Rama Setu: protection movement (22 Oct. 2007)

Ramayana Conference 23 Dec. 2007 in Chennai See details at: http://www.prabandham.com/events/07002.html (Tamil) About one lakh people will participate in the Seminar and Peoples’ meet (maanaadu). Please send your contributions and details of your plans for participation to: ramseethahanuman@gmail.comrama.gopalan27@gmail.com  SriRama Samiti, Dharma Rakshana Samiti, 64, Police Commissioner Office Road, Egmore, Chennai 600018 

கடவுள் மனிதனாக, மனிதனே கடவுளாக பாரதத்தில் அவதரித்து நமது வாழ்க்கைக்கு வழிகாட்டியாக வாழ்ந்த தர்மத்தின் வடிவமான அவதார புருஷன் ஸ்ரீராமபிரான். ராமபக்தியே தேசபக்தி!

 RSS questions T R Baalu’s continuance in Union Cabinet
Sunday October 21, 12:32 AM Nagpur, Oct 20 (PTI) The Rashtriya Swayayamsewak Sangh (RSS) today questioned the propriety of Union Shipping Minister and DMK leader T R Baalu remaining in the cabinet for his adamant stand over the Ram Setu issue.The Centre, under pressure from Left parties, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court denying the existence of Lord Rama, hurting sentiments of crores of Hindus, RSS chief K S Sudarshan said addressing the annual Dussehra rally at the Reshimbagh ground, here.“We call it a democratic country but what sort of democracy we practice?” asked Sudarshan, adding “when the entire population, including astronomers, archaeologists and geologists claim the existence of Ram Setu, Baalu and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi are bent upon going ahead with the project” He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh knows that if the DMK withdraws support the government at the Centre will fall.Disputing the figures that Ram Setu’s demolition will save time and nautical miles, Sudarshan said it will pose danger to India once ships from US and China start movement.“On the one hand, the Communists are opposing the nuclear deal with the US but are surprisingly mum over the Ram Setu project since it will also benefit China”, he said.Quoting former president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, he said the area around the Setu has large thorium deposits and India should set up a power plant there, he said.Sudarshan said there will be a huge loss of marine life if the project goes ahead. Sixteen lakh fishermen from 138 villages in the east-coastal region of Tamil Nadu will be adversely affected.http://in.news.yahoo.com/071020/20/6m79l.html http://gnugalaxy.wordpress.com/2007/10/22/sethusamudram-an-international-conspiracy/

Ramsethu-Biased Committee acts in undue haste
10/21/2007 3:43:38 PM  
Press Statement- Rama Setu protection movement A member of the Centre’s Setu Channel Committee has reportedly said:”The committee will accept these views till October 31 in writing and then also hold personal hearing. The committee will come up with a final report by November 11 as stipulated and this will be submitted to the apex court.” http://www.indianexpress.com/story/229385.html  This undue, unnecessary haste in report submission within 5 days after the final date of hearing, makes the Committee deliberations a farce. Clearly, there will no exercise of due diligence to evaluate all submissions and to seek views of many experts such as: geologists, marine archaeologists, maritime experts, defence experts, oceanographers, experts in the Law of the Sea and economists.  RRPM had raised serious doubts about the credibility of members of the Committee chaired by a person who has already biased in supporting the project, has expressed his biased view that Rama Setu does not exist. Chairman and five other members have received benefits from Setusamudram corporation as contractors or Environment Monitoring Committee members; three members are Marxist ideologues who have no concern for nation’s heritage and one is a member of Tamilnadu Planning Commission.  The committee has announced public hearings only in Chennai and it is clear that the Committee will not visit coastal areas and other places.  The committee has asked for submissions in English. To be fair and just, coastal people and people from other parts of the nation should be permitted to make their submissions in regional languages.  The RRPM demands that the committee acting in haste, composed with members having biased views be disbanded. Hon’ble Supreme Court has to intervene to appoint a Commission of experts from many disciplines under the direction of the Court to ensure fairness and justice for crores of citizens demanding declaration of Rama Setu as a world heritage monument. http://tinyurl.com/yu876t Sweta Ramanujan-Dixit, Hindustan Times Mumbai, October 22, 2007

Recruitment drive to save Ram Setu

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is on a recruiting spree.The Hindutva organisation is looking for people who will carry out the task of saving the Ram Setu. It has launched a dharma yodha bharti abhiyaan. Under this, members of the VHP have been calling upon people to participate in the movement to protect the bridge, which has been at the centre of the debate surrounding the Sethusamudram canal project. “We have been making announcements during Durgotasav celebrations across the country. We will also reach out to people during Ramlila,” said Venkatesh Abdeo, All-India joint secretary of the VHP. “We hope to recruit at least 5 lakh people.”The Sethusamudram shipping canal, a central government project, involves building a shipping canal that will link the Palk bay and the Gulf of Mannar. The channel, which will pass through the islands that form the Ram Setu or Adam’s Bridge will allow ships and boats to navigate the passage between India and Sri Lanka without having to circle the latter.The Hindutva lobby, however, is concerned that the project will destroy the Ram Setu, and hence a piece of ancient Indian history. The saffron family is know for its brigade of religious helpers, who can ‘turn into warriors when necessary’ — like the kar sevaks who took it upon themselves to bring down the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya to make place for the Ram temple.The new recruits will undertake a shila yatra, touring nearly six lakh villages with stones from the Gandhamadan mountain located near Rameshwaram. “This is the mountain from where the stones for the Ram Setu came,” said Abdeo, who also heads Ram Setu Bachao Manch. “We will tour with these stones and make people aware that the government is questioning the very existence of Lord Ram.”These dharma yodhas (religious warriors) will also hold demonstrations if and when necessary. “Hum Ramayan ke naam par Mahabharat karenge (We will fight the Mahabharat to protect the honour of the Ramayan),” Abdeo said.http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print.aspx?Id=2e5d0fa1-a5b8-4d0e-b856-b92fe5455f5dCPI to launch campaigns to allay fears on Setu project Sivaganga (TN) (PTI): The CPI’s Tamil Nadu unit will organise seminars and launch campaigns to allay apprehensions about the Sethusamudram project, party state Secretary D Pandian said on Sunday. Urging the Centre to take steps to expedite the case pending before the Supreme Court and complete the project at the scheduled time, he said Chennai and Tuticorin ports would emerge as top harbours, relegating the Colombo port to fourth place, if the project was implemented. The CPI would organise seminars at important cities to explain to people about the facts and the necessity to implement the project. The youth forum would undertake a vehicle campaign along the state coast from Rameswaram to Chennai from November 17 to 22 to explain to people living in coastal areas, Pandian told newspersons here. While the CPI was firm on the implementation of the project, it was equally concerned that people should not be affected, he added. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200710220301.htm 

For Shiv Sainiks, UPA and Left leaders are Ravanas

New Delhi, Oct 21 (ANI): Activists belonging to Shiv Sena on Sunday burnt effigies of UPA and Left leaders, which were decorated as Ravanas, to register their protest against the controversial Sethusamudram Ship Canal project.They burnt effigies of the leaders of the Congress coinciding with the Dussehra festival, when effigies of demon King Ravana are burnt.Activists shouted slogans and held banners accusing the leaders of insulting Lord Ram.The Hindu groups have been upset with the Central Government’s statement before the Supreme Court on the project, saying that Ramayana is no proof of the existence of Lord Ram. But the Congress party led ruling coalition backtracked on the ‘affidavit’ the next day and sought three months time from the apex court to file an amended one, following threats of nationwide protests by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).Pictures of the faces of Sonia Gandhi and other leaders were pasted on the effigies.Jaibhagwan Goel, chief of north India faction of Shiv Sena, demanded an apology from the leaders.We are protesting against (Congress party President) Sonia Gandhi, (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh, (Union Law minister) Hansraj Bhardwaj, (Union Culture Minister) Ambika Soni, (Tamil Nadu Chief Minister) Karunanidhi, (Union Shipping and Transport Minister) T R Balu and (General-Secretary of Communist Party of India-Marxist) Prakash Karat, Goel said.Today we are burning their effigies in place of Ravana on the tenth day of the festival, to give the message to the people, he said.Hindu groups have been opposing the 560 million dollar project, saying it would destroy the ‘holy’ Ram Sethu, a 48-kilometre chain of limestone shoals that once linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu to Mannar in Sri Lanka.According to the Central Government, research has shown that the Ram Setu was a series of sand shoals created by sedimentation, but according to Hindus the narrow link, also known as Adam’s Bridge, was built by Lord Rama. The Sethusamudram Project will dredge a channel in a narrow strip of sea between India and Sri Lanka, reducing distances and cutting costs for freight traffic for ships moving from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal. 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 once completed. (ANI)http://www.indiblitz.com/index.php/2007/10/21/for-shiv-sainiks-upa-and-left-leaders-are-ravanas/ 

Kanimozhi rakes up Dravidian-Aryan controversy

Monday October 22 2007 04:04 IST
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE THOOTHUKUDI: The DMK seems to have reverted to its original policy of ‘Dravidian-Aryan’ controversy in its fight for the implementation of the Sethusamudram project.Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi, at a welfare distribution function, organised by the Thoothukudi municipal administration here on Sunday, gave a clarion call for an organised fight against the ‘anti-Tamil groups’, who, according to her, were using Ramar Sethu issue against Periyarism. She charged that the Ramar Sethu row had been raked up by the people like Cho Ramaswamy, Subramania Swamy and Jayalalithaa and they all come from a Brahminical background.

Kanimozhi said the issue was neither against an individual nor the DMK and not even against the project itself, but clearly an attempt to strip off the selfrespect we had won after our 2000-year-long struggle.

“Therefore, we ought to reunite as an army against `that group’ to win this battle waged against us, urged Kanimozhi amidst thundering applause from the party cadres.

While distributing various welfare measures, Kanimozhi was all praise for the State Government, led by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.

Enlisting the schemes like the maternity assistance and the enhanced noon meal scheme with the provision of three eggs per week, Kanimozhi pointed out that all these welfare measures were being implemented with a motherly concern.

She also added that despite being a State government, they were striving to ensure 27 percent reservation for backward class students in all the Central universities.

State Minister for Animal Husbandry P Geetha Jeevan, who also shared the dais with Kanimozhi, wanted the Rajya Sabha member to use her influence with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry to expedite the expansion of the runway at Thoothukudi airport.

Thoothukudi Collector R Palaniyandi presided over the function.http://tinyurl.com/yo3q7k

On Dashmi, Baalu says Sethu project to be ready by ’08
K Venkataramanan | Chennai


Jaya questions panel’s credibility Union Shipping Minister TR Baalu on Sunday claimed that the Sethusamudram shipping canal project would be completed by November 2008 and thrown open for commercial use soon after, dismissing criticism that the project was as good as shelved. “The project will be completed by November next year, and the first ship will be flagged off by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi,” he told mediapersons here after inaugurating a free health camp. He said dredging for the project was on and only the Adam’s Bridge segment had been stayed by the Supreme Court. A committee of experts constituted to review the panel would hold public hearings in Chennai until the end of the month, and the public could submit their views before it, he added. The committee would gather all these views and submit a report to the Supreme Court. When asked about AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa’s remarks that the project had become unviable and was as good as dropped, Baalu dismissed the suggestion. “She has been sidelined by the people. She is making such statements only to catch the headlines,” he said. However, Jayalalithaa issued yet another statement, sharply criticising the composition of the Government’s “expert committee” and questioning the neutrality of some of its members. The former Chief Minister, who supports the Ram Setu movement and has begun endorsing objections to the Rs 2,427 crore Sethusamudram project based on ecological grounds and doubts about its economic viability, said the committee could hardly be described as one of experts, as claimed by the Union Government. “At least three of its members are historians, and they can only vouch for the historical validity of the Ram legend,” she said. There was a representative from the National Environmental Engineering Institute, which conducted the environment impact assessment for the project, and was an “interested party”.  One member, RS Sharma, was a witness in the Ram Janmabhoomi case, while panel’s chairman Prof S Ramachandran, vice-chancellor of the Madras University, was one of those who had publicly supported the project. “He cannot be expected to take a different or unbiased view now,” Jayalalithaa said. “All these facts hardly inspire any public confidence about the neutrality of the members,” she said.  Further, the panel contained no social scientists to discuss the problems of the coastal people, no maritime or naval experts to discuss navigational issues, no defence personnel to consider security concerns, and there were no oceanographers to discuss ocean currents and their effects, especially as it was a tsunami-hit area. And, there were no economists at a time when the project was being touted as one that would economically uplift Tamil Nadu, she said. “These conspicuous and glaring omissions raise serious doubts about the credibility of the committee and the possible veracity of its report,” Jayalalithaa said. She demanded that the panel be disbanded, a truly impartial and competent committee consisting of representatives of these disciplines, in addition to environmentalists and historians, be drawn up. She also favoured a transparent public debate, to which the public, media and various parties were invited. “The views of all should be recorded. Only then, the real truth behind the hasty implementation of the Sethusamudram shipping canal project and Karunanidhi’s vested interest in it will come out into the open,” Jayalalithaa said. 



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