Friday, July 25, 2008

Rama Setu: hindu cosmology, sea level curves, hominid dating -- Malcolm PR Light


Rama didn’t destroy bridge: Jaya

The sum and substance of the many opinions and facts mentioned in this blog entry is this: scrap the channel project. Save Rama Setu. Declare it as a monument of National Importance under 1958 Act and as a world heritage site under UNESCO guidelines. SC should pass strictures against Union of India for wasting the time of the courts and showing utter contempt for the courts, the way UOI has failed to respond to Madras HC directions of 19 June 2007, reiterated again and again by the Hon'ble Supreme Court.

It is tme to affirm that there is rule of law in the country and the state should not barter sentiments of millions of people to benefit a few politico-s and dredging contractors.

Kalyanarama 26 July 2008

Will go to SC if Sethu is damaged, says Jaya
Press Trust Of India / Express News Service

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/story/340730.html
Chennai, July 25, 2008: AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa on Friday said nowhere was it stated in the Ramayana that Lord Ram himself destroyed the bridge.

Opposing any move to demolish the Ram Sethu for implementation of the Sethusamudram project, she said: "The Centre had said Ram used his magical bow to break the bridge into three parts. The UPA Government now allows the Hindus in the country to have faith in every aspect of the Ram legend except the bridge as this has to be demolished to make way for the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (SSCP)."

"It is important to note that various experts on the Ramayana state emphatically that nowhere in the epic it is mentioned that Lord Ram destroyed the bridge," she said in a statement here reacting to the Centre's latest affidavit in the apex court on petitions challenging the project.

Claiming that any damage to the bridge would lead to a communal strife in the country, she said if any such move was sought to be implemented, the AIADMK would "fight it in the Supreme Court to uphold the true spirit of secularism". "The Centre was trying to precipitate communal strife to divert public attention from more pressing problems like rise in the prices of essential commodities, petrol, diesel, LPG and milk and 'disintegration' of farm sector and other issues," she said.

"What does the Central Government, egged on by the DMK leaders, who have their own economic agenda in dredging the Sethusamudram canal, stand to gain by antagonising virtually every denomination of society? After having backtracked once, why has the Centre once again cobbled together arguments to justify the demolition of the Ram Sethu at the cost of sentiments and faith," she asked.

Jayalalithaa asked whether the Centre's averment in court that Lord Ram himself had destroyed the bridge was due to "the pyrrhic" victory obtained in the recent vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha through "crass money power." She said the Centre, which earlier denied the existence of Ram, had now acknowledged the fact that he had built the bridge.

If the UPA, at the behest of the DMK, continued to ignore pressing issues and persisted with its "patently anti-people actions, people will throw them out in the next elections," she said.

Demolishing Ram Sethu amounted to destroying a valuable piece of the cultural heritage of south India. "It is a pity that Dravidian parties like the DMK and Viduthalai Chirthaigal Katchi, for narrow political gains, are becoming party to this desecration of their own heritage," she said.

She said according to Ramayana, the Ram Sethu was built by the Vanara Sena over a pre-existing oceanic ridge and the Vanaras were people, who lived in the forests of south India. "In verity, they were the original south Indians. Ram Sethu was a marvel of ancient south Indian engineering skills," she said, adding that "true Dravidian parties have every reason to be proud of it."

Alleging that the Centre was adopting different yardsticks for different religions, Jayalalithaa said when it came to Hindu sentiments or faith, the UPA Government became "insensitive and does not hesitate to ride roughshod over their feelings. What sort of secularism is this," she asked.

"I am an Indian. I am a secular Indian. I was born a Hindu and educated in a Christian institution. To me, secularism implies that all religions should be equally respected... It is not for the governments or politicians to tamper with matters of faith," she said, adding "Perhaps, the Government is taking the monumental tolerance of the Hindu community for granted."

Tamil experts doubt Centre's Setu destruction theory
26 Jul 2008, 0127 hrs IST, K Venkataramanan,TNN


CHENNAI: Did Lord Ram himself destroy the 'Ram Sethu', the causeway built for his passage to Lanka by his army, after the war was won against Ravana?

The Union government has made such a submission based on the Kamba Ramayana, but Tamil scholars are doubtful whether the verse that seems to have been the basis for it is authentic and whether it actually says the 'bridge' was destroyed. In any case, the Kamba Ramayana is one among several thousand works or versions of a story that has been subject to innumerable interpretations.

The stanza in the second part of Yuddha Kanda in the 13th century Tamil rendering of the Ramayana by Kamban is in a section that describes Rama showing the 'Ram Sethu' to Sita as they return by Pushpak Vimana and explaining its creation.

Numbered 171 in an edition published by V M Gopala Krishnamachariar, the verse translates as, ''The path cut out of the bridge by (Ram's) arrow, to help ships to sail through it, is capable of cleansing the sins of even grave sinners for 21 births and bringing them close to the immortals.''

''These lines can be interpreted to mean Ram himself cut a path in the bridge to help ships to pass through it, but it does not speak of the Sethu being destroyed,'' says T Gnanasundaram, a scholar in Tamil religious texts.

This seems to go in favour of the Centre's submission. However, Gnanasundaram points out that this verse does not figure in the original text, but is one of the migaippaadalga l (additional verses). ''When I went through the verse today, I was struck by how much it suits the present context concerning movement of ships,'' he said.

The migaippaadalgal are not considered authentic, argues Tiruppur Krishnan, scholar and editor of Tamil literary magazine Amudha Surabhi. Kamban scholars like T K Chidambaranatha Mudaliar had rejected several such verses as unauthentic. ''And even if it is taken as part of the original, the verse still does not speak of any destruction of the Ram Sethu, but of the creation of a pathway,'' Krishnan said.

The Ramayana has hundreds of versions and regional variations, as the story is part of the oral lore of India. Even Kamban's Tamil epic has a few versions, as some overzealous scholars sought to leave their mark by embellishing the original palm leaf manuscripts with what they thought were appropriate verses to suit the context.

Kamban had composed his Tamil epic based largely on Valmiki Ramayana, the 24,000-verse epic deemed to be the most authentic version of the story. However, he made a few modifications to suit Tamil culture and values. In the epilogue to his narration of the Ramayana, C Rajagopalachari notes that both Tulsidas and Kamban made changes to Valmiki's work for apparent cultural reasons.

For instance, Valmiki says Ravana seized Sita while abducting her, but Kamban does not want to portray the episode as if the demon-king touched her. He describes Ravana as lifting the earth on which she stands without touching her.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Tamil_experts_doubt_Centres_Setu_destruction_theory/articleshow/3281475.cms


Sethu: Jaya disputes Centre’s stand

Statesman News Service
CHENNAI, July 25: Even while arguments over the Sethusamudram project are still continuing in the Supreme Court, the AIADMK chief Ms Jayalalitha, today issued a public statement opposing the Centre's contention that Lord Ram himself had demolished the Ram Sethu after crossing over to the home territory.
“It is important to note that various experts on the Ramayana state emphatically that nowhere in the Ramayana is it mentioned that Lord Ram destroyed the bridge”, Ms Jayalalitha contended.
The government which earlier denied the very existence of Ram, now acknowledged the legend of Ram as a fact, she said and added that it also did not contest the fact that Ram had a bridge built to link the southern coast of India to Lanka. Charging the Centre with being insensitive to Hindu sentiments, the AIADMK chief said that this appeared to be the brand of secularism that appealed to several constituents of the UPA.
Coming out with a definition of secularism, Ms Jayalalitha said: “To me, secularism implies that all religions should be equally respected. My secularism tells me that I should respect the faith behind Ram's bridge, as much as I respect Prophet Mohammad's holy relic or any Christian belief.”
Demolishing the Ram Sethu amounted to hitting at the faith of millions of Hindus in the country, she said. “Would any government in the world think of levelling the Himalayas, claiming it is a natural phenomenon and not a man-made structure, and build amusement parks and tourist resorts there”, she asked.
In a bid to bridge Hindu sentiments with Dravidian ideology, which totally denounces Ramayana and Lord Ram, the AIADMK chief claimed that the Vaanaras, who built the bridge, were the original South Indians and Ram Sethu was a marvel of ancient South Indian engineering skills, something which true Dravidian parties had every reason to be proud of.
“Demolishing the structure amounts to destroying the a valuable piece of the cultural heritage of South India. It is a pity that Dravidian parties like the DMK were becoming party to this desecration of their own heritage”, she lamented.
Expanding the significance of Ram Sethu to other religions too, she said the bridge was considered as a legacy by Christians and Muslims as well. “In northern Sri Lanka, close to Ratnapura, there is a mountain called Adam's peak. Atop there is a footprint that is worshipped by Buddhists as Buddha's footprint. Hindus call it Shiva Paadham or the footprints of Lord Shiva. Christians in Sri Lanka ascribe it to where Adam, the first ancestor set foot when he was exiled from the Garden of Eden,” she said.
The legends of Adam were connected to the idea that Sri Lanka was the original Eden, Ms Jayalalitha said and added that this was the reason why Sri Lanka was still referred to as Paradise Island. Adam's bridge was revered by them as the oceanic ridge along which the first man on earth, according to the Old Testament walked, she said.
“The AIADMK for its part, will not tolerate any move to demolish Ram Sethu and fuel a communal flare-up. If any such move is sought to be implemented, we will fight it in the highest court of the land to uphold the true spirit of secularism,” she added.

http://thestatesman.org/page.news.php?clid=2&theme=&usrsess=1&id=215486

Fri, 25 Jul, 2008 , 03:41 PM (Chennai, Newstoday)

AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa today said various experts on the Ramayana state emphatically that nowhere in the epics it was mentioned that Lord Rama destroyed the ‘Sethu’.

Refuting the claims made by the Centre in the Supreme Court that Lord Rama destroyed the ‘Sethu’, the former Chief Minister, in a statement here, said, some months ago, the UPA government was of the view that Lord Rama was nothing but the figment of fertile imagination.

‘Filing an affidavit before the Supreme Court in the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) case, the Centre claimed that there was no evidence to prove that Rama had existed at all.

But now, the same governement has yet again stirred a hornet’s nest, claiming that Lord Rama had Himself destroyed the bridge that was built by his army to cross over to Lanka.’

Stating that the government which earlier denied the very existence of Rama acknowledged the legend as a fact, Jayalalithaa said the UPA now allows the Hindus in the country to have faith in every aspect of the Rama legend, except the bridge, as it has to be demolished to make way for the Sethusamudram Project.

‘When it comes to Hindu sentiments. the UPA government becomes insensitive. It does not hesitate to ride rough-shod over their feelings. What sort of secularism is this?,’ she said.

Quoting a research paper of Malcolm P R Light of the University of London, Jayalalithaa said, ‘The bridge has resisted the relentless erosion of the sea for almost two million years and it attests to the great engineering skills of the ancient Indian people.

It is the earliest and largest carbon-fibre reinforced civil engineering structure known to man and should be protected as a world heritage site.’

Stating that demolishing this structure amounts to destroying a valuable piece of the cultural heritage of South India, Jayalalithaa said, ‘it is a pity that Dravidian parties like the DMK and the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi, for narrow pecuniary and political gains, are becoming party to this desecration of their own heritage.’

She also said: ‘After having backtracked once, why has the Centre again cobbled together arguments to justify the demolition of the Ramar Sethu at the cost of sentiments and faith? Is it because the pyrrhic victory obtained in the recent vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha through crass money power has invested it with a fake aura of invincibility and arrogance?’

http://newstodaynet.com/printer.php?id=9475

See: http://www.hinduwisdom.info/Glimpses_IV.htm

Jaya slams Centre on Ram Setu

Swati Das | Chennai (Pioneer, 26 July 2008)

'When it comes to Hindu sentiments, the UPA Govt becomes insensitive'

Experts on Ramayana denying the claim of the Centre that Lord Ram had destroyed the Setu, have stated that nowhere in Ramayana is such a thing mentioned, said AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa

The former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, in a statement, noted: "Filing an affidavit before the Supreme Court in the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) case, the Centre claimed that there was no evidence to prove that Ram had existed at all. But now, the same Government has yet again stirred a hornet's nest, claiming that Lord Ram himself destroyed the bridge that was built by his army to cross over to Lanka."

Jayalalithaa wondered how the Centre could claim that Lord Ram was a figment of fertile imagination and in two months' time the same UPA Government was now allowing the Hindus in the country to have faith in every aspect of the Ram legend, except the bridge, as it has to be demolished to make way for the Sethusamudram Project.

She also said: "After having backtracked once, why has the Centre again cobbled together arguments to justify the demolition of the Ram Setu at the cost of sentiments and faith? Is it because the pyrrhic victory obtained in the recent vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha through crass money power has invested it with a fake aura of invincibility and arrogance?"

"When it comes to Hindu sentiments, the UPA Government becomes insensitive. It does not hesitate to ride rough-shod over their feelings. What sort of secularism is this?" she further said.

Quoting a research paper of Malcolm PR Light of the University of London, Jayalalithaa said, "The bridge has resisted the relentless erosion of the sea for almost two million years and it attests to the great engineering skills of the ancient Indian people. It is the earliest and largest carbon-fibre reinforced civil engineering structure known to man and should be protected as a world heritage site."

Stating that demolishing this structure amounts to destroying a valuable piece of the cultural heritage of South India, Jayalalithaa said, "It is a pity that Dravidian parties like the DMK and the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi, for narrow pecuniary and political gains, are becoming party to this desecration of their own heritage."

http://dailypioneer.com/indexn12.asp?main_variable=front%5Fpage&file_name=story4%2Etxt&counter_img=4

Centre's stand testing Hindu tolerance: Jaya
26 Jul 2008, 0151 hrs IST,TNN

CHENNAI: Asserting that nowhere in Ramayana is it mentioned that Lord Ram destroyed Ram Sethu as submitted by the Centre in Supreme Court, AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa on Friday warned the UPA government against taking the ''monumental tolerance'' of the Hindu community for granted.

In a statement she said the government, which had earlier denied Ram's existence, was now acknowledging ''the legend Ram as a fact''.

It also did not contest the fact that Ram built a bridge to link the southern coast of India to Sri Lanka. Now the whole argument has narrowed down to the claim that Ram destroyed the bridge on his return to home territory, she added.

While citing instances to claim that the government did not want to incur the wrath of members of other religions, it became "insensitive" when it came to Hindu sentiments or faith.

"It does not hesitate to ride roughshod over their (Hindus') feelings," she said. "To me, secularism implies that I should respect the faith behind Ram's bridge, as much as I respect Prophet Mohammed's holy relic and any Christian belief."

Jayalalithaa contended that Ram Sethu was not renamed Adam's Bridge by accident but because of its links to an aspect of local Christian faith.

"In Sri Lanka, close to Ratnapura, there is a mountain called Adam's Peak. Atop this, there is a footprint in stone that is worshipped by Buddhists as left by the Buddha. Hindus call it Shiva Paadham or the footprint of Lord Shiva. Christians in Sri Lanka ascribe it to where Adam, the first ancestor, set foot when he was exiled from the Garden of Eden," she said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Centres_stand_testing_Hindu_tolerance_Jaya/articleshow/3281540.cms

'Setu doesn't exist': Govt relied on scholars
26 Jul 2008, 0148 hrs IST, Akshaya Mukul,TNN


NEW DELHI: The government's view that Ram Sethu did not exist is largely based on extracts from works of renowned archaeologists and geographers, including pro-RSS historian B B Lal, who had studied material evidence to dismiss the claim of a bridge built by Ram's army.

The culture ministry had asked HRD ministry to seek the views of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) to form its opinion. Culture ministry sources said ICHR cited works of archaeologists like H D Sankalia, B B Lal, H Parker, geographer O H K Spate and Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, to prove that talk of a bridge was fictional with no historical evidence.

Sankalia's seminal work 'The Ramayana in Historical Perspective' quotes Ramayana stating how Ram first used burning arrows to subdue the sea, resulting in the sea coming up in human form and promising to build the bridge.

Later, Sankalia quotes Ramayana, "Vanaras began to fill up the ocean with all sorts of trees without roots — sal, asvaparna, kutaju, arjuna, tada, tiloaka, timita, bilvaka, sataparna, karnikara, chuta ashoka. Later, huge slabs of stone were thrown. Thus a long bridge (mahasetu), ten yojanas broad (vistarna), and a hundred yojanas long (ayata) was built by Nala..."

With this as evidence, when Sankalia looked for them on the ground, he said, "At Rameshwaram, there is nothing but sand dunes known as teris. These are again of three types — copper-red, brown and grey or white — the first being the oldest and indicate in no uncertain terms what the nature of the country, say 5,000 to 10,000 years ago, was."

He also said except a few palm trees and one or two others, nothing else grows there even today. Also, "no stone is available there, unless one goes several miles inland, and brings slabs after breaking the rocky hills".

Sankalia also pointed out, "Whatever the exact connotation of the length (100 yojanas) and breadth (10 yojanas) of the bridge given in the epic, anyone who has actually visited the spot or knows the present distance between the two points, will have to say that this bridge was the longest ever to have been built anywhere in the world, just with tree trunks and stone slabs. Indeed, the whole thing is one of the grandest feats of imagination, and so is the description of Lanka which follows."

Lal was clinical in his view. In his 'The Earliest Civilization of South Asia', Lal wrote, "The northern end — the Jaffna peninsula — is hardly 30 km from the mainland. The intervening sea is shallow and it is not unlikely that even during a mild Ice Age when some of the sea-water got locked up as ice in the Himalayas, a few land-strips may have surfaced, hoppingly connecting the mainland with Sri Lanka."

Parker, while denouncing the theory of bridge as "poetic fiction", said, "Such a slight foundation for it as the spread of the Hindu religion, or Aryan civilisation, among the tribes of the south must be swept away so far as Ceylon is concerned, since the descendants of the original inhabitants of the island, the Vaeddas of the interior, have never adopted the worship of the Hindu gods, nor, until historic times, the civilisation of the Aryans."

Spate said, "Adam's bridge itself is basically a coral reef killed by an uplift and consolidated into coral rock."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Setu_doesnt_exist_Govt_relied_on_scholars/articleshow/3281530.cms

The Ram Sethu (Adam's bridge) causeway must have been a major engineering feat for its thin trace is still so clearly visible on the present day satellite images (Joseph 2004). It has resisted the relentless erosion of the sea for almost 2 million years and it attests to the great engineering skills of the ancient Indian people. It is the earliest and largest carbon-fibre reinforced civil engineering structure known to man and should be protected as a world heritage site.



Ram Sethu - A great engineering skill of ancient Indian people.

Construction of such a long bridge is a marvel in itself. Even the longest bridges of today, dwarf against the Rama’s bridge which is 30Kms. It should be regarded as an eight wonder, much significant than the Pyramids and all others, due to the bridge’s age as well as it’s longevity which stays to this day.

(image source: http://www.madhoo.com/archives/2004/11/more_about_adam.php ).

***

A shallow seismic survey could be used to detect the strong reflection acoustic signal of lignite formed from decayed wood in the framework of the causeway and this will guide later drilling programs where the actual structure of the causeway could be investigated.

(source: Correlations between Hindu Cosmology, Sea Level Curves and African -Asian Hominid Dating - By Malcolm P. R. Light). http://www.hinduwisdom.info/Glimpses_IV.htm


Correlations between Hindu Cosmology, Sea Level Curves and African -Asian Hominid Dating
By Malcolm P.R. Light

A sea level variation curve from about 8 million years ago to the present day (Late Miocene to Recent - Eberli, 2000) is compared in Figure 1 to the time of construction of Adam s Bridge between southern India and Sri Lanka, Hindu cosmological dates and African Asian chronological data. There are a number of clear correlations between the Hindu cosmology, the sea level curve and the geochronological data.

# Each of the Yuga cycles (Das 2004) appears to correspond to a major cycle in sea level change. The Satya/Kriti Yuga is preceded by a long period of rising sea level in the Late Miocene but sea level began to fall sharply during this Yuga reaching a minimum of -80 metres below mean sea level around 2.7 million years ago (Figure 1 Eberli, 2000). During the Late Miocene, early arboreal apemen, Sahelanthropus tchadensis (Toumai), Orrorin tugenesis and Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba lived in the extensive thick forests in Africa (Brunet et al. 2002; Wood, 2002; Pickford 2001; Aiello and Collard, 2001; Haile Selassie 2001; Senut et al 2001; White et al. 1994; Wood; 1994). The following Treta Yuga represents a period of rising sea levels during which Hindu cosmology said there was increased rainfall and the formation of new rivers (Das 2004). The Dvapura Yuga is a period of falling sea level, followed by a rise at the beginning of the Kali Yuga (Das 2004, Eberli 2000).

# At the start of the Satya/Kriti Yuga, 4.3 million years ago (Das 2004) there was a general period of falling sea level (Eberli 2000) and major climate change in Africa during which the vegetation began to alter from thick forest inhabited by 4.4 million year old arboreal Ardipithecus ramidus ramidus to dry woodland and gallery forest inhabited by the 4.2 million year old Austrolopithecus anamensis (Leakey et al. 1995; White et al, 1994). By the end of the Satya/Kriti Yuga some 2.7 million years ago (Das 2004), sea level had reached its lowest level some 80 metres below the present sea level and the woodlands were still in habited by Austrolpithecines (Figure 1 Eberli 2000; Leakey and Lewin 1979; Gowlett 1984).

# The start of the Treta Yuga (2.6 million years ago) when man began to pursue knowledge (Das 2004) corresponds exactly with the time the first tools appeared in Africa. These tools were made by the newly evolved upright hominids, Homo habilis and later Homo erectus (Foley 2003; Leakey and Lewin, 1979) who now inhabited the harsher savanna consistent with the description of the conditions in the Treta Yuga (Das 2004). Homo erectus began to migrate out of Africa because of increasing aridity in the rift savanna between 2 and 1.8 million years ago into Asia (Leakey, 1994; Leakey and Lewin 1979; Templeton, 2002) and India (Joseph 2004).

# Hanuman, the monkey God in the Ramanyana (Joseph 2004), must have been Homo erectus and this hominid species would certainly have seemed ape-like to modern day man. They were the ancestors of Pekin man in China (Wolpoff and Caspari 1977), the 1.6 million year old Homo erectus in Java and probably the 18 thousand year old hobbits recently found on Flores island (Stringer, 2004; Dalton, 2004). Adam s bridge appears to have been constructed between southern India and Sri Lanka 1.8 and 1.6 million years ago in the Treta Yuga during a period of sharp sea level fall to some 60 metres below the present sea level (Figure 2; Eberli 2000).

# A strip of land must have been exposed between India and Sri Lanka as the sea level approached its lowest level, between 1.8 and 1.6 million years ago. Because Homo erectus had already reached southern India before that time he must have tried to get across to Sri Lanka when the land began to be exposed at low tide during this period of sea level fall, around 1.75 million years ago (Joseph 2004). The driving force for his migration was probably population pressure within the southern Indian forest which caused food shortage. The exposed region between southern India and Sri Lanka must have been a treacherous path with many quicksands and shallow lakes. It seems logical that after several of his company were lost during periods of rising tide, Homo erectus could have started to construct a causeway by throwing trees and other vegetation onto the loose sand and and covering them with rocks. Homo erectus must have built the floating bridge on the quicksands that is so elegantly described in Sage Valkimi s account of the Ramanyana (Joseph 2004). Nala son of Vishvakarma (architect of the demigods) constructed a causeway - magnificent with its wonderful paved floor - like unto a line traced on the waves (Joseph 2004).

# The Adam s Bridge causeway must have been a major engineering feat for its thin trace is still so clearly visible on the present day satellite images (Joseph 2004). It has resisted the relentless erosion of the sea for almost 2 million years and it attests to the great engineering skills of the ancient Indian people. It is the earliest and largest carbon-fibre reinforced civil engineering structure known to man and should be protected as a world heritage site. A shallow seismic survey could be used to detect the strong reflection acoustic signal of lignite formed from decayed wood in the framework of the causeway and this will guide later drilling programs where the actual structure of the causeway could be investigated.

# In addition to the above correlations, one Brahma day (4.32 billion years)(Das 2004) is close to the value for the age of the Earth (4.6 billion years)(Lide 1994). One cycle of our Universe from Big Bang to Big Crunch assuming a Universe age around 15 billion years is 30 billion years almost identical to 1/100 of a Brahma year (31.1 billion years)(Das 2004). One Brahma year is 3.11 trillion years (Das 2004). Note the length of a Yuga cycle (and the start of the Satya/Kriti Yuga) at 4.3 million years is 1/1000 of a Brahma day (Das 2004).

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Posted by shanti at November 8, 2004 8:24 AM

http://www.madhoo.com/archives/2004/11/more_about_adam.php

Mixed response to the fourth alignment
Saturday July 26 2008 01:55 IST

S Raja

RAMANATHAPURAM: The fourth alignment suggestion for the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (SSCP) evoked mixed response from leaders of fishermen as well as environmentalists here. They fear that it would affect the topography of Rameswaram, if implemented between 'Muhundarayarchattiram and Kothandaramar temple coast.'

Chief Justice Balakrishnan of the Supreme Court had suggested to senior counsel for the Centre Fali S Nariman to consider the fourth alignment of the project to avert the controversy over Adam s Bridge. However, scientists and environmentalists say that this alignment would damage the eco-system and coral reef beds in the Gulf of Mannar.

As per the draft map, the fourth alignment will be between 'Muhundarayarchattiram and Kothandaramar temple coast.' This will bifurcate Rameswaram island. Moreover, the 12 metre depth and 300 metre wide channel will lead to sea erosion in the coastal areas in Rameswaram island and the residents of coastal areas near Dhanuskodi and Kothandaramar temple will have to be on eternal alert.

Some people had suggested that the Pamban water passage might be considered for navigation. It will be cost effective with more options than other proposals. In that case a new alignment will be needed for the Pamban railway bridge for the project.

Environmentalists feel that migratory birds, including flamingoes, will not come to the lagoon located near Kothandaramar temple if fourth alignment is implemented. Marine scientists say that coral reef, sea grass beds and national marine park will be damaged in the region between Mandapam and Thoothukudi. Kuppuram, national secretary of the Rameswaram Rama Sethu Protection Movement, said from New Delhi that the fourth alignment would not benefit the fishermen. On the other hand, it would affect marine wealth between Kothandaramar temple and Muhundarayarchattiram, he added. N J Bose, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Fishermen s Federation, said that large quantities of fish, prawns and crabs were available at the point where dredging had been suspended temporarily near Adam s Bridge. Therefore, the fourth alignment would not affect fishermen, he added. Arulanantham, State coordinator of Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen (ARIF), said that fisherfolk would be adversely affected if sea erosion occurred in Rameswaram island. Another marine scientist told Express that the fourth alignment would be more destructive to the marine fauna than that of the sixth alignment. The course of marine current would change leading to sea erosion in various parts of Rameswaram island, he added.

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IET20080725153357&Page=T&Title=Southern+News+-+Tamil+Nadu&Topic=0


Any move to demolish Ramar Sethu will not be tolerated: Jayalalithaa

Special Correspondent (The Hindu, 26 July 2008)

CHENNAI: AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa on Friday said her party would not tolerate any move to demolish the Ramar Sethu.

“If any such move is sought to be implemented, we will fight it in the highest court of the land to uphold the true spirit of secularism,” she said in a statement.

Accusing the government of being insensitive when it came to Hindu sentiments, she said the Centre was taking the monumental tolerance of the Hindu community for granted.

“Would any government in the world think of levelling the Himalayas, claiming it is a natural phenomenon, and not a man-made structure, and build amusement parks and tourist resorts there? Demolishing Ramar Sethu and allowing ships to ply that way is tantamount to that,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said.

Questioning the reason behind the Centre’s decision “to cobble together arguments to justify the demolition of the Ramar Sethu at the cost of sentiments and faith,” she asked whether the government was trying to precipitate communal strife to divert public attention from more pressing problems like price rise and hike in prices of petroleum products.

“If the UPA, at the behest of the DMK, continues to ignore these problems and persists with its patently anti-people actions, the people will throw them out in the next elections,” she said.

http://www.hindu.com/2008/07/26/stories/2008072654690400.htm

AIADMK questions Centre`s stand in SC over Ram Sethu

Chennai, July 25: Opposing any move to demolish the Ram Sethu for implementation of the Sethusamudram project, AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa on Friday said nowhere was it stated in Ramayan that Lord Ram himself destroyed the bridge, as stated by the Centre in the Supreme Court.

"The Centre had said Ram used his magical bow to break the bridge into three parts. The UPA government now allows the Hindus in the country to have faith in every aspect of the Ram legend except the bridge as this has to be demolished to make way for the SSSP," she said.

"It is important to note that various experts on the Ramayana state emphatically that nowhere in Ramayan is it mentioned that Lord Ram destroyed the bridge," she said in a statement here reacting to the Centre's latest affidavit in the apex court on petitions challenging the project.

Claiming that any damage to the bridge would lead to a communal strife in the country, she said if any such move was sought to be implemented, the AIADMK would "fight it in the Supreme Court to uphold the true spirit of secularism."

She alleged that the Centre was trying to precipitate communal strife to divert public attention from more pressing problems like rise in the prices of essential commodities, petrol, diesel, LPG and milk and 'disintegration' of farm sector and other issues.

"What does the Central Government, egged on by the DMK leaders, who have their own economic agenda in dredging the Sethusamudram canal, stand to gain by antagonising virtually every denomination of society? After having backtracked once, why has the Centre once again cobbled together arguements to justify the demolition of the Ram Sethu at the cost of sentiments and faith?" she asked.

Jayalallithaa asked whether the Centre's averment in the court that Lord Ram himself had destroyed the bridge was due to "the pyrrhic" victory obtained in the recent vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha through "crass money power?".

She said the Centre which earlier denied the existence of Ram, now acknowledged the fact that he had built the bridge.

If UPA, at the behest of DMK, continued to ignore pressing issues and persisted with its "patently anti-people actions, people will throw them out in next elections," she said.

Demolishing Ram Sethu amounted to destroying a valuable piece of the cultural heritage of South India. "It is a pity that Dravidian parties like the DMK and Viduthalai Chirthaigal Katchi for narrow political gains, are becoming party to this desecration of their own heritage," she said.

She said according to Ramayan, the Ram Sethu was built by the Vanara Sena (monkey brigade) over a pre-existing oceanic ridge and the vanaras were people, who lived in the forests of south India. "In verity, they were the original south Indians.

Ram sethu was a marvel of ancient South Indian engineering skills," she said adding "True Dravidian parties have every reason to be proud of it."

Alleging that the Centre was adopting different yard sticks for different religions, Jayalalithaa said when it came to Hindu sentiments or faith, the UPA Government became "insensitive and does not hesitate to ride rought-shod over their feelings. What sort of secularism is this," she asked.

"I am an Indian. I am a secular Indian. I was born a Hindu and educated in a Christian institution. To me, secularism implies that all religions should be equally respected... It is not for the governments or politicians to tamper with matters of faith," she said adding "Perhaps, the government is taking the monumnetal tolerance of the Hindu community for granted."

Bureau Report

http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=457916&sid=NAT

Alter stand on Sethusamudram project or face stir: VHP to Govt

Hyderabad, July 25: Taking objection to the Centre's argument in Supreme Court that Lord Ram himself demolished the Ram Setu, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Friday threatened to launch a nationwide agitation if the government did not alter its stand on the issue.

Hyderabad, July 25: Taking objection to the Centre's argument in Supreme Court that Lord Ram himself demolished the Ram Setu, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Friday threatened to launch a nationwide agitation if the government did not alter its stand on the issue.

http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=457986&sid=NAT

Jayalalitha warns Mu.Ka.: Don’t test Hindu’s patience

Ms. jayalalitha, former CM and leader of the AIDMK party, which is also a drividian party) has issued a detailed statement that her party will fight the government’s move to destroy Ramsethu. It will thwart the efforts of the minority DMK government and its anti hindu moves. She quoted the accommodation shown by the previous governments for issues related to muslim and christian faiths, and how the government is trying the patience of 80% hindus because they are silent. She will not allow
Ramasethu to be broken.

It is good a major political party, that too, founded on dravidian ideology, is taking a firm stand on the Ramsethu issue. If the AIDMK party can organise a rally and a bhand, it will get the support of a large number of silent hindus who want a courageous political leader. She will garner a huge support at operational ground level, and strengthen the hands of Subramanyan swamy and Kalyanaraman.

http://janamejayan.wordpress.com/2008/07/25/jayalalitha-warns-muka-dont-test-hindus-patience/

Respect Faith!

Thu, 24 Jul, 2008, 01:22 PM (Editorial, Newstoday)

The government of India has again bungled in the Rama Sethu case. Government's counsel Fali Nariman while arguing the case has claimed that Bhagwan Rama himself, after defeating Ravana and rescuing Seetha, had destroyed the bridge constructed by the Vanara Sena, so that, no one could come from Lanka.While arguing so, he termed Rama as a 'Superman' when he said, 'it was not a manmade bridge, but a superman made bridge and the same superman had destroyed it'.

Though he has cited the famous Tamil epic 'Kamba Ramayana' as reference, he did not substantiate his argument by quoting the verse concerned. This gives rise to a sense of dubiousness. littérateurs and other experts suggest that in all the various versions of Ramayans there is no mention that Rama had destroyed the bridge Himself.

There may be other 'Ramayanas' written by the adversaries of Sanatana Dharma with an intention of maligning Hinduism and the great epic. It will not be a surprise, if the GOI quotes some portions from them too in future, like how the Tamilnadu Chief Minister blatantly lied a few months ago that Seetha was a sister of Rama as per Thulasi Das!

In this context, it can be said that the Union Government has just stopped short of quoting from the Dravidian rationalist cum racist Periyar's 'Keemayana'!

It can be recalled that the Central government filed an insensitive affidavit in September 2007 denying the very 'existence' of Rama, truth of Ramayana hurting the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus. While withdrawing the affidavit in the face of protests, it even went to the extent of saying that 'Bhagwan Rama is as real as the Himalayas and the Ganges'!

Now, the government's counsel has also argued that the AIADMK's election manifesto of 2001 has favoured the Sethusamudram project. But the counsel failed to note that it has not favoured the destruction of Rama Sethu. AIADMK's election manifesto and BJP's clearance of the Sethusamudram project have got nothing to do with the destruction of Rama Sethu. It is only the UPA and DMK governments, which are adamant on destroying the bridge. Taking note of the petitioners' assertion during the previous hearing that the Rama Sethu was a place of worship, the government had said that a destroyed place could not be worshipped!

The three-judge bench, which directed the government for an ASI study last May, has again asked the government to accommodate faith and environment concerns and balance them for a scientifically and politically viable solution. The government's refusal to conduct an archeological survey seems unreasonable. If it is wary of conducting a survey due to obvious political reasons, it is understandable. The Bench has also advised the government to keep the environmental and economic viability in mind while considering the faith aspects.

There are plenty of evidences based on history, literature, archeology, geology, and numismatics for the existence of Rama Sethu and many environmental, navigational and economic experts have opined that the project is unviable and hence deserves to be shelved. But, the government, which constituted a committee of 'eminent' persons without these experts for the project, is needlessly adamant, repeatedly hurting the sentiments of Hindu majority. The government, which waxes eloquent on matters of 'faith', is conspicuously silent on matters of environment, security and importantly economics.

The government could not substantiate the worthiness of the project even on one aspect so far, but has spent crores of public money simply on dredging, which is going to be a perennial affair filling the coffers of dredging companies and those who contract them, while emptying the state's coffers. While the Dravidian racist government in the state is bent upon thrusting a wasteful project in the name of development and demolishing the Rama Sethu in the process, the centre is abetting the state in doing so just for the sake of survival and power.

Both the governments treat the majority community as secondary citizens and there is substance in the Hindus questioning whether both the governments would conduct in the same way in matters involving the faith of minorities! If the September affidavit was arrogant, yesterday's argument was stupid and stupidity results from arrogance

http://newstodaynet.com/newsindex.php?id=9429%20&%20section=13

Cong-DMK say not divided over Sethu (Daily news, Srilanka, July 26, 2008)

Rejecting media reports that the Congress and DMK were divided over the implementation of the Rs 2,400 crore Sethusamudram Project, the state unit of Congress today said all the allies were firm on implementing it.

“Such reports are speculative. All the allies of the UPA are united in this matter and want the implementation of the dream project of Tamils,” TNCC president K V Thangkabalu told reporters.

Media reports had earlier suggested that Union Shipping Minister T R Baalu had been at loggerheads with Union Culture Minister Ambika Soni over the feasibility of the project.

“There is a very clear understanding of the project among the allies of the UPA and all of them have been supporting it. The government will abide by whatever verdict the Supreme Court pronounces,” he said referring to the case against the dredging of the Ram Sethu as part of the project.

Meanwhile, opposing any move to demolish the Ram Sethu for implementation of the Sethusamudram project, AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa on Friday said nowhere was it stated in Ramayan that Lord Ram himself destroyed the bridge, as stated by the Centre in the Supreme Court.

“The Centre had said Ram used his magical bow to break the bridge into three parts. The UPA government now allows the Hindus in the country to have faith in every aspect of the Ram legend except the bridge as this has to be demolished to make way for the SSSP,” she said.

“It is important to note that various experts on the Ramayana state emphatically that nowhere in Ramayan is it mentioned that Lord Ram destroyed the bridge,” she said in a statement here reacting to the Centre’s latest affidavit in the apex court on petitions challenging the project.

Claiming that any damage to the bridge would lead to a communal strife in the country, she said if any such move was sought to be implemented, the AIADMK would “fight it in the Supreme Court to uphold the true spirit of secularism.” Zee News

http://www.dailynews.lk/2008/07/26/news22.asp

Raamah shastrabhritaam aham (I am Rama among warriors)

Dear Dr. Swamy and bandhu,

What a privilege it has been to have you guiding the mighty movement to save our heritage. Our nation becomes the punyabhumi because of patriotic aatman like you. Tears of joy roll down my eyes as I recall the valiant fights won so far thanks to the sheer power of the samajam which expressed itself unambiguously that Hindusthanam is Shri Rama's country.

You and all the counsels who have been working with such diligence, commitment and patriotic fervor to defend the rule of law on behalf of the petitioners, have to succeed, we have to succeed and we will. I am sure the justice system will also not let us down despite their wrongly perceived jurisdictional limitations. If the justice system cannot protect a national cause, who else will in a regime of utter lawlessness? All citizens of Hindusthanam are beholden to all of you for the sage counsel and guidance you have brought to bear upon this historic case.

I want to know the specific reference cited by Fali Narimaan from Padma Purana. I have shown that his quote from Kamba Ramayana is simply not correct. I will be able to offer my comments on Padma Purana reference relied upon by Fali Narmaan. As of now, it appears that there is no mention whatsoever in this Purana text. I don't know what verse he is specifically referring. Though the Court said that they are not taking evidence on Setu, it is important to point out the minefield of ancient texts and dangers of misinterpretations of words out of context of space and time. Many words had different meanings at different points in time. The tradition is the guide. You have shown that the tradition is so intense that the Setu is a monument, a heritage monument, a place of worship beyond any reasonable doubt.

The Court cannot wish away the enormously weighty arguments on over 160 topics presented including your brilliant advocacy on the fraudulent economics, illegalities and national security implications. Environmental concerns are so enormous that a flippant decision should not be taken without detaled evaluation by experts from National Inst. of Oceanography of Goa and Geological Survey of India, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (Atomic Minerals Divsion) and Navy Coast Guard, national defence experts. The entire gamut of project alternatives should be subjected to study afresh.

It is shocking that Fali Narimaan advised GOI not to undertake ASI study assuming that issues of faith will in any case be part of any such study. It is shocking that there is an attempt to shy away from facts and ground realities, denigrating the very essence of safeguarding the professional integrity of experts working in many fields including archaeology. ASI cannot do this task by itself, it will be necessary that a multidisciplinary advocate commission is put in place to arrive at the issues related to monument declaration under 1958 Act and World Heritage monument under international covenants (e.g., Underwater Cultural Heritage Convention of UNESCO of which India is a party) apart from UN Law of the Sea 1958 on historic waters.

For the sake of this punyabhumi, for re-establishing the memory of vigrahavaan dharmah, Shri Rama, we shall prevail. Again, again, my namaskarams to you. S'ubha kaamanaayen. This is a moment of truth and satyam is so effulgent that the darkness enveloping the nation temporarily will get removed. We owe it to ourselves to fight, to fight to win. With the warrior Shri Rama's blessings, everything is possible. Gitacharya refers to Shri Rama in the Bhagavad Gita as a warrior. That word is enough. Rama is our ideal, you are warriors, like Shri Rama.

raamah shastrabhritaam aham
{Amongst Warriors, I Am Lord Ram!}
Srimad Bhagvad Gita 10.31

Full selected texts related to the manifestations of paramaatman including the manifestation as Rama:

yo mam ajam anadim ca
vetti loka-maheshvaram
asammudhah sa martyesu
sarva-papaih pramucyate 10.3

"He who knows Me as the unborn, as the beginningless, as the Supreme Lord of all the worlds—he only, undeluded among men, is freed from all sins."

buddhir jnanam asammohah
ksama satyam damah samah
sukham duhkham bhavo ’bhavo
bhayam cabhayam eva ca

ahimsa samata tustis
tapo danam yaso ’yasah
bhavanti bhava bhutanam
matta eva prithag-vidhah (10.4 and 5)

"Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, control of the senses, control of the mind, happiness and distress, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy—all these various qualities of living beings are created by Me alone."

pavanah pavatam asmi
ramah shastra-bhrtam aham
jhasanam makaras casmi
srotasam asmi jahnavi 10.31

Translation

Of purifiers I am the wind, of the wielders of weapons I am Rama, of fishes I am the shark, and of flowing rivers I am the Ganga.

dhanyosmi. namaskaram. kalyanaraman


Clearly, Fali Narimaan is engaging in grand-standing when he exclaims that Rama destroyed the Setu. Is he trying to justify this spurious reference from an interpolation in Kamba Ramayana to justify the destruction of Setu to facilitate a project disaster of a mid-ocean channel passage for the benefit of a few shipping companies plying between Tuticorin to Chennai or to benefit LTTE?

We expect a greater level of integrity and concern for truth from senior counsels.

"Do not misguide courts to obtain favourable orders"

MADURAI: The Chief Justice of Madras High Court A.K. Ganguly on Thursday urged lawyers not to misguide the courts or present incorrect facts in an attempt to obtain favourable orders.

"You (lawyers) are an officer of the court. You carry a brief of truth and honesty. While presenting your client's case, don't try to compromise with the virtues. You owe an obligation to the other side too and you have to be fair," he said.

The Chief Justice was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a few library sections and a conference hall named after philanthropists who donated for the cause at the Women Advocates' Association in the Madurai Bench...

Date:25/07/2008 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2008/07/25/stories/2008072550330200.htm

The sage words of CJ of Madras HC should resonate with Fali Narimaan and the advocates pleading for Union of India.

It is time to make Hon'ble TR Baalu a respondent. He has to answer a number of questions, before the SC can render justice to the petitioners.

namaskaram. kalyanaraman

கம்பராமாயணத்தில் சேது:
சென்னை கம்பன் கழகம் வெளியிட்ட கம்பராமாயணம் (முதல் பதிப்பு 1976)

யுத்த காண்டத்தில் 37வது படலம்
மீட்சிப் படலம்

இதில் பாடல் எண் 166 முதல் 180 வரையில் 'சேதுவைக் காட்டி அதன் தூய்மையைப் புகழ்தல்" என்ற தலைப்பில் சேதுவின் மகிமைகள் ராமனால் பேசப்படுகின்றன.

ஆனால் முதல் ஆறு பாடல்களே சேது (166-171) பற்றிய புகழைப் பேசுகின்றன. (பக்கம் 1565)

அதாவது புஷ்பக விமானத்தில் ஏறி, இலங்கையிலிருந்து ராமன் அயோத்திக்கு திரும்பச் செல்லும்போது, நிலத்தில் இலங்கை அழகையும், போர் நடந்த இடங்களையும், யார் யாரை வதம் செய்த இடம் என்றெல்லாம் காட்டிக் கொண்டு வரும்போது, சேது அமைக்கப்பட்ட இடத்தையும் சேதுவையும் காட்டி, இது இல்லை என்றால் இம்மாபெரும் வெற்றி கிடைத்திருக்காது, இது நளன் அமைத்த பாலம் என்று கூறுகிறார் ராமன்.

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இவை கம்பன் பாடல்கள் ( 164-165 ) இந்தப் பாடல்கள், சேதுவைக் காட்டி அதன் தூய்மையைப் புகழ்தல் என்ற பகுதிக்கு முன்னால் வரும். இந்தப் பாடல்களில் இலங்கைக் காட்சிகளை ராமன் சீதைக்குச் சொல்கிறார். பிறகு வருபவை சேதுக் காட்சிகள்....
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'இலங்கையை வலஞ் செய்து ஏக' என நினைந்திடுமுன், மானம்
வலம் கிளர் கீழை வாயில் வர, 'பிரகத்தன், நீலன்
நலம் கிளர் கையின் மாண்டது இவண்' என, நமன் தன் வாயில்
கலந்திட, 'ஈங்குக் கண்டாய், சுபாரிசற் சுட்டது' என்றான். 20-10

குட திசை வாயில் ஏக, 'குன்று அரிந்தவனை வென்ற
விட நிகர் மேகநாதன் இளவலால் வீழ்ந்தது' என் முன்,
வட திசை வாயில் மேவ, 'இராவணன் மவுலி பத்தும்,
உடலமும் இழந்தது இங்கு' என்று உணர்த்தி, வேறு உரைக்கலுற்றான்: 20-11

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இதைத் தொடர்ந்து வரும் ஆறு பாடல்கள் சேது மகிமையைப் போற்றுகின்றன.
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'நன்னுதல்! நின்னை நீங்கி, நாள் பல கழிந்த பின்றை,
மன்னவன் இரவி மைந்தன், வான் துணையாக நட்ட
பின்னை, மாருதி வந்து, உன்னைப் பேதறுத்து, உனது பெற்றி
சொன்னபின், வானரேசர் தொகுத்தது, இச் சேது கண்டாய். 166

'மற்று இதன் தூய்மை எண்ணின், மலர் அயன் தனக்கும் எட்டா;
பொன் தொடித் தெரிவை! யான் என் புகழுகேன்! கேட்டி, அன்பால்
பெற்ற தாய் தந்தையோடு தேசிகற் பிழைத்து, சூழ்ந்த
சுற்றமும் கெடுத்துளோரும் எதிர்ந்திடின் சுரர்கள் ஆவார். 167
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இதற்குப் பிறகு இடைச் செருகல் பாடல்கள்.
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கம்ப ராமாயணத்தில் பல்வேறு காலகட்டங்களில் அதனைப் படித்த புலவர்கள் தங்கள் மேதைமையை கம்பனில் சேர்த்து, தங்கள் பாடல்களையும் கம்பராமாயணப் பாடல்கள் என்று நுழைத்து விட்டார்கள். அப்படி, கம்பராமாயணத்தில் இடைச்செருகல்கள் நிறைய உண்டு என்று வருத்தப்பட்டார் ரசிகமணி டி.கே.சி. அவர் கம்பனில் கரை கண்டவர். கம்பராமாயணத்தில் உள்ள இடைச்செருகல்களை சரியாக அறிந்து, அவற்றை நீக்கி, அந்தப் பாடல்களை எல்லாம் தனியாக ஒரு பக்கத்தில் தொகுத்து பிற்சேர்க்கை என்று அறிவித்தார். அவர் தள்ளிய பாடல்களில் கம்பனின் கவிப் புலமையும் இல்லை; சொற்களில் பிற்காலத்திய கட்டுமானம் இருக்கும்; நவீன தமிழ்ச் சொற்கள் கையாளப்பட்டிருக்கும். பேச்சு நடை அமைந்திருக்கும்.

அப்படி அவர் முதலாக, அமரர் அ.ச.ஞானசம்பந்தன் போன்ற தமிழ் சான்றோர்கள் பலரும் நீக்கிய இடைச் செருகல் பாடல் ஒன்றில்தான், சேதுவின் முகப்பை ராமன் அம்பு கொண்டு கீறியதாக ஒரு வரி வருகிறது. அது கம்பன் பாடல் இல்லை என்று அறிஞர்கள் சொல்லியிருக்கிறார்கள்.

அந்தப் பாடல்...


கப்பை எனும் கன்னியையும், கந்தனார் தாதையையும்
அப்பொழுதே திருவணைக்குக் காவலராய் அங்கு இருத்தி,
செப்ப அரிய சிலையாலே திருவணையை வாய் கீறி,
ஒப்பு அரியாள் தன்னுடனே உயர் சேனைக் கடலுடனே.. (170-23)
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- மேற்சொன்ன இந்தப் பாடலில் இரண்டு பேரை காவலுக்கு வைத்துவிட்டு, அதன் முனையை அதாவது (செப்ப அரிய சிலையாலே திருவணையை வாய் கீறி,) சிலை - அம்பு; வாய் - முனை என்றால், இருவரைக் காவலுக்கு வைத்துவிட்டு, அதன் முனையை மட்டும் அகழி போல் சிதைத்ததாகச் சொல்லியிருக்கிறாரே தவிர, அந்த அணையை முழுவதுமாக சிதைத்ததாகச் சொல்லவில்லை. இந்தப் பாடலும் இடைச்செருகல் பாடல் என தள்ளப்பட்டுள்ளது.


காரணம், ஒரிஜினல் கம்பன் பாடலிலோ, வால்மீகியிலோ, அணையின் அழகைக் காட்டி அதைப் பார்த்து சீதை பிரமிப்பது போல் வருகிறது. மேலும் இந்தப் பாலத்தை வந்து தரிசிப்பவர்களுக்கு சகல பாவங்களும் விலகும் என்று சொல்லப்பட்டிருக்கிறது.

பின்னாளில் இந்தப் பாலத்தினைப் பற்றிய ஆன்மிக நம்பிக்கை அதிகரித்ததால், பின்னாளில் கம்பனில் இடைச்செருகலாகப் பாடல்களைச் சேர்த்தவர்கள், உலகத்தில் என்னென்ன பாவங்கள் உண்டு என்று சொல்லி, அது இந்த சேது தரிசனத்தால் நீங்கும் என்று எழுதிவைத்திருக்கிறார்கள் என்பதால், சேது, சில நூற்றாண்டுகள் வரை அப்படியே தரிசனத்துக்கு இருந்திருக்கிறது என்பது தெரியவருகிறது.
அதனால்தான் அவர்களும் இப்படி எழுதி வைத்தார்கள். அந்தப் பாடல்கள் சில உங்களுக்கு உதாரணத்துக்காக, \
இந்தப் பாடல்களில் நவீன தமிழ் வருவதை கவனிக்கலாம். மேலும் பாவங்கள் என்ன என்ற லிஸ்ட் வருவதையும் கவனியுங்கள்.....
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கீழ்வரும் பாடல்கள் இடைச்செருகல் ( 162-6 முதல் 162-8 வரை)
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'கருங் கடல் நிகர்ப்ப ஆன அகழி ஓர் மூன்றும் காணாய்;
மருங்கு அடர் களபக் கொங்கை மதி நுதல் மிதிலை வல்லி!
இருங் கட முகத்த யானை இவுளி, தேர், காலாள், துஞ்சி,
பொரும் சுடர் நிறத்தர் வீய்ந்த போர்க்களம் தன்னைப் பாராய்.

'கொடி மதில் இலங்கை வேந்தன் கோபுரத்து உம்பர்த் தோன்ற,
அடு திறல் பரிதி மைந்தன் அவன் நிலை குலையத் தாக்கி,
சுடர் முடி பறித்த அந் நாள், அன்னவன் தொல்லை வெம் போர்ப்
படியினை நோக்கி நின்ற சுவேல மால் வரையைப் பாராய்.

'பூக் கமழ் குழலினாய்! நின் பொருட்டு யான் புகலா நின்றேன்;
மேக்கு உயர் தச்சன் மைந்தன் நளன் இவன் விலங்கலால் அன்று
ஆக்கிய இதனை, வெய்ய பாதகம் அனைத்தும், வந்து
நோக்கிய பொழுதே, நூறும் சேதுவை, நீயும் நோக்காய்.

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169-1 மற்றும் 169-2 இப்படி பல பாடல்கள் இடைச்செருகலாக உண்டு. இவை உதாரணத்துக்கு
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ஆவினை, குரவரோடும் அருமறை முனிவர்தம்மை,
பாவையர் குழுவை, இன் சொல் பாலரை, பயந்து தம் இல்
மேவின அவரை, செற்றோர், விரி கடல் சேது வந்து
தோய்வரேல், அவர்கள் கண்டாய், சுரர் தொழும் சுரர்கள் ஆவார்.

மரக்கலம் இயங்கவேண்டி, வரி சிலைக் குதையால் கீறித்
தருக்கிய இடத்து, பஞ்ச பாதகரேனும் சாரின்,
பெருக்கிய ஏழு மூன்று பிறவியும் பிணிகள் நீங்கி,
நெருக்கிய அமரர்க்கு எல்லாம் நீள் நிதி ஆவர் அன்றே.
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170-1 முதல் 170-12 வரை... இப்படி பல பாடல்கள் இடைச்செருகலாக உண்டு. இவை உதாரணத்துக்கு
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ஆங்கு அது காட்டக் கண்ட ஆயிழை, 'கமலம் அன்ன
பூங் கழற் புயல்போல் மேனிப் புனித! என் பொருட்டால் செய்த
ஈங்கிதற்கு ஏற்றம் நீயே இயம்பு' என, இரதம் ஆங்கே
பாங்குற நிறுவி நின்று, இங்கு இவை இவை பகரலுற்றான்:

'அந்தணர்தம்மைக் கொன்றோர், அருந் தவர்க்கு இடுக்கண் செய்தோர்,
செந் தழல் வேள்வி செற்றோர், தீ மனை இடுவோர், தம்பால்
வந்து இரந்தவர்க்கு ஒன்று ஈயா வைக்கும் வன் நெஞ்சர், பெற்ற
தந்தையைத் தாயைப் பேணாத் தறுகணர், பசுவைச் செற்றோர்,

'குருக்களை இகழ்வோர், கொண்ட குலமகள் ஒழியத் தங்கள்
செருக்கினால் கணிகைமாரைச் சேர்பவர், உயிர் கொல் தீம்பர்,
இருக்குடன் அமரும் தெய்வம் இகழ்பவர், ஊன்கள் தின்று
பெருக்கிய உடலர், பொய்ம்மை பிதற்றுவோர், பீடை செய்வோர்.

'வெய்யவன் உச்சி சேர மிக வழி நடந்து போவோர்,
மை அறும் முன்னோன் தன்னை வலிசெயும் தம்பிமார்கள்,
கை உள முதல்கள் தம்மைக் கரந்து தம்பிக்கு ஒன்று ஈயார்,
துய் அன சொற்கள் சொல்வோர், சோம்பரைச் சுளித்துக் கொல்வோர்,

'ஊரது முனிய வாழ்வோர், உண்ணும்போது உண்ண வந்தோர்க்கு
ஆர்வமோடு அளியாது இல்லம் அடைப்பவர், அமணே சென்று
நீரினுள் இழிவோர், பாவ நெறிகளில் முயல்வோர், சான்றோர்
தாரமது அணைவோர், மூத்தோர் தமை இகழ் அறிவிலாதோர்.

'கண்டிலாது "ஒன்று கண்டோம்" என்று கைக்கூலி கொள்வோர்,
மண்டலாதிபர் முன் சென்று வாழ் குடிக்கு அழிவு செய்வோர்,
மிண்டுகள் சபையில் சொல்வோர், மென்மையால் ஒருவன் சோற்றை
உண்டிருந்து, அவர்கள் தம்பால் இகழ்ச்சியை உரைக்கும் தீயோர்,

'பின்னை வா, தருவென்' என்று பேசித் தட்டுவிக்கும் பேதை,
கன்னியைக் கலக்கும் புல்லோர், காதலால் கள்ளுண் மாந்தர்,
துன்னிய கலை வல்லோரைக் களிந்து உரைத்து இகழ்வோர், சுற்றம்
இன்னலுற்றிடத் தாம் வாழ்வோர், எளியரை இன்னல் செய்வோர்.

'ஆண்டவன் படவும் தங்கள் ஆர் உயிர் கொண்டு மீண்டோர்,
நாண் துறந்து உழல்வோர், நட்பானவரை வஞ்சிப்போர், நன்மை
வேண்டிடாது, இகழ்ந்து, தீமை செய்பவர், விருந்தை நீப்போர்,
பூண்டு மேல் வந்த பேதை அடைக்கலம் போக்கி வாழ்வோர்.

'கயிற்றிலாக் கண்டத்தாரைக் காதலித்து அணைவோர், தங்கள்
வயிற்றிடக் கருவைத் தாமே வதைப்பவர், மாற்றார்தம்மைச்
செயிர்க்குவது அன்றிச் சேர்ந்த மாந்தரின் உயிரைச் செற்றோர்,
மயிர்க் குருள் ஒழியப் பெற்றம் வெளவு வோர், வாய்மை இல்லோர்,

'கொண்டவன் தன்னைப் பேணாக் குலமகள், கோயிலுள்ளே
பெண்டிரைச் சேர்வோர், தங்கள் பிதிர்க்களை இகழும் பேதை,
உண்டலே தருமம் என்போர், உடைப்பொருள் உலோபர், ஊரைத்
தண்டமே இடுவோர், மன்று பறித்து உண்ணும் தறுகண்ணாளர்,

'தேவதானங்கள் மாற்றி, தேவர்கள் தனங்கள் வௌவும்
பாவ காரியர்கள், நெஞ்சில் பரிவிலாதவர்கள், வந்து
'கா' எனா, 'அபயம்' என்று, கழல் அடைந்தோரை விட்டோர்,
பூவைமார் தம்மைக் கொல்லும் புல்லர், பொய்ச் சான்று போவோர்.

'முறையது மயக்கி வாழ்வோர், மூங்கை அந்தகர்க்குத் தீயோர்,
மறையவர் நிலங்கள் தன்னை வன்மையால் வாங்கும் மாந்தர்,
கறை படு மகளிர் கொங்கை கலப்பவர், காட்டில் வாழும்
பறவைகள், மிருகம், பற்றிப் பஞ்சரத்து அடைக்கும் பாவர்.
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இப்படி மேலே கண்ட பாடல்கள் பலவும் நவீன கால சொற்களைத் தாங்கி, கதையின் போக்கில் பாடலாசிரியரின் கருத்தை உட்புகுத்தி இருக்கின்றன. இவற்றை எப்படி சரியான கம்பன் பாடல்கள் என்று சொல்லி, கம்பராமாயணத்தில் பாடப்பட்டதாக ஏற்க முடியும்?
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வால்மீகி ரெபரன்ஸ்

யுத்த காண்டம், ஸர்க்கம் 126 - ராமன் சீதைக்கு வழியிலுள்ள தலங்களைக் காட்டியது... என்ற தலைப்பில்

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இதில் எங்குமே ராமன் சேதுவை சேதப்படுத்தியதாக தகவல் இல்லை. நாம்தான் ராமசேது என்கிறோமே தவிர, ராமன் சீதைக்குச் சொல்லும் இடங்களில் எல்லாம், இது நளன் கட்டிய பாலம் என்று சீதைக்கு தெரிவித்து, தன்னுடைய இஞ்சினியர் பேரையே பயன்படுத்தியிருக்கிறார். இவ்வளவு கஷ்டப்பட்டு இந்தப் பாலத்தைக் கட்டியது உன் கண்களின் அழகுக்காக என்று சொல்கிறார்....

Sengottai Sriram (July 24, 2008)

Setu in Kamba Ramayana (First edition, 1976, published by Kamban Kazhagam, Chennai).

Yuddha kaandam 37 padalam, meetci padalam (rescue section)

Rama mentions about the mahima of Setu and praise of the monument in verses 166 to 180.

Verses 166 to 171 refer to the monument.

Returning from Srilanka in Pushpaka Vimaana, Rama shows the beautiful Setu, the beauty of the land of Srilanka, battlefields, places where the asuras were killed. Showing the place where Setu was built, he praises Nala's bridge and claims that the victory was made possible only because of the bridge. (Verses 164 to 165 precede the description of Setu and refer to events in Srilanka. The next 6 verses sing of the mahimaa of Setu).

After Verse 167 there are some interpolations. Scholars have noted that some interpolations have been made in the original, critical edition of Kamba Ramayana. There is consisten opinion that there are many such interpolations, according to Rasikamani TKC. This conclusion was reached based on the tenor and language of the verses using later-day Tamil (far removed from the Tamil of the days of Kamban).

The interpolated verse for example iss 170-23.

kappai enum kanniyaiyum, kandanaar taataiyaiyum
appozhude tiruvanaikku kaavalaraay angu irutti
ceppa ariya cilaiyaale tiruvanaiyai vaay keeri
oppu ariyaal tannudane uyar cenai kkadaludane

Appointing a lady-warrior called Kappai and a warrior named Kandanaar to guard the Setu, using an arrow (cilai) marking a line (vaay keeri -- line on the end of the Setu). This verse does NOT indicate that Rama destroyed the Setu. (Note: The word keeri has many meanings. In this context of engaging guards to guard the Setu, the line is drawn only as a demarcation of their zone of responsibility).

In the original verses of Kamban, and in Valimki Ramayana, Setu's beauty is described which makes Sita devi wonderstruck. The verses also extol the fact that pilgrms who see the Setu become blessed. It is clear that even during the periods when the interpolations were made, Setu continued to be a place of pilgrimage and worship. (Sriram continues to cite verses which are interpolations pointing to the use of later-day Tamil words and poetry-styles not in tune with the original version of Kamban, citing verses from 162-6 to 162-8, 169-1 to 169-2, 170-1 to 170-12.)

Sriram goes on to refer to Valmiki's yuddha kaanda 126 which describes Rama showing to Sita the places of pilgrimage en route. In all these verses, nowhere is a mention of any damage to Setu. Rama always refers to the name of the architect, Nala while extolling the engineering marvel. He adds that his showing the Setu to Sita was to enhance the beauty of her eyes.

Sengottai Sriram (July 24, 2008).

A note on the word KeeRi in Tamil:

[T. gīyu, K. gīru.] To draw lines; வரிகீறுதல். 2. To scribble, make marks, write, engrave; எழுது தல். (பிங்.) 3. To score out; கிறுக்கியடித்தல். 4. [T. gīṟu, K. kīṟu.] To slit, tear, rend; கிழித் தல். (திவா.) 5. To scratch, as a cat, a fowl to work over, as one's toes; பறண்டுதல். 6. To cut, gash, lance, dissect; ஆயுதத்தால் அறுத் தல். புண்கீறிய
(Tamil lexicon, page 952) http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/contextualize.pl?p.3.tamillex.666497

It is a later-day interpretation by scholiasts that keeRi means 'breach' or 'cut' recognizing the reality of breaches which occurred during a cyclone in 1480 which resulted in three breaches on Setu. But, Royal Asiatic Researches emphasise that even as late as in 1799, the Setu was used as a causeway for people to walk across from Dhanushkodi to Talaimannar on the Setu.

Not in Ram's name

The Pioneer Edit Desk

Congress back to Hindu-bashing

Soon after winning the trust vote the UPA Government seems to be in a hurry to reward those who voted in its favour. Nothing else can explain the remarkable absurdity of the latest stand of the Government in the case of the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, at present before the Supreme Court, other than an attempt to please ally DMK. This time the Government's counsel has taken the plea that the Government was not destroying the bridge as there was no bridge. The argument is that there was no man-made structure but a superman-made structure that was broken by Sri Rama himself. The convulsions the Government's arguments have taken in this case and the corner it has painted itself into would be exceedingly funny were it not that the faith of millions, as well as the highest court in the land, was involved. In its keenness to pander to crass commercial interests the Government seems quite willing to take everybody for a ride. Several months ago the Government had shocked the country by denying the very existence of Lord Ram in its petition before the Supreme Court. Now it has come up with another loose interpretation of Indian scriptures, derived from a lesser known work, to justify the demolition of the Ram Setu. It seems to escape the Government that the historicity or otherwise of the events that have the Ram Setu as their centre has little to do with the issue. The Ram Setu is associated in the minds of millions of people in the country with Lord Ram. They believe the site to be sacred and their feelings would be hurt were it to be damaged.

It is not that people who have been vocal about this issue have been inflexible. An alternative alignment of Sethusamudram Shipping Canal will preserve the Ram Setu while allowing the project to go through. This is in spite of the fact that many experts have deep reservations about the project. Over many months it has emerged that the project may not be commercially viable in the long run as larger modern ships will in any case have to continue to stick to the longer old routes. Serious doubts have been expressed over the ecological impact of the canal that will stress not just life in the sea but also human populations in coastal regions by altering climate patterns and opening the way for tropical storms and tsunamis. The issue requires more debate before the project is cleared. Yet the Government is bent upon railroading it, ramming it down the throats of an unwilling population just to please vested interests. It continues to completely ignore the sensitivities involved. Now that it has won the confidence vote, it feels it can go ahead. Yet there will be a price to pay. The Government's unholy agenda will be undone, as indeed, shall this Government.
http://dailypioneer.com/indexn12.asp?main_variable=EDITS&file_name=edit2%2Etxt&counter_img=2

Centre waters down stand on Setu

Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

A day after it quoted scriptures to deny the existence of Ram Setu, the Centre on Thursday went on the back foot and suggested that work was on to consider the feasibility of having alternative routes for the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project.

Speaking for its ally, the DMK, which has gone the whole hog for the implementation of the project, senior advocate and Centre's special counsel Fali S Nariman assured the Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan that while the current project plan was to cut through the Adams Bridge (Ram Setu), he had personally taken up the matter at a higher level to ensure that work on alternative routes was not abandoned.

Nariman told the Bench, also comprising Justices RV Raveendran and JM Panchal, "As a special counsel, I have taken up the matter at the highest level. It is being scientifically examined." The arguments of the Centre, which continued on Thursday, would resume next Tuesday. Nariman assured to come back with a response.

By stating so, the Centre has sidestepped the controversy it kicked off by stating there was no Ram Setu. In his arguments on Wednesday, Nariman had stirred a hornet's nest by quoting scriptures, Kambh Ramayana and Padma Puran, which record how Ram Setu was broken by Lord Ram himself. The basis of objection in the Supreme Court by several petitioners (individuals and NGOs) stemmed from the possible destruction of Ram Setu as it fell in the way of the projected alignment. With the existence of Setu itself under cloud as per the scriptures, Nariman wondered how anything which does not exist could be revered.

Despite the mellowed stand of the Centre, Nariman continued to insist on Friday the validity of the current route passing through Ram Setu. The project serving as a corridor for ships to pass between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, the Bench wanted to know from the Centre whether a balance could be achieved between faith and marine biosphere in considering the alignment of the project. Nariman pointed out that the current alignment, under challenge before the court, had received environmental impact assessment clearance.

Quoting the expert committee's report, which studied the feasibility of the alignment passing through Ram Setu, Nariman emphasised that at the public meetings held with about 892 persons spread across six districts in Tamil Nadu, there was no objection. Even the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board did not raise any objection on the environmental front. "If the project is not in conflict with an existing law, this is all the court is required to examine," he said.

Even the Bench agreed that the grievances aired in the public meetings came largely from fishermen who saw the project as a threat to their livelihood.

http://dailypioneer.com/indexn12.asp?main_variable=front%5Fpage&file_name=story3%2Etxt&counter_img=3

Sethu project threatens Mannar bioreserve (Pioneer, July 23, 2008)

Swati Das | Chennai


For 148 years, the plan to build a channel cutting across the barrier reef called Adam's Bridge, now politicised with Tamil or religious sentiments, have been stalled for three reasons: Engineering, economic and environmental.

The dream has always been to reduce the distance and time, connecting the east coast to the west without having to go around the island country of Sri Lanka. Top priorities since the British rule were safety of the canal and the ships, ecology, engineering and people's convenience. The prime objective was to connect the Palk Bay in the north of the barrier reef to Gulf of Mannar (GoM) in the south.

Politics today has thrown practical and logical issues to the winds, resorting to evoking ethnic and religious sentiments that threaten to destroy the unique feature of two distinct water bodies that lie side by side, thanks to Adam's Bridge or Ram Sethu, as believed by some. Result: Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (SSCP).

"Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Dredging of the channel will definitely affect the ecosystem of the National Marine Park. The silting will eventually form a layer over the coral reef and destroy the shoaling, physio-chemical conditions and biological parameters. The flora and fauna in the seabed would decrease and affect the life supporting system of the region. The ebb and flow of the waves will bring the sands to the clear water from the frequent dredging. Would the dredging be economical? We have to first think of the legal aspects, then livelihood and finally scientific," said P Nammalwar Rajan, former principal scientist, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute and former Principal Investigator, Agriculture Authority, Government of India. He is now the project leader in the Department of Ocean Management, Institute for Ocean Management.

The Palk Bay in the north of Adam's Bridge is one of India's five permanent sediment sinks like the Sundarbans where the rivers drain into. There is a constant flow of silt into the Palk Bay and the Palk Straits. It has a shallow seabed and has its own natural reserve. The shallow nature of this area actually makes dredging difficult and expensive, as silting is continuous. The bay extends from north of Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram Island to Kodiakarai (Point Calimere) in Nagapattinam district.

The deep clear waters of GoM, south of Dhanushkodi to Kanyakumari, houses the rich coral reefs, where lies India's National Marine Park along the coast. This forms India's largest biosphere reserve called the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve stretching to 10,500 sqkm - a notified area. Of this, the National Park comprises 550 sq km. The coral reefs can survive only in clear water and some unique sea creatures here help in keeping the water clean. Endangering these sea animals is prohibited under the Wildlife Protection Act, Amendment, 2002, that came into force under the then Union Environment and Forests Minister and now Union Shipping Minister TR Baalu, who is now bent on affecting the biosphere. These creatures include sea fans, sea cucumbers, sponges, some species of sharks, shells and turtles, sea cow, reef building corals etc that come under the Schedule I of the Act - the same that protect tigers.

"The Adam's Bridge is a natural barrier reef. It helps maintain distinct nature of the two water bodies. If this barrier is cut, the constant silting of the Palk Bay would flow into the Gulf of Mannar, making the clear water murky and endanger coral reefs. Though the Tamil Nadu Government is claiming that the current alignment is 20 km away from the National Park, sampling of the canal area shows the presence of coral reefs, sea cucumbers, sea fans and sponges. The SSCP records admit that these will be endangered. But that would attract punishment under the Wildlife Act. There is so much noise about killing tigers. Why not protect these endangered creatures too? Is it because these are not as charismatic as tigers?" asks Sudarshan Rodriguez, Senior Research Associate, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), which has been doing research in the area. In fact, ATREE has done a study on the adverse effect of dredging in the Palk Bay area.

However, there are also those who feel that the alignment currently chosen, being 20 km away from the National Park, would cause only minimal damage to the marine park. "Current alignment would cause minimal damage. Damage is imminent when you want development. It would connect east to west and save time and distance," said DB James, retired principal scientist of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Tuticorin.

Fifteen alignments were suggested in the last 148 years to run a channel. Initially, viability of the alignment was the key reason for shelving the proposals. Then huge costs involved became the major roadblock. Post-Independence, preservation of marine reserve was the key consideration.

There were nine proposals between 1860 and 1922 and six proposals between 1956 and now, listed by the Sethusamudram Corporation Limited. The alignments under consideration in the recent past are the last three. The current alignment is just three km inside the India-Sri Lanka Medial Line and 20 km away from Shingle Island - the closest point of the National Marine Park from the proposed canal. It cuts through two shallows - Adam's Bridge (3m depth) that separates Palk Bay and GoM and Palk Strait (6-8m). It uses the natural depth in GoM south of Adam's Bridge and other areas of Palk Bay. Those opposing the "damage" to Adam's Bridge or "Ram Sethu" want the implementation of the fourth alignment that would cut through Dhanushkodi and exit close to Shingle Island.

But the moot point is if the canal is really worth sacrificing the bio-reserve? The 300-metre wide channel cannot allow the big ships of today to pass through and certainly not the international ships, which was the original need of the State to improve trade.

"Unlike what the DMK is projecting, it is not true that all the fishermen are for the canal. Their livelihood would certainly be endangered. I was at the meetings between TR Baalu and fishermen. The environmental issues were discussed. But all that has been hushed up. I have also told the BJP about the dangers. It was during the NDA regime that sixth alignment was finalised. Even they have turned it into a political issue. A general impression has been created that it is a Tamil pride," said Rodriguez.

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Double standards by Cong: Puri Seer
Friday July 25 2008 12:10 IST

Express News Service

PURI: Sankaracharya of Puri Swamy Neeschalananda Saraswati on Thursday alleged that the Congress is adopting double standards over Ram Setu. Briefing the media on mutt premises here, the seer said first the party said there was no Ram. Now they are saying that Ram destroyed the setu. They have forgotten that Mahatma Gandhi professed to establish Ramrajya in the country and at the time of death he uttered Hey Ram . It seems that the present-day Congress politicians were acting contrary to the ideology of Mahatma, he charged.

Reiterating his stand over the Ram Setu issue, the seer said almost all the political parties have shown little interest in protecting the setu while millions of Hindus adore it as a sacred place of pilgrimage. He asked Hindus of the country to get united and fight to protect the Ram Setu founded by Lord Ram.

He also alleged that the Centre is presenting distorted facts in the court. He declined to comment on the facts saying the case is sub-judice. He said there are wise, intelligent and honourable persons in the apex court and they would find out the truth.

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEQ20080725014855&Page=Q&Title=Orissa&Topic=0

Centre's stand on Setu trade-off between Sonia & Karuna: VHP

MUZAFFARPUR (BIHAR), JUL 24 (PTI)

Taking strong exception to the Centre's affidavit on Sethusamudram project, the VHP today alleged it was a result of a 'trade-off' between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to win the trust vote.

The affidavit objects to religious grounds being raked up for blocking the venture, citing a Tamil version of Ramayana, according to which Lord Rama had himself destroyed the 'Ram Setu'.

"The Centre's affidavit in the Supreme Court is the result of a trade-off between Sonia Gandhi and Karunanidhi as part of which the latter agreed to support the confidence vote sought by Manmohan Singh on the condition that the UPA government will ensure that the Setu is brought down," VHP General Secretary Pravin Togadia told reporters.

Declaring that VHP would launch a nation-wide protest against the 'conspiracy' to destroy the Ram Setu, Togadia warned "the Centre's stand before the apex court is fraud with dangerous consequences for the country ..... It is a conspiracy to divide the nation, which will go up in flames and Sonia Gandhi will be responsible for it."

The VHP leader claimed that on page 729 of the Hindi translation of 'Kamb Ramayana', the Tamil version of the epic, published by Nand Kumar Avasthi of Bhuvan Vani Trust, Sitapur, Lucknow, it was said that while returning from Lanka on the 'Pushpak Viman' the Lord pointed at the Setu and said those who would see it would be blessed.

"How could the same Lord have destroyed the bridge?" he asked.

Togadia said be it 'Tulsi Ramayana' or 'Kamb Ramayana', all versions came after the 'Valmiki Ramayana'.

"The same people (the Centre) who first questioned the very existence of Lord Ram and Ram Setu are now invoking Kamba Ramayana and Padma Purana to say that he destroyed the Setu, but are not relying on the original Valmiki Ramayana, which has no such mention," he said.

While informing the Supreme Court that the Centre wanted to go ahead with the Setusamudram Shipping Canal Project, its counsel Fali S Nariman had yesterday referred to the two religious scriptures to claim that Lord Ram had destroyed the structure so that nobody could cross over from Lanka in future.

"Lord Ram destroyed the bridge and details are there in the scriptures. You cannot worship something which has been destroyed," Nariman had said.

http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=592044

Renuka Narayanan, Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi, July 25, 2008
First Published: 01:36 IST(25/7/2008)
Last Updated: 01:53 IST(25/7/2008)
Scholars slam government claim on Ram Setu
Did Lord Rama destroy Ram Setu, the bridge over which his monkey army invaded Ravana’s Lanka – as the government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday? India’s leading authorities on the Ramayana want to throw that claim into the sea.
With anger growing in India’s right-wing parties over plans for a controversial multi-million dollar canal through the Palk Straits, research by Hindustan Times shows that the two most prominent versions of the Ramayana — by Valmiki and Kamban — make no mention of the destruction cited by lawyer Fali S Nariman, who represented the government before the court.
The debate is centred on an undersea bridge-like structure between the coasts of southern India and Sri Lanka that the government says is not man-made, and is to be destroyed to build a multi-million dollar shipping canal, the Sethusamundram Project. But many Hindus believe this bridge is a relic of the one built by Lord Ram.
The issue is so wrapped up in hostile politics that several experts HT spoke to, including eminent Tamil experts, declined to be named. But others spoke up. Former professor Veerbhadra Mishra, mahant of the renowned Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple in Varanasi is outraged, “Nariman’s scriptural interpretation of Hindu tradition that ‘something that is broken cannot be worshipped’ may hold for an idol … but it does not hold for tirthas and kshetras. These are geographical sites or ‘living monuments’ associated with faith,” says Mishra, who dissociates himself from the BJP.
An eminent Tamil scholar requested anonymity, fearing reprisals, but said: “It is a shame to misquote Kamban.” The 9th century Tamil epic, contains no reference to Sri Ram destroying the Setu.
In Kamba Ramayana's Yuddha Kandam in the section 'Meekshi Padalam', verses 166 to 169 describe Rama's return from Lanka in the Pushpaka Vimana, where he points out the bridge to Sita and underlines its sanctity. Verse 169 has Sri Rama actually saying: "The spiritual merit you gain by bathing in the holy rivers, is nothing compared to that you gain by bathing at this Setu."
Nariman did not quote from the Valmiki Ramayana, indisputably the first text of the epic, but it has nothing to say either on Sri Rama breaking the bridge, according to the eminent Ramayana scholar Pandit Satkari Mukhopadhyaya, an internationally respected authority on the text and on the Ramayana traditions of South-east Asia.
"Later regional variations may contain such interpolations perhaps … but not Valmiki," he said. "I uphold the sanctity of Ramsetu in the Hindu mind, sitting right here in this 400-year-old building in which Goswami Tuslidas wrote the Hanuman Chalisa and the last four chapters of the Ramcharitmanas," Mishra said.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/storypage/Print.aspx?Id=f666584e-db74-44e7-88b2-2ad0ac1df4c1

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi, July 25, 2008
First Published: 01:22 IST(25/7/2008)
Last Updated: 01:25 IST(25/7/2008)
Centre softens stand on Ram Setu
Contrary to its aggressive stance on the Sethusamudram shipping canal project, the Centre on Thursday appeared mellowed down before the Supreme Court.
A day after putting a question mark over the existence of Ram Setu, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-led Government’s counsel, senior advocate Fali S. Nariman told the three-judge bench that he had communicated the court’s suggestion to consider another alignment for the project.
Even as Nariman later argued that court was not within its jurisdiction to entertain public interest litigations against the project, the eminent jurist said: “As a special officer in this case I have taken up the matter with the senior officials of the ministry. I hope to get back to the court on its suggestion.”
In his latest submission Nariman claimed the court was not empowered to examine a policy decision, which was the executive’s role. Taking his arguments in the case ahead Nariman cited apex court judgment on Sardar Sarovar and Narmada projects. “Courts cannot entertain PIL against such projects.” According to him courts could not substitute their decision on the assessment made by experts and could not sit over scientific alliances.
Nariman further added that policy decision could not under court’s scrutiny if they were faulty such as there was a diversion from the guidelines prescribed in the notification. “Courts cannot adjudicate on a policy decision,” he said. In case of a challenge it has to be before the execution of the project, the senior advocate told the court.
Nariman said the government was so careful before giving a nod to the project that it got its environmental clearance even though it wasn’t mandatory. To the court’s query on why a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) wasn’t done, Nariman claimed it was not compulsory. Yet, he said, the government had got a rapid EIA done.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print.aspx?Id=2976b590-ee28-413e-b7d7-9ed708fdabaa
Nandini R Iyer, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 24, 2008
First Published: 23:56 IST(24/7/2008)
Last Updated: 00:01 IST(25/7/2008)
The Setu story
While MPs made their interventions on the confidence motion, the government was — even as late as 11 pm on Monday — working out the finer nuances of its new stance on the Ram Setu.
A senior government official said the “government’s latest position” was finalised in “a series of hasty meetings” late on Monday, when the DMK, which had been pressing for the speedy implementation of the Sethusamudram Canal Project, decided to cash in on the Congress’ position on the first day of the trust vote.
Earlier, it was the Congress, through culture minister Ambika Soni, which spelt out the government’s stance on the issue. But last year, Soni was in the eye of a political storm when the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying there was no historical or scientific evidence about the existence of Lord Ram or the Ram Setu.
The ASI subsequently withdrew the affidavit and officials made clear they would not be opposing the Ram Setu’s existence, as it was a “matter of faith”. Subsequently, a fresh combined “application” was filed — this time on behalf of the government (read not the ASI alone).
With the Congress having back-tracked after the controversy, the DMK managed to wrest control of the issue.
The new applications are now piloted through the ministry of shipping, a portfolio held by DMK heavyweight T. R. Baalu. Other ministries related to the government's dealings on the issue are environment (where the DMK’s S Reghupathy is minister of state) and the culture ministry.
Senior officials who knew the matter was being heard in the Supreme Court said they learnt late on Monday that a meeting was taking place at the residence of the government's senior counsel Fali S Nariman. “Even the citations from the Kambha Purana were provided by the DMK side,” an official associated with the process said. Nariman could not be reached for a comment.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print.aspx?Id=15287f78-e217-4e1a-98b8-6df98b212d18

Worship of Rama Setu

Narimaan is way out of line when saying that no one can worship something that is destroyed. He is wrong.

Pilgrims go to Rama Setu to worship the monument. They remember their ancestors starting with Sri Rama. I think it is a waste of time to try to explain to Narimaan or Union of India that the worship is a tarpanam, a way of remembering that their identity is due to their ancestors, a way of worship to those aatman who have given such an identity to the pilgrim.

Pilgrimage is worship. Do you know, Narimaan that Skanda Purana says that the worshipper goes barefoo and chants ashtakshari and panchakshari --- Om namo narayana and Om namah s'ivaaya while walking on the Setu? Setu ain't destroyed, Narimaan. It exists and any pilgrim stand and walk on it in stretches. People crossed over to Talaimannar in Srilanka from Rameshwaram-Dhanushkodi walking on it as did Ashoka's son, according to Mahavams'a. Why don't you quote this, Narimaan, when you quote Kamba Ramayana? Do you know that in Kamba Ramayana, reasons are given for the breach caused by Sri Rama? Do you also know, Narimaan, that later, in Mahabharata Veda Vyasa says it is the responsibility of the people of those times to protect Rama Setu as was the responsibility of Setupati rajas of Ramanathapuram (then, Ramnad)? Or, is it a waste of time providing evidence to the learned counsel, Narimaan?

Let me tell you something, Narimaan. Pilgrims have tears in their eyes as they utter the sankalpam starting with Sri Rama Rameti, vyapohati nasams'ayah. Go find the meaning of this, Narimaan; you may get some glimpse into Hindu traditions of yore, instead of being counsel for atheists supporting a bogus government engaging in horsetrading of MPs. I don't know about juristic ethic. It makes me sick that there are counsels indulging in suggestio falsi, suppressio veri. No pangs of conscience? What ignominy.

You are a lawyer, right? Then read the judgement on London Nataraja case. A Hindu temple is a temple for ever, Narimaan. It is a pity that UK lawyers are more compassionate than those who claimed and got aatithya in Hindusthanam. What a shame.

Kalyanaraman

RAM SETU AFFIDAVIT- UNCONSTITUTIONAL UPA GOVERNMENT PUSHING VATICAN AGENDA

Posted By Dr. Avnish Jolly On July 24, 2008 @ 4:53 pm In BJP, Chandigarh, North

Chandigarh, July 24:- Senior BJP leader and Punjab’s Medical Education Minister Mr. Tikshan Sud today questioned the legal sanctity of affidavit on a sensitive issue like Ram Setu submitted by UPA Government, standing on the crutches of illegally cast votes in Parliament

In a statement issued here today Mr. Sud said that UPA headed by Italian born Catholic lady was out to push Vatican Agenda by degrading Lord Sri Rama and His religious and mythological symbols, hurting the feelings of billions of Hindus having faith in Hindu religion. He said that UPA government was already on ventilator in ICU, surviving on oxygen provided by illegally cast votes by illegally defected MPs, has no legal and constitutional right, to take any major policy decision, especially those hurting the feelings of majority of Indian population.

Issuing a stern warning to the UPA Government against playing with the religious sentiments of Hindus, the BJP leader said that any action by the Government affecting the holy structure of Ram Setu would be resisted by crores of Hindus and they would intensify nationwide agitation to scuttle this Christian conspiracy. He said that by issuing contradictory affidavit on this historic and mythological fact, the UPA Government was trying to create confusion in the minds of Hindus, under a well planned strategy and we would not allow it.

Demanding the immediate dismissal of unconstitutional Government of UPA, Mr. Sud said that President of India Mrs. Pratibha Patil should immediately dismiss this Government and order General Elections in the country before UPA could inflict more damage to the social and religious fabric of this multi-religious and multi-cultural country. He said that the President should also summon the tape of sting operation by IBN-7 showing Samajwadi Party offering money to BJP MPs, for voting in favour of UPA Government and order the registration of criminal case against the guilty.

Mr. Sud reiterated that BJP under the leadership of Sarv/Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishan Advani, and Rajnath Singh was committed to fight for reconstruction of Ram Mandir and protection of Ram Setu and any provocation by the Government would be rebutted by the all strongly.

http://www.theindiapost.com/?p=3520

Our position on Ram Setu has not changed: Congress (The Hindu, July 24, 2008)

New Delhi (PTI): The Congress on Thursday said its position on the Ram Setu has not changed and is guided by the two affidavits filed in the Supreme Court earlier.

"The Congress party believes in respecting all religions..our philosophy is guided by this," party spokesman Manish Tewari told Reporters.

Referring to the arguments of Fali S Nariman in the Supreme Court on the Sethusamundram project that Lord Rama himself destroyed the Ram Setu after emerging victorious in Lanka, Tewari said during course of argument in courts, lawyers put forward different positions.

Asked if the party also felt the same about the Setu, Tewari said the government had made its position clear in the affidavit and then the counter affidavit.

"As it is a sub judice matter, it would be unfair on our part to speak on this," he said.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200807242105.htm

Sethu's other alignment option will be examined
Press Trust of India / New Delhi July 24, 2008, 19:17 IST

A day after making a strident argument that Rama Sethu was destroyed by Lord Rama himself, the Centre today changed tact in the Supreme Court saying that the viability of going ahead with the Sethusamudram project through an alternative alignment has been taken up at the "highest level".

"The suggestion for alternative alignment to avoid Rama Sethu route has been taken as a special case. I have personally taken it at the highest level. It is being scientifically examined. I will come back to you by Tuesday or Wednesday," senior advocate Fali S Nariman told a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan.

At the outset, Nariman, who continued the arguments for the Centre on the contentious issue, said the suggestion of the Bench to examine the possibility of project through alignment 4 (Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi) will be examined.

The Court yesterday was of the view that the alignment 4 could possibly address the issue of religious faith as well as environment concern to the extent that it may be relatively away from the biosphere boundary and marine park.

The Centre had yesterday had referred to Kamba Ramayana and Padma Purana to assert that Lord Rama himself had destroyed the Rama Sethu and one cannot worship something which has been destroyed.

The senior advocate commenced touched upon the issue of religious and personal faith by taking the example of temple town of Rameswaram, which he said was the holiest place but has not yet been declared as ancient monument.

However, the Bench, also comprising Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal, made it clear that it was not going into the issue of Rameswaram.


http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage_c_online.php?leftnm=10&bKeyFlag=IN&autono=43151

Government to respond to apex court call on Ram setu next week
July 24th, 2008 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS -


New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The government would respond to the Supreme Court’s suggestion for an alternative alignment off the Ram Setu for the Setusamudram shipping channel, the court was informed Thursday. “I have conveyed to the highest quarters in the government the bench suggestion for an alternative alignment for the channel to balance the issues of faith and logic,” Government counsel Fali S. Nariman told the bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, which also included Justices R.V. Raveendran and J.M. Panchal.

On Thursday, Nariman resumed his arguments opposing various lawsuits against the Setusamudram shipping channel, a shorter navigational route around India’s southern tip, cutting through the Ram Setu or Adam’s bridge.

He added the government was expected to formally respond to the suggestion by Tuesday or Wednesday next week after duly considering the same.

The Ram setu is a 48-km long chain of limestone shoals that once linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with Mannar in Sri Lanka’s northwest. Many Hindus believe it was the bridge Lord Ram’s army built to cross over to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita.

The apex court more than once mooted the idea of an alternative alignment for the shipping channel to spare the Ram Setu, as several Hindu groups have opposed the plan considering its religious importance.

The bench Wednesday suggested: “If the government approach is that avoiding the Ram Setu or Adam’s bridge is not possible, then it’s a different issue. But, if an alternative is available, there is no issue.”

“It’s easy to create an issue. Why create a mammoth issue, if you have an alternative?” it remarked, suggesting the government to opt an alternative alignment for the channel, other than the present ‘alignment 6′, which traverses across the Ram Setu.

After examining various project reports, spanning a period of 150 years, the bench said, “There were nine study report (for the shipping channel project) before the independence and six afterwards. All of them avoided Ram Setu. This is the first proposal of ‘alignment 6′ that touches the Ram Setu,” the bench observed.

It suggested the government “to consider ‘alignment 4′ with some curve as it would be away from the bridge as well as the marine biosphere”.

On May 8 too, the bench had made the same suggestion, besides asking the government to have the Archaeological Survey of India conduct a study to examine if Ram Setu could be declared a national monument.

“We don’t say anything on the merit, but you can also explore the possibility of any alternative alignment for the channel,” the bench had suggested, while hearing the issue before the summer vacation.

“By this, the government may like to avoid the controversy,” the bench had remarked.

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/government-to-respond-to-apex-court-call-on-ram-setu-next-week_10075534.html

UPA government pursuing Vatican agenda on Ram Setu
Jul 24th, 2008 | By Sindh Today | Category: South Asia

Chandigarh, July 24 (IANS) The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was out to push the Vatican agenda on the Ram Setu issue, Punjab Medical Education Minister Tikshan Sud said here Thursday.

The UPA government had no sanctity in submitting the affidavit on a sensitive issue like Ram Setu as it was standing on the crutches of illegally cast votes in the parliament, Sud said in a statement here.

Sud, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, said the UPA, headed by an Italian-born Catholic lady was out to push the Vatican agenda by degrading Lord Rama and his religious and mythological symbols, hurting the feelings of billions of people having faith in Hindu religion.

He said the UPA government was already on a political ventilator, surviving on oxygen provided by illegally cast votes by defected MPs.

“The UPA government has no legal and constitutional right to take any major policy decision, especially those hurting the feelings of majority of Indian population,” Sud said.

Warning the government against playing with the religious sentiments of Hindus on the Ram Setu issue, the BJP leader said any action by the government affecting the holy structure of Ram Setu would be resisted by Hindus and they would intensify nationwide agitation to scuttle this Christian conspiracy.

He said that by issuing contradictory affidavit on this historic and mythological fact, the UPA government was trying to create confusion in the minds of Hindus, under a well-planned strategy and this would not be allowed.

Sud urged President Pratibha Patil to intervene and dismiss the “unconstitutional” UPA government and order fresh general elections. He said the UPA was inflicting damage to the countrys social and religious fabric.

The Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Corporation was constructing a shorter shipping channel cutting across Ram Setu or Adams Bridge in the Palk Strait, separating India and Sri Lanka.

http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/6757.htm

Ram Setu affidavit is price for DMK’s support: BJP
July 24th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS -

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday criticised the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for a controversial affidavit on the Ram Setu in the Supreme Court, terming it the price the ruling coalition paid for the DMK’s support. The BJP added sarcastically that, with the affidavit filed Wednesday, the UPA had at least accepted the existence of Hindu god Ram and Ram Setu, also known as the Adam’s Bridge.

“Earlier, the DMK questioned the ‘engineering credentials’ of Lord Ram, asking which engineering college he graduated from, and contended that it (Ram Setu) was a natural formation. Now the government has at least admitted the bridge was built by a superman just to insult Lord Rama and his followers,” spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

Opposing several lawsuits that seek the shipping canal project stopped as it involved dredging through the Ram Setu, government counsel Fali S. Nariman Wednesday told a bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan that the Ram Setu “cannot be worshipped” since it was broken by Lord Ram himself.

“The UPA was paying the price for DMK’s support it to remain in power,” Rudy said referring to the trust vote the government won in the Lok Sabha Tuesday.

The Ram Setu is a 48-km long chain of limestone shoals that once linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with Mannar in Sri Lanka’s northwest. Many Hindus believe it was the bridge Lord Ram’s army built to cross over to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita.

The ambitious Setusamudram project, to create a navigable waterway between India’s southern tip and Sri Lanka, would involve dredging a part of the Ram Setu.

The Manmohan Singh government, forced to seek the confidence of parliament after the Left parties withdrew its support, won the trust vote by a comfortable margin due to cross voting and abstentions of the sitting MPs.

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/ram-setu-affidavit-is-price-for-dmks-support-bjp_10075539.html

Ram Setu row: Centre softens stand, to answer SC on July 29
Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi, July 24: Softening its stand, the Centre on Thursday, in a reply to the Supreme Court said that it will make its stand clear regarding the Ram Setu on July 29th and will also come up with a solution regarding an alternative route. Earlier the Centre on Wednesday had told the apex court that it was not destroying the ‘Ram Sethu’ as no such bridge existed. Lord Ram himself had destroyed the bridge with a magical bow, the Centre said, quoting from the Tamil ‘Kamban Ramayan’.

The government is only trying to build a channel through the Palk Bay to allow the direct passage of ships from the West Coast to the East Coast without going around Sri Lanka, the Centre added.

Attacking the opponents of the project for raising matters of religion and faith to oppose it, senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for the Centre, said those who have relied on scriptures of faith in their attempt to block the venture should also consider other aspects of faith.

He referred to Kamba Ramayana and Padma Purana to draw a point that Lord Rama himself had destroyed the Rama Sethu so that nobody should come from Lanka.

"Lord Rama destroyed the bridge and details are there in the scriptures. You cannot worship something which has been destroyed," Nariman asserted before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan.

The Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, once complete, will translate into a saving of upto 424 nautical miles and upto 30 hours in ships’ sailing time. The project, which started in July 2004, ran into troubled waters when Hindu groups began protesting against the dredging across the Sethusamudram Canal, saying it would destroy the Ram Sethu, or Adam’s Bridge, believed to be the passage created by Lord Rama to rescue his wife from the hands of demon King Ravana in Sri Lanka.

Environmentalists also opposed the project saying it would destroy the biosphere reserve in the area laden with coral reefs.

BJP objects to Centre`s affidavit

BJP took strong exception to the Centre`s affidavit on Sethusamudram project which objects to religious grounds being raked up for blocking the venture, claiming the UPA was "paying a price" for the support it received from the DMK during the trust vote.

"The UPA is paying for the support it got from the DMK during the trust vote. The affidavit is another blow on the sentiments of millions of Hindus in the country," senior BJP leader V K Malhotra told agencies.

The saffron party also decided to launch a countrywide agitation against the UPA Government on the issue, the details of which would be worked out soon.

The party would launch a nationwide agitation soon to protest the new move by the Government to go ahead with the controversial project, he said.

Meanwhile the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has threatened to launch a nation wide strike if the government takes any stand against the Ram Sethu.

http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=457633&sid=NAT


BJP objects to Centre's affidavit on Sethusamudram project

New Delhi (PTI): BJP on Wednesday took strong exception to the Centre's affidavit on Sethusamudram project which objects to religious grounds being raked up for blocking the venture, claiming the UPA was "paying a price" for the support it received from the DMK during the trust vote.

"The UPA is paying for the support it got from the DMK during the trust vote. The affidavit is another blow on the sentiments of millions of Hindus in the country," senior BJP leader V K Malhotra said.

The saffron party also decided to launch a countrywide agitation against the UPA Government on the issue, the details of which would be worked out soon.

The party would launch a nationwide agitation soon to protest the new move by the Government to go ahead with the controversial project, he said.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/000200807240342.htm

Ram destroyed his own Setu, asserts Govt

Abraham Thomas | New Delhi

After saying Ram doesn't exist, Centre finds new way to appease DMK

Swearing by Lord Ram to save the Ram Setu is futile, for it was he who destroyed it. This statement by a resurgent UPA Government, back after winning the trust vote, shocked the critics of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project who opposed the continuation of the corridor-through-sea project on the ground that it cuts through the Ram Setu, a symbol of Hindu religion.



In the Supreme Court, where the fate of the 35-km channel project is hanging fire, Centre's counsel Fali S Nariman quoted the scriptures of Padma Puran and Kambh Ramayan, which describe how Lord Ram destroyed the Setu to ensure nobody else would cross over to Sri Lanka.

"We are not destroying any bridge, as there is no bridge," Nariman said. "We believe it was not a man-made structure. It was a super man-made structure which was broken by Lord Ram himself," he said, adding, "If it was something that was destroyed by the same man who built it, we are dealing with only a belief."

Quite surprised at the startling revelation by the Centre, the petitioners dispelled the doubts by taking refuge under another scripture, Skand Puran, recorded earlier in time to the Padma Puran which does not record the destruction of the bridge by Lord Ram.

The Bench, headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, realising the issue to be sensitive, asked the Centre to argue the viability of the project by striking a balance between faith and environment since these were the aspects under consideration of the court.

The petitioners, comprising individuals and NGOs, had challenged the alignment of the project meant to serve as an east-west corridor, facilitating movement of ships between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Technical expert teams have proposed several alignments from time to time, most of which do not pass through the Ram Setu area.

The Bench, also comprising Justices RV Raveendran and JM Panchal, said, "If there is no alternative route except cutting across the Adams Bridge (Ram Setu), our approach would have been different. But it is a different picture where options are available."

It said, "Somewhere down the line, you have to balance faith and biosphere." Refusing to be drawn into the argument made by Nariman, it observed, "We don't want to question the logic of faith, whether this is to be worshiped or that is to be worshiped."

Despite petitioners objecting to such an argument by the Centre, the court accepted it as part of the Centre's submissions since it came in response to the petitioner's claim supporting the existence of the Setu.

Nariman, who is to continue with the arguments on Thursday, said work continued on the project for two years and not once during this period anybody challenged it as being opposed to faith.

Even the political opposition to the project was intriguing, said Nariman, suggesting how the AIADMK, the main opposition party in Tamil Nadu, made it the political plank in 2002 and won with a thumping majority.

"You cannot worship anything that was destroyed," added Nariman, citing this as the reason why over the decades, nobody wanted it to be declared an Ancient Monument. The petitioners have sought the court to consider declaring the Sethu an ancient monument, besides demanding that the project alignment be changed to save the Sethu and the rich biosphere cover in the Gulf of Mannar.

http://dailypioneer.com/indexn12.asp?main_variable=front%5Fpage&file_name=story1%2Etxt&counter_img=1

I do not know if it is the cleverness of Narimaan or the political obduracy of Sonia Gandhi determined to destroy Rama Setu, it is ridiculous to read about the arguments being advanced.

Narimaan might have just contributed to the repeat of a situation which led to the Union of India withdrawing its sworn affidavit. Narimaan, CJ of Madras HC asked the first question: what is the meaning of 'setu'? Abhidaana kos'am, a Tamil encyclopaedia defined setu as 'man-made bund.' Do you know that the word, bandha as in setubandha, setubandha rameshwaram is the root for the English word 'bund' which means a man-made embankment? It is unfortunate that learned counsels quibble without attempting to read the orignal texts.

If Sri Rama has broken the Setu, so be it. It is just an admission that the setu existed, it exists. No human power has any authority to meddle with this divine Setu. Citizens of India rightly denied the rights to the Courts or Governments under Art. 25 and 26 to meddle with issues divine or with matters of faith -- as argued earlier by Soli Sorabjee, Parasaran, KK Venugopal, Vaidyanathan and Dr. Subramanian Swamy.

Suggestio falsi, suppressio veri seems to be Narimaan's game plan. He cites Kamba Ramayana out of context and fails to refer to the evidences provided by Skanda Purana, Kalidasa's Raghuvams'a, Mahabharata, apart from Valmiki Ramayana, Sangam literature texts like Akananooru, and even the 19th century verse of Pamban Swamigal. He also fails to acknowledge the references cited in Madras HC judgemennt of 19 June 2007, citing cartographic (maps), Marco Polo, Al Beruni, Royal Asiatic Researc papers, epigraphs of Rameshwaram temple, epigraphs on Velanjeri copper plate of Parantaka Chola referring to the Setu and the fact that it functioned as a causeway for people to cross between Talaimannar of Srilanka to Rameshwaram of India. Narimaan also ignores the puja vidhanam mentioned in Skanda Purana; he does not have to teach the faithful on modes of prayer at Dhanushkodi. That the Rama Setu is supported by an enormous body of living tradition (as evidenced by the affidavits from Rameshwaram temple, Rameshwaram fisherfolk, apart from volumes of documentation submitted to the Court), cannot be wished away by anecdotal references taken out of context. What Kamban reports is a continual phenomenon of breaches to the Rama Setu as was the epigraph in Rameshwaram temple reporting breaches at three places during the 1480 cyclone (clearly demonstrating that until that year, the Rama Setu served as a bridge used by pilgrims to go across from Rameshwaram Shiva temple to Tirukkedeeswaram Shiva Temple. Skanda Purana notes and confirmed by Pamban Swamigal that there is a third shivalingam installed on the Rama Setu itself. It is the responsibility of marine archaeology win of Archaeological Survey of India to find tis shivalingam and associated mandiram on the Setu. Affidavits have also been filed showing that earlier generation pilgrims used to go this Setu Shivamandiram praying for children and fulfilling their sankalpa venerating their ancestors. This together with Gangasagar are the places where during the month of Ashadha amavasya offerings are made to the pitru-s, ancestors by offering sankalpam and tarpanam. Every year about 5 lakh pilgrims go on ashadha amavasya day to Rama Setu. This living tradition cannot be wished away by hypocritical, twisted references by the learned counsel of the Union of India. This Setu is a matter of fait not only for Hindus but also for Christians, Buddhists and Muslims. A Muslim family has given an affidavit that they celebrate marriages in their families singing the glory of Sri Rama remembering that their ancestors came from Ayodhya.

A rejection of this tradition and faith is a clear violation of Section 295 of IPC, a note which was also underscored in the Madras High Court judgement.

Vinaas'akaale vipareeta buddhih. Evil minds in times of destruction. These are the swan songs of an atheist supported government and learned counsels who indulge in casuistry in a pathetic show of juristic gimmickry.

Shame on some counsels who cannot see their responsibility to sustain the identity of the nation, the integrity and security of the nation's coastline and act like pied-pipers to a governance governed by evil.

We are continuing to use dharmic means through the justice system with the full confidence that the courts will not be parties to illegalities-- illegalities of national laws, illegalities violating international covenants, illegalities dismissng the concerns of neighbouring states and illegalities violating the Law of the Sea and international laws and norms of behaviour. Protection of Rama Setu is not a one issue concern of Hindus' faith. Protection of Rama Setu is protection of nation's identity, integrity and unity. A court is expected to uphold dharma and these national imperatives, transcending narrow interpretations of jurisdictions and boundaries between state responsibilities and responsibilities of the justice system. If the fence eats away the field, who will protect the crop?

Madras HC judgement has clearly recognized that Rama Setu is an undeniable fact in tradition and faith. The faith concerns millions of Hindus who venerate Sri Rama under whose command the Setu was constructed to protect dharma and to win over a-dharma. Veda Vyasa states this categorically. ramas'yaajnaam puraskritya dhaaryate girisannibhaah (Trans. It is Rama's command to protect this Setu, famed as Nala Setu...) Rama's command is divine order and is inviolate. Denying Rama and Rama Setu is blasphemy and denial of the very rashtram, the nation.

Narimaan should do well to read the 8000 pages of evidence in 160 volumes made available during court deliberations instead of relying upon suppressio veri, suggestio falsi tactics, thinking that points can be scored on points of law. Sure, law is an ass but don't allow the case to hurt the sentiments of millions of believers just to benefit a few, however high and might.

It is a sad day when counsels forget their larger responsibilities to the nation. The call of duty cannot become a wrestling bout on technical points of law but grounded on national interest. The national interest does not lie in creating a white elephant with the prospect of incurring Rs. 1000 crore loss per annum in perpetuity just to benefit a few dredging contractors and mariners owning small ships. It is the responsibility of jurists to explore the real development opportunities to enssure abhyudayam of coastal people and not an unmaintainable mid-ocean channel passage -- a unique experiment, untested experiment in human history -- without answering the question: for whose benefit is the benefit contemplated?

Evidence is there. It is for the justice system to render justice, with fairness, equity and compassion. There is enough expertise in the country of archaeologists, geologists and oceanographers (as in National Institute of Oceanography, Geological Survey of India) who can be commissioned to objectively find scientifically viable solution to the project disaster including options suc as Marine Economic Zone, rail-road-container-port coordination. If there is a political will, there is a way. If the political will is skewed and motivated, the citizens will have to reconsider the covenant they established when they gave themselves a Constitution, constraining the powers of the executive and the judiciary and setting up checks and balances to ensure that the development projects do not violate the rule of law.

Namaskaram. Kalyanaraman

Ram Setu cannot be worshipped, government tells apex court
Jul 23rd, 2008 | By Sindh Today | Category: South Asia

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) The government Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the Ram Setu cannot be worshipped since it was broken by Lord Ram himself.

Central government counsel Fali S. Nariman also told a bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan that the government has withdrawn from the court its earlier affidavit that doubted the existence of Lord Ram in extraneous circumstances.

Nariman, counsel for the Setusamudram Shipping Channel Corporation, made these assertions during his argument on a bunch of lawsuits challenging the construction of a shorter shipping channel cutting across Ram Setu or Adams Bridge in the Palk Strait, separating India and sdri Lanka. The court began hearing the issue Tuesday.

The Adams Bridge or Ram setu is a 48 km long chain of limestone shoals that once linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with Mannar in Sri Lankas northwest. Many Hindus hold belief that it was the bridge Lord Rams army built to cross over to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita.

The bridge faces some damage due to the dredging for the ambitious Setusamudram canal project to create a navigable waterway between Indias southern tip and Sri Lanka.

If you want to go strictly by religious scriptures, the Padma Purana has stated that Lord Ram had broken the bridge while returning from Sri Lanka after killing Ravana and rescuing Sita, Nariman told the bench, which also included Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice J.M. Panchal.

And (according to Hindu faith) something which is broken cannot be worshipped. Its also quoted extensively in the Kamban Ramayana (a version of the Hindu epic Ramayana) that Lord Rama had destroyed it, said Nariman.

Seeking to counter arguments of various petitioners based on faith and religion and challenging the construction of the shipping channel, Nariman said, The best approach to follow is to (ask) whether you are following legal steps.

The affidavit (that doubted the existence of Lord Ram) was withdrawn in extraneous circumstances, Nariman added.

Maintaining that legal issues cannot be decided on the basis of faith, Nariman asserted: We are not destroying any bridge. There is no bridge. We are only building a shipping channel.

The government resorted to an assertive stance Wednesday, despite the fact that it had on May 8 acceded to a suggestion by the court to explore the possibility of adopting an alternative alignment sparing the Ram Setu for building the shipping channel.

In fact, even during Wednesdays arguments, the bench earlier counselled the government to consider an alternative alignment for the shipping channel to avoid all the acrimony, entailing the project.

If the government approach is that avoiding access to Ram Setu or Adams Bridge is not possible, then its a different issue. But, if an alternative is available, there is no issue, observed the bench.

Its easy to create an issue. Why create a mammoth issue, if you have an alternative? the bench remarked, suggesting the government to opt an alternative alignment for the channel, other than the alignment 6, which goes across the Ram Setu.

After examining various project reports, spanning a period of 150 years, the bench said: There were nine study reports (for the shipping channel project) before the Independence and six afterwards. All of them avoided Ram Setu. This is the first proposal of the alignment 6 that touches Ram Setu.

It suggested the government consider alignment 4 added with some curve as it will be away from the bridge as well as the marine biosphere.

But Nariman told the bench: The experts want to avoid curve. They want a straight channel.

He also informed the court that till the apex court suspended the work on the project last year, the one fourth dredging of the bridge had been completed.

The arguments over the lawsuits will continue Thursday.

http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/6589.htm

Find 'politically viable solution' to Sethu: SC (The Hind, 23 July 2008)

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday favoured exploring the possibility of scientifically and "politically" viable solution to the controversial Sethusamudram project but the Centre questioned the religious grounds being raked up to block the venture.

Attacking the opponents of the project for raising matters of religion and faith to oppose it, senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for the Centre, said those who have relied on scriptures of faith in their attempt to block the venture should also consider other aspects of faith.

He referred to Kamba Ramayana and Padma Purana to draw a point that Lord Rama himself had destroyed the Rama Sethu so that nobody should come from Lanka.

"Lord Rama destroyed the bridge and details are there in the scriptures. You cannot worship something which has been destroyed," Nariman asserted before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan.

The senior advocate, who was countering the arguments of anti-project petitioners, said that destruction of Rama Sethu would affect the faith of people, said "we are not destroying any bridge. Everything on the project is being done with great circumspection."

"If we have gone wrong we will correct it. The idea is to go ahead with the project. We have to see there is no violation of law," the noted jurist said.

Though the Bench clarified that at the moment it was averse to entering into any debate whether Rama Sethu or Adams Bridge was man-made or not, Nariman said "if you are going to rely on faith, go into other aspects of the faith also."

Nariman said that those who for centuries and years never bothered to declare Rama Sethu as monument of archaeological importance should know that according to Kamba Ramayana Lord Rama took a bow and broke the bridge and divided it into three parts.

"We are concerned that it was not a man-made structure but it was a superman-made strcuture which was destroyed by Lord Rama," he said before the Bench, also comprising Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal.

The senior advocate said the controversial affidavits questioning the existence of Ramayana and Ram Sethu as man-made structure was withdrawn under extraneous circumstances.

Before Nariman had entered into the issue of destruction of the bridge by Lord Rama, the Bench wanted that the Centre should explore the possibility of accommodating faith with environment concern to arrive at a balanced solution.

"A scientifically, technically and politically feasible alternate alignment can be considered", the Bench said adding that the economic aspects should also be kept in mind as dredging activity was a continuous process.

Nariman, who replied in positive to the Bench's remarks that issue of faith has to be accommodated in going ahead with the project, however, was not in agreement with the opponents that alignment number 4 (from Rameswaram to Dhanushkodi) was a viable alternative.

"The suggestion to go for alignment 4 is a self-defeating argument. Alignment number 4 has been suggested as an alternative. If it will be so, there will be no way to go to worship near alignment number 6 (Rama Sethu)," he said.

The Centre brushed aside the allegation that it was a deliberate attempt to opt for alignment number 6, out of the other alignment options for the project.

Nariman said former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who has opposed the project and has been seeking to declare Rama Sethu as a monument of historical importance, herself had favoured the project through the alignment 6.

He said the AIADMK in its election manifesto in 2001 had favoured the project by cutting Rama Sethu and was elected to form the government with a thumping majority.

"Why is she now opposing it is not understandable," he said. The argument was opposed by one of Jayalalithaa's counsel.

However, during the hearing, the Centre found itself on the sticky ground when some searching questions were put by the court on environment clearance given for the project.

The Bench was curious on the environment aspect as it did not find documents to suggest that the project was cleared after comprehensive environment impact assessment.

Perusing the documents placed by the Centre, the Bench said the inference which can be drawn was that only rapid environment impact assessment was considered. It appears that there was a view that a comprehensive environment impact assessment would come later, the Bench said.

However, Nariman said that each and every aspect of environment was taken care of as the Prime Minister's office was concerned about it.

Earlier, anti-project petitioners had raised the issue of biosphere concern saying that provisions of the Wild Life Protection Act have been violated and this needed registration of criminal case.

Advocate Krishna Venugopal said that dredging activity in the biosphere reserve of Gulf of Mannar will result in the killing of species which are protected under the Wild Life Act.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/000200807232241.htm

Centre to SC: Ram himself destroyed Setu
23 Jul 2008, 2135 hrs IST,PTI


NEW DELHI: In comments that triggered a fresh controversy over the Sethusamudram project, the Centre on Wednesday invoked in the Supreme Court a Tamil version of Ramayana to make a point that Lord Rama himself had destroyed the mythical Rama Setu.

Asserting that the government wants to go ahead with the project, senior advocate Fali S Nariman attacked the opponents of the project for raising matters of religion and faith to oppose it.

Appearing for the Centre, he said those who have relied on scriptures of faith in their attempt to block the venture should also consider other aspects of faith.

He referred to Kamba Ramayana and Padma Purana to make a point that Lord Rama himself had destroyed the Rama Setu so that nobody should come from Lanka.

"Lord Rama destroyed the bridge and details are there in the scriptures. You cannot worship something which has been destroyed," Nariman asserted before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan.

The senior advocate, who was countering the arguments of anti-project petitioners that destruction of Rama Setu would affect the faith of people, said "we are not destroying any bridge. Everything on the project is being done with great circumspection."

"If we have gone wrong we will correct it. The idea is to go ahead with the project. We have to see there is no violation of law," the noted jurist said.

Though the Bench clarified that at the moment it was averse to entering into any debate whether Rama Setu or Adams Bridge was man-made or not, Nariman said "if you are going to rely on faith, go into other aspects of the faith also."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Centre_to_SC_Ram_himself_destroyed_Setu/articleshow/3271270.cms

Centre’s stand likely today on alternative alignment for Sethu

Legal Correspondent

It has not complied with court directions, says Subramanian Swamy

It’s contempt of court: Jayalalithaa counsel

NEERI clearance came before tsunami: Dandi Swami

New Delhi: The Centre is likely to spell out on Wednesday its stand on the Supreme Court’s suggestion that it explore the possibility of finding an alternative alignment or any other route for the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project without damaging Ramar Sethu and that it consider whether an archaeological study could be conducted to declare Ramar Sethu a national monument.

Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, heading a three-judge Bench, on May 8 asked senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for the Centre, to consider an alternative alignment. The suggestion came at the fag end of arguments on behalf of the petitioners. The Bench included Justices R. V. Raveendran and J. M. Panchal. When arguments resumed On Tuesday, Roxna Swamy, wife of Janata Party president and petitioner Subramanian Swamy, said the Centre had not complied with the direction to consider an alternative alignment. Nor was the direction, given by the Madras High Court (before the petitions were shifted to the Supreme Court), that an archaeological study be conducted implemented.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, said the Centre, not implementing the directions, committed contempt of court. The hearing should not proceed without its complying with the directions. Pointing out that the trust motion was being taken up in Parliament on Tuesday, he wanted the matter adjourned by three weeks. “I am surprised at the Centre’s action in a matter which affects millions of people and the whole nation. The Centre cannot ask for vacating the stay [on demolition of Ramar Sethu] without complying with the directions.”

Justice Balakrishnan told counsel: “I am aware of the oral directions. But how are we concerned with the trust motion? This court is concerned only with a judicial review of an administrative action. We are not concerned with what is happening outside. So many things are happening in this country but we are concerned only with this case.”

Senior counsel M. N. Krishnamani and C.S. Vaidyanathan joined Mr. Venugopal in urging the Centre to give its stand. Justice Raveendran said, “It is an oral direction. If it had been possible, they [Centre] would have said it. They are not positive about it.” After the Bench refused to adjourn the hearing, Krishnan Venugopal, counsel for another petitioner, Dandi Swami, continued his submissions. He said the clearance for the project had been obtained through the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, a Central government agency before the tsunami struck in December 2004. He said that according to experts on tsunami, geomorphologists and mineralogists, implementation of the project would have a disastrous effect on ecology and the environment.

Further arguments will continue on Wednesday.

http://www.hindu.com/2008/07/23/stories/2008072360261700.htm



Lord Rama destroyed the bridge, Centre tells SC

Agencies

Posted online: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 1909 hrs IST

New Delhi, July 23:
The Supreme Court favoured exploring the possibility of scientifically and ‘politically’ viable solution to the controversial Sethusamudram project but the Centre questioned the religious grounds being raked up to block the venture.

Attacking the opponents of the project for raising matters of religion and faith to opapose it, senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for the Centre, said those who have relied on scriptures of faith in their attempt to block the venture should also consider other aspects of faith.

He referred to Kamba Ramayana and Padma Purana to draw a point that Lord Rama himself had destroyed the Rama Sethu so that nobody should come from Lanka.

"Lord Rama destroyed the bridge and details are there in the scriptures. You cannot worship something which has been destroyed," Nariman asserted before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan.

The senior advocate, who was countering the arguments of anti-project petitioners, said that destruction of Rama Sethu would affect the faith of people, said, "we are not destroying any bridge. Everything on the project is being done with great circumspection."

"If we have gone wrong we will correct it. The idea is to go ahead with the project. We have to see there is no violation of law," the noted jurist said.

Though the Bench clarified that at the moment it was averse to entering into any debate whether Rama Sethu or Adams Bridge was man-made or not, Nariman said, "if you are going to rely on faith, go into other aspects of the faith also."

Nariman said that those who for centuries and years never bothered to declare Rama Sethu as monument of archaeological importance should know that according to Kamba Ramayana Lord Rama took a bow and broke the bridge and divided it into three parts.

"We are concerned that it was not a man-made structure but it was a superman-made structure which was destroyed by Lord Rama," he said before the Bench, also comprising Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal.

The senior advocate said the controversial affidavits questioning the existence of Ramayana and Ram Sethu as man-made structure was withdrawn under extraneous circumstances.

Before Nariman had entered into the issue of destruction of the bridge by Lord Rama, the Bench wanted that the Centre should explore the possibility of accommodating faith with environment concern to arrive at a balanced solution.

"A scientifically, technically and politically feasible alternate alignment can be considered", the Bench said adding that the economic aspects should also be kept in mind as dredging activity was a continuous process.

Nariman, who replied in positive to the Bench's remarks that issue of faith has to be accommodated in going ahead with the project, however, was not in agreement with the opponents that alignment number 4 (from Rameswaram to Dhanushkodi) was a viable alternative.

"The suggestion to go for alignment 4 is a self-defeating argument. Alignment number 4 has been suggested as an alternative. If it will be so, there will be no way to go to worship near alignment number 6 (Rama Sethu)," he said.

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Lord-Rama-destroyed-the-bridge--Centre-tells-SC/339489/

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