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Rama Setu -1
relevant to my earlier post (66):

<span style='color:red'>Sethusamudram hits rocky bottom</span>

Adams Bridge — or Ramar Bridge — off the coast of Rameswaram holds up India’s dredging activity

It’s divine intervention say Hindu devotees; it’s nature’s way of protesting, say environmentalists

By K. Venkataramanan in Chennai- Exclusively for The Sunday Times

The controversial Sethusamudram ship canal project has hit a big physical barrier – and some may venture to comment that it is nature's protest, or even divine intervention.

Holding up dredging operations to deepen the sea in the Palk Straits is the rocky bottom in the Adam's Bridge area. Devout Hindus say it is actually 'Ramar Sethu', a bridge of rocks that the monkey army of Lord Ram had built to help the exiled god-prince cross over to Sri Lanka to rescue his wife, Sita, from the clutches of his demon-adversary, Ravana. Ramayana, the ancient Hindu epic is the story of Ram's adventures as he tries to rescue his abducted wife.

Some may dismiss it as mere mythology, and some others may say the 'Ramar Bridge' is nothing but a series of undersea rock formations across the Palk Straits, but the structure referred to in maps as 'Adam's Bridge' off the coast of Rameswaram in south-eastern Tamil Nadu is proving to be the hardest stumbling block that is holding up dredging activity for the ambitious Sethusamudram project.

Twice in the last week of January, dredging work suffered serious setbacks, first when the spud of a cutter suction dredger (CSD) broke, and later, when a tug-crane, brought to retrieve the broken spud, snapped and a part of the crane sank into the sea. The mishap occurred when the sea close to Adam’s Bridge was sought to be dredged.

An attempt to invoke Hindu belief and thus stall the project on the ground that the dredging may destroy the 'ancient' bridge built by Ram's devotees failed in a subordinate court, but dredging activity is at a standstill in the Adam's Bridge area ever since the spud broke. Officials say the spud is yet to be repaired.

The Rs. 24 billion Sethusamudram project involves dredging the sea to create a sea lane for large ships between the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Bay.

Project proponents claim it will cut down navigation time by more than a day and save fuel costs for ships intending to move from India's western seaboard to the east.

Environmental activists and marine conservationists opposing the project from day one may construe the rocky impediment to the dredger's efforts as nature's revenge against callous human intervention for commercial purposes. And the religious-minded contend that the Hindu god Ram is preventing the destruction of the 'Sethu' bridge constructed by his loyal Vanara Sena.

A Hindu religious leader, Swami Omkarananda of Chidbhavana Ashram at Vedapuri in Theni district of Tamil Nadu, went to court with a plea for a restraining order against the continuation of dredging in the Adam's Bridge site on the ground that it would destroy the ancient bridge, hurt Hindu religious sentiments and also amount to a violation of the State's obligation to protect ancient monuments of religious, historical and archaeological importance.

The sentiment was backed by some political support. Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) agreed with the swami that the heritage value of the Ramar Bridge made it worth preserving. Jayalalithaa is an opponent of the project, having listed environmental, ecological and economic feasibility arguments against the canal in the past.

Ramanathapuram Civil <b>Judge S. Mohammed Abu Thahir </b>was not sufficiently impressed by the swami’s argument.

He accepted the government lawyer's submission that a project involving high stakes for the government and huge investments could not be stalled. However, the judge suggested that the government take heed of the religious leader's claims and have them examined by archaeologists.

Swami Omkarananda had cited satellite pictures published by the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) to substantiate his claim that an ancient bridge, "30 km long, three km wide and 17 to 25,000 years old", had existed under the strait dividing India and Sri Lanka. However, experts say the satellite images merely showed the existence of a series of rock formations, and were no testimony to their age or antiquity.

Further, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist body that functions as the ideological guide of the BJP, recently passed a resolution at a conference opposing the destruction of ‘Rama’s Bridge’ in the course of the Sethusamudram project.

For its part, the Union government said it did not possess any evidence of any ‘bridge’ under the sea. There had been no explorations by the marine archaeology department in the Adam’s Bridge area, it said in a written reply tabled in Parliament.

Of more immediate concern to the Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd, the corporate entity spearheading the Sethu canal project, is the fact that dredging is excruciatingly slow, more difficult than expected and may prove more expensive than estimated.

As soon as the spud of its CSD broke, the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI), a state-owned company, flew in a team from the Dutch manufacturer of the cutter-suction-dredger to repair the damage, but the retrieval of its broken part itself proved to be a difficult proposition. A 150-tonne tug-crane named 'Thangam' was brought in to lift the broken spud from the sea, but the crane's locking key broke in the process.

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>As irony would have it, an even bigger tug-crane that was brought to retrieve the broken piece of the first crane was named 'Hanuman', Ram's foremost devotee and a monkey warrior himself. But Hanuman could not succeed against Ram's 'divine power', and the broken spud is yet to be retrieved.</span>

By February 26, dredging in only one of the three sections had made some headway. According to figures made public by the Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd., out of the 13.55 million cubic metres of sediment to be dredged in one 13.5 kilometre stretch in the Palk Bay area, 10.81 million cubic metres had been dredged (79.85%) by March 13. However, in the Adam's Bridge area in the Palk Strait, the progress is a mere 1.28%.

Out of a total quantity of 48.05 million cubic metres to be dredged over a distance of 35 km, only 615,718 cubic metres had been dredged up to February 26.In another stretch of a little over 40 km in the Palk Bay, the longest, and with a quantity of 20.95 million cubic metres to be dredged, work has not begun at all. Thus, out of a total of 82 million cubic metres, only 11.43 million cubic metres have been dredged.

The Dredging Corporation of India was not originally slated to take up the entire dredging work. It was asked to kickstart dredging operations soon after the project was inaugurated in mid-2005, and subsequent stretches were to be awarded to international players on the basis of a global tender.

However, the prices quoted by some overseas companies were said to be of the order of over Rs. 40 billion, whereas the project itself had an outlay of only Rs. 24.27 billion. The DCI website says its 'capital dredging' assignment for the Sethusamudram canal is worth Rs. 21 billion.

Whether the DCI will be able to complete its mission within the stipulated time of three years (ending late in 2008) without cost escalation is anybody's guess.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Rama Setu is NOT a natural formation</b>
What experts say

S Badrinarayanan, former director of Geological Survey of India and a member of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) says the Adam's Bridge was not a natural formation.

"Coral reefs are formed only on hard surfaces. But during the study we found that the formation at Adam's Bridge is nothing but boulders of coral reefs. When we drilled for investigation, we found that there was loose sand two to three metres below the reefs. Hard rocks were found several metres below the sand.

Such a natural formation is impossible. Unless somebody has transported them and dumped them there, those reefs could not have come there. Some boulders were so light that they could float on water. Apparently, whoever has done it, has identified light (but strong) boulders to make it easy for transportation. Since they are strong, they can withstand a lot of weight. It should be preserved as a national monument," he opined.

He also cautioned that once the channel connected the turbulent Bay of Bengal and the calm Gulf of Mannar, it could spell doom for the southern Tamil Nadu coastline. During the tsunamis, it was Adam's Bridge and Sri Lanka that saved the southern coastline when Nagapattinam and other northern shores were ravaged.

"Such comforts would not be there in future if this man-made barrier is cut open," he added.

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/net/mmpaper.as...3849125ed2eedd8 <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>
Why the Ram Setu must not be destroyed</span>

Sethusamudram, a project to create alternative shorter route for ships to cross the Gulf of Mannar, is a wonderful idea -- one which is more than 150 years old. The channel, originally an idea of a British commander named A D Taylor was put forth in 1860. In 1955, the Government of India set up the Sethusamudram project committee to look into the feasibility of the project and five routes were discussed till 2001 but nothing happened. The National Democratic Alliance government sanctioned a few crore rupees to study the project but before a final decision on the route could be taken, the government lost power.
The official web site of the project says, 'Ships originating from the west of India and destined for Chennai, Ennore, Vishakapatnam, Paradeep, Haldia and Kolkata have to travel around the Sri Lankan coast resulting in increase of travel distance and time. Apart from this ships belonging to Indian Navy and Coast Guard need also to traverse around Sri Lanka. In order to reduce the steaming distances between the east and west coast of India and to improve the navigation within territorial waters of India, a navigation channel connecting the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay through Adam's Bridge has been envisaged so that the ships moving between the east and west coasts of India need not go around Sri Lanka.' The total cost of the project is Rs 2,427 crores (Rs 24.27 billion).

But due to political expediency and a pathetic problem of a 'secular amnesia' about heritage matters, it has got a controversial hue, which could have been avoided if some transparency was maintained and points of collective sensitivities and faith were not ignored. The project is fine, but the present route is not, as it involves destruction of a bridge believed to have been built by Lord Rama and Muslims and Christians believe it to be Adam's creation.

Foreigners and Indians alike have described it as Rama's bridge since ancient times in their maps and travelogues. The first time someone called it Adam's Bridge was in 1804 by James Rennell, the first surveyor general of the East India Company. Even if the Government of India prefers to use the name Adam's Bridge, it simply proves that not only Hindus but Muslims and Christians too have a reverence for the bridge it is going to destroy.

Now when the media and political leaders are busy with the Uttar Pradesh election and exit polls, the Sethusamudram dredgers are busy destroying a great world heritage site India has.

The Ram Setu or Adam's Bridge connects India's Rameshwaram to Sri Lanka's Talaimannar. A movement has begun to safeguard it at the shores of Rameshwaram on April 18. Two former judges of the Supreme Court, Justice K T Thomas and Justice V R Krishna Iyer, none of them close to the saffron side, have warned the government against destroying the Ram Setu.

It is ironical that a government which changes the metro rail route to protect the Qutub Minar, built with the material of destroyed temples, stops a corridor to protect the Taj Mahal's surroundings and spends crores of rupees to showcase ancient potteries and jewellery in heavily guarded museums, is destroying a unique symbol of national identity and an icon well preserved in our minds since ages. Even a child knows that a bridge was built by the friends of Lord Rama using floating stones and Rama's army marched over it to Lanka to rescue Sita and destroy the evil regime of Ravana.

Hence during Dussehra every year and in dance dramas depicting Rama's life enacted across the globe, specially in East Asia, they never ever fail to mention the Setu Bandhan or the construction of Rama's bridge. Apart from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata also refers to the continued protection of Nala Setu following Sri Rama's command. Kalidasa's Raghuvamsham also refers to the Setu. So does the Skanda Purana (III 1.2.1-114), the Vishnu Purana (IV 4.40-49), the Agni Purana (V-XI), the Brahma Purana (138.1-40).

That is the memory <b>so beautifully adopted by the Geological Survey of India in its logo, which describes India in this line etched at the bottom of its insignia -- Aasetu Himachal, meaning India is spread between the Bridge and the Himalayas. </b>That is the Ram Setu Bridge on the southern tip of our motherland, an identity of the nation, under destruction now.

The credit of digging up material regarding the Ram Setu and providing impeccable factual content goes to Kalyan Raman, a former senior executive of the Asian Development Bank. He astounded even the government with his material on the entire project. His findings have stirred up protests from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha. Ashok Singhal of the VHP is spearheading a movement to protect the Ram Setu. He addressed a big public meeting in Rameshwaram with religious heads and Dr Subramanian Swamy. BJP leader and former Union human resources development minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi has written to the prime minister, urging him to stop the destruction of the great heritage site.

The government, very 'secular and fair' indeed, tries not to remember or give any credence to what Hindus, Muslims and Christians believe, But this is what NASA says about the bridge, 'Exploring space with a camera by NASA's [193] Gemini XI, this photograph from an altitude of 410 miles encompasses all of India, an area of 1,250 000 square miles,' George M Low, then the deputy director, Manned Spacecraft Center, NASA, notes. 'Bombay is on the west coast, directly left of the spacecraft's can-shaped antenna, New Delhi is just below the horizon near the upper left. Adam's Bridge between India and Ceylon, at the right, is clearly visible...' We can see the picture dramatically resembles the description given in Kalidasa's Raghuvamsham. Kalidasa wrote, (sarga 13): 'Rama, while returning from Sri Lanka in Pushpaka Vimaana told Sita: "Behold, Sita, My Setu of mountains dividing this frothy ocean is like the milky way dividing the sky into two parts".'

The Encyclopedia Britannica describes the bridge thus, 'Adam's Bridge also called Rama's Bridge, chain of shoals, between the islands of Mannar, near northwestern Sri Lanka, and Rameswaram, off the southeastern coast of India.'

Apart from such issues of heritage and belief, there are genuine concerns regarding security and the tsunamis' impact increasing in case the Ram Setu is destroyed. If the new channel is created through the present Rama's bridge, international ships would pass through it making a de facto international boundary between India and Sri Lanka, facilitating an increased alien presence, burdening our navy to a great extent.

So far the sea between India and Sri Lanka has been recognised as historic waters, though the United States has been pressurising to have it declared as international waters and said in a naval notification in 2005 that it does not accept the sea between India and Sri Lanka as 'historic'. The US declaration and the role of the Tuticorin Port Trust, the nodal agency to implement the Sethu Samudram Canal Project coupled with the haste with which the project was inaugurated, has given rise to many unanswered questions.

The US Navy operational directive refusing to accept the sea between India and Sri Lanka as 'historic' was made on June 23, 2005. The Prime Minister's Office sent some queries in March 2005 to N K Raghupathy, chief of the Tuticorin Port Trust. He sent answers to the PMO's queries on June 30, 2005 and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the project on July 2, 2005. Why were the queries sent to the TPT and not to an agency which had scientific authority to look into the geological and maritime aspects of the project? Why did the prime minister and the UPA chairperson rush to inaugurate the project without, prima facie, having the time to look into the answers given by the TPT chief? Why was the present route okayed which essentially requires the destruction of the Ram Setu, while other options, closer to Dhanushkodi, which did not touch the Ram Setu were ignored?

Local fishermen, Hindus, Muslims and Christians alike oppose the present route and are demanding alternative channels, which are available. They say the present channel would destroy marine life and corals. This will kill the trade in shankas (shells) that has a turnover in excess of Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.5 billion) per annum. Invaluable thorium deposits would be affected, which are too important for our nuclear fuel requirements.

Professor Tad Murthy, the world renowned tsunami expert, who advised the Government of India on the tsunami warning system and edited the Tsunami Journal for over 20 years, has also warned that the present Setu Samudram route may result in tsunami waves hitting Kerala more fiercely. In a reply to a query regarding the Sethusanmudram's impact, he wrote, 'During the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004, the southern part of Kerala was generally spared from a major tsunami, mainly because the tsunami waves from Sumatra region travelling south of the Sri Lankan island, partially diffracted northward and affected the central part of the Kerala coast. Since the tsunami is a long gravity wave (similar to tides and storm surges) during the diffraction process, the rather wide turn it has to take spared the south Kerala coast. On the other hand, deepening the Sethu Canal might provide a more direct route for the tsunami and this could impact south Kerala.'

The issue concerns us all, and should be taken up as Indians, without getting entangled in party lines and political games. The Ram Setu or Adam's Bridge belongs to all humanity, being an important heritage site; hence the government should not allow it to become another issue affecting Hindu sensitivities. Nobody is opposing the Sethu Samudram Project, only a realignment of the route is being asked, as the present one destroys the Ram Setu.

<span style='color:red'>UPA is to Setu what Taliban is to Bamiyan</span>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>Baalu studies records on Ramar Setu</span>

Tuesday May 1 2007 03:39 IST
THANJAVUR: In what is considered a significant development in the Ramar Setu controversy, Union Minister for Shipping and Surface Transport TR Baalu visited the historic Saraswathi Mahal Library here on Monday, and scrutinised the records that included books and drawings pertaining to the epic Ramayana.

The visit is all the more crucial at a time when work on the construction of a shipping canal under the Sethusamudram project is in progress and certain organisations, including the BJP and VHP, have raised objections to the digging operations to the detriment of Ramar Setu at Rameswaram.

Baalu, who was on a twoday visit to Tamil Nadu to participate in the celebrations of a college at Punalkulam in Pudukkottai district, visited the library and studied the records in connection with the bridge.

Speaking to journalists, Baalu said that there is no such bridge under the sea and the pictures by NASA, supporting the existence of the bridge, are also incorrect.

On a question whether he intended to destroy the evidence on the issue, Baalu said, "Can anyone even destroy the collections housed in this thousand year old library? I have come here in search of evidence for a piece of news."

When asked whether he chanced upon any evidence from the ancient library, Baalu said, "I will make an announcement in the Parliament on May 23. Any announcement now may become an advantage to the opponents."

It is said the Minister collected the copies from the Valmiki Ramayana, Maanasa Ramayana, Adhyathma Ramayana, Kamba Ramayana, Thulsidas Ramayana and other sources.

Administrative Officer Sami Sivagnanam, Curator Perumal, Sanskrit scholar Veeraraghavan and others were also present on the occasion.
Minister personally going to library to study books!!!! Last time I remember this happening was back in late 80s or early 90s after which some books by persian and urdu scholars mysteriously started disappearing, special those that recorded deeds of Emperor Babur.
Not related, Anun Shourie had mentioned in one article, the most interesting operation of making a particular book disappear - each single copy of it - from ALL the libraries that had it. He was doing research on Ram Janma Bhumi issue, and was looking for an Urdu book written by a very reputed Ulema/Islamic scholar in 19th century. Book was called 'Hindustan Islami Ahad Mein' ('India during Islami Rule' or some similar title).

The book was considered an authority on that chapter of Indian history. Shourie mentions how each single copy of the book had been recalled by the publisher, and that every single copy available in libraries like AMU, DU etc, magically disappeared. He still found it somehow from some private collection etc, and found that the book has a chronicle of all temples that were destroyed by the Muslim rulers, not to mention with details of how Ram Janma Bhumi was destroyed.
Correction in the previous post. I was not right. Apologize for the misinformation. Sri Arun Shourie had actually written:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->During some work I came across the reference to a book of his (Maulana Hakim Sayid Abdul) and began to look for it.

It was a long, discursive book, I learnt, which began with descriptions of the geography, flora and fauna, languages, people and the regions of India.  These were written for the Arabic speaking peoples, the book having been written in Arabic.

In 1972, I learnt, the Nadwatul-Ulama had the book translated into Urdu and published the most important chapters of the book under the title Hindustan Islami Ahad Mein (?Hindustan under Islamic Rule?).  Ali Mian, I was told, had himself written the foreword in which he had commanded the book most highly.  The book as published had left out descriptions of geography etc., on the premise that facts about these are well known to Indian readers.

A Sudden Reluctance

A curious fact hit me in the face.  Many of the persons who one would have normally expected to be knowledgeable about such publications were suddenly reluctant to recall this book. I was told, in fact, that copies of the book had been removed, for instance from the Aligarh Muslim University Library.  Some even suggested that a determined effort had been made three or four years ago to get back each and every copy of this book.

Fortunately the suggestion turned out to be untrue.  While some of the libraries one would normally expect, to have the book-the Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi; the famous libraries in Hyderabad-those of the Dairutual Maarifal-Osmania, of the Salar Jung Museum, of the Nizam?s Trust, of the Osmania University, the Kutubkhana-i-Saidiya - did not have it, others did.  Among the latter were the Nadwa?s library itself, the justly famous Khuda Baksh Library in Patna, that of the Institute of Islamic Studies in Delhi.

The fact that the book was available in all these libraries came as a great reassurance.  I felt that if reactionaries and propagandists have become so well organised that they can secure the disappearance from every library of a book they have come not to like, we are in deep trouble.  Clearly they were not that resourceful.
I think this is a good development. Jaya does put the scare into DMK.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Baalu bluffing on Ramar bridge: Jaya

NT Bureau
Chennai, May 2:

        AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa today accused Union Minister for Shipping and Surface Transport T R Baalu of bluffing and trying to hide the truth on the Ramar bridge issue.

        In a strongly worded statement here, Jayalalithaa said NASA, the American space agency had corroborated the existence of Ramar Bridge mentioned in Ramayana, by its satellite pictures. It has also made it clear that the bridge was 17,50,000 years old. 'The Britishers called it the Adambs bridge and the fact that a bridge existed was contained in the survey department records made during the English rule. It is the duty of us all to protect such an ancient heritage symbol and pass it on to the future generations,' the AIADMK chief said and alleged that the DMK had ventured to destroy this ancient monument for 'selfish monetary considerations'.

        The AIADMK, BJP and leaders of several other political parties, besides the general public, have strongly objected to the demolition of Ramar bridge. 'Despite evidences, Baalu is denying the existence of Ramar bridge and is lying that such a structure was never there,' Jayalalithaa said.

        She also alleged that in an effort to make true his theory that there was no bridge, the Union Minister had gone to the Saraswathi Mahal library at Thanjavur. 'It appears that he had tried to destroy old documents related to the existence of the Ramar bridge and had also intimidated officials of the library,' the AIADMK chief alleged and added that it was an unpardonable act.

        Television channels have also shown images of stones of the Ramar bridge being taken away stealthily in a ship.

        The leader of the opposition also appealed to the President and Prime Minster to immediately stop further damage to the ancient Ramar bridge.

        'If no action is taken immediately, the AIADMK would take legal steps to halt the destruction of Ramar bridge,' Jayalalithaa said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Sethu project rocks Parliament</b>
5/3/2007 3:52:50 AM  PTI

NEW DELHI: The Sethusamudram project issue rocked both Houses of Parliament on Thursday with an aggressive BJP accusing the government of attempting to destroy evidence of the existence of ancient 'Ram Setu' (bridge) linking India and Sri Lanka.

Countering the claim in Lok Sabha, Shipping Minister T R Baalu, joined by DMK members, strongly objected to the issue being raised in the House on the ground that it was sub-judice. He said the matter was pending in the Allahabad High Court.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, BJP deputy leader V K Malhotra contended that the issue was not sub judice. It involved destruction of evidence, he said.

The Rs.2427 crore Sethusamudram ship channel project envisages dredging of 167 km channel along the Palk Straits, Palk Bay and Adams Bridge to connect Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka.

The BJP-Shiv Sena members trooped to the well raising slogans against the minister, forcing Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to adjourn the House for a short while.

At one stage, when Baalu was waving a paper to press home his point, the Speaker sternly told him "Mr minister, don't show the papers".

When the House met at 12.30 pm, the Speaker said, "This being a contentious matter, you give me the papers because serious reservations seem to be there. I am not rejecting it".

The BJP-Shiv Sena members again moved to the well shouting Ram Setu bachao (save Ram Setu). They later relented to allow discussion on the Finance Bill.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Christoterrorist plan is genius:
(1) proclaim "there is no bridge";
(2) refuse to look at bridge;
(3) attempt to destroy bridge and hope to succeed in it;
(4) (With the intention of declaring) "see, there is no bridge"
They must have all graduated at that same cambridge school helena II went to.
Not directly relevant to the thread, and yet...

<span style='color:red'>Valmiki and Homer – A Critical Study of the alleged Greek influence on Ramayana</span> By Sri K. V. Ramakrishna Rao

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The controversy was initiated by Rev. D. C. Boyd1, by translating an article of Albrecht Weber, a Professor at Berlin, written in German. D. C. Boyd brought out the Weber’s conclusions in Indian Antiquary (Vol.I, 1872) as follows:

1. The entire narrative of the exile itself has to a large extent, been developed out of germs furnished by Buddhistic legends.

2. In the existing condition of the text, however, we find unmistakable indications that the influence of Greece upon India was already firmly established.

3. It is possible that in addition of these two elements (namely the abduction of Sita and the siege of Lanka) by Valmiki, we should recognize the influence of an acquaintance with the Homeric saga cycle.

4. The work of Valmiki can hardly date earlier than this (i.e, about the beginning of the Christian era).

K. T. Telang read a paper before the Student’s Literary and Scientific Society, Bombay on September 2, 1872 refuting the above points. M. Krishnamachariar3 (1937) and others too pointed out the fallacies in such hypotheses. However, they were not publicized like the Weber’s writings. After that, many western and Indian scholars proceeded in the lines of Weber and filled the libraries with their hypotheses and theories, thereby, the modern Indian mind is still haunted and daunted by their writings. R. C. Dutt, H. Jacobi, Lassen, Monier Williams, H. H. Wilson, J. C. Chatterjee, M, V. Kibe, P. E. Pargiter, C. V. Vaidya, H. D. Sankalia, S. N. Vyas, and host of historians, archaeologists and sociologists have though delved on the subject, they have almost decided the issue by accepting the Greek influence. Therefore, the Homeric / Greek sources are analyzed here to find out the facts and review the issue in the right perspective.
link<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Das Munshi assured that Setu Samundaram would not be allowed to be destroyed during the UPA rule like the Babri Masjid was demolished when BJP was in power in Uttar Pradesh in December 1992.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
But Congress was on power in Centre. What the hell they were doing then?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Unless realigned, canal threatens Ram Setu </b>
K Venkataramanan | Chennai
Dredgers founder on Hanuman's bridge
The ambitious Rs 2,427-crore Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project has virtually foundered, having hit what is being described as the legendary 'Ram Setu' - the bridge built by Hanuman's vanar sena to help Lord Ram and his army cross the sea and enter Lanka to rescue Sita. 

The dredging work for creating the sea channel has considerably slowed down because even the strongest dredgers have failed to cut through an unyielding chain of shoals and rocks. In British era maps this is referred to as Adam's Bridge. But for many Hindus, this is the Ram Setu.

Twice in the last week of January, dredging work suffered serious setback, first when the spud of a cutter suction dredger (CSD-Aquarius) broke, and later, when a tug-crane, brought to retrieve the broken spud, snapped and a part of the crane sank into the sea.

The mishap occurred when the sea close to Adam's Bridge was sought to be dredged. It took several weeks for the Dredging Corporation of India, contracted by the Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd, to repair the dredger.

A campaign has been launched against the SSCP because its current alignment threatens to destroy the Ram Setu in the name of dredging the sea in the Adam's Bridge area. The BJP, the VHP and several fraternal organisations and political parties, like the AIADMK and Janata Party, have joined the protest.

In recent days, the 'Ram Setu Bachao' campaign has echoed in courtrooms and in Parliament. The campaign has entered cyberspace with many websites and blogs being dedicated to the issue.

The UPA Government, especially Union Shipping Minister TR Baalu of the DMK, has refused to entertain any objections to the project. Earlier, questions of economic viability and ecological sustainability were brushed aside. An aggressive Baalu is now dismissive of those insisting that Ram Setu must be saved and that this can done by changing the alignment.

Advocates of Ram Setu's preservation say they are not against the project but opposed to the destruction of the "ancient bridge", which is of "great heritage value" as the world's oldest known man-made structure. Some, like Jayalalithaa, only partially invoke the religious angle, but prefer to highlight the heritage value and archaeological importance of the marine structure.

The project involves dredging the sea to create a lane for large ships between Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay. It is being claimed that the canal will reduce navigation time by more than a day and save fuel costs for ships moving from India's western seaboard to the east.

The UPA regime's Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs cleared the project on May 19, 2005. The channel alignment proposed by the National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI) in its environment impact assessment and techno-economic feasibility reports of mid-2004 was accepted.

Several other alignments proposed since the 19th century were rejected on technical grounds and the one chosen for the project runs through Adam's Bridge, which divides Dhanushkodi/Rameswaram island, runs through Palk Bay, and cuts through Palk Straits to provide a deeper sea passage from Gulf of Mannar to Bay of Bengal.

The channel alignment, as it stands now, runs close to India's maritime boundary with Sri Lanka, with the dredged material to be dumped in Indian territorial waters in Gulf of Mannar.

Ram Setu advocates are demanding that the alignment be modified to ensure that no dredging is required in the Adam's Bridge area. Under the present plan, the channel will be 167 km long in three segments ---- Adam's Bridge (35 km), Palk Bay (78 km) and Palk Straits (54 km). The dredge quantity has been estimated at 82.5 million cubic metres. Of this, Adam's Bridge accounts for 48 million cubic metres.

A Hindu religious leader, Swami Omkarananda of Chidbhavana Ashram at Vedapuri in Theni district of Tamil Nadu, has gone to court with a plea for a restraining order against the continuation of dredging in the Adam's Bridge area on the ground that it would destroy the ancient bridge, hurt Hindu sentiments and also amount to a violation of the state's obligation to protect ancient monuments of religious, historical and archaeological importance.

The sentiment was backed by some political support. Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and the BJP agreed with the Swami that the heritage value of Ram Setu made it worth preserving. Jayalalithaa is an opponent of the project, having listed environmental, ecological and economic feasibility arguments against the canal in the past.

Ramanathapuram Civil Judge <b>S Mohammed Abu Thahir </b>rejected the plaintiff's argument, and he accepted the Government lawyer's submission that a project involving high stakes for the Government and huge investments could not be stalled for his sake. However, he suggested that the Government take heed of the religious leader's claims and have them examined by archaeologists.

Swami Omkarananda had cited satellite pictures published by the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) to substantiate his claim that an ancient bridge, "30 km long, three km wide and 17, 25,000 years old", had existed under the strait dividing India and Sri Lanka. However, opinion is divided as to whether the satellite images merely showed the existence of a series of rock formations, or amounted to a testimony about their age and antiquity.

The Union Government informed Parliament some weeks ago that it did not possess any evidence of any 'bridge' under the sea. There had been no explorations by the marine archaeology department in the Adam's Bridge area, Union Minister Ambika Soni said in a written reply.

While the Ram Setu campaign focusses on the possible hurt to Hindu sentiments by the 'destruction' of the ancient bridge, some campaigners are also invoking expert opinion to bolster their position. For instance, they cite Canadian tsunami expert <b>Tad Murthy to contend that in the event of a tsunami, the proposed channel itself will act as a funnel and direct the tsunami towards the southern Kerala coast.</b>

In the December 2004 tsunami, several coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala were unaffected, mainly because of Sri Lanka acting as a buffer, but the proposed sea channel may rob southern Kerala of this protection. This may further affect the huge deposits of thorium available in Kerala, they say, and adversely impact on India's ambitious plans to go in for thorium-based nuclear reactors. Further, a tsunami may disturb the dredged material stored deep inside the sea and push it back into the channel.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati, citing geologists, argues that the shoals that form the Ram Setu are not a set of natural ridges arising out of the sea. Rather, their structure suggests that they are 'man-made'.

Meanwhile, Jayalalithaa and the BJP's Tamil Nadu unit president L Ganesan have accused <b>Baalu of trying to tamper with 'evidence' about Ram Setu. They allege that Baalu had made a quiet visit to the famous Saraswati Mahal Library in Thanjavur and sought documents that "prove there was a bridge between Dhanushkodi and Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka".</b>

The reference is to 17th and 18th century maps made by British cartographers in which the sandbars or shoals were referred to as Rama's Bridge. However, the British later started referring to the area as Adam's Bridge, apparently after an English official.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Ram Setu protest rally on May 27 </b>
Staff Reporter | New Delhi
Toughening its stand against the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, VHP on Saturday announced a nationwide agitation on the issue and called for a protest rally in the Capital on May 27.

"It is an attempt to destroy the cultural and religious heritage of the country at the behest of foreign powers and everyone should stand against it," VHP working president Ashok Singhal alleged<b>. "There will be a mammoth rally on May 27 and religious leaders would be organising awareness prior to it starting May 23," </b>he added. The meeting which was attended by state BJP leaders and VHP office bearers also called on 'other like minded organisations to join hands in their drive'.

"More than 3.6 million tonnes of Thorium ore is present close to Indian shore, and this valuable energy source could wash off if this man-made historic structure is destroyed," Singhal said. Singhal blamed the Congress, the Left and the DMK alliance Government of hatching a conspiracy to dismantle the ancient (Treta yug) Ram Setu. He added that the party has tried peaceful means to stop the dismantling. Shankracharya, Swami Nischalanand had requested the President in this regard.<b> A memorandum signed by 37 lakh people was also submitted to the Government but it did not pay heed to it. </b>Other leaders present in the meeting were Rajender Singh, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Vijay Goel and Arti Mehra.
<span style='color:red'>Radio Talk on Ram Sethu broadcasted</span>

Sanatan Dharma Foundation, USA broadcasted a two-part panel discussion on 'Why and How to protect Rama Setu'. The panel included Dr.S.P.Gupta, Seceratary General, Indian Archaeological Soceity, Sri.KT.Thomas, Retd. Supreme Court Justice, Dr.S.Kalyanaraman, Research Director Saraswathi River Project, and Swami Paramatmananda Saraswathi of Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha.

The talks can be heard on the web here: http://www.sanatanadharmafoundation.com/in...id=47&Itemid=32
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sethusamudram: Karunanidhi blames religious leadersSethusamudram: Karunanidhi blames religious leaders

Statesman News Service
Chennai, May. 5. — With the Sethusamudram project facing some rough weather on the religious front, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M Karunanidhi today charged that religious leaders from the North were trying to stop the project as they had some vested interest in doing so. Replying to a issue raised in the Assembly by the CPI-M member Mr Govindasamy who wanted the project to be implemented as planned which was objected to by the AIADMK leader Mr O Pannerselvam, the Chief Minister said that a North-South jealousy was driving the religious leaders to introduce the name of Ram in order to stop the project.
“These leaders want to stop the project as they are jealous that the project would usher in growth and make the southern region the fountainhead of prosperity. You must not forget to take note of that,” Mr Karunanidhi told the members even while cautioning that his statement on the North-South divide must not be interpreted as a return to the idea of a separate “Dravida Nadu” (Dravidian nation), which the DMK gave up in 1962.
“Some people are trying to forment communalism just as in Ayodhya, and I am stating that a majority of the religious leaders who are doing this are from the North. These religious heads are trying to sow seeds of division by attempting to recreate an incident similar to the one at Ayodhya where the Babar Mosque was broken in the name of Ram temple which led to blood flow across India,” he said.
Referring to the AIADMK demand to spare the ‘Ramar bridge’, locally termed as Adam Bridge at Rameshwaram, Mr Karunanidhi pointed out that the AIADMK chief had not only taken credit for the project when it was cleared, but also quoted from the party’s 2001 election manifesto which stated that the sand mounds and the stones that obstruct transport at sea between Rameshwaram and Sri Lanka’s Talaimannar in the Adams bridge region must be removed and the canal must be deepened.
Miss Jayalalitha has given a statement that she would take legal action if the Ramar bridge is not spared. “Without breaking the Ramar bridge how can the channel be constructed? Mr Pannerselvam wants to comb hair without using oil,” he said turning to an old proverb. “I do not want to elaborate further. The Sethusamudram project is good for Tamil Nadu as it would bring prosperity. Only those who are against prosperity would stand in its way. I request you all to stay clear of the subject and not obstruct the project,” he said, adds PTI

BJP Response
Taking exception to Tamil Nadu chief minister Mr M Karunanidhi’s remarks that religious fundamentalists were opposing the SethuSamudram Canal project, the <b>BJP today said the issue was not a religious one, but that concerning protecting of an “ancient monument.”</b>
“Portraying agitations to protect Ramar Sethu bridge as opposition to the SSCP and labelling them as communal is condemnable,” BJP’s state unit president Mr L Ganesan said in a statement here.
Demands for archaeological research on Ramar Sethu bridge was <b>as justifiable as those for excavation of Lemuria continent (a land mass under the Indian Ocean</b>, said to be the home of Tamils) and Poompuhar (an ancient port city of Tamil kings of Chola dynasty), he said, adding if the Ramar Sethu bridge was demolished, no archaeological research was possible.
It was the government’s duty to protect ancient monuments.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Hindustan Times
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->RSS warning to BJP not to politicise Ram Sethu issue
The Sangh Parivar may have launched a campaign to whip up Hindu sentiments against the Rs 2,400 crore Sehusamudram Ship Canal Project on the ground that the Ram Sethu or the Ramar bridge - believed to have been built by Lord Rama’s vanarasena (army of monkeys) - will be damaged.

But it does not want the BJP to hijack the issue. So it seems if one goes by the latest editorial in RSS mouthpiece, Panchajanya. It says the campaign for protection of what is officially referred to as Adam’s Bridge, located in the Palk Straits close to Rameshwaram, "should not be allowed to become politicized as it happened in the case of the Ram temple movement."

The warning has come even as VHP international president Ashok Singhal has said, "Like we have vowed to construct a temple at the Rama Janma Bhoomi we vow to protect the Ram Sethu."

The Sethusamudram project is an ambitious plan to create a 167-km long navigation channel by dredging the shallow waters of the Palk Strait and Palk Bay, so that ships travelling from India’s western coast to the east can avoid circum-navigating Sri Lanka.

Panchanjanya asked "do those people who benefited from the sacrifice made by hundreds of kar sevaks and enjoyed power remember them today? We should not let power seekers take advantage even as we are determined by the grace of Lord Hanuman to prevent the destruction of Ram Sethu."

Singhal and other VHP leaders have often been critical of former prime minister AB Vajpayee and LK Advani for having done little to help build the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya when they were in power.

Significantly, it was Singhal who had announced that he would ask the MPs and MLAs to raise the issue in the Parliament and legislatures. BJP leaders did so in both the Houses last week.

The BJP leaders have not hesistated to call the Ram Sethu as another ‘Ram’ issue even as the Sangh Parivar has suddenly added speed to its campaign. 

The Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project was officially launched in June 2005 off the Vedaranyam coast near Nagapattinam, it is now that BJP leaders have been vocal on the matter.

A few months ago, former HRD Minister MM Joshi even wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, pointing to a NASA study that man-made structures exist underneath the sea where Hindus believe a stone bridge was built by vanarsenas.

Ironically, it was the Vajpayee government, <b>of which the DMK was a partner</b> (???), which allowed the Sethusamudram project to go ahead as part of the Rs 100,000 crore ‘programme to develop port infrastructure and inland shipping around the peninsula.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Hindustan Times

Jai Hanuman! Jai Jambovan! <!--emo&:bhappy--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_woot.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_woot.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:bhappy--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_woot.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_woot.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--emo&:rocker--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rocker.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rocker.gif' /><!--endemo--> Janata Party to back Kalam for second term

PTI | Madurai

The Janata Party would back APJ Abdul Kalam for a second term as President of India, party president Subramaniam Swamy said today.

Talking to reporters here, he said Kalam had inspired students and the youth and was fit to be President of India for one more term.

Swamy said according to a senior Union Minister, Prime Minister had directed the Union Shipping Minister TR Baalu not to damage or touch Ram Setu while dredging for the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project(SSCP) as National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) of the US had confirmed the existence of a 'bridge-like formation'.

The Earth Science Department attached to India's National Institute of Ocean Technology also had given the opinion of the existence of Ram Setu.

Swamy hoped that the Government would go for another alignment without damaging Ram Setu, as it would cost Rs.600 crore less.

In this regard he also referred to the statement of Union Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi that the UPA Government "would not destroy historical and religious places".
Same news as reported in 84:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>Ramar Sethu struggle aimed at bloodbath: MK</span>

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday charged that <b>“religious fundamentalists from North India”</b> who had demolished the Babri mosque raking up the Ram temple issue and unleashed a bloodbath then were now seeking to stall the Sethu Samudram Canal Project in the name of saving the Ramar Sethu (Adam's Bridge).

“I am not raising the Dravidian land issue again by making this charge but a<b> majority of the fundamentalists who are opposing the project are from North India</b>,” he said replying to a calling attention motion on the Rama Setu in the Legislative Assembly.

Karunanidhi contended that these fundamentalists wanted to stall the project as they were jealous that if the Sethu Canal was established then there would be all round development in the South.  <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->

He appealed to them not to obstruct a project that would lead to prosperity in terms of foreign exchange, employment and overall growth.

Noting that AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa had threatened to go to court to save the Ramar Sethu, Karunanidhi read out a portion of the AIADMK's 2001 election manifesto to prove that she had supported the Sethu Samudram project.

The manifesto had mentioned that “the prime objective of the project is to remove the sand mass and rocks obstructing the movement of ships at Adam's bridge, lying between Rameswaram and Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka, and dig a canal by deepening the area.”

Karunanidhi said what Jayalaithaa was referring to was the Ramar Sethu.

He said the AIADMK chief had claimed credit for getting the project sanctioned by the Centre. “How can one comb hair without applying oil?,” Karunanidhi asked while referring to Jayalalithaa's threat to take legal course to stay the demolition of Ramar Sethu.

The Chief Minister refused to go further into the issue as the matter was being debated in the Parliament and also sub judice.

Earlier, responding to the criticism of the AIADMK's stand on the issue by the DMK's allies, Deputy Leader of Opposition O Panneerselvam said Jayalalithaa was only striving to ensure that ancient structures were preserved and protected. The Government must look at the pros and cons of implementing the project.

Dravidism experts on forum can throw more light, but if I remember well, DMK and other Dravidists had even labeled Rama himslef a "North Indian" and his campaign against Ravana a North's invasion to South, and had been burning effigies of Rama on every Vijaya Dashami untill recent years. So no surprises in M Karunanidhi's statements.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>Is "Ram Setu" a nemesis for 'DPA' in Tamilnadu?</span>
5/7/2007 3:03:16 AM  HARAN.B.R

The Sethu Samudhram Channel Project has been under contemplation for more than 100 years and many experts have done analyses & studies and finally the NDA government, which gave a go ahead for the project, has decided six route plans. The UPA government, with a deliberate intention of destroying the Rama Sethu, has chosen this particular alignment and right from day one, the SSCP could not move even an inch forward with regards to dredging of Rama Sethu and every damn thing (dredgers, cranes, ships, giant pipes, etc.) which was brought, either got broken or got stuck in between the rocks & boulders. It is alleged that even the engineers & workers (both Indian & foreign) have got injured in the process. Having said that there is no evidence for such a manmade bridge, both inside & outside the parliament, supported by Tourism & Cultural minister Ambika soni, T.R.Balu tried his level best to destroy the bridge and ended up in a miserable failure.

     The Rameshwaram Ram Setu Protection Movement, which consists of many organizations such as RSS, VHP, BJP, Hindu Munnani, etc, and other individual experts of various fields, has clearly stated that it is not against the Sethu Samudhram Channel Project as such, but only against the destruction of Ram Setu. The movement has been launched to ensure the safety of the timeless monument, which is certainly the greatest wonder of the world. While the Prime Minister, has strictly advised T.R.Balu to keep off the Ram Setu during dredging works and while the Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.R. Das Munshi also has committed that the Ram Setu will be protected, one can't understand the arrogant & adamant attitude of T.R.Balu in getting on with his plans of destroying the bridge. As the Ram Setu protection movement gained momentum, he has started feeling the pressure and is fuming from the top of his head. As the 'movement' has solid documentary evidences for the existence of the bridge, he must have collected those evidences from them, as said by L.Ganesan of BJP, but instead, he had made a secret visit to the Thanjavur Saraswathi Mahal library, abused the staff, spent 4hrs there and tried to destroy / tamper with those evidences. It is now evident that he had developed cold feet and that he is on a sticky wicket and he is going on doing wrong things one after another

In the meantime, The Chief Minister has once again shown his chauvinistic colours through his statements he made in the 'Dravidian' assembly. He had lied blatantly that those who are campaigning for the protection of Rama Sethu are against the SSCP project. The Rama Sethu protection movement, which consists of many organizations, has made it very clear that it is NOT AGAINST the SSCP project as such, but only against the alignment plan, which cuts across the Ramar Palam thereby destroying a centuries old heritage monument.

Being a rationalist the CM need not heed to the Hindu organizations, but he should have the decency to respect the views expressed by environmental, geographical and security experts apart from the experts of oceanic studies, who are not fundamentalists. Instead, he has gone back to his dead & forgotten issue of "Dravida Naadu" (Demand for a separate Dravidian state) inciting separatist passions by saying that the North-Indian fundamentalists are opposing the project. The entire fishermen community of Rameshwaram, irrespective of religion, is against the destruction of Rama Sethu, as it will cause immense damage to their livelihood. Are they North-Indians? Or are they fundamentalists? Justice Krishna Iyer had sent a letter to the Prime Minister a few days back, warning him not to destruct Ramar Palam. Will Karunanidhi say that Justice Krishna Iyer is a fundamentalist & a North-Indian?  While there are alternative routes available to implement the SSCP project, why the state & central governments are bent upon utilizing this alignment? Heavens will not fall if an alternative route plan is adopted.

The CM has also mentioned about the great intellectual Sir. A. Ramasamy Mudaliar's examination of the project & his recommendations and had lamented that they were not implemented, but he had conveniently hidden the fact that Ramasamy Mudlaiar has strongly advised to abandon the idea of cutting across the Ramar Palam in the guise of forming a channel. He has recommended only for a canal alignment through Mandapam in his reports of 1956.As he has lamented that the recommendations of Sir. Ramasamy Mudaliar have never been implemented, why not he treat them with respect now & implement his recommendations? The CM citing the election manifesto of AIADMK, where in it states that the SSCP should be implemented through the Ram Setu, has asserted "one cannot comb hair without applying hair oil". It is amusing, but he should understand that if he uses a knife (as he is doing now) instead of a comb, he might not only lose his hair but also his head. The total disregard shown by Sonia & her UPA government and the total arrogance exhibited by Karunanidhi & the state government in this issue clearly proves that both are having ulterior motives.

The PMK leader Ramadoss, who always loves to outdo Karunanidhi, went a step further and said that, the Hindu Communal parties are obstructing the project by igniting the communal passion & sentiments of the people by trying to give a picture to their wild imaginations. He had also called upon the so-called 'secular' parties to come together to thwart the attempts of BJP & other Hindu organizations to stall the project. Now-a-days, it seems that Ramadoss is bent upon scoring more points than Karunanidhi in almost all issues, whether it is social justice or Tamil cause or LTTE support or SEZ or FDI in retail or anti-Hindu stance, thereby giving sleepless nights to the Chief Minister. While the self styled Dalit champion, Thirumavalavan also conveyed a similar message, the Dravidar Kazhagam President Veeramani had said that both AIADMK & BJP are trying to utilize this Ram Setu issue to come back to power. He said that DK, with the support of other secular parties, would organize awareness campaigns through out the state from Rameshwaram to Chennai, to tell the people that Ram Setu is non-existent and is only an imagination. He had said that the SSCP is a 150-year-old project and it would not be allowed to get stalled by Hindu communal fundamentalists. He also made a startling (!!!) revelation that the youth in the south of Tamil Nadu are taking to violence & anti-social activities due to poverty & unemployment and because of the SSCP, employment would be generated and poverty would be eradicated. So, he had convened a meeting of like-minded parties to strategize the "Destroy Ram Setu" campaign. True to his chameleon quality, HMV (His Master's Veeramani) is acting as per HMV (His Master's Voice-read Karunanidhi) and only till last year HMV (His Madam's Veeramani) was acting as per HMV (Her Majesty's Voice – read Jayalalitha) for more than five years. As Karunanidhi, Balu and Ramadoss are all directly in touch with Sonia, they are not listening to Manmohan's veiled warnings in this issue and men like Veeramani & Thirumavalavan also dance as per the tunes of their senior partners. The entire gang has ganged against the Hindu Heritage monument giving scant regard to the sentiments of millions of Hindus.

In the meantime, the Rameshwaram Ram Setu Protection Movement has organized an 'International Seminar' on 'Scientific and Security Aspects of SSCP' on Saturday, May 12, 2007 in Chennai. Dr. S.R.Rao, Founder of Society of Marine Archeology, will inaugurate the seminar and Sri. D. Kuppu Ramu, Advocate & Convener, RRSPM will preside over. The august audience will be enlightened by the speeches & presentations of Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, Phd. Director, Sarasvati Research Center, Capt. Hariharan Balakrishnan, Indian Naval Officer (Retd), Anti – Submarine warfare specialist, Prof. C S P Iyer, Executive director, Centre for Marine Analytical Reference & Standards, Trivandrum, Dr. S.Badrinarayanan, Geologist & Consultant, National Institute of Ocean Technology, Justice Parvatha Rao, Retd. Judge of AP High Court, Prof. Madhav Das Nalapat, Professor of Geopolitics in Manila, Academy of Higher Education, Sri. V. Sundaram I.A.S. (Retd) First Chairman of Tuticorin Port Trust, Sri. K.Ramalingam, Supt. Engineer (Retd) Tuticorin Port trust, Member of Lakshminarayanan Committee, Sri. T.V.Rangarajan, South India Organisisng Secretary, Akila Bhatrathiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana, Prof. Tad S. Murthy, Vice President, The Tsunami Society, Ottawa and Sri. T. Sathyamurthy, Sr. Supt. (Retd), Archeological Survey of India.

Close on the heels of the seminar, a huge rally for the protection of Ram Setu is being organized in New Delhi on Sunday the 13th of May 2007, which will be attended by the Sankaracharyas and other swamijis & leaders.

The Congress, which has been continuously facing defeat in the recent elections may not like the BJP getting one more strong ammunition in the form of 'Ram Setu', similar to 'Ram Temple' and hence, it may refrain itself from destroying the Ramar Bridge and may opt for another alignment to the dismay of its Tamil Nadu alliance partners.

Ultimately the word "Ram" has become 'dangerous' and 'Ram Setu' has become a 'nemesis' for the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) in Tamil Nadu and despite the callousness & indifference shown by the media in TN, the movement is expected to gain speed in the coming days, resulting in its victory.


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