Since culture is the highest expression of what it means to be human, the Ram Setu “Bridge should be preserved and viewed as belonging to all humanity,” says Kerry van der Jagt in the Sydney Herald of 11 May 2008. See his full article appended as pdf document.
Some remarkable coincidences and highlights are presented (to be read in the context of over 8000 pages of documentation in over 160 topics presented to the Courts). One wonders why ASI should study the Setu through exploration. It is an undeniable cultural fact that over 5 lakh pilgrims congregate on Ashadha Amavasya day to offer pitru tarpanam (offerings to ancestors) and perform setusnaanam at the Setutirtham. This fact is enough to declare Rama Setu as an ancient monument, world heritage and Rameshwaram environs as Divyakshetram.
Cho Balakrishnan, a Congress MLA of Ramanathapuram District went to break the coconut inaugurating Setusamudram project work. He had a heart attack and died the same evening.
The Aquarium dreger of Dredging International of Belgium was engaged to break the Rama Setu. Its spud broke and the 50-tonne elephant like metal scrap is still lying on Sandbank 6 of Rama Setu unsalvaged.
A crane named Hanuman was brought from Dredging Corporation of India in VIshakapatnam to recover the broken spud. The Hanuman crane which could lift upto 200 tonnes also broke and had to return.
A dredger of DCI sank in the Bay of Bengal even before reaching Rama Setu.
A Russian engineer and a foreign dredger were brought to continue the effort to break Rama Setu. The engineer broke both his legs and had to be hospitalized in Apollo Hospital.
Tamilnadu Congress President Mr. Krishnaswami was attacked by unknown assailants on his way from Rama Setu towards Madurai. An attempted stabbing was foiled by the Rama medallion he wore on his gold chain. His family members attributed this saving of his life by Rama medallion.
Stay order in SC
Reliable and authentic information was received from a number of sources that plans were in place to blast through Rama Setu since attempts at dredging using dredgers had failed.
The sources were: Naval High Command, Scientists and experts knowledgeable about blasting operations, a photographer who was assigned to photograph the specific spots on Rama Setu where blasting explosives were to be implanted. Information from all the sources were confirmed on the day the Sri Rama Maha Yajna was being conducted in Rameshwaram close to Rama Setu.
Dr. Subramanian Swamy put all this information on a one-page affidavit and went to the SC Registrar (Shri Shah) requesting for listing a hearing on the affidavit. The Registrar expressed his inability to list the case immediately in the absence of and since the Chief Justice Mr. Balakrishnan had been deputed on a tour to South Africa. He was asked whether any other senior judge could act on behalf of the CJI. That Senior-most judge was Justice BN Agarwal who was then contacted with the requested. The Justice asked Mr. Shah what was the problem in listing the case for hearing. Upon hearing Mr. Shah's response, Justice Agarwal asked, 'Does the Constitution come to a stand-still because CJI is on tour? Please list the case that day, that afternoon.'
The case was listed as the last item of the day. The affidavit was the only piece of paper with the Judges BN Agarwal and Naolekar. Govt. Counsel was asked if he denied the averments in the affidavit. The Counsel was asked if he would give an undertaking that no blasting would be done on Rama Setu because the petitioners claimed that blasting Rama Setu would render the petitions infructuous. The Counsel refused to give such an undertaking. Stay order was given that no damage should be caused to Rama Setu while implementing the Setu project.
Highlights in SC
'Bhoomaata is sacred, trees are sacred, mountains are sacred, Ganga is sacred. Does it mean that no trees can be cut, no stone can be taken from the mountains and no bridge built on Ganga?' was the question by a judge the Bench. Senior Counsel, Soli Sorabjee responded: 'What a stupid question to ask.' And went on to elaborate on the restrictions placed on SC by Article 25 of the Constitution which guaranteed Religious Freedom. SC had no competence to question issues of Faith and Worship. Rama Setu was a sacred monument and was a place of worship. Another Senior Counsel Parasaran went on to explain the nature of the worship according to the sacred texts.
'What is the problem? Only 300 m. channel is sought to be furrowed in a structure of over 35 kms.' Response by the Counsel for the petitioners: Not even a centimetre of Rama Setu can be touched because the character of the monument as a bridge (that is, Setu) will be destroyed by cutting a furrowed channel.
Bench asked Senior Counsel Parasaran: 'How come you are on this side of the courtroom?' (referring to the fact that he was arguing the case for the petitioners in stead of representing the Union of India). The Counsel responded: 'I am at the fag-end of my career and life. This may be one of the few last cases I will appear for. I go to Rameshwaram at least 3 times every year and near by native village, Devipattinam. I offer prayers to Rama Setu by drawing a dhanush at Dhanushkodi, making a Shivalinga out of the sacred lands, doing sankalpa, abhishekam and immersing the linga after puja in the ocean. This is an opportunity for me to serve dharma. This is also an opportunity for the Court to participate in the protection of Dharma.'
Dr. S. Kalyanaraman (11 May 2008)
Centre to study Supreme Court's suggestion to explore alternative alignment of Sethusamudram
Edwin 10/5/2008 3:39:52 PM(IST)
Chennai: Union Shipping and Highways Minister T R Baalu today said the Centre would study the Supreme Court''s suggestion to explore alternative alignments to implement the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) to avoid distruction of 'Ram Sethu'.
In a brief chat with newspersons here, he said the Supreme Court has given only a suggestion and not issued any directive. ''Its not a directive,'' he said, adding the government is yet to get details of what the apex court has said in its suggestion.
Once the details were received, the government would study them and take further steps, he said.
The Supreme Court on May eight, asked the Centre to explore the possibility of finding alternative alignments to implement the Rs 2,400 crore canal project, so that Ram Sethu is not damaged.
A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice also asked the Centre to inform the court whether any scientific study had been undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to ascertain whether the 25-km long Ram Sethu, also known as Adam's Bridge, is a man made ancient structure of national heritage, as per the directions of Madras High Court.
Ram Sethu - Recent SC Order - Interview with Dr.Subramanian Swamy and Dr.S.Kalyanaraman
http://www.sdfglobal.org/images/audios/Ram%20Sethu%20Historic%20Verdict%20May%208%202008.mp3 http://www.sanatanadharmafoundation.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47&Itemid=32 (47 min. duration audio ; May 10, 2008 Interview by Sanatana Dharma Foundation of : Dr. Subramanian Swamy and Dr. S. Kalyanaraman)
The Pioneer Edit Desk
Declare Ram Setu ancient monument
The directions issued by the Supreme Court on Thursday in the Ram Setu case are most welcome for they show that it has taken cognisance of the sensitivities involved in the matter. The Supreme Court has rightly sought to know about the possibility of conducting an archaeological study to ascertain whether Ram Setu can be declared an ancient monument under the definition of the existing law. In doing this, the Supreme Court has reminded the UPA Government of a directive by the Madras High Court that the Archaeological Survey of India should carry out investigations to determine whether or not Ram Setu is an ancient monument. This is an important issue as a declaration that Ram Setu is an ancient monument or an archaeological site containing material of historical importance would bring it under the protection of The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. A declaration to this effect would automatically preserve Ram Setu from destruction through dredging needed for the creation of a shipping channel through the Palk Strait. Such a declaration is not impossible for the definition of an ancient monument or an archaeological site under the Act is perhaps wide enough to include not just artificial edifices but also formations whose antiquity it may be impossible for science to determine. The Supreme Court Bench, headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, has also asked the Centre to explore whether an alternative alignment can be considered for the Sethusamudram Ship Channel project. As will be recalled, the project proposes to link the Palk Bay with the Gulf of Mannar through the narrow body of water between India and Sri Lanka. This was to be done by dredging a channel through the shallow seas and destroying Ram Setu, also known as Adam's Bridge. While the project ostensibly aims to create a shorter route around the Indian peninsula, it has been vehemently opposed across the country on religious, environmental and economic grounds. By far, the most important ground for spiking the project is that it mocks at popular faith.
Ram Setu has considerable significance for Hindus as it is believed to have been created by Hanuman's Vaanar Sena to enable Ram to rescue Sita from Ravan in Lanka. It is intrinsically linked to the Ramayan tradition and for millions of Hindus, it is inseparable from their cultural identity and, therefore, is venerated. This is the way it has been for centuries and it makes no sense to repudiate popular faith for a dubious project being pushed by individuals with a dubious reputation. The Supreme Court has, in its own way, suggested a solution to the problem which is entirely the creation of the UPA Government. Had Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not been so pathetically helpless in dealing with allies of the Congress, in this instance the DMK, matters would not have come to such a pass. Nor would the Government have questioned the authenticity of the Ramayan tradition and cast aspersions on the sincerity of Hindu faith, thus unleashing outrage across the country. That was not the deed of a Government acting with conviction, but a weak regime succumbing to the blackmail of those who stand to lose if the project is scrapped. The Government can now redeem itself by acting in an honourable manner: First, it must declare Ram Setu a protected monument; and, second, it should call off the project which has generated so much anger and disquiet. How this impacts certain DMK worthies is of no consequence to the nation.
The Supreme Court observation that the Madras High Court Order of 19.6.07 on my Writ Petition must be honoured and complied with, which directs that the government conduct an investigation by the ASI to find out if the Rama Setu can be declared as an Ancient Monument of National Importance and also to explore other ship channel alignment that does not damage the Rama Setu, is a historic achievement for the long suffering one billion Hindus. Let now the super secularists, the proselytizing covert missionaries and dissolute atheists of India now recognise that the Hindu has stood up and will no more stomach any more sacrilege against the Hindu religion. Henceforth, we Hindus will bring to bear our intellectual resources to energise our tottering democratic system and cleanse public life of all parasites, pirates, and buccaneers who have been bleeding the Hindu civilisation. A Hindu renaissance is now unstoppable.
We don't go to sun to worship it, Swamy tells apex court
New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday had to contend with a blunt answer to its poser as to who goes to the Rama Sethu in the sea to worship it. "We all worship the sun. But we don't go to the sun to worship it," said former union minister Subramanian Swamy.
Speaking before the bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Swamy passionately opposed the proposed construction of a shorter navigational sea route around the Indian peninsula if it involved the destruction of the Rama Sethu or Adam's Bridge.
The bench, which also included Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice J.M. Panchal, wanted to know last week if anyone takes to the sea to reach the Rama Sethu to worship it if it indeed had religious value.
The Janata Party president argued against the proposed breaching of the Rama Sethu due to dredging and its fallout on economy, environment and security besides of course the religious sensibilities of Hindus.
He narrated a series of five "strange coincidences" that occurred after a Dutch dredging machine deployed to breach the Rama Sethu broke down.
When a crane was pressed into service to retrieve the broken arms of the dredging machine from the sea, that too broke down, said Swamy.
The authorities then tried to conduct the retrieving operation by pressing into service another crane with the name of Hindu god Hanuman written over it. "But that too did not work."
After that the authorities summoned a Russian expert for the dredging operation but he ended up breaking both his legs, said Swamy.
And much to the amusement of the bench, he added: "Subsequently, a formal worship was organised. But a Tamil Nadu legislator who performed the worship died of heart attack the next day."
To this, the bench asked Swamy: "What do you expect from us?"
Swamy responded: "My Lord, please hold that the issue of Rama Sethu involves the religious faith and belief. Scrap the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project if the government is unable or unwilling to alter the alignment of the proposed channel and ensure that the bridge is not breached."
The former minister took pain to explain that he was not against a shorter navigational sea route per se. "Anything that touches the Rama Sethu, I am against it."
When Swamy pointed out that ship passengers could dump beef while passing through the Rama Sethu, Justice Raveendran censured him, saying: "You have already put a very strong fundamental argument. You are only devaluing that by your secondary one."
Earlier, Swamy said that section 295 of the Indian Penal Code provided for a jail term of two years on conviction to anyone defiles or damages a place of worship.
He asserted that under the same section no authority can sanction a project which involves damage or defilement of a place of worship.
And to prove that the Rama Sethu had religious value to Hindus, Swamy cited government documents that refer to the mythological bridge between India and Sri Lanka.
Among the government documents that Swamy quoted included a book tabled in parliament and released by the Prime Minister's Office.
He also cited a Tamil Nadu government advertisements on trains that say that the waters off Rameshwaram island "still carry the blessings of Lord Rama's Lotus feet because this is where from His monkey army crossed over to Sri Lanka to rescue Sita".
"Expert comm to review Sethu project biased"
PTI | New Delhi
Posted online: May 07, 2008
The expert committee appointed by the Centre to review the Sethusamudram project was biased, suppressed data and resisted archaeological probe to arrive at truth that Rama Setu was a man-made structure, Janata Party Chief Subramanium Swamy on Wednesday alleged in the Supreme Court.
He supported his contention by bringing on record the admission made by the Centre and Tamil Nadu Government in different documents to recognise "Rama Setu" as a place of religious significance for Hindus.
The existence of bridge has not been disputed, Swamy said referring to the affidavit filed by the Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd in which it said that a gallery or platform would be built around the Rama Setu so that people can come there and pay obeisance according to their religious belief.
Further the Prime Minister Office has tabled a document in Parliament containing the photograph taken by the remote sensing satellite on Rama Setu and has stated that the mythology attached to it suggests that the structure was man-made, he said.
"Government has plenty of research material to say that Rama Setu is constructed but it is not admitting," the senior politician said before a Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan.
He said DMK Government in Tamil Nadu, which wants the project to be pushed by demolishing "Rama Setu" has also recognised that Lord Rama had put his foot at the place and vanaras helped him to make the bridge to reach Sri Lanka.
This was clear from the advertisement of Tamil Nadu Government for Indian Railways, he said and elaborated that the effort of the Sri Lankan Government to promote tourism in the name of Lord Rama and Ramayana suggests the holiness of the place.
Swamy alleged that the committee appointed by the Centre to review the project can't be considered as expert panel as four of its members were attached to the project in one way or the other.
R Ramachandran, Chairman of the expert committee, had bowed before Karunanidhi, when he sat in protest in Chennai on October 1 last year against the apex court's order staying the demolition of the Rama Setu, he said and showed his photograph to the Bench.
Swamy contended geological research has proved that the causeway called Rama Setu was not a natural formation. "Prima facie case exists that Rama Setu is man-made because rocks could not have been brought there," he said.
"Why they (expert committee) are resisting archaeological investigation. Government should be forthcoming to say it will hold archaeological inquiry," he submitted before the Bench that also comprised Justices RV Raveendran and JM Panchal.
Must religious beliefs impede development, wonders apex court
May 6th, 2008
New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) The Supreme Court, hearing arguments on the Ram Setu and a shipping canal project, Tuesday wondered if religious beliefs should be allowed to impede modernisation and development of the country. Its observation came as lawyers argued before it that the dredging of the Ram Setu to develop a shorter navigational sea route around the Indian peninsula would go against religious beliefs, which enjoy constitutional protection and cannot be allowed to be disturbed.
The court resumed hearing the arguments on the vexed issue of the Ram Setu and the Setusamudram Shipping Channel Project Tuesday.
Ram Setu, also known as Adam’s Bridge, is a chain of limestone shoals 48 kms long. Many Hindus believe that it was built during Lord Ram’s era to facilitate his journey from southern India to Sri Lanka.
“But people consider even earth as mother and worship it; does it mean there should be no construction on it? They even worship the Himalayas, does that mean no stone can be removed from there?” asked the bench.
“How will it make a difference if 300 metres of the Ram Setu is cut (to make the passage for the ships)?” it asked.
One answer to the poser came from senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan, who said: “It will destroy the fundamental character of the bridge. A bridge is a bridge because it joins two land masses. If a part of this is destroyed, it will no longer be a bridge.”
To make himself clear, he cited the example of judicial independence.
“The court decides all cases on its merit. If it is provided that courts will decide 99.99 percent of cases on its merit but it will decide the remaining cases as per the government directions, will there be any judicial independence left?” Vaidyanathan asked.
Senior counsel Soli Sorabjee said: “A religious belief, which is genuinely and conscientiously held over a long period by a substantial number of adherents of a particular religion, becomes an integral part of that religion and is entitled to protection under Article 25 of the constitution.”
He added that, unless found mitigating with public order or morality, a religious belief cannot even be subjected to any restriction for the sake of “public interest” as the constitutional freedom of speech and expression is subjective.
Sorabjee pointed out to the bench that freedom of religion also implies freedom to practice various rites and rituals associated with it and state has no authority to interfere with or ban those practices.
“It cannot be seriously questioned that it is the genuine and conscientious religious belief of the Hindus that the Ram Setu was constructed by Lord Ram and his followers, who crossed over the bridge to Sri Lanka and rescued Sita from the clutches of demon king Ravan. That indeed is the essential theme of the Ramayana, which is an article of faith for Hindus,” he added.
“The issue before this court is not whether this belief can be historically or scientifically established. The court cannot sit in judgement over beliefs.
“The court’s role is to determine if the belief about the Ram Setu is conscientiously held over a period of time by Hindus and, if that be so, it falls within the ambit of the freedom of religion guaranteed by Article 25,” he added.
Pointing out that the Ram Setu is worshipped by Hindus at Rameshwaram, Sorabjee said: “Any state action, which results in impairment or even partial destruction of the Ram Setu, would lead to extinction or diminution of their right to worship the Ram Setu and it would violate their constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion,” said Sorabjee, summing up his argument.
HINDUSTAN TIMES – DELHI EDITION
(e-paper – pp 14) “TN STAND ON SETU CONTRADICTORY”
NEW DELHI , 7 MAY.
Former Union Minister Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday assailed the Tamil Nadu government for taking contradictory stands before the Supreme Court on jallikatu (bull fight) and Ram Setu, saying it should be consistent in its stands involving religious beliefs.
“How can the government take different stands when both issues – jallikatu and Ram Setu – have religious beliefs attached to them”, Swamy asked during the hearing of petitions against the Sethusamudram project. The state government had spoken of religious sentiments of people to persuade the Court to allow jallikatu, the Janata Party President pointed out. “Howsoever high and mighty the Supreme Court may be, it cannot decide what is sacred”, he added.
To a question posed last week by a Bench headed by the Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, about who goes to the Ram Setu inside the sea to worship it, Swamy replied: “We all worship the Sun. But we don’t go to the Sun to worship it”.
He said destroying the Ram Setu would adversely affect the Nation’s economy, environment and security besides, of course, the religious sensibilities of over 100 crore Hindus. He alleged the experts committee appointed by the Centre was biased, had suppressed data and resisted an archaeological probe to ascertain if the Setu was manmade. He said the PMO had tabled a document in Parliament containing a photograph taken by a remote sensing satellite of the Ram Setu and stating that the mythology attached to it suggests the structure was manmade.
Swamy said several structures and places in India have been declared protected monuments because religious faith is attached to them. He cited the Brahma Sarovar in Kurukshetra, where Lord Brahma is said to have taken a bath and Majuli Island in Assam, where Lord Krishna is said to have danced with the Gopis. Similarly, Ram Setu should be declared a protected monument, he argued.
Can Ram Sethu be declared a monument, asks SC
May 08, 2008 | 18:44 IST
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to explore the possibility of conducting an archaeological survey as directed by the Madras high court to ascertain
whether Ram Sethu could be declared an ancient monument.
While adjourning the matter for July 22, a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishanan said in the meantime the Centre could also explore the possibility of carrying out the Sethusamudram project through other channels (alignments).
Earlier in the day, former Union minister and Janata Party president Dr Subramanian Swamy prayed to the three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Balakrishnan
and Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal to refer the petitions to the five-judge constitution bench for an authoritative pronouncement on the issue.
The Janata Party president also pleaded for issuing a notice to Union Shipping and Transport Minister T R Baalu, to initiate contempt of court proceedings against him for making derogatory and contemptous remarks against the sitting judge Justice B N Agrawal for dragging the Tamil Nadu government into the controversy while directing the authorities, on August 31, 2007, not to damage Ram Sethu in any manner while carrying out dredging activities for the completion of the Sethusamudram canal project.
Swamy made it clear in court that his only concern was the protection of Ram Sethu and if the central government was prepared to give an undertaking that the 25-km long Sethu shall not be demolished, he would immediately withdraw his petition .
Swamy also told the court that the central government had not taken any permission from the Sri Lankan government for completing the canal which would connect the Rameshwaram coast in Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan government could go to the International Court of Justice in this issue.
Swamy concluded by telling the court that the Centre was ignoring the advice of its own committee and had also overlooked the concerns expressed by Naval chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, and Director-General, Coast Guard, according to whom this canal would facilitate Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam activites in India.
Additional Reportage: UNI http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/may/08setu.htm
TUESDAY, MAY 06, 2008(V. VENKATESAN)
Sethusamudram case in the Supreme Court: Soli Sorabjee's submission
The Sethusamudram case (Rama Gopalan v. Union of India) came up for regular hearing before the Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Justices Raveendran and J.M.Panchal.
Today Soli J.Sorabjee and K.Parasaran (on behalf of petitioners) made their submissions.
Soli Sorabjee said a religious belief, which is genuinely and conscientiously held over a long period of time by a substantial number of adherents or followers of a particular religion becomes an integral part of that religion and is entitled to protection under Article 25 of the Constitution. This, of course, is subject to the requirement that the practice and profession of the belief is not contrary to public order, morality or health. He said it was noteworthy that no restriction can be placed on freedom of religion on the ground that the restriction is “in the interest of general public” as in the case of Articles 19(5) and 19 (6).
He said it cannot be seriously questioned that it is the genuine and conscientious religious belief of the Hindus that Ram Sethu was constructed by Lord Ram and his followers. The issue before the Court is not whether this belief can be historically and scientifically established. The Court cannot sit in judgment over that belief. The Court’s role is to determine whether the aforesaid belief is genuinely or conscientiously held over a period of time by Hindus and if that be so it falls within the ambit of the freedom of religion guaranteed by Article 25. The right to worship and make offerings and perform rites at Ram Sethu is in pursuance of the integral belief of the adherents of Hindu religion; therefore, any State action which results in impairment or even partial destruction of Ram Sethu and leads to extinction or diminution of the right to worship at Ram Sethu as at present is per se violative of the guarantee of freedom of religion, Sorabjee said.
He pointed out that the expression “any object held sacred by any class of persons” in Section 295 of IPC has been construed by the Supreme Court to include any object however trivial or destitute of any real value in itself, if it is regarded as sacred by any class of persons, to be covered by this section. Citing S.Veerabadran Chettiar v. E.V.Ramaswami Naicker (1959 SCR 1211 at 1217 and 1218), he said the Court had emphasized that it is immaterial whether Courts share those beliefs or whether they are rational or otherwise in the opinion of the Court.
Sorabjee’s argument provoked Justice Raveendran to say that beliefs and rituals are not a subject matter here. To this, Sorabjee replied that the object of worship cannot be taken away. Justice Raveendran asked: “ Hindus worship Bhoomimata, does it mean earth cannot be touched? Rivers like Narmada and Ganges are worshipped. Does it mean you can’t touch them. They are not demolishing Ram Setu. Just 300 meters of the Setu will be touched. Should it be considered demolition or change, without affecting belief. Himalayas are also worshipped. So what is your principle? Tirumala hills are held sacred, does it mean you cannot build a road there?”
Sorabjee first said his colleagues, C.S.Vaidynathan and Parasaran will answer this question, and he would only give a legal answer. Sorabjee said you cannot do anything which changes the essential character of the object, being worshipped. Justice Raveendran then asked what was the test. “Is it one handful of sand, or 300 meters?” Clearly exasperated, Sorabjee then said “we are not concerned with mountains, lakes etc. Ram Setu has special significance”.
UNHEALED WOUNDS AND HURTING QUERIES
When the Rama Sethu cases were heard by the Supreme Court last month, it asked two brilliant questions, "Is Rama Sethu a place of worship?" and "Who goes to the middle of the sea and worship a place, which is under water?" hurting the religious sentiments of Hindu majority, which led to widespread condemnations. After a brief adjournment, when the hearing continued last week, the learned counsels of the petitioners established the importance of Rama Sethu as a place of worship. On Tuesday, when the case came up for hearing, Soli Sorabjee appearing for S.Kalyanaraman and Parasaran appearing for Ramagopalan presented their arguments based on Article 25, which deals with the Freedom of Religion. In course of the argument the learned judges of the Supreme Court have again hurt the sentiments of the Hindu majority by asking another brilliant question "whether even a small portion of Ramar Sethu (300 meters) can't be touched for purposes of development? In our country, the Himalayas, Goverdhan and Tirupathi hills, rivers and land (Boo Matha) are all worshipped. Do you mean to say that the land can't be touched, dams can't be constructed across rivers and hills can't be touched for stones?
The cultural and religious tradition of this great country is that, we do not differentiate between God and Nature and we worship Nature, as God. This is also the reason for our lives and habitat mingling well with nature. We plough and cultivate in the lands; we construct Temples using stones and sand; we sculpt our deities using different varieties of stones; we use waters from different rivers; all these things do not mean that we commit sacrilege on them! We use them, we get things out of them for our livelihood and we live because of them and hence we repay our debts by worshipping them and thanking them. Also, after constructing a temple, we do not demolish it; after sculpting a deity and doing poojas, we do not throw it. We preserve them. We even reconstruct or renovate the dilapidated temples and we don't leave them to ruins. When we value a 'human' construction so much, how much of value would we attach to a magnificent bridge constructed by the God himself? We worship the soil at Rama Janma Bhoomi, because Bhagwan Rama was born there and that is why we want to construct a temple for him there. Our forefathers had constructed a temple in Mathura, because Bhagwan Krishna lived there. So, by constructing bridges across rivers and by touching hillock for stones, we do not disrespect them, but, by removing even a single stone or a slab or a small part from those divine structures, we certainly sacrilege it. Hence, we do not want to damage Rama Sethu and we want to protect it. It is the 'faith' that matters here and the Court has no business in questioning it.
The Honourable Judges have also asked, "Even cows are being worshipped by the Hindus all over the country and would that warrant a ban on Cow Slaughter?" Yes, of course! We also worship certain birds and animals, as they happen to be the 'Vaahanaas' of our Gods and Goddesses. The Cow has the special significance of having all the 'Devatas' within it, in different parts of its body. We worship it for giving us milk for our daily use and dung and urine for making natural medicines. We don't kill even the aged and tired cows and allow them to die a natural death. As we have been worshipping cows for ages, it certainly warrants a ban on cow slaughter.
Senior Lawyer Soli Sorabjee articulated well on Article 25 and when his successor Advocate Parasaran reminded the Honourable Supreme Court about Sorabjee's detailed references on Valmiki Ramayana, the learned judges have again asked. "Do you expect judges also to become experts by reading these volumes?" One wonders if any 'legal' expert would ask such a question! They hear cases from various fields and there is no necessity for them to become experts in all those fields, but there is indeed a necessity for them to respect and listen to the expert opinions. The matter of contention here is Rama Sethu and Sage Valmiki's opinions are certainly important and relevant, as he was an expert and authority on Ramayana. But, it doesn't mean the Judges have to be well versed with it. Like how the Lawyers have a legal obligation to present their arguments based on merits, the Judges have a judicial responsibility to hear those arguments. The same interest, which was shown to throw a question, must also be shown to listen to the answer! Lawyer Parasaran had asserted, "The present case involves two aspects of the public interest namely 'Faith' and 'Development' and the Court must attempt to accommodate both aspects of the public interest. But there is complete abdication of responsibility and non-application of mind by the government."
In course of the arguments, the learned counsel had unfortunately, given some fodder to the secular brigade by saying, "The Babri demolition at Ayodhya is a 'scar' on Indian secularism that will never be removed. Similarly breaking Ramar Sethu will also leave a permanent scar on the Hindu faith and belief". This statement equating Rama Sethu with Babri structure is sadly a Himalayan blunder, as it might have an impact on the Rama Janma Bhoomi case. Probably the lawyer would have assumed that arguing on a 'secular' perspective would impress the Judges. When we have a strong case on the basis of religious freedom, why harp on secularism? This goes to show the sad and sordid fact that, the Hindu majority of this great Hindu nation has to rely on 'secularism' to defend its matters of faith at the Courts of Law, while the minorities enjoy full and complete freedom without any hitches.
The observation on Babri structure was an obvious mistake. To err is human and hence it must be forgotten. At the same time, the secular brigade must not be allowed to carry on this line of argument for their advantage in the Rama Janma Bhoomi case, which has been already in the Courts of Law for years. It must be clarified and ascertained again that, Babri-building had never been a worshipping place and it was a structure built by the invaders on the ruins after demolishing a Temple. The ASI's excavations have proved beyond doubt that, not one but two temples have existed before the Babri-structure was built. Reference must have been made about the Janma bhoomi instead of the disputed structure, because Rama Sethu constructed by Rama is as sacred as the bhoomi where he was born and that both have to be protected as places of worship. This line of argument would have added value to Ayodhya case and helped the cause of Ram Temple too, but equating Babri-structure and Rama Sethu had indeed dented it. When this great land is aggrieved with plenty of unhealed wounds, what is the need for talking about a non-existent scar? Babri-structure is a non-existent scar, where as, Janma Bhoomi is an unhealed wound. Bharat, the Punya Bhoomi, has thousands of such unhealed wounds through out its landscape, for each and every Islamic structure have been built by the invaders on the ruins of Hindu Temples after demolishing them. By hurling hurting questions on the wounded majority, the Supreme Court has added 'insult' to 'injury'! We have already lost thousands of worshipping places and we need to protect the existing ones and try to regain the lost ones. It is all matters of 'Faith' and faith has to be 'built' and 'protected'. Ayodhya must be built, Rama Sethu must be protected and both the causes must be fought for simultaneously, for Rama is Bharat and Bharat is Rama!
-B.R.Haran (May 8, 2008)
Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 08, 2008
First Published: 21:32 IST(8/5/2008)
Last Updated: 00:58 IST(9/5/2008)
Find a way around Ram Setu, Govt told
In a setback to the UPA government’s ambitious Setusamudram Shipping Canal Project, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked it to conduct an archaeological investigation to find out if ‘Ram Setu’ could be declared an ‘ancient monument’.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan also asked the government to explore the possibility of adopting some alternative route/alignment for completing it without damaging the Ram Setu, as suggested by the petitioners opposing the project.
“There is a specific direction of the Madras High Court that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) should carry out investigations whether Ram Setu is an ancient monument or not,” the bench said. The court had already ordered that no damage be caused to the Ram Setu.
The latest development virtually puts the project — being pushed by UPA ally DMK — in a limbo. The government cannot proceed without presenting before the court the findings of the ASI and its decision regarding alternative routes. The ASI will examine if the Setu could be declared an ancient monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
In a way, the UPA government that had to withdraw its earlier affidavit denying the existence of Ram and Ram Setu as a manmade structure would heave a sigh of relief. It may indeed lose a few brownie points to the Opposition.
But at the same time, the Centre can put the issue on the backburner without offending the DMK, as the process ordered by the court may not be complete before the next round of assembly elections and the general election.
The court noted that Janata Party president Subramanium Swamy and Hindu Munnani senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan had advanced "serious" arguments for conducting an
ASI probe and for taking forward the project through some other route. The two and others opposed to the project submitted that they wouldn't oppose the project if it could be completed without damaging the Setu.
They argued that alternative alignments would be economically more viable and won't cause damage to the environment besides respecting the religious faith of crores of Hindus.
Vaidyanathan had suggested a route through Dhanushkodi by removing the landmass in an area of about 800 metres. It could start from where the present route i.e. alignment no.6 begins in the Gulf of Mannar and take a turn towards Dhanushkodi in the southern part of Rameshwaram island and finally meet the same alignment in the Palk Bay to avoid the Ram Setu' altogether. The court posted the case for hearing on July 22.
‘UPA government should take court ruling seriously’
May 9th, 2008
Bhopal, May 9 (IANS) Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Madhya Pradesh election incharge Venkaiah Naidu Friday urged the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to consider seriously the observations of the Supreme Court with regard to the Ram Setu…
Commenting on the observations of the Supreme Court in the context of the Ram Setu, Naidu said the UPA government should take its observations seriously and respect the sentiments of the people.
'Karunanidhi to be blamed if Sethu project doesn't take off' (The Hindu, 6 May 2008)
New Delhi (PTI): Actor-politician Vijayakant-led DMDK on Tuesday said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi would to be blamed if the controversial Sethusamudram Project did not take off.
"If at all Sethusamudram project does not take off, the person to be blamed is Karunanidhi. The credit goes to him. Who asked him to hurt the sentiments of the people by criticising Lord Ram," Vijayakant told reporters here today.
He also urged the Centre to take steps to do a research on the disputed structure, which is considered as 'sacred' by Hindus.
Asked whether he believed that the BJP was a communal party, he shot back, "these questions should be asked to Karunanidhi. He can answer you very well because he has shared power with the BJP for almost five years."
"He can give a better answer. He has been with the BJP, now he is with the Congress and....," he said.
Friday, 9 May 2008
'Sethu will facilitate LTTE'
India: Former Union minister Dr Subramaniam Swamy today told the Supreme Court that national security would be compromised if the Sethusamudram canal project is completed ignoring the warnings given by the Navy Chief as well as director of coast guards according to whom the canal would facilitate the LTTE's activities in India.
Dr Swamy told a bench comprising chief justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendrtan J M Panchal that the canal project would help the LTTE to shift its base to Cochin and they will have easy and direct access from Jaffna to Cochin, Kerala.
According to him the government was ignoring expert opinion that the Sethusamudram canal project in its present form would not be conducive for the smooth flow of ships. In the present case the Tamil Nadu Maritime Board and coast guards have not been taken into confidence.
RAM SETHU –GOD AWAITING UPA GOVERNMENT’S CLEMENCY- 09-05-2008
Dr Subramanya Swamy keep your good work going on!
Our secularism is wicked. Not just wicked but wretched too! For the past well over 60 years we have unmindfully surrogate ourselves with crooked Marxists, self styled and self proclaimed Intellectuals. They were beating the drums of secularism facing one side of the Nation ignoring the other side. As a result our intellectuals came under a fear cloud. Every word spoken against Hindus, every rhetoric and caricature against Hindus were acclaimed as Secularism and any support to any form to any genuine grievance of Hindus were dubbed as communal. This off late has grown in to a fear psychosis. This fear grips not only the media, and public forums but even the highest bodies.
The more you outburst against Hindus and Hindu sentiments the more the chances you are acclaimed as secular.
Dr Swamy was questioned “are you visiting the site (Ramar Sethu) and offering worships”?
The news got an extensive coverage. The so called intellectuals and Secular preachers probably would have felt immense satisfaction and have full faith in our “secular judiciary”.
Now Dr Swamy has since put the things properly expressed his torment and wondered how no evidence been sought for, nor the beliefs were questioned in the case of Hazrathbal and Babri Masjid issue.
Once mortified then things would move in its proper direction. Now the Apex court has directed the Government to look in to the Historical aspects of Ram Sethu before taking any further decision on the issue.
Sorry Lord Ram, you are always at the mercy of our Constitution.
Thanks Dr Swamy for your relentless efforts for the cause of Hindus Self pride and respect.
May 18, 2008
SC on Ram Sethu
Big vindication for Save Ram Sethu campaign
The Supreme Court’s order has come as an encouragement for the groups opposed to destruction of the Ram Sethu. Janata Party president Dr. Subramanian Swamy, a petitioner in the case, told the Organiser that the apex court’s order was binding on the government in the light of the recent Madras High Court order.
Explore alternative alignments; Ask ASI to study historicity of Ram Sethu; Can it be a national monument, SC asks center
The Supreme Court on May 8 asked the union government to consider holding an archaeological survey to ascertain whether the Ram Sethu can be declared an “ancient monument”. The court also asked the centre to examine the possibility of carrying out the project through other alignments.
“There is a specific direction of the Madras High Court that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) should carry investigations whether Ram Sethu is an ancient monument or not,” a bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan said. “You also explore the possibility of carrying out the project through any other channels (alignments),” the bench, also comprising Justices R.V. Raveendran and J.M. Panchal, said.
The Supreme Court’s order has come as an encouragement for the groups opposed to destruction of the Ram Sethu. Janata Party president Dr. Subramanian Swamy, a petitioner in the case, told the Organiser that the apex court’s order was binding on the government in the light of the recent Madras High Court order.
HE matter will come up for further hearing on July 22. The bench said that in the interregnum, the centre could consider these two aspects as directed by the High Court on June 19 last year. Appearing for the centre to defend the controversial project, senior advocate Fali S Nariman responded positively to the court’s view.
Arguing against the demolition of the Ram Sethu, Dr. Swamy, senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan and others contended that there was a possibility of going ahead with the project through alternative alignments, which would be economically more viable and cause no damage to environment. It would also protect the religious faith of Hindus who consider the structure as sacred, they submitted.
A three-judge bench also suggested the centre to explore the possibility of a study by Archaeological Survey of India to determine if the Ram Sethu could be classified as an ancient monument.
The observations of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices R.V. Raveendran and J.M. Panchal should encourage the assorted group of Hindutva activists and environmentalists who have opposed the Sethu project for diverse reasons.
After two days of discussions on the Sethu—believed to have been built by Lord Rama to cross into Ravana’s kingdom—the bench asked senior advocate Fali S Nariman to urge the centre to examine the viability of an alternative alignment.
Though not binding, the suggestions—coming in response to passionate arguments on behalf of petitioners accusing the centre of disregarding the belief of millions to please UPA partner DMK—can add to the reluctance of an already wary Congress on whether to go ahead with the politically sensitive project.
The government has in any case been on the back foot since the affidavit in the apex court questioning the existence of Lord Rama.
Congress may be constrained to appear sensitive for the alternative alignment now that it has been endorsed by the apex court.
The desirability of the alignment of the Rs 2,400 crore project that proposes dredging a channel having a width of 300 metres on Ram Sethu to shorten the shipping distance between the western and eastern coast ports has been questioned also by environmentalists, economists and security analysts.
However, it is the “matter of faith for 100 crore Hindus” argument put forward by the Hindutva organisations that is proving to be the chief deterrent.
The suggestion came from the bench after Janata Party president Dr. Subramanian Swamy, in his arguments over two days, pointed out the fallacies in the decision of the government to go ahead with the project ostensibly under pressure from coalition ally DMK.
What prompted the apex court to give these suggestions was the Madras High Court order of June 19 last year asking the government to conduct an in-depth study by ASI and consideration of an alternative alignment without harming the Ram Sethu.
With the court’s interim order restraining any dredging on Ram Sethu till further orders continuing to operate, this long adjournment along with the suggestions for an in-depth ASI study and consideration of an alternative alignment would be sure to delay the project, despite the government expressing its keen desire and filing an application in the apex court seeking vacation of the interim stay order.
Senior advocates K. Parasaran, Soli J. Sorabjee, C.S. Vaidyanathan, Sriram Panchu and M. Krishnanmani, who appeared for different petitioners, had stressed on the religious significance of Ram Sethu among Hindus and had apprehended that any dredging could bring in a catastrophic situation akin to the one seen after the demolition of Babri structure.
Dr. Subramanian Swamy had alleged that the government-appointed expert committee resisted the ASI probe that the structure was man-made. While the senior politician was questioning the committee report, the bench said his request in the petition was confined only to the Ram Sethu but he was arguing on entire Sethusamudram project. At this Dr. Swamy said, “If I prove that the project is illegal, then the Ram Sethu will be protected.”
He said the Sri Lankan authorities were watching the outcome of the proceedings in the apex court and Colombo may drag India to International Court of Justice, The Hague, seeking independent probe about the environmental impact of the project.
The 34-member advisory committee group constituted by the Sri Lankan government has concluded that environment impact assessment by India on the Sethusamud-ram project was inadequate, the Janata Party president claimed.
Victory of lord rama’s narasena over upa asuras
Fri, 09 May, 2008 , 02:50 PM (Newstoday, V. Sundaram)
Islam-embracing, Christianity- coveting and Hindu-destroying UPA Government under the combined stranglehold of a non-Hindu like Sonia Gandhi on the one hand and an atheistic anti-Rama like Karunanidhi on the other, received a secular death blow in the Supreme Court yesterday when the Court directed the Government of India to explore the possibility of an in-depth study of the Sethu by the Archeological Survey of India. The Supreme Court also asked senior advocate Fali S. Nariman to impress upon the Government of India to examine the viability of an alternative alignment. This advice came from the Bench after Janata Party President Dr.Subramanian Swamy graphically exposed the fundamental fallacies in the decision of the Government of India to go ahead with the SSCP ostensibly under unbearable political pressure from its anti-Rama and anti-Hindu ally DMK. Justice Balakrishnan said ‘We don’t say anything on merits. But you can explore the possibility of alternative alignment for the Channel. By this the Government can avoid the controversy’ .
On the petitions filed by Dr.Subramanian Swamy and Rama Gopalan of Hindu Munnani, the Madras High Court on June 19, 2007 asked the Government of India ‘You file a counter-affidavit explaining whether any study has been undertaken by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) or any other Department concerned in respect of Adam’s Bridge/Ramar Sethu and whether the said bridge can be regarded as a National Monument. The Union of India should also explain whether the said Project (SSCP) can be implemented without affecting Ramar Sethu by resorting to some other routes.’ Since no affidavit had been filed by the Government of India on the above 2 points raised by Madras High Court even after the lapse 10 months ,the Chief Justice of India asked the Government of India to consider the points raised by Madras High Court in June 2007 and posted the matter for further hearing on July 22, 2008. In conclusion, the Madras High Court has given the following message not only to the UPA government but to all the Anti-Hindu Politicians and Political Parties of India: ‘There is no political virtue in evasion of concrete facts. No political courage in carefully planned and selected prejudice, regional or national. No political or social salvation in cultural, religious or spiritual ignorance.’
The UPA Government under the Hitler-like dictatorship of Sonia Gandhi has treated the directions given by the Madras High Court in June 2007 with supreme contempt for nearly 1 year. Yesterday the Supreme Court of India has asked the Government of India to take immediate follow-up action on the directions issued by Madras High Court last year in June 2007.
Here is an account of the happenings in the Supreme Court during the last few days on Rama Setu protection case and the consequent introspections on why Rama Setu should be protected despite the bogus, baseless arguments advanced on grounds of non-existent abhyudayam. When Supreme Court asked Senior Advocate Shri Parasaran as to why he was arguing on ‘this’ side (that is, the side of the petitioners seeking protection of Rama Setu and hence, Dharma), he responded emotionally that he is at the fag-end of his life and career and this was an opportunity provided for him to protect dharma and he also told the Court that this was an opportunity for the Court also to participate in this sacred responsibility of protecting dharma. When Court asked Dr. Subramanian Swamy how Supreme Court can overcome the jurisdiction problem of questioning policy decisions or economic issues, Dr. Swamy responded effectively and convincingly that it was incumbent on the court to intervene when a fraud or gross illegality can be demonstrated that the economic viability of the project was a fiction created with baseless data and that the project was fraudulent. He went on to demonstrate that the project will be in the red for Rs. 56 crores in Year 1 and Rs. 150 crores in Year 9 and thereafter using the figures given by the Union of India in their documents.
These losses are, in fact, understatements. The actual losses will be much larger if social costs are reckoned (as required under law), if maintenance dredging costs are fairly computed and if security costs (both capital and maintenance costs) are included in the project costs. Dr. Swamy also demonstrated the need to make Hon’ble TR Baalu a respondent because of conflict of interest with private familial involvement in stevedoring or marine product export companies.
Senior Advocate Soli Sorabjee responded effectively to the stupid question which stated that, the bhumaata is sacred, the mountains are sacred, Ganga is sacred, trees are sacred that this perception should not stop removal of stones or building of bridges. This was rebutted effectively citing the responsibility of the State under Article 25 to protect Religious Freedom and not to destroy, by desecration, the very character of the Rama Setu which is a bridge built by Rama to establish dharma. Not an inch, not a piece of rock from this ancient monument can be touched by any power on earth. Section 295 of Criminal Procedure Code makes it a cognizable offence to offend the sentiments of crores of Hindus worldwide. The Court was also told that Ganga Sagar and Sethu in the Indian Ocean are places of worship.
Skandapurana which is the sacred text of identified teerthasthaanas and puja vidhaanam, prescribed the worship of Rama Setu and the S’ivalinga installed in the middle of Rama Setu uttering Setumadhava and Ramanatha (Ashtakshari and Panchakshari mantras) and walking on the Setu. Every ashadha amavasya day every year, over 5 lakh pilgrims gather at the Setu tirtham and offer tarpanam to pitrus – ancestors are worshipped with the sankalpa which starts: Sri rama rama rameti… He is Maryada purushottama, Ramayana is the aadi kaavya, There can be no Ramayana without Setubandhana which is the very symbol of what can be accomplished with will and determination and the symbol of establishment and protection of dharma. This is a memory venerating Sri Rama as vigrahavaan dharmah (the very embodiment of dharma), the paramaatman in the role of an avatara to demonstrate dharma in action.
The battle has just begun. The Setu has to be declared as an Ancient Monument and World Heritage. Setu, which has protected the nation’s coastline and symbolizes the unity and integrity of the nation, cannot be desecrated like the Taliban demolishing the Bamiyan Buddha calling it mere stone. Setu also makes us remember Sri Rama, Vigrahavaan dharma, the very embodiment of dharma. Setu is not mere stone bridge, it is the very identity, the very core of Sanatana Dharma from time immemorial, the very embodiment of Dharma identity. It just cannot be touched even by cutting a one centimeter furrow.
So many multi-disciplinary issues were joined in the Supreme Court proceedings. Over 8000 pages of evidence and arguments and case laws were presented. The Court had the obligation to recognize the enormity and stupendous nature of this continuum of faith, belief and worship and respect the sentiments of crores of people, as a civil society and restoring the confidence of the people in the institutions which they have created to run this samajam. A fence cannot be allowed to eat away the crop.
Institutions exist only at the service of and at the responsibilities entrusted to these institutions by the people. Many teams of persons have contributed to this extraordinary Hindu unity and effort. Starting with Shri D. Kuppuramu who founded the Rameshwaram Rama Setu Protection Movement, Senior Advocate Shri TV Ramanujam, counsel for Shri Rama Gopalan of Hindu Munnani and Dr. Subramanian Swamy-they have all played a very important role in this effort. It was Dr. Subramanian Swamy who got the Chief Justice of Madras High Court to issue the directions of HC on 19 June 2007 asking for the declaration of Rama Setu as an Ancient Monument and to ask for proceeding with any project without demolishing or desecrating Rama Setu. This stand of the Madras High Court has just been re confirmed yesterday by the highest court of the land by the directions issued on these two momentous issues.The Veda Vyasa behind all this Himalayan effort and movement has been Dr.S.Kalyanaraman, a world authority on Saraswathi Civilization and Culture. The responsibility is enormous to use this opportunity given to us today by Sri Rama to educate the youngest nation of the world, the 35% of the population which is less than 15 years of age, to realize the great heritage of Dharma and the importance and significance of the two great Itihaasas, Ramayana, the Aadi kaavya and Mahabharata. Sri Rama, Sri Krishna and Sri Maheswara united north and south, east and west and across every nook and corner of Bharata Varsha. They adorn the lithographed version of the Constitution of India published by the Govt. of India with exquisite illustrations by the artist, Shri Nandalal Bose.
I interviewed Dr.Subramanian Swamy after his great triumph in the Supreme Court. Beaming with joy, he issued the following historic statement:. ‘The Supreme Court observation that the Madras High Court Order of 19.6.07 on my Writ Petition must be honoured and complied with, which directs that the government conduct an investigation by the ASI to find out if the Rama Setu can be declared as an Ancient Monument of National Importance and also to explore other ship channel alignment that does not damage the Rama Setu, is a historic achievement for the long sufferring one billion Hindus. Let now the super secularists, the proselytizing covert missionaries and dissolute atheists of India now recognize that the Hindu has stood up and will no more stomach any more sacrilege against the Hindu religion. Henceforth, we Hindus will bring to bear our intellectual resources to energise our tottering democratic system and cleanse public life of all parasites, pirates, and buccaneers who have been bleeding the Hindu civilization. A Hindu renaissance is now unstoppable.’
HINDUS OF THE WORLD UNITE! YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR CHAINS!
Sydney Sunday Herald, 11 May 2008
Excerpts: In 2005, UNESCO named the legend of the Ramayana and its relatedoral and cultural tradition on a list of 90 outstanding examples of the world's Intangible Cultural Heritage… UNDER UNESCO GUIDELINES FOR HERITAGE LISTING, RAM SETHU SHOULD BE ALLOCATED HERITAGE STATUS FOR ITS CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE…Since culture is the highest expression of what it means to be human, the Ram Setu Bridge should be preserved and viewed as belonging to all humanity. (pdf document follows; title: ‘Bridge under troubled waters’).