Save Ram Sethu: Dr. Kusum Vyas at Bali

Dr. Kusum Vyas founder of “Save Ram Sethu Campaign

Bali, Indonesia: Dr. Kusum Vyas founder of “Save Ram Sethu Campaign” takes the campaign to Bali, the site of United Nations Climate Change Conference
(January, 04,Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Sri Lanka Guardian)

“As world leaders contemplate upon the ways to save the earth’s environment, all responsible citizens of the global community must recognize that dredging and destroying Ram Sethu to create a ship channel in the region of the Gulf of Mannar translates into an ecological disaster” is the concern expressed by Dr. Kusum Vyas, the founder of “Save Ram Sethu Campaign” here on Saturday December 15.

She was delivering the keynote address at the seminar “Save Ram Sethu” sponsored by the Bali-India Foundation and held at its beautiful facilities in Denpasar, Bali. The Foundation’s head, Dr. Somvir, an Indian professor living in Bali, provided the translation in Bahasa Indonesian. Members of the audience included delegates from the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Balinese Hindu scholars and young Balinese professionals who are active in Hindu organizations.

Through a well-researched and interesting power presentation about Ram Sethu and the Sethusamudram Shipping Project followed by a question and answer session, Dr. Vyas captivated the attention of the audience for over two hours. In her presentation, Dr. Vyas explained the sacred aspects of Ram Sethu, its presence in ancient Hindu scriptures such as the Ramayana & the Puranas and references to Ram Sethu in historical records of the European and Islamic visitors dating back to the 12th century. Dr. Vyas provided a brief overview of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, the effect of the project on the ecology and environment of the region. She outlined the negative impact of the proposed shipping channel on the economic, environmental and social composition of the Sri Lankan and Indian coastal areas. Dr. Vyas covered in great detail the ecological damage the construction of a ship channel and the dredging associated with the project would cause to the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, the first marine protected area to be declared in South and South East Asia and established by the Government of India in 1989. The Reserve harbors marine biodiversity of global significance and is renowned for its coral reef, sea grass and algal communities in its marine, intertidal and near shore habitats. Public access inside the Park is prohibited.

Many in the audience were visibly moved by the presentation and expressed grave concern about the damage such as project would do to the environment as well as to the religious sentiments of the Hindus. Dr. Shalaby, an environmentalist from an international development bank who was in Bali as a delegate to the Climate Change Conference expressed his disbelief that any responsible government could conceive such a project especially in today’s climate where all concerned individuals are searching for answers to the problems which threaten the Earth’s environment.

“Ram Sethu is important to all of humanity and 3.5 million Hindus of Bali will support its preservation as a sacred monument,” is the hope expressed by Shri IGN Arya Wedakarna MWS, a prominent leader of the Hindu Youth in Bali. He went on to add that he would be willing to play an active role in helping to preserve Ram Sethu and would create awareness among the other Hindus of Indonesia.

Dr. Ngurah, Chairman of the Department of Religions, inaugurated the seminar with a lamp lighting ceremony. Several members of the audience, such as Dr. Nyoman a leading Hindu scholar from the Udayana University, expressed their appreciation of Dr. Vyas’ efforts and promised their full support of the initiative. The event received prominent coverage in the local media such as “Bali Post” and “Tokoh” whose reporters interviewed Dr. Vyas.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Vyas and her family met the King of Ubud, Ir. Tjok. Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati at the Royal Palace in Ubud. Over a sumptuous array of Balinese tea and snacks, she briefed the King about Ram Sethu and the impending danger it faces from the Sethusamudram Shipping project. She expressed her sentiments to the King that at the time when the entire world is concerned about the dangers from the Earth’s changing climate, Ram Sethu is a reminder from our Gods to all of humanity that bridging the divides and working in unity is the key solution to many of the problems that we face today.

Dr. Vyas will continue to liaise with the King and leaders from the Bali Hindu community about the future activities of the campaign. The King expressed his full support for the “Save Ram Sethu Campaign” and promised to attend the “International Ram Navmi Festival” being organized by. Dr. Vyas in collaboration with Hindu organizations from around the world. The festival will mark the first anniversary of the launching of the “Save Ram Sethu Campaign” by Esha Vasyam & others on Ram Navmi of 2007.


2 Responses to “Save Ram Sethu: Dr. Kusum Vyas at Bali”

  1. Ancient india » Save Ram Sethu: Dr. Kusum Vyas at Bali Says:

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  2. Kandarp Says:

    I am also willing to join group of save Ram Setu.
    Kandarp Trivedi

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