Religion: The A.J.T.P.T.U.

Between the gods and the faithful who worship at the 100 Jain* temples of Ahmedabad in western India stand 600-odd priests. Theirs is a hard and holy life; they say ritual prayers, guard temple treasures, abstain from smoking and drinking, sup before sundown (for lamps lure moths to destruction), and wear white cloth pads over their noses and mouths (lest their breathing destroy gnats or germs). Their wages never exceed $5 a month.

The temper of a secularist age is penetrating even to Ahmedabad: some Jain priests have recently been seen to remove their masks in public, to eat and drink in...

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