Rama Setu: protection movement will continue until Rama Setu is declared as divyakshetram
RSS outfit expresses lack of faith in the Central committee
15 Oct 2007, 2300 hrs IST,PTI
AHMEDABAD: The Sangh Parivar floated Ramsetu Raksha Samiti on Monday said it has “no confidence” in the committee formed by the Central government to look into the Sethusamudram Project as there are no experts in the panel.
“Most of the members of the committee are associated with the Shipping Minister T R Baalu and there are no experts on geology or oceanography in that panel,” National Convener of the Ramsetu Raksha Samiti (RRS) S Kalyanaraman told reporters here.
The committee has been formed by the Central government after the Supreme Court’s order.
He claimed that Ramsetu was a cultural heritage and should be protected. “Lord Rama was our ideal and Hindus will follow him till they survive on this land,” he said.
“The Ramsetu is a geological structure inside the ocean, linking India and Sri Lanka. The bridge is the physical structure built on it during the ancient time by the people using calcareous sand stones and corals, which are less dense than normal hard rock and quiet compact,” he said.
Ramsetu was used as a land-bridge upto 1799, and this is evident in the travelogues, Madras Presidency Gazetteer of 1893 and in temple epigraphs, he added.
He further said the channel proposed to be done in the Sethusamudram project was uneconomical and it should be scrapped.
“We will continue our fight with awareness campaign until Ramsetu is declared a sacred monument. Our campaign is democratic and and we do not want to involve political parties in it,” Kalyanaraman added.
- ‘Shipping lines divided on Sethusamudram benefits’
‘Draught of 10 metres is insufficient for bigger vessels’
Mumbai, Oct 14 Even as environment, security and political concerns continue to plague Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, the shipping industry too seems to be divided on the economic benefits of the project.
While coastal shipping operators are upbeat on the prospects that the project would open up for them, large shipping lines operating ocean services see the project not addressing their concerns. Shipping industry representatives largely agree that the proposed draught of 10 metres is insufficient for the movement of bigger vessels. “The draught should be a minimum of 12 metres to support a 50,000 DWT vessel,” said a source.
Some shipping analysts are also sceptical about the traffic projections. The traffic projection by Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd that 3,055 ships would sail through the proposed Sethusamudram channel annually is too ambitious, according to Mr S.K. Shahi, Chairman and Managing Director, SKS Logistics, a major coastal ship operator. “We do not expect this kind of traffic movement happening in the next 10 years” he told Business Line.
But the silver lining to this grim picture is that coastal ship owners are excited with the proposed tariff . As per the Financial and Economic Viability Analysis of the project put out by L&T Ramboll, on a “pessimistic estimate,” the charges for a vessel size upto 10,000 DWT would be Rs 11 per GRT, Rs 6 per GRT for 20,000 DWT and so on.
Mr Shahi said: “The Sethusamudram Channel will definitely have savings for coastal shipping as there will be some savings on fuel and time costs. But then they will be levying 12 per cent service tax too.”
The project report by L&T also suggests an increase in the coastal shipping activities in the region as coastal vessels could transport cargo from or to the various ports in peninsular India.
But sounding a note of caution on the upbeat sentiment of coastal liners is another section of the shipping industry that feels that government is not addressing some vital issues.
“There is no clarity as to whether fishing activities would continue in the area or not, if yes, then shipping cannot happen there. Secondly, for security reasons ships are supposed to sail 200 miles away from the Sri Lankan coast, which the channel does not address,” says spokesperson of an Indian shipping company.
Some players in the industry have also raised questions on the timeline for completion of the project. “As of now the tariff rates look attractive but with Axis Bank (The project’s banker) raising doubts on the viability of the project given the cost escalation since 2004, one really has to see whether these rates would be applicable by the time the project is complete,” says another industry player unwilling to be named.
Open letter to Sonia Gandhi by Anwar Manippady
October 13, 2007
“You leave us alone, don’t divide our people”
By Anwar Manippady
It is not possible for you to know the pulse of Indians as we belong
to a great heritage and culture. You are taking advantage of our
people’s innocence and goodness. You have been trying to shatter our
country’s peace and destroy the great heritage passed down to us from
generations. It’s time you restrain yourself from committing such
crimes against Indians.
You are worsening the plight of minorities of this country – India, to which
you do not belong. It is not possible for you to know the pulse of
Indians as we belong to a great heritage and culture. You are taking
advantage of our people’s innocence and goodness. You have been trying
to shatter our country’s peace and destroy the great heritage passed
down to us from generations. It’s time you restrain yourself from
committing such crimes against Indians.You have been leading a National
Party not because of the merits you have, but because the members of
your party are gullible, ignorant and are not able to unite together!
The vote bank policy practiced by you and your Congress party is
further deteriorating the relationship between the majorities and
minorities of this country. Here are some instances.Sometime ago, while
Sania Mirza was donning the Indian colours and bringing laurels to the
country, your support to a group of clergy in their fatwa against Sania
was uncalled for. You said that it was a personal matter, and their
sentiments should not be hurt and it should be respected. There is no
such fatwa in this country and instead of quelling this then and there;
your support set a very bad precedent.
The appeasement through the reservation policy based on caste, creed and religion is further breaking the society by division and groupism. The same
reservation policy could be implemented on the basis of the economic
backwardness whereby the branding of the people on these lines can be
avoided. Of course you couldn’t have created a vote bank there!
Recently when some fanatic hooligans attacked novelist Tasleema Nasreen, you and
your Party did not utter a word to condemn the incident. Your protégé
Y.Samuel Rajashekar Reddy did not get the hooligans booked under proper
criminal charges. They had the courage to threaten the author of
beheading her and the Andhra Pradesh Government watched this in silence
instead of punishing the culprits.
Your head of the Government came out with the statement before the investigation ended with regard to the fanatic terrorists involved in the UK bomb blast,
saying that ‘One felt sorry for the relatives of such terrorists’. Why
do you do this? Is it not trying to please the ignorant minorities for
sake of vote bank? Madam, Please stop these appeasements. It is not
going to help the minorities. Its detrimental to the minorities,
detrimental to the country.
These appeasements develop a false strength with the minorities, which in turn will tend to undo the goodness their religion preaches. All these above actions will not
build our country India into a modern, developed and a powerful
It also reminds me of the novel Lajja by Smt.
Tasleema Nazreen, wherein a Hindu family dedicated to the country
Bangladesh was subjected to discrimination, brutality and even rape.
And finally that family had to run away from their motherland –
Bangladesh. Your appeasement will make the minorities of this country,
homeless too, for no fault of theirs or the majorities.
Like the old saying ‘From the frying pan to the fire’; your new venture,
destroying the Ram Setu will be another worst crime against the
country. The whole world knows that Ram Setu has a religious
connotation and we Indians are emotionally attached to it. The dredging
and opening of Ram Setu will have far reaching consequences in India.
Moreover; It is not beneficial in any way:
- Any ship weighing 40,000 tons and above cannot sail through this pass as most of the ships carry much more weight at present.
- It is exorbitantly costly to make this pass.
- The time gained by passing through this pass instead of going around Srilanka is two hours.
ships passing through this channel requires pilotage and pilotage
charges which will be heavy. For example the channel length of this
pass is about 56 Km and the pilotage charges will be around Rs one lakh
- Dredging the pass and removing the sand
will be a permanent feature and it’s not going to be cost effective. On
the whole, it will not be economically viable for the shipping
companies or beneficial for the country.
- How detrimental it is:
- It will hurt sentiments of millions of Indians.
- Priceless Thorium deposits will be washed away by breaking the wall.
- More than ten lakh fishermen will lose their jobs.
- If the pass becomes an International route, it is a threat to our internal security.
- It will destroy the fragile coral islands, as the sediment from the turbulent tides will enter from the Bay of Bengal.
- It might reactivate the sub sea heat flows.
Setu is a natural tsunami protection wall. It proved during last
tsunami, as Kerala was not affected. This fact has a scientific bearing.
Let us take a look at the opinions we have from different quarters of the society and various scientists and thinkers:
- NASA and Google Earth photographs and other information
- Department of Earth Sciences, Government of India. March 2007.
- Sir.A.R. Mudaliar Report 1956.
All the above evidences show that Ram Setu is not a naturally-developed formation, but it’s a man-made bund. The meaning of the word “Setu” in all the Indian languages is “Man-made bund”. Sir A.R. Mudaliar Committee Report very clearly says that breaking of Ram Setu is not feasible as it would entail definite navigational hazard and shifting sandbanks in this area presents a far more formidable
problem both at the stage of construction and during maintenance level.
Professor Tad S. Murthy , A Tsunami expert says Ram Setu is needed
to change the mouth of the alignment of the Bay of Bengal. This will
help in avoiding destruction of Kerala if there’s a recurrence of
Besides ISRO and NASA there are other evidences which shows the existence of Ram Setu. They are as follows:
Arya Chakravarti coins of Jaffna of 13th century and Parantaka Chola a
copper plate of 10th century indicate that king Aparajithavarman went
to Setuthirtha. That is Rama’s temple at the Setu.
Evidence from Sangam literature: In a book titled Ramanatha-puram, a
district gazetteer published in 1972 refers to Ram Setu also as Adam’s
Bridge or Nala Setu.
Malabar Bowen Map of 1747 drawn by Netherlands shows Ramar Coil (Rama Temple).
Maps drawn by Joseph Parks, an Australian Botanical explorer (1788) shows Ramar Bridge. (map in Saraswathi Mahal Lib., Thanjavur).
Islamic Expansion and western view of South Asia, 7th to 12th
century (Al- Biruni’s record) by a legendry Arab explorer and
geographer proves the presence of Ram Setu. Madras Presidency Admission
Reports of 1903 and a travelogue of 1744 call the bridge of Rama : It
really joined Ceylon to India until 1480, until a breach was made
through rocks during a storm. A subsequent storm enlarged this breach
and thus the foot traffic ceased.
A book by Alexander Hamilton, 1744 New account of the East Indies:
gives an exact and copious description of the situation, wherein page
338 describes his visit to ‘Zeloan’ (Alternative spelling for Ceylon)
by walking on the bridge. Authentic digital images of Sri Ram Setu from
NASA image exchange: Photographs taken by NASA astronauts, Russian
cosmonauts, Gemini Spacecraft in 1966, 8 NASA Space Shuttle Missions
1983 to 1994. International Space Station expedition 2002-2005, all
conclude Ancient Bridge = Sri Ram Setu and appreciate the Setu in
following words: Sri Ram Setu causeway must have been a major
engineering feat for its thin trace is still so clearly visible on the
present days satellite images. It has resisted the relentless erosion
of the sea for millions of years and it attests to the great
engineering skills of the ancient Indian people. It is the earliest and
largest carbon-fibre reinforced civil engineering structure known to
man and should be protected as a world heritage site.
Justice K.T. Thomas and our former President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
observations say that the Setu is a heritage site and has a religious
leaning. All the above scientific derivations, historical evidences and
observations of scientists and learned persons and the feeling of
millions of people of all communities if set aside and the Ram Setu is
destroyed, our country will go through insurmountable spiritual and
economic loss. When Metro Rail tracks in Delhi can be replanned because
of the worry that it might cause vibration to the natural heritage the
Kutub Minar; the highways gets diverted when monuments like dargahs,
temples and churches comes in the way, then why can’t to have absolute
peace, and to avoid chaotic situations above all in the interest of
this great country the breaking of Ram Setu be dropped. On the other
hand the development of Ram Setu as a heritage place, a pilgrim center
and as a tourist spot should be envisaged which will not only bring
huge revenue to the exchequer but peace to people of India too.
(The writer is Chairman, Karnataka State Govt. Minorities Development Corporation.)
Shankracharya asks government to respect Hindus’ religious feelings
New Delhi, Oct.15 : The Shankaracharya of Badrika Ashram has asked the Government of India not to hurt the feelings of the Hindu community by going ahead with the construction of the Sethusamudram Ship Canal.
He said that the Central Government “should not move ahead to destroy the Ram Sethu.”
He feels that judging from the Government’s current stand on the issue one feels that “There was no hope from the Centre”.
Talking to Asian News International on the sidelines of a Rudrabhishek ceremony in Old Delhi on Sunday, Shankracharya Swami Madhvashram said the individuals criticising Lord Rama ‘deserved to be ousted from the country’.
In particular he was referring to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s controversial remarks about Lord Rama, the Shankaracharya said: “Karunanidhi Ko Desh-Nikala dena chahiye (Karunanidhi should be ousted from the country)”.
Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, however, has been put on hold.
Last month, seeking three months time to examine the Sethusamudram project issue, the Centre withdrew an affidavit relating to the mythological “Ram Sethu” from the Supreme Court.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K. G. Balkrishnan allowed the withdrawal of the affidavit, and posted the matter for next hearing in the first week of January 2008.
The affidavit filed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on behalf of the Centre stated that there was no evidence to prove “the existence of the characters or the occurrence of events” in the Ramayana.
This invited criticism, forcing the Centre to clarify its statement. The government said that it wanted to resolve the matter in a “constructive and mutually acceptable manner”.
In the wake of protests by the BJP and other Hindu groups over the government’s first affidavit, the Government had said that it would file a supplementary affidavit on the Sethusamundram case in the Supreme Court.
Hindu groups have called on the government to stop the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, saying it will demolish the mythical bridge linking India and Sri Lanka, believed to have been built by Lord Ram.
Opposing the 560 million dollars project, they say it would destroy the Ram Sethu, a 48- kilometre chain of limestone shoals that once linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu to Mannar in Sri Lanka.
A ten-member committee, headed by University of Madras Vice-Chancellor Prof. S. Ramachandran, who is also the Chairman of Monitoring Committee on Environmental Impact Issues, has been constituted to look into the matter.
The Project will dredge a channel in a narrow strip of sea between India and Sri Lanka, reducing distances and cutting costs for freight traffic.
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. (ANI)
Kapil Sibal inaugurates early warning system in Hyderabad
Hyderabad, Oct 15 : Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Kapil Sibal inaugurated the National Tsunami Early Warning System at the Indian National Centre for Ocean lnformation Services (INCOIS) here today.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr. Y. S. Raja Sekhar Reddy was also present on the occasion.
Recognizing the need for an Early Warning System for mitigation of oceanogenic disasters that pose a severe threat to nearly 400 million people who live along the state’s coastal belt, the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) took up the responsibility of establishing the National Tsunami Early Warning System.
The warning system has been established at a cost of Rs.125 crore in collaboration with Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Space (DOS) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Tsunamigenic zones that threaten the Indian coast have been identified on the basis of history, location of the area relative to a fault, and also by tsunami modelling.
The east and west coasts of India and the island regions are likely to be affected by tsunamis generated mainly by subduction zone-related earthquakes from the two potential source regions, viz., the Andaman-Nicobar- Sumatra island arc and the Makran subduction zone north of Arabian Sea.
The Indian Tsunami Early Warning System comprises a real-time network of seismic stations, Bottom Pressure Recorders (BPR) and tide gauges to detect tsunamigenic earthquakes and to monitor tsunamis.
The Early Warning Centre receives real-time seismic data from the national seismic network of the lndian Meteorological Department (IMD) and other International seismic networks.
The system detects all earthquake events of more than six Magnitude occurring in the lndian Ocean in the less than 20 minutes of occurrence.
BPRs installed in the deep ocean are the key sensors to confirm the triggering of a tsunami.
The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) has installed four BPRs in the Bay of Bengal and the two BPRs in the Arabian Sea.
In addition, NIOT and Survey of India (SOI) have installed 30 Tide Gauges to monitor the progress of tsunami waves.
Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management (ICMAM) has customized and run the Tsunami Model for five historical earthquakes and the predicted inundation areas.
The inundated areas are being overlaid on cadastral level maps of 1:5000 scale. These community-level inundation maps are extremely useful for assessing the population and infrastructure at risk.
High-resolution Coastal Topography data required for modelling is generated by the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) using ALTM and Cartosat Data.
INCOlS has also generated a large database of model scenarios for different earthquakes that are being used for operational tsunami early warning.
Communication of real-time data from seismic stations, tide gauges and BPR’s to the early warning centre is very critical for generating timely tsunami warnings.
A host of communication methods are employed for timely reception of data from the sensors as well as for dissemination of alerts. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has made an end-to-end communication plan using INSAT.
A high level of redundancy is being built into the communication system to avoid single point failures.
A state-of-the-art early warning centre is established at INCOlS with all the necessary computational and communication infrastructure that enables reception of real-time data from all the sensors, analysis of the data, generation and dissemination of tsunami advisories following a standard operating procedure.
Seismic and sea-level data are continuously monitored in the Early Warning Centre using a custom-built software application jointly developed with MIS Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) that generates alarms alerts in the warning centre whenever a pre-set threshold is crossed.
Tsunami warnings watches are then generated based on pre-set decision support rules and disseminated to the concerned authorities for action, following a Standard Operating Procedure.
The efficiency of the end-to-end system was proved during the large undersea earthquake of 8.4 M that occurred on September 12, 2007 in the Indian Ocean.
The National Early Warning Centre will generate and disseminate timely advisories to the Control Room of the Ministry of Home Affairs for further dissemination to the Public.
For the dissemination of alerts to MHA a satellite-based virtual private network for disaster management support (VPN DMS) has been established.
This network enables early warning centre to disseminate warnings to the MHA, as well as to the State Emergency Operations Centres.
In addition, messages will also be sent by phone, fax, SMS and e-mails to authorised officials. In case of confirmed warnings, the National Early Warning Centre is being equipped with necessary facilities to disseminate the advisories directly to the administrators, media and public through SMS, e-mail and fax.
The cyclone warning network of IMD and electronic ocean information boards of INCOlS could be effectively used for dissemination of warnings directly to the public.
Periodic workshops will be organized for the user community to familiarize them with the use of tsunami and storm surge advisories as well as inundation maps.
Easily understandable publicity material on earthquake, tsunami and storm surges has been generated and will be distributed to the general public. (ANI)
Who is Bhagwan (Lord) Ram?
Lord Ram is believed by Hindus, to be the Seventh-Incarnation of
Vishnu (Vishnu is the Preserver and Maintainer of this Universe).
Ramayan, which describes the story of Bhagwan (Lord) Ram, also
includes teachings of Lord Ram as practical solutions to the problems
of life. Festivals of Ram-Navami, Dewali, and Dussehra, are all
related to the life of Lord Ram. In the entire Hindu spiritual
literature, Bhagwan (Lord) Ram stands out as an outstanding and most
glorious of all persons. No other person has been described with such
perfection in all phases, and in all aspects of life, as Lord Ram has
The famous sage Valmiki describes Lord Ram, as an Ideal Of
Perfection, as Maryada-Purshottam (the Most Perfect Man Who Has Ever
Walked On This Earth). In India, Lord Ram is spoken about, every day
of the week, as Maryada-Purshottam. To symbolize properly, the
emotional attachment of Hindus to the name Ram is intense. So perfect
is Lord Ram, and so perfect is his system of government, that
virtually every political party in India swears by the name of Lord
Ram, they declare openly that they are working to bring about the
system of Ram-Raaj (the reign of Lord Ram/the ideal government) into
4. Another description of Lord Ram appears in Ramacharitamanas,
written by Tulsidas. Tulsidas describes Lord Ram as the Universal
Spirit, as the Creator (Brahma), Sustainer/Maintainer (Vishnu), and
Destroyer (Mahesh/Shiva), all rolled into one, besides being Maryada-
Purshottam (the Most Perfect Man Who Has Ever Walked On This Earth).
Says Tulsidas, “Lord Ram is the Compassionate-Lord of Beauty, Power,
and Virtue. The true nature and being of Ram, transcends anybody’s
capacity to visualize, it transcends all utterance, wisdom, and
knowledge. He is beginningless, endless, limitless, changeless, and
beyond all description. He is pure consciousness, pure bliss, the
very light untouched by illusion.”
5. Lord Ram is also the slayer of the evil (demon) king Ravan, who
held his wife Sita as captive. Lord Ram is regarded by millions of
Hindus as an example of Moral Excellence. He has become an integral
part of the culture not only of India, but also beyond the frontiers
of India, in the Far East, where he is regarded as the Universal
Spirit as well as a Personal God, who manifests himself in human
form, for the well-being and guidance of his devotees on earth. No
other person has been associated with so many characteristics of
idealistic perfection, throughout his entire life-time, from infancy
onwards up through all ages, and in all aspects of his life, in a
single individual. Only Lord Ram fills this bill, that is why he is
labelled as Maryada-Purshottam, which translates as “The Most Perfect
Man Who Has Ever Walked On This Earth.”
6. In addition to these qualities of Moral Excellence, Lord Ram is
also the World’s First Democrat, and the Inventor Of Democracy. Lord
Ram Invented the concept of Raj-Dharam (generally known as Ram-Raaj
or the Reign of Ram). The unique feat of Lord Ram’s Democracy is,
that in Lord Ram’s Democracy, even the poorest and the humblest
person has an effective voice in the government. Lord Ram also
recognized, that people have a right to make mistakes, and learn from
them. To determine people’s opinions, Lord Ram and his agents used to
go out in disguise, at night-time, and listened to what people were
talking about. Lord Ram was a superb keeper of tabs on public
As a practical example of Lord Ram’s Democracy, a humble Dhobi’s
(Washerman) opinion went against Lord Ram (the ruler). The opinion of
the Dhobi was looked upon as more-momentous, and Lord Ram had to
banish his own wife Sita, to the forests to uphold the principle of
his Democracy. It was pointed out to Lord Ram that Sita was totally-
innocent, and that people can make mistakes. Lord Ram replied that he
is aware that Sita is totally innocent, and also that people can make
mistakes, but insisted that people have a right to make mistakes, and
to learn from them.
Says Lord Ram,” The job of a king is not to use his ruler’s position,
for his own pleasure and comfort. The first duty of a king is to his
subjects ( and not to his own personal needs and desires), to protect
their welfare, pleasure, and comfort. The king should subordinate his
own desires and wishes, to those of his subjects.”
Lord Ram never ceased and desisted, from making personal sacrifices
to uphold his principles, regardless of how heavy the price is. To
characterize honorably and in a fair manner, Lord Ram is Hinduism and
Democracy at its Excellence-Best.
7. Throughout his life-time, Lord Ram carried his bow and arrows “At
All Times.” Continuous-Wearing of this Armed-Attire symbolises Lord
Ram’s ever-present-alertness, and eternal-readiness to fight against
Adharma (Un-Righteousness), to assure justice and peace. Lord Ram
insisted that Adharma and Evil will always be there in this world,
and they shall continue appearing in terrifying new forms.
By his own example, Lord Ram gives mankind a code of fortitude, moral
strength, and steadfastness of conviction to fight Unrighteousness
(Adharma), for the well-being of society as a whole. Man “ought not”
to be weak and accept Unrighteousness Passively. He has to rise
actively and forcefully, against anything that is contrary to Dharma
(Righteousness). That is Lord Ram’s Approach of “Aggressive Goodness”
and “Aggressive Righteousness.”
To put it simply and succintly, Lord Ram stands for Dharma
(Righteousness), he opposes and destroys, all that is Adharma.
Throughout the epic of Ramayan, there are many many examples of Lord
Ram’s fights against Adharma, that demonstrate irrefutably, the
divine brilliance of Lord Ram’s ideal personality, and Lord Ram takes
his place in the history of the Noble-Land of Bharat-Varsha (India)
NOTE: A thousand years of peace followed the reign of Lord Ram( known
to every Hindu as Ram-Raaj).
8. IMPORTANCE OF LORD RAM IN HINDU CIVILIZATION:
a. At least 95% of the Hindus when they meet each other, they greet
each other by saying “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Sita Ram”
b. At funeral times, when the dead body is being carried to the
crematory-grounds, every body in the funeral procession chants again
and again “Bolo Ram (that is Speak Ram),” “Ram Nam Sat Hai (Ram’s
Name Is Truth),” and so on.