New Delhi, Dec 30 (UNI) Around six lakh people from all parts of the country here today assembled in a historic watershed meeting to boost the movement to protect the Ram Sethu as a national treasure and world heritage.
Speaking at the massive rally organised by the Rameshwaram Ram Sethu Raksha Manch at the Swarn Jayanti Park in Rohini here, Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) chief K S Sudarshan said, ''it is an irony that while on one hand, the majority of the people of the country do not want the Ram Sethu to be destructed, on the other hand, the UPA Government, Union Shippng Minister T R Baalu, and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had vowed to destruct the bridge at all costs.'' The countrywide chakka jam on September 12 organised in favour of the bridge had already sent shockwaves in the Central government, he said.
''The Ram Sethu doesn't belong to Hindus alone. Even the Muslims and the Christians acknowledged it as Adam's Bridge,'' the RSS chief said.
Denouncing the government's move to destroy the bridge, he said the argument being given against the bridge was that shipping vessels and ships had to cross 440 oceanic miles in 36 hours, wasting big amounts of diesel.
The RSS chief said after completion of the Sethusamudram Canal Project, the ships would be covering a distance of six oceanic miles per hour and save on around 45 minutes.
''On the other hand, if the Ram Sethu was destructed, we would lose the thorium available at 31 per cent of the Indian beaches.
The vast chunks of thorium would merge into the ocean and lakhs of fishermen would lose their livelihood.'' The UPA Government was doing all this to promote its relationas with the US. In this context, he said, he had sent a message to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and wondered why he was silent over it.
Also speaking on the occasion, Sadhvi Rithambhara said, ''Ram is not a slogan and we are not at the mercy of the political leaders.'' Prominent BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi, Jagdish Mukhi, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Vijay Goel, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra and many other MPs and MLAs besides leading Shankaracharyas and professional experts were present at the mega rally.