1990′s, Tendulkar was the only reason we believed India could win matches. And just like God, he notionally controls the team’s destiny in the T-20 format. The analogy is too striking to be ignored,” said Shashank Gaitonde, the admin to Sachin Tendulkar’s official Facebook page.