Rama Setu: political exchanges, peoples’ movement

Sethu: BJP quotes 1956 report

(Deccan Chronicle, 22 Nov. 2007)

Chennai, Nov. 21: Sir A.R. Mudaliar in his report in 1956 had suggested that Sethusamudram shipping project should not be executed with the present alignment, as it would lead to navigational hazards, BJP state president L. Ganesan said.

Speaking to this newspaper, Mr Ganesan said that Sir Mudaliar had reported that shifting sandbanks in the Ramar Sethu area presented a far more formidable problem — both at the stage of construction and during maintenance than the sand dunes on the Danushkodi island site. “Approaches to a channel would be far too open with no possibility of construction of protective works. A channel at this site—even if it can be made (which is unlikely) would entail definite navigational hazard,” Sir Mudaliar had said in his report. Mr Ganesan said that in these circumstances the idea of cutting a passage in the sea through Ramar Sethu should be abandoned.

“Mr Karunanidhi and Mr Baalu should not hurt the sentiments of millions of Hindus, who believe that Lord Rama had built the bridge across the ocean to Lanka. Instead they can operate numerous ships to the Ramar Sethu for pilgrims to worship Lord Rama and for tourists to visit the site,” he said, adding that during 1974 he had visited the site in a catamaran for a rupee.

Refuting the charges made by the Congress and DMK that BJP did not take any steps to announce it as a national monument, Mr Ganesan said that there was no danger to Ramar Sethu during our regime, so there was no reason for us to declare it as a national monument but now the Congress and DMK pose a grave danger to the bridge so it is time for us to raise the alarm.

http://www.deccan.com/chennaichronicle/City/Citynews.asp#Sethu: BJP quotes 1956 report

Karunanidhi’s thoughts on Sethu project

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi’s thoughts on Sethusamudram have been compiled as a book. The 60-page booklet, ‘Sethu,’ is priced at Rs.5 and published by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

In it, Mr. Karunanidhi elucidates in simple language the need for the project and makes a compelling argument on why it should be completed at an early date.

“We have printed one lakh copies. It is available at Anna Arivalayam,” Mr. Karunanidhi said when asked about the book. He has been giving copies to many who met him at his residence.

Earlier, Mr.Karunanidhi had written a series of articles in the party organ ‘Murasoli’ on the various aspects of the canal project in October this year.

In a letter in 2002, Mr. Karunanidhi pointed out that the DMK had been raising the issue for the past 50 years.

“I have written personal letters and spoken to most of the Prime Ministers about it,” he said.

Contending that the project was as important as the Suez canal and the Panama Canal, Mr. Karunanidhi said its implementation would help many ports in the region — Colachel, Muttam, Tuticorin, Rameswaram, Nagapattinam, Karaikkal, Cuddalore, Puducherry, Chennai and Visakhapatnam.

It would boost economic development of backward areas such as Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Virudhunagar, Karaikudi, Tirupattur, Madurai and Nagercoil.

http://www.hindu.com/2007/11/22/stories/2007112262211000.htm

Ram Setu: Religious leaders challenge Karunanidhi to debate
17 Nov 2007, 1932 hrs ISTclip_image001,clip_image002PTI
CHENNAI: Criticising Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi for his remarks on Lord Ram, Hindu religious leaders on Saturday challenged him to a public debate on the Ram Sethu issue.
“We respect Karunanidhi as an elder statesman of the country. But his insulting remarks on Lord Ram have hurt the sentiments of saints, heads of ‘Mutts’ and millions of Hindus. We are unhappy with him for the remarks. I dare him to have a debate with me on the issue,” said Visvesh Theertha Swami of Udipi Pejawar Mutt.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the “Southern Bharat Conference of Matathipathis, Dharmacharyas and religious scholars” in Chennai to discuss ways to protect Ram Sethu, he said Karunanidhi had not yet responded to his earlier invitation for a debate.
Prasanna Sura Madhava Theertha of Madhava Theertha Mutt said that as Chief Minister, Karunanidhi had taken the oath under the Constitution and should not “insult” any religion. “Such actions can not be tolerated. They are representatives of the public and should not vitiate the atmosphere by making such remarks,” he added.
“Those who enjoy power in the name of Mahatma Gandhi have forgotten that Gandhi himself was a Ram devotee. Now they are questioning the existence of Ram. This is not proper,” he said.
While Karunanidhi has maintained that Ram and Ram Sethu are figments of imagination, the tourism department beckoned tourists to Rameswaram with an advertisement that “the footprints of Ram and the floating stone ‘Sethu Bandanam’ used to build the Sethu are worth seeing,” the religious figures said. This showed the duplicity of the Tamil Nadu Government, they alleged.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Ram_Setu_Religious_leaders_challenge_Karunanidhi_to_debate_/articleshow/2548769.cms

‘Ram Sethu Yatra’ begins (The Hindu, 22 Nov. 2007)

Ayodhya: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s ‘Ram Sethu Shila Yatra’, aimed at garnering support for saving the ‘Ram Sethu,’ started here on Wednesday. Similar yatras have started from 512 different places in the country. — PTI

http://www.hindu.com/2007/11/22/stories/2007112259250100.htm

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