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» » News18 Shorts

Oh Lord! Now Govt says Ram destroyed Setu

Jul 23, 2008 08:02 PM IST India India

New Delhi: The Centre has told the Supreme Court that there is no reason why the controversial Sethusamundram Shipping Canal Project cannot go on.

This is a clear indication that the Congress intends to reward allies who were loyal to it in Tueday's crucial trust vote.

The DMK has been demanding that the project should be implemented at the earliest.

Opponents of the project, mostly Hindu groups, have argued that it will destroy remnants of a bridge supposedly built by Lord Ram to Lanka (now Sri Lanka).

However, the Government has argued in court that such a bridge cannot exist and to support its claim, it has reffered to the Padma Purana in Ramayan which mentions that Lord Ram destroyed the bridge built by him using his magical bow and arrow.

Last time when the matter was in Supreme Court, the court had asked the Government whether there was any way possible for the Government to look for an alternative route.

The Government had then told the court that the present alignment was the best they had for a shipping channel.

The court also wanted to know whether the Government had done any study to find out whether the Setu was an ancient monument or not.

This is a count on which the Government still has to answer the court.

The BJP's response to the latest claim by the Centre was along expected lines.

Advani's trust motion speech had shown that the saffron brigade was ready to grab at anything remotely close to its Hindutva agenda - whether it be the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board controversy or the decision to demolish the Ram Setu.

President Janata Dal, Subramanian Swamy, who was one of the people to file a petition against the Government and the project told CNN-IBN that he will take up the case in court.

He said, "Personally I find it very ridiculous. First the Government was saying that they were going ahead with the project because the BJP has started it, and now they have graduated to Lord Ram."

"According to the Padma Purana, Lord Ram made a hole in the Setu near the coast of Sri Lanka and that was only because to protect his own army from being invaded. The UPA's is an argument which has no support in the wider picture," he said.

He said it was attempt to please the DMK as well as some "international forces".

BJP Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told CNN-IBN, "This is a deliberate attempt to play around with Hindu sentiments. They are now saying Lord Ram destroyed the Setu when earlier they had said that Lord Ram did not even exist and that Tulsi Ramayana and Valmiki Ramayana had no historical evidence or scientific proof to corroborate their statements."

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