A lion from Punjab to protect Rama Sethu

via Courtesy:http://www.newstodaynet.com published on September 27, 2007


The former President of the Indian Youth Congress and Chairman of the All India Anti Terrorist Front, M S Bitta visited Rameswaram and inspected the Rama Sethu Bridge on 20 September, 2007. He was accompanied by D. Kuppuramu, National Secretary of the Rameswaram Ram Setu Protection Movement. The whole country knows that M.S. Bitta is a fearless nationalist dedicated to the service of Bharat Mata and her eternal glory. In my view, he is an outstanding leader cast in a grand mould.

        As a lover of cultural history, I view the visit of M.S. Bitta to Rameswaram in a larger light. He is an inseparable part of the long and endless procession of thousands of Sikh devotees who have been coming to Rameswaram during the last 500 years?a great pilgrimage centre hallowed by the visit of the great founder of their faith Sri Gurunanak (1469-1539). The Gurdwara situated here is very famous. According to the Sri Gurunanak Sat Sangh Sabha and Educational Society, which maintains the Gurdwara, Sri Gurunanak visited Rameswaram in 1511 and stayed for 19 days on his return journey from Sri Lanka, where he had preached the message of universal love, brotherhood and compassion. During his stay in Rameswaram, Gurunanak found the water in the island to be saline. But Lo and Behold! The spring that Gurunanak created by digging the soil produced sweet water. The Sikhs have preserved till today the small ‘Mandapam,‘ where Sri Gurunanak stayed along with the fresh water well dug by him.

Sri.D.Kuppuramu, National Secretary, Rameswaram RamSetu Protection
Movement(R.R.P.M.) and Sri.M.S.Bitta, Chairman, All India Anti Terrorist 
ront Seek Strength from God Anjaneya to Protect Sri RamSetu
at Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram.

        Seeing the heroic manner in which M S Bitta has rallied round D Kuppuramu and others of the besieged Ram Sethu Protection Movement, reminds me of the glorious role played by that immortal martyr Guru Tegh Bahadur and his disciples in 1675 to protect the Hindus of Kashmir. A deputation of 17 Kashmiri Brahmins led by Pundit Kripa Ram met Guru Tegh Bahadur in May 1675 and complained to him that Aurangazeb was persecuting the Hindus of Kashmir through his Governor Iftikar Khan. The Saint-warrior Guru Tegh Bahadur could not remain silent or indifferent when his creed and innocent people were wantonly attacked. He came forward to lead the organized resistance of the Hindus in Kashmir against the forcible conversion by Aurangazeb and his marauders. This enraged Aurangazeb and he ordered the Guru’s arrest. He was brought before Aurangazeb who gave him a choice between Islam or death. Guru Tegh Bahadur refused to give up his faith and after five days of inhuman torture, he was beheaded on a warrant from the Emperor on 11 November, 1675. Guru Govind Singh said: Guru Tegh Bahadur saved with his blood the Tilak and the sacred thread of the Hindus.

What has gladdened the hearts of battered and shattered Ram Bakthas and Hindu devotees of the country is the declaration of M.S. Bitta on behalf of nearly 850 millions of Hindus in majority in India and several millions abroad at Rameswaram to this effect on 20 September, 2007: ‘M Karunanidhi’s cheap remarks against Lord Rama referring to the educational qualifications are uncalled for. It has hurt the emotions and feelings of crores of people in India. Though it was Karunanidhi who has questioned the existence of Lord Rama, yet it would indirectly affect the electoral prospects of the Congress in the next Lok Sabha Elections, as it has an electoral tie-up with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). Hence, the Congress should reconsider its alliance with the DMK in its own larger future political interest. I strongly oppose the proposal to destroy the Rama Setu Bridge. In order to protect this sacred Rama Setu, I am willing to lay down my life with the full benediction of our revered Guru Govind Singh. I came out of the jaws of death in 1993 when our party office was bombed by some terrorists. Today I am only leading ‘A life of Bonus’ given to me as a blessing by the Divine Almighty. ? If the Setu Samudram Shipping Canal Project is going to promote economic development in the area, then I too welcome it. However, this project should be implemented without in any way damaging or destroying the Rama Setu Bridge which has stood for centuries.’

What has greatly moved the Ram Bakthas and Hindu Devotees is the firm spiritual commitment displayed by M S Bitta on the shore of Danushkodi-Thalaimannar when he took the solemn pledge (oath) along with D Kuppuramu, Thillai Bhagyam, a Member of the National Committee of the Rameswaram Ram Setu Protection Movement, Adalarasan, Divisional Secretary of the RSS in Ramanathapuram, Ramamurthy, Organizer of the RSS in Rameswaram Taluk, Muniasamy, Divisional Secretary of Seva Bharathi and others to this effect: ‘Let the word go forth from this time and place to all corners of the world: We will defend, protect and save Rama Setu against the combined onslaught of men like Karunanidhi, T R Balu and whoever it might be at any cost?regardless of all terror and however long and hard the road may be. Rama Setu is an integral, imperishable, time-defying sacred part of Sanatana Dharma and Hindu heritage. We are ever ready to lay down our lives to protect this timeless symbol of our national culture and civilization. Neither the sudden attacks of the enemy, nor the long drawn out exertions of vigilance will wear us down. We shall grudge no toil, count no cost, withhold no sacrifice, seek no sordid gain and fear no foe.’ This pledge was taken by M S Bitta, D Kuppuramu and others amidst boisterous cries of “Jai Sri Ram!””Jai Sri Ram!”.

        The indomitable D Kuppuramu, a great son of the sacred soil in Ramanathapuram, has said: “I strongly condemn the irresponsible statements of Karunanidhi against Lord Rama. Leaders like T R Balu, Ambika Soni, Kapil Sibal and others who had said that there was no Lord Rama and Ramayana is a myth, etc., later completely reversed their stand in the Supreme Court after there was a national upsurge against the Islam-embracing, Christianity-coveting and Hindu-hating stand initially taken by UPA Government in the Supreme Court of India three weeks ago. Nearly Rs. 400 crores have been aimlessly spent under the Sethu Samudram Shipping Canal Project. We demand a vigilance enquiry to find out whether the expenditure was incurred in the manner and measure required under the Law of the land.”

What is very interesting to note is the fact that in December 2006, D Kuppuramu in his capacity as a leading Advocate in Ramanathapuram, had filed a petition in the Sub Court, Ramanathapuram seeking ad-interim injunction to stay the implementation of the Sethu Samudram Project. When the case was admitted, he had spoken to the Press these prescient and prophetic words: “Ever since some unscrupulous politicians devised a dastardly plan to destroy the Rama Sethu Bridge just to hurt the feelings of Hindus, several unforeseen incidents have happened which clearly confirm the fact that Lord Anjaneya is still giving hourly protection to Rama Sethu. The original dredger which was brought by T.R. Balu broke down and ran aground. It had to be removed from the scene and the crane that was deployed to remove the stranded dredger, also collapsed. Lord Anjaneya has proved himself to be more powerful than all these anti-Rama Sethu forces. If these forces continue to indulge in the work of criminal destruction of Rama Sethu, then all of them would get wiped out before long, meeting the same inglorious end like that abandoned dredger or stranded crane”

Later, on 22 September, 2007, at Chennai, M S Bitta invited Karunanidhi to participate in a public debate on the need for saving the Rama Setu Bridge from planned destruction by T.R. Balu and others. He said: “I am very willing to discuss this issue on a public platform with Karunanidhi. The Sethu Samudram Project should be implemented. At the same time, the Rama Sethu should also be saved from destruction. We are too willing to lay down our lives for the protection of Rama Sethu. All the religious leaders and Sankaracharyas in India should come together and lead the people of India in a national crusade for ensuring the protection of Rama Sethu. Crores and crores of Hindus in India and the world have their total faith in the Divinity and Grace of Lord Rama. I am shocked to note that Karunanidhi is deliberately hurting the religious feelings of Hindus. Regarding the existence or otherwise of Lord Rama, I am ready for any debate with Karunanidhi. If I lose in that debate, I am willing to lay down my life for the sake of Rama Sethu. When Karunanidhi has hurt the feelings of Millions of Hindus in majority in India, the best course open to the Congress Party is to come out of its alliance with the anti-Hindu DMK. A new Law must be enacted to give severe punishment to those political leaders who deliberately hurt the religious feelings of people belonging to any religion”.

        More than 850 million Hindus in majority in India have noted with great satisfaction the following statement given by M S Bitta on 26 September, 2007 at Jullundur. M S Bitta has declared: “Karunanidhi has no business to hurt the religious sentiments and feelings of Hindus in India who revere Lord Rama as an Avatara Purusha. He has no business to talk about the educational qualifications of Lord Rama and the historicity of Rama Sethu. I call upon the people of India to burn the effigy of Karunanidhi along with that of Ravana on Ram Leela Day during Dashara. The statements of Karunanidhi against Lord Rama and Rama Sethu are attempt to spread religious terrorism”

(The writer is a retired IAS officer)

        e-mail the writer at [email protected]

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