Rama Setu: Next SC hearing April 15, 2008

SC will hear Sethusamudram issue on April 15

The Supreme Court fixed April 15 to hear the petition against the Sethusamudram project on Wednesday, asking the parties opposing it to file their reply to the fresh affidavit filed by the Centre.

Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said that on April 15 it will further decide the date for further hearing on the matter.

http://www.dailynews365.com/national-news/sc-will-hear-sethusamudram-issue-on-april-15/

Sadhus perform special pooja to protect Ram Setu

Rameswaram, March 04 A group of sadhus from Andhra Pradesh today performed a special pooja to protect Ramar Bridge (Ram Setu) at Dhanushkodi sea shore, here.

The sadhus and other devotees, led by Sri Sampoorna Gnananda Giri Swamiji, congregated at the Dhanushkodi seashore. They performed special pooja to the Rameswaram Jothirlingam, the first and foremost among 12 jothirlingams, seeking blessings to protect the Ramar Sethu, considered to be built by Lord Ram.

Later, speaking to newspersons the Swamiji appealed to the Centre and Tamil Nadu Governments not to hurt the religious sentiments of crores of Hindus by stating that Ramar Birdge was not man-made. The devotees of Ram across the country would stage protest if the Centre attempts to damage the holy bridge, he added.- Bureau Report

Published: Wednesday, March 05, 2008

http://www.chennaionline.com/colnews/newsitem.asp?NEWSID=%7BDC143A96-8C3C-4F79-B283-A5A1A4717CC6%7D&CATEGORYNAME=CHN

RAM SETHU

NRI Hindu group urges SC to not intervene

New York, PTI: (Deccan Herald, 5 March 2008)

An organisation of Hindus living in US and Europe campaigning for the conservation of “Ram Sethu” has urged the Supreme Court not to intervene in what it called a “purely religious” matter.

In a statement released here yesterday, the ‘Save Ram Sethu Campaign’ suggested that in a secular country, judiciary should not get involved in rulings on religious beliefs.

Flaying the government for its “politically-motivated” approach to the issue, the campaign accused it of “attempting to shift the burden of its democratic responsibility” to the courts.

“If this government really believes in human rights, rule of law and true democracy, it would resolve the issue through the well-established democratic norm of ‘dialogue’ with all concerned,” it added.

http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Mar52008/national2008030555688.asp?section=updatenews

March 4, 2008

Press Release by the “Save Ram Sethu Campaign” in response to the Government of India’s latest affidavit in the Supreme Court to vacate the stay on the demolition of Ram Sethu.

The Save Ram Sethu Campaign, supported by Hindu groups from around the world, expresses profound disappointment with Government of India’s latest affidavit in which the Government has prayed to the Supreme Court to vacate the stay on the demolition of Ram Sethu and allow it to continue with the dredging operations to create the “Sethu Samudram ‘Shipping’ Channel Project” (SSCP). The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the reworded affidavit of the Government of India on 05 March 2008.

In this fresh affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on February 29, 2008, the Government of India contends that available scientific evidence points to the fact that “Ram Sethu” is a natural formation. The latest affidavit is primarily based on a report submitted by the “Committee of Eminent Persons” – a group whose members the Government had hand picked to examine the issue. This group had convened in Chennai from October 29 to November 3, 2007.

Captain Hariharan Balakrishnan, (Indian Navy, & Master Mariner and former Commanding Officer of guided missile frigate INS Trishul) who has provided some invaluable analysis of the viability of the Sethu Samudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) from a ‘Mariner’s Perspective’, has identified several gaping holes that expose the inanity of this report from the standpoint of National Security. Similar concerns have been submitted by a team of “three Geologists”, in their analysis from a geological perspective. Despite submitting their analysis, orally as well as in writing to the “Committee of Eminent Persons”, the “three Geologists” are chagrined to find that no reference is made to their analysis in the “Final Report” of this Committee!

The Save Ram Sethu Campaign is concerned that in spite of being the “largest democracy” in the world, the Government of India has failed to call for a referendum or public approval of this perhaps, the most provocative and controversial project in the history of free India involving more than 80% of its population and millions of Hindus worldwide. Under such circumstances it is scandalous that the government continues to ignore the religious sentiments of a billion plus Hindus. Ram Sethu’s fate should not have to be decided in the courts and the latest affidavit by the Government of India is tantamount to trampling upon the feelings, sentiments, emotions and religious values and heritage of the entire Hindu population and it is a sad reflection upon the style of actual functioning of the country’s “democracy”.

The supporters of the Save Ram Sethu Campaign believe that the secular Indian Supreme Court should not involve itself in rulings concerning religious beliefs. The supporters of the campaign express grave concern that the Government of India is evading its responsibilities as its latest affidavit appears to be a politically motivated, deliberate and a willful ploy to shift the burden of its democratic responsibility to the Courts. If this government really believes in human rights, rule of law and true democracy, it would resolve the issue through the well-established democratic norm of ‘dialogue’ with all concerned.

The Save Ram Sethu Campaign expresses indignation and outrage that the fate of Ram Sethu now shifts to India’s Apex Court and asks, “Will the Court ‘vacate’ the ‘stay’ or maintain status quo?”

The Save Ram Sethu Campaign requests Mr. Manmohan Singh to stop passing the buck as now is the time for him to show true leadership and declare Ram Sethu a “Historic National Heritage Site”.

Ends

For more information contact:

USA: Dr. Kusum Vyas

Esha Vasyam on 713 876 5400 or kusumvyas@sbcglobal.net

Europe: Nizaad Bissumbhar

Global Human Rights Defence on 31 616 494 311 or nbissumbhar@ghrd.org

Website: http://www.RamSethu.org

For mass circulation to all print and electronic media

http://www.freepressjournal.in/05032008/Edit3.htm

Ram Sethu: Economically not viable!

By J N Raina

The Congress is in a dilemma, whether to go ahead with the

Rs -2600 crore Sethusamdram project or to abandon it for Ram, who they do not revere, just to placate the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), led by an atheist. In fact, the Congress is excessively worried-and in trouble too-about the expert Committee’s report on the project, that Ramayana was just a “Fairy tale, without factual basis”.

The Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project was set-up to look into various concerns raised by the BJP, its allied parties and a number of individuals. The report has quoted two German scholars, calling the Ramayana a `fairy tale’. The latest report came just on the heels of an affidavit the UPA Government had filed in the Supreme Court, which (affidavit) had ascertained that there was no proof that Ram had ever existed, touching off major political storm in the country. But the Government came to senses and withdrew that affidavit immediately. However, scars have remained. The project is neither economically viable nor free from risk.

The committee, comprising environmentalists, academics and historians, has ignominiously believed in the version of the two German scholars, who in their research work had said in 1880s that “The narration of the Indian epic (Ramayana) appears to us nothing more than a pious fairy tale, without factual basis”. It is mind-boggling. This was the time, when India was being described abroad as a land of `snake charmers’. But gone are those days. Should we believe it even now? The world opinion has changed about India but the Indians’ mindset continues to remain so. These committee findings have come at a time when the Lok Sabha elections are almost approaching. The BJP has already launched its campaign. Naturally it will take advantage of the Congress fiasco.

The ASI had earlier stated in the affidavit that the contents of Valmikhi Ramayana, the Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas and other mythological texts, which admittedly form an important part of ancient Indian literature…cannot be said to be a historical record to `inconvertibly prove the existence of the characters, or the occurrence of events, depicted therein”.

What the committee has said about Ram is simply blasphemous. Had similar observations been made in relation to any other religion, particularly Islam, swords would have been unsheathed. Once bitten, twice shy. The Centre has not accepted the report for obvious reason, finding it risky. But it wants to trivialise the controversial issue further.

On the contrary, people in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, venerate Ram; if not as God, but as a great hero, as a `perfect person’ (Purush Uttam). People in Bali (Indonesia) believe in the Hindu God of Trinity Brahma,Vishnu and Shiva in their own method of understanding.

In Bali, there are thousands of statues of Hindu Gods, including that of Ram. It was quite amazing to watch on Zee TV News Channel recently that there are many statues and temples dedicated to Hindu Gods. The Zee TV has done splendid work on the history of Ramayana in Indonesia.

The biggest temple is located in a spacious palace of Sultan in Bali. There is an idol of Ram also. It is unbelievable what one could see on the channel, in contrast to what is happening in India vis-a-vis Ram, who is being regarded there as a `historical person’ and not as God. It is in contrast to the Indian perception about Ram, who is being worshipped as a God.

For Hindus, he is god-incarnate. In Bali, school children are being inculcated lessons about the conduct of Ram. They are being taught at home too. Parents in Bali are eager that their children should have enough of knowledge about Ramayana and Mahabharata, unlike in India, which is being swept away by western culture, day by day. In India, where Ram was born (Ayodhaya), misconceptions are being spread about the existence of Ram and his character, by a section of the Congress leadership, the DMK, headed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, the Leftists and many pseudo-secularists.

Karunanidhi has indulged in anti-Ram tirade, saying: ” There is no historical evidence to suggest that someone called Ram existed or that he had the engineering knowledge to build a bridge or that he had, in fact, built such a bridge”. He had even made a vitriolic attack on Ram and contemptuously remarked that ‘Ram was a drunkard’. How vulgar it sounds.

People of Indonesia believe in Ram as a `historical character’ and respect him as such. But in India, the existence of Ram is being considered a `myth’. What a pity on this nation, where 80 per cent of a one billion people are Hindus.

In India, the government’s attitude is apathetic. There is no archaeological evidence to support the existence of Ram, and hence Ram Sethu because the government is not interested in finding out the truth, lest it might hurt the feelings of Muslim fundamentalists.

For the over past 600 years, Hindu icons have been plundered and demolished by Muslim invaders. As a result, much of India’s archaeological heritage has completely vanished and disappeared. Many of the important archaeological cites were discovered during the British rule. After independence, the slavish mentality would not disappear.

The people’s psyche remained unchanged, by and large. A well-known geologist Dr Baddrinarayan, a former Director of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has said: ” The structure (Ram Sethu) is not natural-the shape of the boulders and the type of the material clearly indicates that it is a man-made structure”, but such a version of an Indian scientist is taken as pro-BJP version. These findings are regarded as views of the Hindu extremists.

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