Rama, Ramayana, Rama Setu – The ever shifting stance of the Union Government

via Dr S Kalyanaraman published on November 4, 2008

Rama, Ramayana, Setubandha central to Hindu identity and nation’s identity (October 2008)

 



Rama Setu case:

Varying sets of misleading affidavit submissions by Union of India

 

 
What does Union of India have to say about Rama Setu?

 

 
This is an amazing set of hypocritical, misleading statements of Union of India (Respondents) containing varying shades of misleading statements.

 

 


Step 1:
The existence of Rama Setu is denied. Next it is said that Ramayana cannot be linked with the bridge. In another breath, a pledge is made that a Viewing gallery will be constructed to enable pilgrims to pay homage to Rama Setu

 

 


Step 2:
In a withdrawn affidavit, Ministry of Culture claims Rama Setu to be a myth, adding that the Setu is not man-made.

 

 


Step 3:
In a withdrawn affidavit, Ministry of Shipping claims that there is no scientific evidence to justify declaration of Setu as Ancient Monument.

 

 


Step 4:
On 14 Sept. 2008, Union of India claims total respect for all religions and Hinduism in particular… The Central Government is alive and conscious of religious sensibilities including the unique ancient and holy text of Ramayana…Having regard to public sentiments, the Central Government withdraws the present affidavit to re-examine the entire matter”.

 

 
Union of India also clarified that the affidavit did not intend to touch upon the freedom/ articles of faith or belief of any section of society.

 

 


Step 5:
In a final counter affidavit, Union of India defines the role of the state and states that the State cannot and should not be called upon to determine issues of faith. Union of India also adds:  It is now for the Hon’ble Court to resolve the contentious issues raised by the Petitioners in the context of evidence available..”

 

 


Step 6:
Written submission of the advocate for Union of India made in October 2008 to the Supreme Court says: The Petitioners have not alleged much less proved that Rama Setu forms an integral and essential part of the Hindu religion. Union of India also claims that belief of the community has to be proved like any other fact. The further submission of Union of India is that it has not been proved undoubtedly to be the belief of the Hindu Community that Lord Rama did not himself break the bridge.  Nor has it been established that whatever remains of the Rama Setu as a place of worship is an essential and integral part of the Hindu religion.

 

 

So, what is the stand of Union of India as seen from these six  sets of waffling averments?

 

 
It is clear that Union of India holds the justice system in utter contempt. It holds the responsibility of the State under Art. 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India in utter contempt. It holds that the millions of people the world over who revere Rama, Ramayana and Rama Setu which are central to the nation’s traditions to be treated with disdain and hence holds those who venerate Rama and Rama Setu as a place of worship in utter contempt.

 

 
This contemptuous behavior of Union of India is reprehensible. UPA has proved its incompetence to hold the reins of the State and to has failed to uphold the rule of law as supreme.

 

 
I wish the Supreme Court comes down heavily on the utterly irresponsible behaviour shown by the Respondents’ misleading statements and calls them to order. The Court should also direct the Govt. of India to declare Rama Setu an ancient monument under the 1958 Act and to direct Union of India to approach UNESCO to declare it as World Heritage. The Court should also direct that Setu project which is an ecological disaster should be declared as project disaster and scrapped forthwith.

 

 
I also hope Pachauri Committee takes note of the waffling stances of the Union of India and does not succumb to any pressures from any functionary of the Union of India.

 

 
The arguments for the Rama Setu being central to Hindu identity and nation’s identity are many and have been stated earlier which the Court will take note of and render justice.

 




Dr. Subramanian Swamy has filed on 3 November 2008 in the Supreme Court, fresh written submissions on whether Rama Setu is an integral part of Hindu religion.






 

This includes an annexure to Page 31 comparing the six statements demonstrating progressively varying stances of the Union of India, the respondent in the Transfer Petition pending in the Supreme Court.

 

 
Here is an Annexure demonstrating 6 varying stances:

 

 
Progressively varying stances of the Respondents as reflected in that affidavit      ANNEXURE P-31

 

 


Step 1


 

 
H.C c-a inT.C (c) 26-27/07   

 
1)P.62(8) There is nothing called ‘Ramar Palam’ excepting that the petitioners have chosen to name the ‘Adams bridge’ as.  Ramar Palam.  There is no question of sand sholes- – – being declared as monuments of National importance.

 

 
2)P.63(10) Having failed in all their attempts now the forces probably thought easier to play with religious sentiments which they thought the Indians might fall to their prey, started instigating the religious sentiments of the Hindus….

 

 
3)70(14)(iv) several Indians experts…. have also declared that there is no evidence linking the mythical Lanka bridge built by Hanuman to the chain of sand banks …….. To link that with Rama or Ramayana is ridiculous.

 

 
4)P.76(17) It will also cut off Land’s End in Dhanushkodi island which is visited by hundreds of pilgrims every day.
…. It will also cut off Kodandaramasamy Temple visited by thousands of pilgrims every day

 

 
5)P.77(17) The creation of the channel will also afford an opportunity to pilgrims to visit Adams Bridge, not possible today, and offer obeissance as the SCL is contemplating provision of a Viewing Galary along the channel alignment.

 

 


Step 2


 

 
Withdrawn c-a by –Min of Culture

 

 
1) P.3(4) The Petitioners have attempted to reply upon mythological material such as the Ramayana.

 

 
2) P.9(19) the ASI, has reasonably concluded that the formation known as Rama Setu/Adams Bridge is not a man made structure.

 

 
3) P.11(25) the aforesaid conclusions – – – renders the entire theory proposed by the Petitioners (by placing reliance on entirely mythological texts) wholly implausible

 

 
4) P.15(32-33) The same is merely a sand and coral formation which cannot be said to be of historical archeological or artistic interest or importance.

 

 
5) P.15(33) “The Adams Bridge site cannot therefore be said to be of any archeological interest.”

 

 
6) P.9(20)“The contents of the Valmiki Ramayana, the Ramcharitmanas and other mythological texts… which cannot be said to be historical record to incontrovertibly prove the existence of the characters, or the occurrence of the events depicted therein”.

 

 


Step 3


 

 
Withdrawn c-a by Min of Shipping

 

 
1) P.11(10) “the absence of any cohesive scientific evidence which can support the formation of a legally tenable opinion, – -  -  of Section 4 of the Ancient Monuments Act, it is submitted that the instant Writ Petitions must fail.”

 

 


Step 4


 

 
ASG’s Gopal’s Statement dated 14.9.2008

 

 
1) P2(2) “The Central Government has total respect for all religions and Hinduism in particular… The Central Government is alive and conscious of religious sensibilities including the unique ancient and holy text of Ramayana…Having regard to public sentiments, the Central Government withdraws the present affidavit to re-examine the entire matter”.

 

 
2)  2(3) It is clarified that the affidavit did not intend to touch upon the freedom/ articles of faith or belief of any section of society.

 

 


Step 5


 

 
Counter Affidavit final
PP59-6

 

 
1) The State cannot and should not be called upon to determine issues of faith.

 

 
2) It is now for the Hon’ble Court to resolve the contentious issues raised by the Petitioners in the context of evidence available..”

 

 


Step 6


 

 
Present Written Submissions
Submitted October 2008

 

 
P73II. The Petitioners have not alleged much less proved that Rama Setu forms an integral and essential part of the Hindu religion.

 

 
P.76. Belief of the community has to be proved like any other fact.

 

 
P.84 The submission is that it has not been proved undoubtedly to be the belief of the Hindu Community that Lord Rama did not himself break the bridge.  Nor has it been established that whatever remains of the Rama Setu as a place of worship is an essential and integral part of the Hindu religion

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