Save Sethu Padayatra started from Chennai-A Commentary

via GP Srinivasan & BR Haran published on May 21, 2007

Chennai 20,May 2007.


COL.Rajan and Sanjay Shirodkar begin padayatra from Chennai to Rameswaram, to save Ram sethu.


A historic Pada Yatra to Save Ram Sethu, began today in Chennai.It is hot May summer.Early morning it was cool enough in Marina Beach. The sky was silghtly clouded but Sun was intense.The yatra from Chennai to Rameshwaram has to begin from the famous Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Statue on the Marina Beach.The yatra was initiated by Col. Rajan and Sanjay Shirodkar from Bangalore.Col Rajan is an exservice man who took part in the Bangladesh war and was the first to enter Dacca, when the 90000 pakistani troops surrendered to Genral Arora. His jeep was blown up by a land mine but he escaped. In fact col Rajan and Shirodkar had made a public announcement in the International seminar held on 12 May 2007 in Chennai about their coming padayatra.


when we reached the beach some fifty swayamsevaks had assembled there and a  RSS Shaka going. On the wide side road side platform, some four or five plastic chairs had been organised for VIPS.some twenty or thirty men, women and few children had assembled. Earlier from 6.30 AM onwards, friends from Defence, relatives of Col.Rajan, and  Sanjay Shirodkar had assembled at the foot of the Bose Statue. It was announced that there would be some delay as Col Rajan and his team were stuck up due to fault in the car. So we had to wait.smt Prema Krishnamurthy wife of Sri krishnamurthy, (ex principal of mylapore Sanskrit college) had brought sweet pongal and Ven pongal (kichidi) for all. Since we had to leave earlier many had even come without their morning coffee or tea. Since it was Sunday, i did not see any hotel open. It was a good thing that she thought about this and brought breakfast for all. It was wonderul Bharaitya gesture that is becoming rare nowadays. 


Meanwhile Shri.V.Sundaram (IAS) suggested that every one should wait for the arrival of Col.Rajan and suggested that a casette on Vande Matram that was sung during freedom Movement. by Dilip Kumar roy be played. A song Saint Thiagraja’s song on Sethubandhan” in Sahana raga was rendered with devotion by ladies .Then Shri D.Kuppuramu (Advocate) from Ramnad who had come down from Bangalore (where all the four Shankaracharyas are asembling today to discuss the issue) gave an introduction on Ram Sethu movement. Following which  Shri V.Sundaram gave a short speech and sang poems from Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi’s   Achamillai Achamillai… . ( There is no fear. Be fearless) . Shri Kumaravelu BJP’s general secretary (Tamilnadu )had alos arrived . Next speaker was Dr S.Kalyanraman who spoke on the importance of evidences available from various sources. He also narrated how the Ram Sethu  was changed into Adam’s Bridge by Joseph Parks a British Botanist. Sri Marimuthu of RSS also gave a speech.The meeting ended with Vande mataram sung by a young girl. Col Rajan  had arrived by then arrived in his Maruthi Omni.Meanwhile some policemen had also come. Col Rajan introduced himself to the polce and gave a colourful brochure, with his picture in Defence Uniform on the rear cover. He shook hands with the police Inspector on duty.In a brief tape recorded Interview told me that earlier he had many pada yatra to different parts of Bharat. 


Ramsethu is a vital monument. And this walk is for the spiritual uplifment of the whole Nation.He expressed hope that he and Sanjay would be able to complete the yatra in some 35 to 40 days time. Initially though the police were friendly, some on seeing   V.Sundaram even saluted him.Bhajans were sung by ladies and  Vande matram again. It resembled another freedom struggle. Many passersby and morning beach walkers stopped and participated and listened to the speeches.There was some delay for Shri Sanjay Shirodkar to join. We were told that though he had entered Chennai, he could not locate the exact spot on Marina Beach. Soon he also landed safely with his wife.


 By then the police car had gone away and two or three police men were left behind.They were arguing with Shri V.Sundaram.The police did not permit the yatra  to go on the main artery of the Marina Beach, (called the Beach road). there was hot arguments between police and Yatra organisers and RSS representatives.The police did not budge, and the sun was getting hotter. Finally they  permtted the yatra to go through the service lane which runs parallel to the main road. In a way it was a blessing in disguise as there were more people on the service road side, than on the main road side.Hundreds of youngsters were playing cricket on beach sands, came to watch the procession. Pamphlets and handbill were distributed to them. All along the route and there are slums, with fishermen colonies. So there is no dearth of audience till the Procession party is expected to reach Tiruvanmiyur, on the South end of Chennai City by today evening. In the Foreshore estate corner and Chamiers Road, is the first stop where the RSS had organised a first reception for the yatris.


From Marina Beach

GP Srinivasan & BR Haran

11.30 AM


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