Hey Ram Sethu!

ram-sethu.jpgThe Archaeological Survey of India has stirred a global controversy among the Hindus. While appearing in the Court in the Sethu Samudram case, the over excited officials of ASI had exceeded their brief. While the issue is about the existence of Ram Sethu (Britishers called it Adam’s bridge) which connects India and Sri Lanka as a human made one, the ASI had talked about the myth of Lord. Ram’s existence. While brushing aside the bridge as nothing but excess formation of clay and limestone, the ASI officers had told the court that there is no historical proof for the existence of Ram leave along the bridge. The Union Government had filled an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying “The contents of the Valmiki Ramayana, the Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas and other mythological texts … cannot be said to be historical record to incontrovertibly prove the existence of the characters or the occurrence of the events depicted therein,”

According to the staunch Hindu religious believers the bridge was made by Nala and Nila the vanara architects using sand to connect the Palk Strait with Gulf of Mannar to defeat the Ravana’s army in Lanka. The Lanka King had kidnapped Seetha, wife of Rama and imprisoned her in his Asoka Vana. To cross the ocean and rescue Seetha, followers of Rama made the bridge. It was Hanuman who informed about the presence of Seetha in Ravana’s country. According to the affidavit filed by the Central government through the inputs from ASI all this story about Ram and Ravana war was a total myth. Scientifically the ASI says that Ram was in existence. Of course this has kicked global tension and degraded millions of followers of Hindu religious scriptures. Ramayana is not only followed in India but in many parts of the world. In Thailand every street is named after Rama. In Indonesia, Ramayana is staged with sacredness and spirituality. Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Cambodia, Fiji, Mauritius and many other countries celebrate Rama and his story with much fervor. By denying the existence of Rama, the ASI had  

Punctured the sentiments of Hindus and followers of Ram around the world.

The biggest face loss for the Union government is letting the ASI arguments to reach the Supreme Court without censuring. It shows the insensitivity of the highest authority in the country toward the majority religious community. While pitching in for more resource allocation for minority communities and going all out the way to push them forward, the UPA government has miserably failed to strike a cordial cord with the Hindus. As the Hindu community is weak in getting united for a cause the government takes them for a ride for many years from the past. For any claim on the Hindu religious structures, the Congress governments turned deaf ears. Due to this insensitivity the Hindus silently supported BJP in the elections. As the BJP too turned towards minority appeasement the Hindus feel orphaned politically. All the core and crucial religious issues of the majority community in India is sidelined by mainstream political parties. As the present political setup and constitutional outline does not give much space for the assertion of majority rights, the Hindus feel betrayed when the religious sentiments are concerned.

The petition was filled by Gopalaswamy, Dr. Subramaniamswamy in the Madras High Court. The petitioners have claimed that the on the going drudgery in Sethusumdaram canal will wreak havoc ecologically apart from hurting the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus across the world. The ecological impact has been studied by the scientists for a very long time and it is considered to be very damaging for the environment surrounding the canal. The NASA satellite picture shows the existence of Adam’s bridge. Economically too the proposed project is unviable because of the enormous costs involvement in the construction and potential revenue from the canal. Only small ships are expected to take this route and making it a loss venture.

The Sri Lankan government is also seems to be against the project because of the environmental damages to its shores. More importantly it may be an economic loss because of the Indian ships not entering its territory to pass from the east to west coast of the country.

 It is to be examined whether the fight over Ram Sethu is worth? If it is economically and ecologically damaging then it should be abandoned without a second thought. The Hindus as in many other cases can forego their religious sentiments for the wider development of the nation. But if the proposed project is futile in every aspect then not only the Hindus but also other community people should be oppose this tooth and nail. More importantly the communal tension creating actors in the government should be penalized by the Supreme Court. Especially the ASI officials who were instrumental in drafting the affidavit and the Law minister who gave the approval without going through details deserve strong actions.  


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