Govt should abandon Sethusamudram Project: VHP and RSS

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New Delhi, Apr 20 (UNI) Ram Setu-fact or fiction? Fact, unequivocally says the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.

Top leaders of the VHP and RSS today demanded that the government should abandon the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project(SSCP), which will destroy the Ram Setu, attached to the sentiments of crores of Hindus.

They contended that the Rama Setu was believed to have been made by Lord Rama several thousand years ago to launch the war against demon king Ravana.

"The Central government under influence of the West is destroying the Hindu culture. Earlier it also submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court in which it has questioned the existence of Lord Rama and supported the project. But it will not succeed in its work", said Ashok Singhal, president, VHP at the release of a book "Rama Setu: Symbol of National Unity", written by Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy.

RSS Karyavaha Mohan Bhagwat said,'' We are not against the project but we can not afford it at the cost of the Setu. The fact which is known to even a uneducated person, has been challenged and argued in the Supreme Court and become a controversial issue. Where and what is need to prove the existence of lord Rama which is an universal truth?", he added.

Swamy Dayananda Saraswati, convenor, Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, while releasing the book, appealed to the government to preserve all places of worship whether natural or man- made.

Dr Swamy said the Rama Setu is visible even today and many experts and researchers have claimed that it may be man-made and this conclusion is backed by ''lots of evidence.'' In his book, he has given scientific verifiable evidence to back the widely held belief that the Setu was a constructed causeway, made on the direction of Lord Rama.

The book covers all the aspects of history, economics, environment and national security related to the Setu.

Dr Swamy, in his book, has termed the SSCP, linking the gulf of Mannar with the Bay of Bengal, as a financial white elephant, an environmental disaster and grave national security risk, but most of all an insult to the Hindu religion.

The Central government has been said the SSCP will benefit the country. It will provide a shorter navigation route between Kanyakumari and Tuticorin and the east coast parts of Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Haldia. The channel will become an invaluable asset from the point of national security and defence as it will enable easier and quicker access between the coasts.

Dr Swamy, a former Union Minister, in his book argues that it is essential now to set up an independent multidisciplinary investigative committee to rectify this serious issue. He also maintained that the SSCP may be supported with other alignments, prepared earlier for the construction of the project.

Mr Singhal and Mr Bhagwat lauded the Janata Party president for his contribution in the movement to save the Setu. A copy of his book has been filed in the apex court for the judges hearing the project case.

" Dr Swamy has done a remarkable job, we should appreciate his work in which all aspects and views related to the Rama Setu have been collected. The book should be translated in regional languages to make the public aware of the situaion," they appealed to the publisher.

Mr Singhal said the movement against the project will continue till the government stops the project and declares the Setu a national heritage. ''This will also support our movement to build the Ram Temple at Ayodhya,'' he added.

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