National Secretary Rameshwaram Rama Setu Protection Movement
15 October 2008
Latest Rama Setu affidavit of UPA government is an affront to sentiments of millions of people – Ramasetu protection movement
The surreptious manner in which the Government of India has submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court on 14 October 2008 shows that the Counsel Nariman and the UPA Government are in a state of panic.
As Dr. Subramanian Swamy has noted it is unethical conduct not to have given copies of the affidavit to the petitioners.
What is the UPA Government trying to hide? It appears that the UPA Government has forgotten the fact that they were forced to withdraw their affidavit denying Sri Rama and Ramayana after nation-wide peoples' protests. The reference to Kamba Ramayan cited in the affidavit as referring to breaches in Rama Setu caused by Sri Rama has already been proved to be false and later-day interpolations.
Is the UPA Government trying to influence the Pachauri Committee in its deliberations by submitting yet another affidavit indulging in suggestio falsi and suppressio veri? The affidavit does not refer to the fact that Rama Setu functioned as a bridge between India and Srilanka right upto the 18th century as recorded in Royal Asiatic Society research archives. People from both sides had been using this as a causeway for centuries; if so, how could there have been a breach in the Setu? Searching for alibis in a desperate bid to continue with a project disaster and hurting sentiments of a billion Hindus seems to be the objective of this unethical, unsubstantiated affidavit.
The Supreme Court directions are a clear indication that the Rama Setu, a place of worship is central to the belief of millions of people and that it cannot be damaged for any channel project. Hence, the direction by the highest court of the land asking UPA Government to seek an alternative channel route without damaging Rama Setu. Earlier, the Madras High Court had also directed the UPA Government to consider declaring Rama Setu as an Ancient Monument under the 1958 Act.
Instead of carrying out the court directions honestly, UPA Government and its counsel continue to politick on this issue of intense concern to millions of people of the nation whose very core identity is linked with Sri Rama and Setubandha Rameshwaram. At this Setu, every year more than 5 lakh pilgrims assemble on Ashadha amavasya day to offer homage to the ancestors through pitru-tarpanam. This sacred pilgrimage, this ecological treasure should be protected as World Heritage and bequeathed to future generations.
The contempt with which UPA Government treats Hindu sentiments is shocking beyond belief. While being ready to succumb to sentiments of some communities by changing Metro route of Delhi or amend the Constitution on Shah Banu SC judgement, it is clear that UPA Government is demonstrating only its anti-Hindu, anti-national stance.
Ram Sethu not a place of worship: Centre
New Delhi, Oct 14: The Congress-led UPA government has filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court on the controversial Ram Sethu issue. In the 100-page affidavit, reportedly filed on October 11, the Centre claims that Ram Sethu, or Adam's Bridge as it is popularly known, is not a place of worship as being claimed by many religious groups and political parties.
The Centre further says that Ram Sethu is not an integral part of Hinduism and repeated its earlier claim that it no longer exists. According to the affidavit, which contains replies to various petitions filed in favour of the Ram Sethu, including by J Jayalalitha's AIADMK, Lord Ram had himself destroyed the bridge while returning from Ravan's Lanka (present day Sri Lanka).
Intriguingly, the Centre, which has formed a six-member committee headed by noted environmentalist Rajendra Pachouri to explore the new alignment but chose to file the latest affidavit even before the committee could come out with its findings.
Moreover, the development came days after the Centre set in motion the process of examining an alternative alignment of the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) following a directive from the Supreme Court.
In the first week of this month, a team of engineers had commenced a survey of the area to work out an alternative alignment.
A total of six alignments were suggested since the project was conceived. One alignment chosen was stoutly opposed by political parties, including the BJP and Shiv Sena, as it cut through the Ram Sethu.
In July also, the Centre had told the SC that it had concluded Ram Sethu does not fulfil the criteria for being declared a national monument.
(Vide www.zeenews.com dated October 14, 2008)