Rama Setu: Raksha Manch

BJP to support Ramsethu Raksha Manch

New Delhi, UNI: (Deccan Herald, 19 Sept. 2007)

The BJP will extend total support to the Ramsethu Raksha Manch, spearheading a movement against the breaching of the ridge.

The BJP is unlikely to launch an agitation over the Ramsethu issue but will extend total support to the Ramsethu Raksha Manch, spearheading a movement against the breaching of the ridge, sources said on Wednesday.

The sources said the three-day National Executive at Bhopal,commencing from September 21, will take a decision in this regard.

Former Union Minister Murli Manohar Joshi will present theresolution at the Executive and will be the pointperson of theBJP on the issue.

Dr Joshi, being a former Minister in charge of Oceanography in the NDA government, has been handling the contentious issue right from the beginning. He had also moved a resolution in the last National Executive in Delhi held in June.

The Manch is headed by former Asian Development Bank expert Kalyana Raman who has been leading the movement against the breaching of the Ramsethu.




Victorious Ram
19 Sep 2007, 1143 hrs IST ,

Tarun Vijay

Ram Setu issue will change the intellectual discourse and polity’s agenda in a much stronger way than Minakshipuram. To humiliate and convert Hindus have always been on the minds of the aliens and the alienated. And to emerge victorious is the swabhav , the essential virtue of Ram.
Ram built the bridge to rescue Sita and punish the wicked. Every Prime Minister comes to Ram Lila grounds in Delhi to shoot the first arrow on Dussehra day standing with Ram for a photo op. The same Prime Minister and the Super one has done it last year and will do it again soon. With what conviction? Do they believe in what they do as a ritual? They have become a party to assaults on the faith of Ram.
People are not too naïve to forget what they said last year while inaugurating the biggest ever project to demolish what millions believe Ram built. On Saturday, 2nd July 2005 (Madurai, Tamil Nadu), Mrs. Sonia Gandhi pushed the button to begin Ram Setu demolition and said, ‘Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh ji , Thiru. Karunanidhi ji , Governor SS Barnala ji , Thiru T.R. Baalu, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, ‘Today, we realise a 150-year-old dream……….let me say how happy I am that the Sethusamudram project is being launched today. I congratulate and thank Thiru. T.R. Baalu and all those associated with this historic project. It is truly a day of satisfaction, a historic moment for Tamil Nadu and for the country.'( http://sethusamudram.gov.in/sji.htm ). If Ram is so sacred that an affidavit has to be withdrawn, why invade His memory by destroying the bridge He built?
It’s part of an old game. Humiliate Hindus. Make them feel small and indefensible. Colour them as heathens and pagans, those who worship stones and snakes. They have no sense of history. First they asked for proofs where Ram was born. Birth certificate or a midwife’s testimony. A media house suggested building toilets at the janmabhumi temple to ‘end all the controversy and turn it into a public utility.’ Another suggested a government hospital. None even raised a muffled murmur to rebuild temples destroyed in Kashmir. Hindus are used to it. Used to see their temples demolished, women raped, villages uprooted and mass conversions.
Those who feel hurt hearing voices of protest against Setu demolition, feel quite comfortable to write on Sallus and Shettys, as if nothing commendable happened at Doda or Rajouri. It’s like eliminating the protecting walls and desecrating the courtyard before assaulting the sanctum sanctorum. The resistance power and the anger should never be allowed to get accumulated. Take a step, slap and see how strong the victim frowns and clinches his fists, come back saying, oh sorry, I didn’t know it was you! Spectators would clap at your decency. After a gap, take another step. Make the target fatigued and confused. Take the elite, the most cowardly Rai Bahadurs along. They are the malls of virtuous sermons and Pentagons of safety walls. ‘Oh I am also a Hindu, I do not believe in what this lunatic fringe say. They are against development; want to take back India to their bullock cart era.’ They, who happily use the term Hindu rate of growth for a retarded economy, and one magazine used the re-coined term-Hindu rate of internet, to depict non-functional broadband regime, in an era when Hindus are creating history in economy, technology and medical sciences, Hindu icons are demolished to follow up on the Pope’s declaration that after Europe and Africa, now is the turn to convert Asia.
The agnostics and the atheists begin preaching Hindus on how they should behave religiously. They have every right to hold on to their views. They can say, I do not believe in Ram and yet be a Hindu. None would announce a reward on their head. But do they also have a right to encroach upon the territory of the faithful?
Dredgers of the secular are not only working ‘proudly’ to undo Ram Setu (It is a matter of pride for Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCI) to associate itself with the prestigious Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP). http://dredge-india.nic.in/press-sethu1.htm) they are invading the sacred areas of the Hindus academically too and that’s exactly is the title of a wonderful book ( www.invadingthesacred.com , Rupa ).The book exposes influential scholars who have disparaged the Bhagavad Gita as “a dishonest book”; declared Ganesha’s trunk a “limp phallus”; classified the Hindu Devi as the “mother with a penis” and Shiva as “a notorious womaniser” who incites violence in India; pronounced Sri Ramakrishna a paedophile who sexually molested the young Swami Vivekananda; condemned Indian mothers as being less loving of their children than white women; and interpreted the bindi as a drop of menstrual fluid and the “ha” in sacred mantras as a woman’s sound during orgasm. Rajiv Malhotra, while discussing how American scholars and academicians show an extreme kind of Hindu phobia while writing on Hindu issues, writes that the way a Hindu prayer in the US Senate, for the first time in its history, was opposed should be an eye-opener. It’s noteworthy that US Senate has a long history of opening with Bible prayers and as recognition to the contributions of the Indian-Americans, a Hindu priest invited for the first time, too, got heckled. Malhotra writes ‘the Hindu prayer was attacked as an “abomination” by hate-filled heckling that resulted from an organised mobilization by civic groups such as the American Family Association, attempting to demonise Hinduism as heathens, immoral and dangerously un-American.
David Barton, one of the scholars informing the attackers, declared that Hinduism was “not a religion that has produced great things in the world,” citing social conditions in India as proof of its primitiveness. The denigration of Hinduism influences the way Americans relate to Indians. Andrew Rotter, an American historian, in his book on the US foreign policy’s tilt against India and towards Pakistan during the Nehru era, cites declassified documents revealing US presidents’ and diplomats’ suspicions of Hinduism. They regarded “Hindu India” as lacking morality and integrity, and its “grotesque images” reminded them of previous pagan faiths conquered by Christians, such as Native Americans. American ideas about India are intertwined with stereotypes about Hinduism.

The same hate-filled attitude we see amongst the Indian ruling elite and the secular academia who are invading the Hindu space with support of immense resources by cornering all the media space and hijacking the right to represent India. They are the ones who control listing and the de-listing business in elite clubs and discussion forums, publishing houses and channel regimes, countless columns and forming gate keepers’ cartel to regulate entries to platforms of the influential words –spoken and printed. A prominent daily has begun columns by all the Leftists who daily spit venom against one particular ideology. I asked editors whether my rejoinder to one Leftist leader’s half-truths would be published and they agreed. The piece, a dozen times assured to go in print (emails galore-‘next week, next Monday, I am in Paris, I am in Mussourie , will be done’) was never used. So much for the objectivity of the secular hate spreaders.
No body has ever opposed the Sethusamudram project. Hindu organisations welcomed the idea but asked for a route which was originally proposed by the five important Indian committees and the previous British ones. Building Sethusamudram through Ram setu destruction is bad from security and environmental angles, and above all, invades the Hindu faith, which should not require any certificate from secular clerks.
First reaction of these seculars is to discard with contempt any proof or logic Hindus produce. But this is what NASA says about the bridge , ‘Exploring space with a camera by NASA’s [193] Gemini XI, this photograph from an altitude of 410 miles encompasses all of India, an area of 1,250 000 square miles,’ George M Low, then the deputy director, Manned Spacecraft Center, NASA, notes. ‘Bombay is on the west coast, directly left of the spacecraft’s can-shaped antenna, New Delhi is just below the horizon near the upper left. Adam’s Bridge between India and Ceylon, at the right, is clearly visible…’ We can see the picture dramatically resembles the description given in Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsham . Kalidasa wrote, (sarga 13): ‘Rama, while returning from Sri Lanka in Pushpaka Vimaana told Sita: “Behold, Sita, My Setu of mountains dividing this frothy ocean is like the milky way dividing the sky into two parts”.’
The Encyclopedia Britannica describes the bridge thus, ‘Adam’s Bridge also called Rama’s Bridge, chain of shoals, between the islands of Mannar, near northwestern Sri Lanka, and Rameswaram, off the southeastern coast of India.’
Apart from such issues of heritage and belief, there are genuine concerns regarding security and the tsunamis’ impact increasing in case the Ram Setu is destroyed. If the new channel is created through the present Rama’s bridge, international ships would pass through it making a de facto international boundary between India and Sri Lanka, facilitating an increased alien presence, burdening our navy to a great extent. The state presented all the half-truths and unverified ‘facts’ to give an impression that while it is doing a great job to develop economy, these Hindus are monkeying around with the reality. It never answered why it preferred the present route requiring destruction of Ram Setu? There is a difference e between international boundary and the historic waters under UN conventions. The present waters status between India and Sri Lanka is the Historic Waters. The US Navy operational directive refusing to accept the sea between India and Sri Lanka as ‘historic’ was made on June 23, 2005. The Prime Minister’s Office sent some queries in March 2005 to N K Raghupathy, chief of the Tuticorin Port Trust. He sent answers to the PMO’s queries on June 30, 2005 and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the project on July 2, 2005. Why were the queries sent to the TPT and not to an agency which had scientific authority to look into the geological and maritime aspects of the project? Why did the prime minister and the UPA chairperson rush to inaugurate the project without, prima facie, having the time to look into the answers given by the TPT chief?
Local fishermen, Hindus, Muslims and Christians alike, oppose the present route and are demanding alternative channels, which are available. They say the present channel would destroy marine life and corals. This will kill the trade in shankas (shells) that has a turnover in excess of Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.5 billion) per annum. Invaluable thorium deposits would be affected, which are too important for our nuclear fuel requirements.
Professor Tad Murthy, the world-renowned tsunami expert, who advised the Government of India on the tsunami warning system and edited the Tsunami Journal for over 20 years, has also warned that the present Sethusamudram route may result in tsunami waves hitting Kerala more fiercely. In a reply to a query regarding the Sethusamudram’s impact, he wrote, ‘During the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004, the southern part of Kerala was generally spared from a major tsunami, mainly because the tsunami waves from Sumatra region travelling south of the Sri Lankan island, partially diffracted northward and affected the central part of the Kerala coast. Since the tsunami is a long gravity wave (similar to tides and storm surges) during the diffraction process, the rather wide turn it has to take spared the south Kerala coast. On the other hand, deepening the Sethu Canal might provide a more direct route for the tsunami and this could impact south Kerala.’

Navy Captain H.Balakrishnan (Retd) has analysed the whole gamut of the SSCP and has produced a three-part paper on the subject ,which says in nutshell:
(A) Its not environmental friendly-: -Mariners call the Tamil Nadu coast from Rameswaram to Cuddalore as the ‘cyclone coast’. Allied to the dangers posed by the cyclones to shipping, is the high siltation rates that occur in the Palk Straits. This would imply that maintenance dredging will have to be ’round the year’ affair escalating the maintenance of the canal.
(B) No time saving- ‘Time and Distance’ calculation for a vessel’s voyage from Kolkata/Chennai to Tuticorin circumnavigating Sri Lanka as also transiting through the SSCP is projected wrongly by govt. The SSCP is to have a dredged depth of 12 Metres. This permits vessels with a maximum draught of 10.7 M to pass through the channel. The underfoot clearance for the vessel is 1.3 M. This low underfoot clearance mandatorily entails the ship to precede at ‘slow speeds of 6 to 8 Knots’ through the Channel, on account of a phenomenon, termed as the ‘Shallow Water Effect’ by the mariners. On account of this fact, for a vessel on passage from Kolkata to Tuiticorin around Sri Lanka and through SSCP saves ONLY 1.75 hours by routing through the latter, for a speed combination 0f 12 and 6 knots!!
The project is backed by all those parties known for their atheism and anti-Hindutva stand. A new paper report said, ‘ Almost all political parties in Tamil Nadu, including the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), the Congress and the two Left parties, back the project. The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, submitted a techno-economic feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment report of the project in July 2004. It also suggested an alignment for the canal. The canal will originate from the Tuticorin harbour in the south and run through the Gulf of Mannar, the Palk Bay and the Palk Strait in a north and northeast direction before joining the Bay of Bengal. In other words, the canal will be dredged through the shallow waters of Adam’s Bridge and the Palk Bay. Its total length will be 152 km but it needs no dredging for 78 km in the Gulf of Mannar. The canal will be 300 m wide and 6 km long in the Adam’s Bridge area, and another 68 km long in the Palk Bay and the Palk Strait area. Its depth will be 12 m, to enable ships with a draught of 10.7 m to pass through.’
But the prominent Hindus, Christians opposed it. Justice K T Thomas, a retired and a distinguished judge of the Supreme Court told me that taking up the project by hurting Hindu sentiments is not advisable. Justice V R Krishna Aiyar, another great jurist too opposed it and sent a strong letter to the Prime Minister. A memorandum with 35 lakh signatures opposing the present alignment of Sethusamudram was submitted to the preacher President Abdul Kalam, hoping he belongs to Rameshwaram and hence would stand with Ram, but he kept a studied silence. Several public interest petitions were filed in Madras High Court and the Supreme Court, and the present cyclone over Ram’s existence came out of an answer to one such petition filed by Dr Swamy.
S. Badrinarayanan, former director of Geological Survey of India and a member of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) says the Adam’s Bridge was not a natural formation.
“Coral reefs are formed only on hard surfaces. But during the study we found that the formation at Adam’s Bridge is nothing but boulders of coral reefs. When we drilled for investigation, we found that there was loose sand two to three metres below the reefs. Hard rocks were found several metres below the sand.
”Such a natural formation is impossible. Unless somebody has transported them and dumped them there, those reefs could not have come there. Some boulders were so light that they could float on water. Apparently, whoever has done it, has identified light (but strong) boulders to make it easy for transportation. Since they are strong, they can withstand a lot of weight. It should be preserved as a national monument,” he opined.

Fishermen are angry too. A newspaper quoted ‘C. Munisamy of Mukundarayapuram, about 7 km from Rameswaram, points out that fishermen put out to sea at different times of the day during “seasons” for various fish varieties. Other fishermen fear that if they fish during the unapproved timings, they may be arrested on the charge of smuggling. N. Kumar and, S. Ramesh of Mukundarayapuram, and K. Thomas Vas of Thracepuram voiced similar sentiments separately. According to them, they normally sail at night, drop anchor, spread their nets and go to sleep, and return with the catch in the morning. “We cannot be on the lookout for ships (when we are sleeping). If a ship collides with our boat, our boat will straightway descend into the sea,” says Kumar. There are about 1,300 country boats in and around Thracepuram alone, and each supports eight fishermen. “We drop anchor in the waters where the ships would ply. If the Sethusamudram project is implemented the ships will slice our nets. When this happens, the entire fishing community will be destroyed. Can we take to any other job?” ask R. Raj, president, and F. Jeyapaul, vice-president, of the Country Boats Fishermen’s Panchayat at Thracepuram. A few hundred fishermen’s families at Dhanushkodi are worried that they would not only lose their livelihood but also be dispossessed of their houses. They point to the NEERI report, which says that maintenance per year will result in a spoil of 0.1 million cubic metres. This dredged material, which will be mostly silt and clay, will not be disposed of in the sea. “Instead, it will be used to reclaim degraded areas on the Pamban island, Ramnad and Mandapam coastal stretches,” it says. Part of the dredged material will be disposed of in the area that stretches between the Kothandaraswamy temple at Kothandam and Dhanushkodi, the Land’s End. (Much of the Dhanushkodi island was washed away in a cyclone in 1964.)
R. Munisamy, 50, deftly removing fish from his net on the sandy beach, says: “This will not bring us any benefit. Dumping of dredge will result in the creation of mounds on the beach. How can we relocate?” Santiago Fernandes of Vercode Fishermen’s Association asks, “How can we predict what will happen when you try to interfere with nature by dumping the spoil at Dhanushkodi (or Pamban)? We need a sea to fish. If you are going to dump the spoil in the sea, how can we fish? When you artificially interfere with a natural formation, the fish wealth will be ruined. We are on a precipice, poised between life and death.”
All agree that the Sethusamudram idea has a very important geo-political dimension. ‘It would give India a firm grip on one of the world’s most strategic and busiest sea-lanes. This would eventually give India very remarkable leverage in its relations with China, Japan and the US. All the oil supplies to Southeast and East Asia that originate in the Middle East are shipped from ports in the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf. The sea-lanes from here converge in the Arabian Sea and then pass through the Gulf of Mannar and curve off the western, southern and southeastern coast of Sri Lanka. This sea-lane then turns northeast through the Bay of Bengal towards the Malacca Strait. Eighty per cent of Japan’s oil supplies and sixty per cent of China’s oil supplies shipped on this sea-lane. Almost half of the world’s container traffic passes through the choke points of this sea-lane and its branches in the Indian Ocean. The Sethusamudram Project will create an unavoidable by-pass that would inevitably divert this sea traffic through India’s own maritime waters,’ says a strategic expert in Daily Mirror , 6 October 2004.
K.M Panikkar, the architect of India’s naval doctrine, argued in his works more than fifty years ago that New Delhi should recognise the significance of the Indian Ocean for the development of its commercial activities, trade and security ( The Strategic Problems of the Indian Ocean’ and ‘India and Indian Ocean – published in 1944-1945).Regretting the “unfortunate tendency to overlook the Sea in the discussion of India’s defence problems”, Panikkar remarked: “India never lost her independence till she lost the command of the sea in the first decade of the 16th century”. Advocating that the “Indian Ocean must remain truly Indian”, Panikkar suggested the Albuquerque-style security of India by firmly holding distant places like Singapore, Mauritius, Aden and Socotra, the arid island off the coast of Yemen.
Through the present alignment we’re not only making Indian Ocean a playfield for foreign interventions but also denying our heritage and the quintessential character of our nation. It’s not done. Ram will emerge victorious again against the demons. We do not need to re-produce what Gandhi or Max Mueller said about Ram to prove how great he was. And remember humiliated Hindus may strike back, sooner or later.


Ram Setu metamorphosed

http://www.dailypioneer.com/editor.asp (September 19, 2007)

This has reference to the editorial, “Let science be reason” (September 18). The controversy surrounding the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project hinges on the fact whether Ram Setu is a man-made structure or a natural formation. The Archaeological Survey of India maintains that Valmiki’s Ramayan is not admissible evidence to prove the existence of the Setu.
Logic proves otherwise. Ramayan cannot be completely imaginary as Valmiki, the epic’s author, lived in north India and never visited southern India. It will be surprising if he knew that a geographical link already existed between Rameshwaram and Talaimannar, which he could, from his imagination, incorporate in his story as Ram Setu. Wouldn’t such a fortuitous accident of geography be virtually impossible? Rather, it seems more credible that the rising sea level has engulfed or eroded portions of the original man-made structure. Perhaps, that is why Rameshwaram, depicted on mainland in Ramayan, has now become an island in the Pamban Channel.
There are instances of man-made structures metamorphosing into formations that appear natural structures. The island of Pharos off the cost of Alexandria has become a part of the Egyptian mainland because of silting. Will Durant says, “A dike or mole —- called Heptastadium because it was seven-stadia long —- connected the city with the island of Pharos and made two harbours out of one” ( The Life of Greece, Story of Civilization-II). EM Forster, who lived for years in Alexandria, writes in his novel Pharos and Pharillon: “As soon as Menelaus had got everything wrong, the wind changed and he returned to Greece with the news of an island named Pharos whose old man was called Proteus… Pharos, tethered to Alexandria by a long causeway, became part of a larger scheme and only once re-entered Alexander’s mind”. But today Pharos is part of the mainland where the Qait Bay Fort, built from the stones of the collapsed Lighthouse in the 15th century, is situated.

Debjit Banerjee, Priyadarsi Dutta

Dinamalar, Tamil daily, 19 Sept. 2007ராம் சேது இயக்கத்துக்கு பா.ஜ.க., ஆதரவுபுதுடில்லி : ராமர் பால பிரச்னை தொடர்பாக பா.ஜ., கட்சி போராட்டம் நடத்தாது என தெரிகிறது. எனினும், இந்த பிரச்னையை வலியுறுத்தி போராட்டம் நடத்தி வரும் ராம் சேது விகாஸ் மஞ்ச் இயக்கத்துக்கு அக்கட்சி ஆதரவளிக்கும். பா.ஜ., கட்சியின் மூன்று நாள் தேசிய செயற்குழுக் கூட்டம் போபாலில் ந‌டக்கவுள்ளது. அப்போது, ராமர் பால பிரச்னை குறித்து அக்கட்சி முடிவெடுக்கும். இந்த கூட்டத்தில் முன்னாள் மத்திய அமைச்சரும் பா.ஜ., கட்சியின் மூத்த தலைவருமான முரளி மனோகர் ஜோஷி, தீர்மானம் ஒன்றை கொண்டு வருவார். சிக்கலான ராமர் பாலம் விவகாரத்தை ஆரம்பத்தில் இருந்தே முரளி மனோகர் ஜோஷி தான் கையாண்டு வருகிறார். கடந்த ஆண்டு நடந்த கட்சியின் தேசிய செயற்குழுவில் முரளி மனோகர் ஜோஷி இதுபோன்ற ஒரு தீர்மானத்தை கொண்டு வந்தார் என்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.
ராம் சேது விகாஸ் மஞ்ச் அமைப்பின் தலைவராக கல்யாணராமன் உள்ளார். இவர் உலக வங்கியில் வேலை பார்த்து வந்தவர் என்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.http://dinamalar.com/2007sep19/final.asp#3


One Response to Rama Setu: Raksha Manch

  1. T.C.Govindan says:

    Once Hindu tolerance reaches the end of its tether, the secular fundamentalist politicians will have it! That day may not be far off!

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