Ram Setu Protection Movement Gathers Momentum

published on July 24, 2007

Massive Madurai Rally Resolves To Prepare Society For A “Final Struggle”

By Sankara. Mahadevan with inputs from Shri. Pudhuvai Saravanan and  VSK Chennai

The streets of Madurai are eternal witness to fight for justice. Valiant Kannagi could bring the erring Pandiya king to book by her fearless struggle here. Nakkeeran, the chief of Tamil Sangham here, dared question Lord Shiva himself on matters of principle and faced the consequences bravely.

On Sunday, July 22, 2007, under an overcast sky threatening to cause a downpour, the junction of North and West Maasi Streets of Madurai (Tamilnadu) was filled with determined Hindu men and women who received distinctive direction from religious leaders and functionaries of Hindu organizations on preparations for a struggle to protect Ram Setu built by Shri Ram.

The huge rally of 25,000 people, including 8,000 women, was organized by the Rameswaram Ram Setu Protection Movement (RRSPM) to chart a course of action so that the just demand of the Hindus is heeded. Three resolutions passed at the meeting appealed for ?

i.       Declaration of Ram Setu as an ancient national monument under the Acient Monuments Act of 1904 by the government.

ii.        Observing fast in public on the ensuing Aadi (Ashad) Amaavaasya day  (August 12) to pray to god to effect a change in the attitude of state and Central governments in the matter of Ram Setu, and

iii.       Celebrating Raksha Bandhan this year (August 28) as “Ram setu Raksha Bandhan” to create awareness among all, about Ram setu protection campaign. 

Dr. Pravin Togadia of Vishwa Hindu Parishad said that Hindus always won whenever they put up a struggle. “We fought against the partition of Bengal and won” he reminded the audience. He exhorted them to contact “crores of Hindu families and tell them that Ram Setu is still there in Rameswaram  and modern day Babars are out to destroy it”. For the ensuing three months they should motivate people “for a final struggle” when called for. Togadia asked the people to steel their will to take a vow: “We shall not allow the Ram Setu to be broken, at any cost”.  

Refreshingly, Togadia referred to the Ram Setu as a road which  Padmini of Jaffna in Srilanka took to reach her husband, the Maharana of Mewar. He pointed out that the Setu joins the mainlands of two friendly countries, India and Srilanka and this bond must be saved. No one questions either the presence of the hair of the Prophet in Hasrat Bal mosque in Kashmir or the Virgin Mary belief simply because they are Muslim and Christian beliefs.  The presence of Ram Setu is questioned because it is a Hindu belief, he argued. Documentary evidence is not lacking, “let ministerT.R.Baalu study them” he said. Sentiments of Muslims were heeded and government project has been modified accordingly in the instance of Delhi metro rail to avoid harm to Qutub Minar. Hindu sentiments must be respected and the Sethu Samudram Shipping Canal should be diverted to leave Ram Setu untouched, he demanded.

Pejawar Pithadeesh Swami Vishwesa Tirtha assured the Hindus that he was all prepared to go from village to village to do Dharma Jagaran as he did during the 1981 Meenakshipuram mass conversion episode. He was visibly upset over politicians dubbing Ram Bhaktas as traitors. He cited the example of Hindus fighting against injustice in Tirumala Tirupati and succeeding in the end. The Ram Setu campaign too will succeed, he said, if Hindus sacrifice adequately. The Swami offered to join the Aadi Amavaasya fast at Rameswaram (see box ‘Hindus Called To Act’).

Shri Uday Patwardhan, all India General Secretary of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, warned that Ministers who insult Hindus and try to go ahead with breaking Ram Setu, will not be allowed to enter their office, as they will be prevented by the one crore workers in BMS, many of them Ram Bhaktas. He announced that thousands of fishermen who adore Ram Setu are joining the ranks of Ram Setu Protection Movement along Tamilnadu coast.

Shri. S.Vedantham, Working President of VHP, underlined the need for Hindus to be ready to sacrifice their lives like Muslims do for their religion. That alone will make the Hindus heard, he added.

Shri. Kulandaivel, former Vice Chancellor of Avinasilingam University and President of RRSPM, who presided over the meeting,  demanded that Ram Setu should receive the honour that Taj Mahal, a mere memorial, receives.

His Holiness Marudhachala Adigalar of  Perur Aadheenam, a Tamil scholar, raised a pertinent point; he said: “While implementing the Golden Quadrilateral road project, a lot of Hindu tax payers’ money was spent in diversions to accommodate Mosques; so there should be no hesitation in spending Hindus’ tax money to divert the canal and to accommodate Ram Setu”.

Swami Omkarananda of Theni Chidbhavananda Ashram recalled poet Subramania Bharati’s dream of laying a road on Ram Setu by leveling it up. He led the relevant chant of Bharati and the huge audience responded enthusiastically.

Swami Sankarananda pointed out that only a lunatic would say that there is no Meenakshi temple in Madurai. Those who say that there is no Ram Setu in Rameswaram fall in that category, he quipped.

Shri Rama Gopalan, Working President of RRSPM pilloried politicians who advocate a Ravana culture in the place of Ram Culture. He warned that after the ancient Bamiyan Buddha was destroyed, Afgan people had to suffer hell under Taliban regime; if Ram Setu is destroyed, Hindus too will have to suffer under the local Talibans.

Swami Raghavananda spoke on the occasion, adding his support.

The dignitaries who had expressed solidarity with the Ram Setu Protection movement in the messages they sent include: Mata Amritanandamyi Devi, Mahant Nrityagopal Das and the Holy Aadheenakarthas of Dharmapuram and Thiruvavaduthurai.

Leaders of Hindu organizations who attended the meeting included: Shri Sukumaran Nambiar, Treasurer, RRSPM; Shri. R.V.S. Marimuthu, Prant Sanghchalak, Tamilnadu; Shri. Madhubhai Kulkarni, Akhil Bharatiya Bauddhik Pramukh od RSS; Shri. K.Suryanarayana Rao, Member, Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal, RSS; Shri. Setu Madhavan, Dakshina Kshetra Pracharak, Shri. L. Ganesan, state BJP President; Shri. U. Sundar, Uttar Tamilnadu Prant Pracharak and Shri. Sthanumaalayan, Dakshin Tamilnadu Prant Pracharak.

About 40 youngsters carried a ‘flame of justice’ from Rameswaram to Madurai, informed Shri. R.R. Gopalji, Youth Wing President of VHP.

Shri. Kumaran Sethupathi, belonging to the family of rulers of Ramanathapuram, was present on the dais.

Shri. Pon. Radhakrishnan, state vice president of BJP and former Central minister, proposed a vote of thanks. With the rendering of an invocation to Bharatmata by Samykta Tamilnadu Samparka Pramukh Shri. Krishna. Jagannathan, the rally came to an end. The numerous participants returned home with a resolve to muster support in a big way to the mighty task of protecting Ram Setu.

(With inputs from Shri. Pudhuvai Saravanan and  VSK Chennai)

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