RSS Sarsanghachalak, Shri K.S. Sudarshan, and Sarkaryavah, Shri Mohan Bhagwat have jointly appealed to the Government of India to immediately stop the work on Setu Samudram Ship Channel Project near Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and appoint a committee to explore the possibility of finishing the project without destroying the Ram Setu. In a joint press statement released in New Delhi on February 19 they also extended total support of RSS to the campaign by the dharmacharyas, archaeologists, environmentalists and other concerned citizens towards preservation of this ancient monument. They said the government should consider the opinion of the experts, who have suggested that the objective of the project can be achieved by bypassing the ancient bridge and dredging along a different route, thus protecting the monument.
?The RSS is deeply concerned over the avoidable destruction of the age-old under-sea bridge popularly known as Ram Setu due to the continuing dredging work under the Setu Samudram Ship Channel Project. Crores of Hindus believe that this under-water wonder is the bridge constructed by Lord Ram with the help of vanaras during his campaign against Ravana. The satellite images released by NASA a couple of years ago confirmed that there indeed exists a bridge-like construction in the sea-bed, thus fortifying the belief of millions of Hindus. We understand the economic significance of the Setu Samudram Ship Channel Project. However, this project involves complete destruction of this ancient bridge that is representative of Bharat'sancient-most and highly-revered civilisational history. Besides destruction of Bharat'smost cherished symbol of ancient heritage, it also causes enormous damage to the flora and fauna. Already scores of rare sea animals like whales have been killed in the first phase of the project itself,? the statement said.
The statement further said there has been a great anxiety and anguish ever since the government announced Setu Samudram Project. Millions of people, including eminent archaeologists, environmentalists and historians have opposed the project in the present form. About five million people have signed a petition urging the President to intervene and save our national heritage. A case has also been filed by the revered religious leaders against the project in the Rameswaram court.
?Dredging equipment got damaged. Yet, it is most unfortunate that the government is going ahead with a vengeance turning a blind eye to the objections raised by the right-thinking citizens of the country. We are deeply concerned that soon the dredging work will reach the spot where the Ram Setu stands and in no time the most precious cultural and civilisational landmark of the Hindus will wither away,? the statement added. (FOC)