Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rama Setu: national unity, worship; SC mixes up dates

Hearing on Swamy petition against Baalu deferred to Thursday

The Supreme Court Wednesday deferred the hearing on a petition by former minister Subramanian Swamy alleging that Transport Minister T.R. Baalu is trying to hurry up the implementation of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) to further his family's business interests.

From correspondents in Delhi, India, 30 Apr 2008 12:30 PM - (
The Supreme Court Wednesday deferred the hearing on a petition by former minister Subramanian Swamy alleging that Transport Minister T.R. Baalu is trying to hurry up the implementation of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) to further his family's business interests.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan deferred the hearing on the petition by the president of the now defunct Janata Party owing to confusion among various counsels over the date of hearing of the matter.

In an application filed Tuesday, Swamy had alleged that Baalu's family members had business interests in both fishing and shipping sectors, and the building of a shorter sea route around India's southern peninsula would greatly benefit them.

Swamy made the allegation in an application that also sought the court's direction to make Baalu a party to the petition against the implementation of the SSCP project and allow him to have his say during the hearing of the petition.

SC adjourns Sethusamudram hearing
NDTV Correspondent
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 (New Delhi)

The hearing on the controversial Sethusamudram project has been adjourned in the Supreme Court for Thursday.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan agreed to hear the matter on Thursday after Janata Party president Subramanium Swamy and lawyers for other petitioners brought to its notice that there was some confusion as the order mistakenly showed that the matter would be heard on May 1.

The apex court had earlier stayed the project, which involves dredging a shipping channel between India and Sri Lanka over objections that it would affect the Ram Sethu.

Subramaniam Swamy had filed a petition alleging that Shipping Minister T R Baalu has vested interest in the project as his family companies are involved in it.

Swamy wants TR Baalu be made as a party to the case and the project scrapped. (With PTI inputs)

New Delhi, Apr 30 (ANI): The Supreme Court will hear a petition against the controversial Sethusamudram project today.

On April 15, the apex court had fixed April 30 as the next date for the hearing of the petition.

Earlier, the Centre had filed a fresh affidavit in the apex court on the project seeking vacation of its interim orders putting on hold any damage to “Ram Setu.”

The 60-page affidavit, cleared by the Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs (CCPA) chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, said the government respects all religions but was of view that it should not be called upon to respond to issues of faith, except in recognizing their existence.

The amended affidavit assumes significance as it has been filed after the Centre in September last withdrew its two affidavits in which it had questioned the existence of Lord Ram and “Ram Setu”.

Following an outcry led by the Sangh Parivar over the controversial affidavit, the apex court on September 14, 2007 had allowed the Centre re-examine entire materials afresh to review the Rs 2,087 crore project.

However, it had continued the operation of its August 31 interim order restraining any damage to “Rama Setu” or Adams Bridge, a mythical bridge situated south-east off Rameshwaram, connecting the Talaimanar coast of Sri Lanka.

The court in its interim order had allowed the dredging activity for the project to the extent that it did not in anyway damage the “Rama Setu” or Adams Bridge.
While withdrawing the affidavits, the Centre had said, “it has total respect for all religions, and Hinduism in particular, in the context of the present case. The Central government is alive and conscious of the religious sensibilities, including the unique, ancient and holy text of Ramayana”. (ANI)

May 04, 2008
Swamy's book on Ram Sethu released
Abandon Ram Sethu project—Mohan Bhagwat
Ram Sethu linked to sentiments of crores; it needs no logic

—Swami Dayanand Saraswati
"The issue of Ram Sethu is not negotiable. Ram Sethu is natural. All natural things should be preserved. Therefore, Ram Sethu should be preserved as a natural monument. Certain things are natural, and we revere them, so such natural things can be worshipped also. If it is man-made, it ought to be preserved. If it is natural, even then it ought to be preserved, but the issue of Ram Sethu is not negotiable,” said Swami Dayanand Saraswati while releasing a book—Ram Setu, Symbol of National Unity—authored by Dr Subramanian Swamy, at a function held in Delhi on April 20, 2008.

“The Ram Sethu is not just some place; it is a place that is highly praised in so many words in our Puranas; it is in the hearts of all Hindus. Any destruction to the sacred Sethu would hurt the sentiments of crores of Hindus. Any sentiment is sacred. No sentiment needs any logic, and sentiment is above all. Therefore, we don’t need to give any reason for our attitude, that has been inherited since generations,” Swamiji asserted. He asked what logic one should give to prove that India is our Mother. What logic one should give to establish that river Ganga is not just a river but holy river. What logic one should present that Amarnath Cave has a natural Lingam, it is not man-made. Likewise, Salegrams in Hindu houses are natural. One can buy a ring, but one can buy a wedding ring with an extra cost. The ring does not mention as ‘wedding ring’, but it is the way we look at the wedding ring. We have an inner feeling for the wedding ring, which is priceless. The whole thing is a matter of understanding, Swamiji said.

“It is very easy to destroy a certain object, but it is very difficult to create this. You cannot infuse the feeling of oneness into the people. It takes ages. We owe to our forefathers, our all ancestors, for all our attitudes and the way we think. And they instilled this attitude in us. What denies us to step on a book or currency? Because these are the symbols of Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi. Even if a book of Indian history is written with all bluffs from cover to cover, even then we cannot step on it. Why? Because we respect it because it is a book”, Swamiji explained. “One friend told me that he doesn’t care for Indian history books because they do not carry true facts. I said they carry truth. He asked Swamiji what truth? I said that the truth is that it has no truth. But it is a book. The book is Saraswati for us, the Hindus”, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Mohan Bhagwat said that we have followed the path of Sri Ram to live an ideal life. Sri Ram liberated the whole humankind from the clutches of demonic Ravana.

Talking about the book on Ram Sethu by Dr Subramanian Swamy, Shri Bhagwat said that Shri Swamy immersed himself in the Ram Sethu Movement and after a thorough research, he put together all the vital information about the Sethu in this book. The book is not merely an intellectual exercise but he has also written the book keeping in view the aspirations of common Indians. He emphasised that this book should be widely publicised and translated in all Indian languages.

Rapping the UPA government for expediting the SSCP under the pressure of USA, VHP president Shri Ashok Singhal said that today India is faced with threats from all sides. What happened in Tibet is no secret. Every effort is being made to destroy their culture despite the repeated statements by HH Dalai Lama for a peaceful dialogue to resolve the issue. With the capture of power in Nepal by Maoists, India in the coming days might face grave threats. Talking about one such threat, Shri Singhal said that about six years back Maoists dictated that Sanskrit will not be taught in any school.

He exhorted the people that the struggle has to go on and particularly during the election time. People say politicians remember Ram only when there is election. Since politicians only understand the language of votes, then it is the power of ballot that would make them respect the sentiments of Hindus, he added.

Dr Subramanian Swamy, the author of the book Ram Setu: Symbol of National Unity, said that he has given scientific verifiable evidence to back the widely held belief that the Ram Sethu is a constructed causeway, made on the direction of Bhagwan Sri Ram to enable his army to cross over to Sri Lanka. The author’s study of Ram Sethu covers all the aspects of historicity, economics, environment and national security.

Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sharda Peetham, Sringeri, Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Swarupananda Saraswati of Dwarka Peeth, Swami Nishchalananda Saraswati of Govardhan Peeth, Puri, and Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swamigal of Kanchipuram had sent their blessings to the author on the occasion.

—By Deepak Kumar Rath

Difficult Questions to Judges of the Supreme Court


On 12.2.1948 Mahatma Gandhi's asti was immersed in Danushkodi .If Sethu is not a sacred place why should it be immersed here? If the stay is vacated the SSCP will use RDX to blast away a portion of Ram Sethu.The Ram Sethu must be saved at all costs.Ram Sethu for us is sacred .There is famous saying " Mannum Sethu". The earth taken from Sethu maddhi is very important, where ashes of the dead are immersed.

Ashes of famous political leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Lal Bahadur Satri, Indira Gandhi,Sanjay Gandhi, were immersed here. Many Presidents like VV Giri and Judges also had their last rites done and their ashes immersed in Sethu Teertham Former President APJ Abdul Kalam's family took pilgrims by boats from Danushkodi to perform the immersions and the last rituals. (See: Introduction to Wings of Fire by the author)

This place is so hallowed that one offers sraddham and pindam for not only to one's ancestors even for one's friends and unknown strangers, hence four balls of rice(pindam) are offered here,instead of the three rice balls offered in other places.Sethu maddhi is the place in the seventh island where according to sankhya karma, maha prayaschittam is done over three days.There are 108 teerthas in the island.Two have been destroyed by the government.It is holy place for Hindu,Muslim and Christian Fishermen.

Fishermen have been performing a ritual called "neeratudhal" in the centre of the sea. The boats are taken inside the sea and made to face the ramanatha swamy temple and garlands are ofered to the boat, coconuts broken and campour lit.

Revenue Records on Raman Theedai

According to SLR (Survey Land Registration) NO 1251,Danushkodi,Patta dated 30.9.97 Danushkodi comprises an area of 5236.51.5 hectares.Raman Thittai has 12 hectares and 91 cents, equivalent to 39 acres.Before 1964 cyclone local fishermen took permission to go to Rama's island and stayed there for days togeather and did fishing.Customs and excise department know the history of the Raman Theedai.

EV Ramaswamy Naicker Parents came to Danushkodi and performed Sethu Snanam.Even Late Congress President Sitaram kesari's parents also performed Tirtha yatra to Danushkodi.

Raman Theedai (seventh island) is exactly the place which is going to be dredged. Before 1964 cyclone chatrams and temples were in Danushkoddi where sadhus lived there.

Infront of the sacred Kodanda Rama swamy temple there is two headed muniswarar temple. The wind direction changes every six months. before fishermen go for fishing they offer to the diety and before crossing over the Sethu Bridge, which is called "Neeratudhal". All fishermen including christians perform that ritual.

After the cyclone Danushkodi was abandoned.Now the population of Danushkodi is 2000, if proper trasport facilities are made, then it will increase to at least 6000.The Goverfnment have not only abandoned Danushkodi, but also demolished an Iron bridge {that was from the British period} that connected Rameswaram to Danushkodi.

One illangai muni a contractor from Pondicherry did the demolition work during the time of MP Rajeswaran (some 15 years ago).They have not done any alternative construction. The place is is now isolated and cut off.
Systematic efforts to pushing Danushkodi out of people's memory has been underway.

There has been an effort to relegate the history of Daanushkodi to back yards and disconnect it from public memory as the following acts indicate.

In the 1947 kumbabhishekam Invitation printed by the Ramanathaswamy Devasthanam, Ramasethu, and Sethu Puranam were prominently quoted .Even in the letter that accompanied the invitation solicting donations mention the above mentioned facts.

In 1975 also the same was repeated. Since 1967, when the DMK came to power the invitation for the first time in 2001 the invitation did not carry the Sethu Mahatmiyam and any mention of Rama Sethu.This is systematic distortion to make people forget Rama Sethu.

Now the guides are showing only the delapidated railway station and a damaged church as remnant of danushkodi which is far from truth.After Rama sethu issue became famous people started coming by asking for Danushkodi. Now 10 FOUR WHEEL DRIVEN VEHICLES ARE PLYING EVERY DAY. THREE OF THEM BELONG TO MEMBERS OF LOCAL DMK- THE PARTY THAT WANTS TO DESTROY RAM SETHU.

Rameswaram and Ramnad people do not use bulls to till their land. They also do not use machines to extarct oil from seeds. this shows the reverence they have for land. Kalanginathar , one of the 18 siddhas went to China from here.His samadhi is in the sea shore. Matsyendranath is also interred in jeeva samadhi. Maharishi Patanjali's Samadhi is inside the Sanctum the Ramanatha swamy temple.Panchamugha anchaneya temple is in Arichal Munai. The first theedai is called Arichal Munai.

Using fiberglass boats by Rameswaram fishermen has been banned by the government. This is sheer discrimination. While all other fishermen from Kanyakumari and Tuticorin are allowed to come here in the fiber glass boats and do the fishing. The international territory extends upto 200 KMs. But Indian fishermen are allowed to go upto eight KM only. These are remnants of colonial policies that our Govt is following, and this is discrimination.

Before the 1964 cyclone, there was a railway track going right upto Danushkodi, which was destroyed in the cyclone. The place has been abandoned since though it has been a place of pilgrimage and people do go there.Earth acquires importance in this Stalam.For from here Sita Devi made a Shiva lingam which is still worshipped in the Temple. From here pilgrims carry the sand and immerse it in Prayag and Kasi, and the water from prayag is brought all the way and abhshekam is performed to shiva in rameswaram.this is the practise that is going on for several yugas.Several books on theertha yatras mention this. That is the reason why you see pilgrims coming here from all over India.

Bhogar, kalanginathar, Guru Govind Singh have come here and meditated and Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj also came and made offerings. There is a very famous Sikh Gududwara in Rameswaram.

Matsyendranath one of the desicples of Dattatreya also came here. Late in the 19 century Swami Vivekanada came here. Holy mother Sarada Devi also came here and offered worship. There are mathams from all over India, having their monastries or chatrams in Rameswaram. The Kasi Sethu yatra from south traversed always from Rameswaram and ended in Kasi .There is a famous kasi lingam which was brought by Hanuman from kasi is still HOUSED in the temple.

Raman Theedai ( Island) is the exact place where the dredging is going to be carried out.Saints in the past have gone there to do their famous Teerth Snanam.Rameswaram is called Karma kshetram or Bhaskarakshetram.this has existed in all four yugas:Satya -Treta-Dwapara-Kali. The four mukthi stalams situated in the four corners of Bharat are- Badri , Puri, Dwaraka and Rameswaram. Mortal Judges may come and go but Immortal Rama and his Rama Sethu will remain for ever.

Camp.Rameswaram, Correspondent, Hinduvoice

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