Sentimental journey to Setu, of a rationalist

via Dr. S. Kalyanaraman published on June 7, 2008

Hon’ble CM of Tamil Nadu, Thiru Mu. Karunanidhi’s birthday poem of self-eulogy (translated from Tamil) for his 85th birthday on 3 June 2008 includes the following lines:

 


“Respecting my trembling voice,


As I worked for this land, language during my lifetime,


Instead of killing the project by telling the name of Ram,


I appeal on the day of my birth as a message:


If you want to name it “SethuRam“, do it!”

 

It
is amazing that a person who has been a rationalist all his life has
suddenly turned sentimental and with trembling voice. As a rationalist,
he should be pragmatic and carefully review the socio-economic,
ecological and security aspects of the dream-project. Many experts have
expressed their opinions that this is an uneconomic, socially
devastating scheme, a national security threat, disregarding the
ecological concerns of the neighbouring country, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s
34 experts have said that the water supply to Jaffna and Rameshwaram
will be affected if the limestone caves of Rama Setu are blasted away.

 

A
rationalist will also evaluate alternative possibilities to increase
trade, say, expanding Tuthukudi (Tuticorin) as a container port with
transhipment facilities into a new Railway line linking Tuthukudi and
Chennai. Assuming that the objective of the project is to improve the
livelihood opportunities for the coastal people of Tamil Nadu, Marine
Economic Zones can be set up expanding the fishing facilities to 200
kms. from the coastline with improvements in fishing harbours,
cold-storage facilities, well-equipped fishing vessels to provide for
fishing activity in an expanded ocean zone of 200 kms. from the
coastline. Such MEZs will increase the foreign exchange earnings of
Tamil Nadu from Rs. 2000 crores to Rs. 8000 crores per annum through
export of marine products.

 

As
a rationalist, Hon’ble CM has to review the opinions of
multi-disciplinary experts — geologists, oceanography experts,
environmentalists, nuclear resource specialists knowledgeable about the
world’s largest thorium deposits near Rama Setu, protective measures to
be put in place against another tsunami, putting in place adequate
coast guard security and most importantly, to explore alternative
avenues for livelihood opportunities for the coastal people scrapping
the Setu project and initiating MEZs.

 


Why should Hon’ble CM adopt ingenious methods of renaming Rama Setu as Setu-Ram?



If
he is really keen to venerate the memory of Ram, he should consider
visiting Setutirtham for a pilgrimage to pay homage to the Tamil
ancestors, brilliant engineers like Nala, son of Vishwakarma who built
the Setu, the progenitors of Karikaala Chola’s engineers who built the
Kallanai, the Grand Anicut on Kaveri. This resolve and remembrance of
ancestors will make the Hon’ble CM young and strong again and be
remembered as a rationalist who cared for protecting Setu, the World
Heritage made by Tamils under Shri Rama’s orders, but also contributed
to making India a super-power (vallarasu).

 

 


Dr. S. Kalyanaraman


President, Rameshwaram Rama Setu Raksha Manch.








D. Kuppuramu,


National Secretary, Rameshwaram Rama Setu Raksha Manch.

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