The thirteenth Dharma Sansad of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which concluded in Delhi on July 26, has called upon Hindus to reach Rameshwaram on August 26 to exert pressure on the government to scrap the Sethusamudram project in the present form. Making this announcement at Ramlila Grounds of Delhi, the saints also warned the UPA government to scrap the project forthwith otherwise the agitation would become more aggressive. They also appealed to the Hindus to reach Rameshwaram in large number to save the Ram Sethu.
Announcing a series of future programmes for the protection of Ram Sethu, VHP general secretary Dr Pravin Togadia appealed to the Hindus to observe one-day fast on Amavasya (August 12) for Ram Sethu. Thousands of public meetings would also be organised on that day across the country.
More than 5,000 saints who assembled at the Dharma Sansad also decided to organise a massive awareness campaign across the country after Chaturmas is over. The awareness campaign would be conducted from September 27 to October 15 and the saints will visit remote areas to build pressure on the government to change the route of the Sethusamudram project. Besides this, rathyatras carrying the stone from Ram Sethu would be taken out in four lakh villages of the country from Devotthani Ekadasi (November 20) to Geeta Jayanti. The preparations for these rathyatras would be made at the Prant level. After all these programmes the saints would give a Delhi Chalo call to the Rambhaktas to stage a massive demonstration at Parliament.
On the first day of the Dharma Sansad, i.e. July 25, the saints from across the country, including Shankaracharyas of two of the four peeths, pledged to launch a democratic movement to prevent the destruction of Ram Sethu. In a resolution adopted unanimously it was resolved that the saints, along with common people, scientists, environmentalists, archaeologists and marine scientists would launch a movement to prevent the UPA government from going ahead with the project. The resolution said the project not only hurts Hindu sentiments, as Ram Sethu is a focal point of their faith, but also spells disaster for the livelihood of lakhs of fishermen. It would make the coastal areas more vulnerable to natural calamities like the tsunami. The marine ecosystem of the area would also be affected. The resolution appealed to all the political parties to extend their support to the Sethu protection movement and respect the sentiments of majority Hindu society. In another resolution the Dharma Sansad appealed to the Hindu society to be ready for a massive agitation for the protection of Ram Sethu.
Addressing the gathering, VHP general secretary Dr Pravin Togadia accused the UPA of minority appeasement. ?The government is ready to change the path of the Metro Rail in the national capital to protect the Qutab Minar. Why can'tit have an alternative for the Sethusamudram project?? he asked. Veteran VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore said no political party would be part of the movement. However, if the parties on their own want to create awareness about the negative impact of the project they are always welcome, he said.
In her message, Mata Amritanandmayi said Ram Sethu has a permanent place in the heart of millions of devotees and others all over the world. Moreover it has a historical importance and is part of our famous epic. ?It is the dharma of all the communities to preserve such a historical and sacred place,? she added.
The prominent saints who participated in the Dharma Sansad included Shankaracharya Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati, Mahamandleshwar Shri Hansdas, Pejawar Swami Shri Vishvesh-teertha, Swami Marudachal Adigal of Perur Math (Tamil Nadu), Acharya Dharmendra, Swami Chinmayananda, Shri Vidyasagar Teertha, Shri Govind Giri Maharaj, Shri Kaushal Kishore Das of Ayodhya, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, chairman of Ramjanmabhoomi Trust, Jain Sadhvi Dr Sadhana, Gyani Amarjit Singh from Nanded and noted Buddhist monk Shri Karunalankar Maharaj. VHP president Shri Ashok Singhal, working president Shri S. Vedantam, Veteran VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Sardar Chiranjiv Singh, founder of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat were also present.