ASI questions existence of characters of Ramayana in SC

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New Delhi, Sept 12 (UNI) Controversy surrounding Ramsethu today took a new turn with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) putting a question mark on the very existence of mythological characters mentioned in Ramayana through an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court.

ASI in its affidavit filed through ASI director (monuments) C Dorjee has 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.'' Earlier Marine and Water Resources Group, Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad which had conducted the study had said ''the Adam's bridge/Ramsethu is beleived to be constructed by Lord Rama to cross over to Sri Lanka.

The period of Ramayana is considered as Tretha Yug(more than 17,00,000 years ago).'' The study, however, concluded that the Adam's bridge is not man made in nature.

The view expressed by the government and ASI are also same.

It may be noted here that the petitioner have soought declaration from the court that the formation known as Ramsethu/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.

The apex court is going to hear the petition on September 14.

Hindus believe that Ramsethu was built by Lord Rama with the help of Hanuman's 'Vanar Sena' to free his wife Sita from the captivity of 'demon king' Ravana.

Today's affidavit filed jointly by central government, ASI, and other government agencies virtually puts a question mark against authenticity of the epic called Ramayana and even question whether the incidents mentioned in it including battle between Lord Rama and Ravana ever took place.

The apex court had earlier directed the government not to damage 35 km long Ramsethu.

Centre and state of Tamil Nadu are hellpent on removing Ramsethu as they have refused to take any of six alternative routes suggested for Sethusamudram.

UNI

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