Rama setu: peoples’ movement

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Vaigai Express detained by Ram Sethu agitators

Chennai, Aug 24 : Madurai-bound Vaigai Express suffered a delay of nearly an hour when about 500 members of the ‘Ram Sethu Rakshana Vedike’ from Andhra Pradesh blocked the train at Tambaram on the city outskirts, after they were made to alight from the train for travelling in reserved compartments without valid tickets.Railway police sources said the devotees of Lord Rama boarded the train at Egmore and occupied almost all the reserved seats, without valid tickets, much to the disgruntlement of the reserved passengers.As the train left the station, an altercation broke out and when the train reached Tambaram, passengers who had confirmed tickets lodged a complaint with the Railway police.Acting promptly, the Railway Protection Force made the devotees, who were on their way to Rameswaram to protect Ram Sethu, alight from the train. Irked by this, they trooped towards the engine and squatted on the track in front of the train.The RPF then pacified them to travel in the unreserved compartments. While a section of them were allowed to board the same train, others were asked to travel in the unreserved compartments of Pallavan and Kanniyakumari Expresses.The Vaigai Express, which reached Tambaram around 1300 hrs, left the station at 1355 hrs. — UNI

http://www.newkerala.com/july.php?action=fullnews&id=55820

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 http://tinyurl.com/2wpbtj

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http://epaper.dinamalar.com/ArticleImageEx.aspx?article=25_08_2007_013_009&type=1&mode=1

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Movement to protect Ramar sethu

Coimbatore, August 22: Rameshwaram Ramsethu Protection Movement today warned the Centre that it would ‘at any cost’ prevent its plans to destroy the Rama’s bridge for constructing Sethu Samudram Canal Project.Despite lot of ‘evidence’- scientifically, ecologically and otherwise – to indicate that destroying the bridge would be disastrous to the country’s sovreignty, the Centre, with the help atheists, were hellbent to cause damage to it, to hurt the sentiments of crores of Hindus, working president of the Movement, told reporters here.Stating that the Movement would adopt a three-pronged strategy to prevent destroyal of the bridge, he said that it would hold mass prayers against the works, create awareness among the people to protest against the move of atheists.‘The going ahead with the proposed plan would be dangerous to the existence of both state and Central Governments,’ he said and warned +this could also lead to bloodshed. We are confident to stop the construction, in its present form’.He said saints and swamijis across the country would take up the issue at national level to create awareness among the public against the Government’s move. Over one lakh people would assemble at Rameshwaram on August 26, where Swamijis would announce the future strategy to solve the issue, he said. (Agencies)

http://tinyurl.com/ywwxe7

August 26, 2007 Sangh Samachar

Countrywide fast for Ram Sethu Ram Raksha Bandhan on August 28 As part of the agitations to protect Ram Sethu, Ram Raksha Bandhan would be observed on August 28. Volunteers from various organisations would specially go to the villages and tie raksha bandhan on the wrists of the villagers with the resolve to protect the Ram Sethu. This event will also be observed in cities in large number. Working president of VHP Shri S. Vedantam and Pejawar Swami Shri Vishvesh Teertha made this announcement in Chennai. Lakhs of people including leading saints and leaders of various organisations joined the countrywide fast for the protection of Ram Sethu on August 12. RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri K.S. Sudarshan and Sarkaryavah Shri Mohan Bhagwat joined the fast in Bangalore. There are reports of more than 500 meetings in Poorva Andhra Pradesh in which over 50,000 Rambhaktas participated. Thousands of people also sat on a dharna and observed fast in Chennai. More than 3,000 people under the leadership of Swami Hansdas, general secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti, observed fast in Dehradun. There are also reports of observing fasts in Haridwar, Rishikesh and some other parts of Uttarakhand. All these fasts were observed under the banner of Ram Sethu Raksha Manch. The thirteenth Dharma Sansad held in Delhi recently had appealed to all the countrymen to observe such fasts for the protection of Ram Sethu. Pejawar Swami Shri Vishvesh Teertha, VHP working president Shri S. Vedantam, Kshetra Pracharak Shri Sethu Madhavan, Janata Party’s Tamil Nadu unit president Chandralekha and scores of VHP activists and others participated in the dawn-to-dusk fast, singing bhajans and keertans in Chennai. Speaking to reporters, Shri S. Vedantam said the Sethusamudram project is not “useful in anyway.” He charged that the centre and the state have a hidden agenda in implementing the project.According to reports, a procession from Nehru Bridge to Vivekananda Bridge was organised in Ahmedabad in protest against the construction of Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project. President of Ram Sethu Raksha Manch Shri Ashok Rawal and secretary Shri Rajesh Shastri addressed the gathering. Thousands of people observed fast in Varanasi the whole day and assembled at a meeting in the premises of Bharat Mata Mandir, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, in the evening. Noted saint of Ramjanaki Math Shri Dhanurdhari Maharaj presided over the meeting. Dr Lakshman Das, convener of the Manch, appealed to the people to unseat the anti-Ram government from the centre. Mayor of Varanasi Shri Kaushlendra Singh described the Ram Sethu as the pransethu, which must not be broken. Shri Shambhu Singh, senior VHP leader, said saints would perform Ram Sethu Raksha yanjas at thousands of places for three weeks beginning from September 27. Joint general secretary of VHP Shri Omkar Bhave participated in the fast in Allahabad. Justice (retd.) Giridhar Malviya, Shri Mahant Gopal Maharaj and Falahari Baba also spoke on the occasion. There was a huge meeting in Kanpur. Thousands of people including Sangh Swayamsevaks observed fast in Delhi also on August 12. (With inputs from Lok Nath in Varanasi and Ravindra Saini in Dehradun.)  http://tinyurl.com/2kneha Uma Bharti demands ‘safety’ of ‘Ram Sethu’ in lieu of Sethusamudram ProjectFrom our ANI CorrespondentChennai, Aug 20: Bharatiya Janshakti Party leader Uma Bharti on Monday said that she was not opposed to the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project, if the government assured the ‘safety’ of the mythological bridge, “Ram Sethu”.  Bharti said: “I am not anti- development. I want Sethusamudram Project.”She, however, sought an assurance that after the project is completed there would be no Tsunami, and that the ‘Ram Sethu’ would not be destroyed. “If they give these guarantees, they can continue,” she said.Bharti had earlier gone on a weeklong fast in Ayodhya to protest against the ship canal project linking Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.The 560-million dollar Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project will dredge a channel in a narrow strip of sea between India and Sri Lanka, reducing distances and cutting costs for freight traffic.Hindu groups have called on the government to stop the project, saying it will demolish a bridge linking India and Sri Lanka, believed to have been built by Lord Ram.According to the Central Government, research has shown that the bridge was a series of sand shoals created by sedimentation.Dredging for the project began in 2005 and the channel — 12 metres deep, 300 metres wide and almost 90 km long — will provide a crucial link between the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar.

When the project is completed, ships sailing between India’s western and eastern coasts will no longer have to go around Sri Lanka, and are expected to save up to 36 hours of sailing time.

The project has also sparked protests by other groups including conservationists and local fishermen, who say the dredging will mean dumping sediment in deeper water further out to sea.

This and increased freight traffic will harm marine life and threaten the livelihood of thousands of fishermen in both countries, opponents say. http://tinyurl.com/2ujsof

Uma Bharti raises tempo to ‘save’ Ram Setu
By BANG
Aug 20, 2007, 16:45 GMTChennai, Aug 20 (IANS) Bharatiya Jan Shakti party leader Uma Bharti Monday dared the Tamil Nadu government to arrest her ‘on any charge they deem fit’ for participating in a movement to save the mythological Ram Setu (bridge) from being ‘destroyed’ to make way for a proposed canal between India and Sri Lanka. ‘I am in Chennai today and will undertake a trip to Rameshwaram tomorrow (Tuesday). If the Tamil Nadu government thinks it has a case against me, let them go ahead and arrest me on any charges they deem fit,’ Bharti said during an interaction with journalists here. Police have registered several cases against the firebrand Hindu leader in the temple towns of Rameshwaram and Tiruchirappalli for making ‘objectionable remarks’ on the Ram Setu during a series of demonstrations organised by her party in July. Bharti claims to have discovered the existence of Ram Setu during the run-up to the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project when the National Democratic Alliance was in power. The Ram Setu or Adam’s Bridge, a chain of limestone shoals 48 km long that once reportedly linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with Mannar in Sri Lanka’s northwest, faces possible destruction when the Sethusamudram project comes up. Some Hindus believe it was built by Lord Ram to walk over to the land of Lanka to battle its king Ravan, who had abducted his wife. The war and Sita’s rescue form the climax of the Hindu epic ‘Ramayana’.Bharti accused the United Progressive Alliance government of hurrying through the process of investigations and clearing the project prematurely. ‘Between March 8, 2005, and July 2 the same year, the whole process was hurried through without properly answering 16 queries raised by the Prime Minister’s Office. The Setu is a symbol of national importance and Hindu beliefs and I shall work to safeguard it, come what may,’ Bharti added. According to police, Bharti has been accused of inciting communal passions by saying publicly that ‘she was prepared to give and take lives’, in her attempt to save the ‘bridge’. http://tinyurl.com/35bg9a Ramsethu: Arrest can’t deter fight, says Uma Bharti

Chennai, Aug. 20 (PTI): Lok Jan Shakti party leader Uma Bharti today said she was not bothered even if she was arrested for the cause of saving the Ramsethu from destruction due to the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project.

“I am going to Rameswaram tomorrow. Let the police arrest me,” she told reporters here.

Cases have been registered against the former Union minister in Rameswaram and Tiruchirappalli for her reported “objectionable” remarks during a demonstration by her party in July to protest the demolition of the Ramsethu.

Bharti claimed that it was she who had pointed out the existence of Ramasethu when the project was first envisaged by the then NDA government.

“I then deputed a team of scientists from the Geological Survey of India who confirmed the existence of the Sethu,” she said, adding at that point of time, she was relieved from the Union ministry.

“Atal Bihari Vajpayee asked me to take charge as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and I wrote a letter to him informing of the Ramasethu and the need to protect it,” she said.

However, the UPA hurried into the project, she charged. “On March 8 last year, the Prime Minister’s Office raised 16 questions with the Tuticorin Port Trust, the nodal agency, but no reply was given. The project was approved on May 19 and the Port Trust replied to the queries on June 30 and the project was inaugurated on July 2,” she said.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/401200708201441.htm

Hindu groups in US urge government to spare Ram Setu

Prominent Hindu organisations here have exhorted the Indian government to prevent destruction of the Ram Setu, a mythological bridge sacred to Hindus that is threatened by a proposed navigable waterway in the narrow sea between India and Sri Lanka.

From correspondents in New York, United States, 20 Aug 2007 – (http://www.indiaenews.com)

Prominent Hindu organisations here have exhorted the Indian government to prevent destruction of the Ram Setu, a mythological bridge sacred to Hindus that is threatened by a proposed navigable waterway in the narrow sea between India and Sri Lanka.

They also called for the scrapping of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act, which empowers the government to take over Hindu temples.

A resolution to the effect was passed over the weekend at the Hindu Unity Day organised at Hindu (Ganesh) Temple, Flushing, by the Hindu Temple Society of North America and Indian American Intellectuals Forum, and supported by over 40 other organisations of the Tri-State area, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America.

The resolution was read out by Dr Subramanian Swamy, former union minister, who was the main speaker at the event attended by over 500 people.

Swamy said unity was necessary because ‘Hinduism was under siege’. ‘It is a target of terrorism, of conversions, attempts to vandalise temples and distortion of history,’ he said.

He also suggested that Sanskrit, not Hindi, to be made the link language of India as it connects Indians to their past.

Five people were honoured on the occasion of Hindu Sangathan Divas for their distinguished services to the religion. Among them was Rajan Zed of Reno, Nevada, who had offered Vedic prayers for the first time in the US Senate in Washington DC last month.

By Parveen Chopra (Staff Writer, © IANS)

http://www.indiaenews.com/america/20070820/66377.htm

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