The Ram sethu and the controversy

The Art of Living condemns the UPA’s affidavit on Sethusamudram over Comments on RAM being dismissed as the mythical character. THere is this huge controversy going on after the govt goofed up in the country’s apex court after it actually filed an affidavit in the name of ASI that there is no evidence of RAM existing and he ever built a bridge and this Rama sethu is the same one he if ever did.

While the govt would have avoided this controversy without touching the faith part of it, it some say deliberately has racked up a controversy for obvious reasons. Might be coz of the Gujarat elections or might be to save itself from another controversy with its coalation partner the left over the Nuclear deal!

The affidavit says: ”The government has total respect for all religions and Hinduism in particular in the context of present case. The government is alive and conscious of religious sensibilities, including the unique ancient and holy text of Ramayana having regards to public sentiments.”

”Contents of the Valmiki Ramayana, the Ramcharita Manas by Tulsidas and other mythological texts cannot be said to be historical record to incontrovertibly prove the existence of the characters, or the occurrence of the events, depicted therein.”

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Thursday criticised the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for its judicial affidavit that said there was no historical evidence to prove the existence of Lord Ram.

In a statement issued from Germany, Sri Sri said: “Ramayana and Mahabharata are called “Itihasas” (histories). Itihas means it happened. That Sri Ram did exist is recorded in the epic Ramayana.

“The ancient seers had made clear distinction between “Puranas” (classical literature) and Itihasas. Puranas are mythological, symbolic stories, while Itihasas are that which actually happened.”

The founder of the Art of Living Foundation said it would be wrong to assume Lord Ram was a mythological character and not real because there was no scientific evidence to prove his existence.

“There were unproven miracles in the lives of religious figures of other faiths. If we dismiss Lord Ram as a fictitious character, then we have to dismiss all miracles in the lives of Jesus, Moses and Mohammed as myths,” he said.

In its affidavit to the Supreme Court on the Sethusamudram shipping channel, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said there were no “historical records” to prove the existence of Lord Ram or the Ram Sethu (bridge).

The affidavit has kicked off a major political controversy with the BJP pressurising the government to withdraw the controversial affidavit from the apex court.

The government later said it would file a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court, omitting the reference to Lord Ram.

UPDATE :

DETAILS OF THE CONTROVERSY:

The History and mythology have had tougher fights and this one is no exception. The sethu samudram…

The Fight over the Setusamudram project has reached dangerous proportions where the environment and religion science and faith are taking steep fights…. look at this discussion on cnn ibn its interesting and in a way this shows the vibrancy of Indian Democracy and societal values..

setu

Its like this one MR subrahmanya swamy asks the apex court to stop work on Sethusamudram and go for a convincingly safe design. He argued that the project is endangering the Hindu holy place the Ram sethu built in Tretha Yug (more than 17,00,000 years ago). Ram Sethu was built by Lord Ram with the help of Hanuman’s Vanar Sena to free his wife Sita from the captivity of ‘demon king’ Ravana.

The petitioner has sought declaration from the court that the formation known as Ram Sethu/Adam’s bridge is a protected and ancient monument and it should not be demolished while constructing Sethusamudram which is going to connect Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka in order to save navigation time for the ships.files an affidavit

ASI in its affidavit filed through ASI Director (monuments) C Dorjee stated, “The petitioners while seeking relief have primarily relied upon the contents of the Valimiki Ramayana, the Ram Charit Manas by Tulsidas and mythological texts, which formed an important part of ancient Indian literature, but which cannot be said to be historical records to incontrovertibly prove the existence of the characters or the occurrence of the event, depicted therein.”

Whereas it is submitted that the ASI is aware of and duly respects the deep religious import bestowed upon these texts by the Hindu community across the globe, it is also submitted that the study of human history, which is the primary object of the ASI, like other sciences and fields of study, must be carried out in a scientific manner using available technological aids, and its findings must be based on tangible material evidence.”

The government after widespread protests from Hindus all over, on Thursday decided to withdraw the “objectionable” paragraphs of the affidavit filed in the Supreme Court questioning the existence of Lord Ram or other characters in the epic Ramayana.

Member of the forum Doctors for Safe Environment, R Ramesh, says the Gulf of Mannar is an area where volcanic activities are very possible.

He cites studies by the international Indian Ocean Expedition of 1975 and a study by an underwater geologist G R K Murthy in 1994, to point out that these reports say, “magnetic and gravity data from the GoM floor” shows “a channel like feature about 12 to 20 km width in a broad trough on the ocean floor in this area, which is likely to be a result of shallow earthquake of less than 7 magnitude”.

The studies also report volcanic vents at 5 to 11 km depths, which show “presence of major tectonic structural features in the GoM floor”.

Sunday’s tsunamis that hit several Asian countries, was caused, experts say due to movement of the Indian sub-continental tectonic plate under the Burma plate.

Since Dec 26, as many as 100 aftershocks have hit the Andaman and Nicober group of islands, off this coast.

“To locate a shipping canal in an area which shows tectonic activity is not quite scientific”, Ramesh says.

The Palk Bay area is also one of the five major sediment sinks of India, the pit that holds drainings from major rives in the peninsula.

The IMD’s own records from 1891 to 2001 say out of the 452 storms that hit India, 256 hit the east coast.

South of 10 degree N, that is, the Nagapattinam coastline is “highly vulnerable”, most experts say.

In 1964, a storm in December washed away the Pamban bridge and a train full of people, mostly holiday makers.

In Nov 1966, a tidal bore battered Madras Port, which was again battered by
Sunday’s tsunami.

In Dec 1973, five meter high tidal waves hit Palk Bay, through which the Sethu canal will be dredged.

In 1977, Nagapattinam was hit by a cyclone. In 1978, Palk Bay was lashed by 120km speed winds.In Nov 1992, Tuticorin harbour was battered by high winds and waves.In 1993, as many as 111 people were killed on the Karaikal-Pondicherry coastline.

In I994, again 304 people died and 100,000 huts were washed away when high winds and rough seas hit Chennai city.

The Dec 26 tsunami has taken many more lives, the toll stands over 14,000.
Here is a voluntary group of concerned citizens who have expressed their concern over the project. Although the Govt has rejected them as saying anxious and over enthusiastic.

A critical view from the Govt and ppl of Srilanka showing concern for security as well as the ecological alarm. If you are too interested here is the Setu samudram complete coverage on TOI.

A from the Govt and ppl of Srilanka showing concern for security as well as the ecological alarm. If you are too interested here is the Setu samudram complete coverage on .

6 thoughts on “The Ram sethu and the controversy

  1. svelliyod

    Therevis nothing but political mileage and lure of the huge money behind this. While the DMK wants to leverage its current strentgh in the Parliament to armwtist the Congress into sanctioning this projec, the Congress itslef hope to hide the Nuclear Issue and its subsequent distancing from the Left… Later ofcourse the Congrss will apologise, sack a clear pf the ASi, mat=ybe even transfer the Dorector of ASI! And we wil all be happy!
    So will they be!

  2. Veeru వీరు

    Diwakar:
    I just updated the earlier blog, with details of the project and the controversy surrounding it.

    Sankaran: Political mileage yes but isnt tehre an issue in it. Doesnt there a need for us, we HINDUS to stand up and say How dare you call there is no RAM or KRISHNA ? Can this be done to anyother religion and still they get away ? No hurt intended

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