Shelve the project & save money! Face the people & save respect!

via HARAN.B.R published on October 6, 2007

 The SSCP has seen many committees since the last 150 years and finally got implemented in 2005 by the UPA at the center and the DPA at the state. Even though it was implemented in a hurry, without proper environmental, economical, geological, archeological, marine navigational & coastal security studies, the UPA in general and DMK in particular have come across a lot of natural & political hurdles. Right from the day dredging started, ship, crane and spuds of crane have broken and the dredging could not be carried out successfully, despite bringing improvised machineries on increased expenditure.


The Hindu organizations have gone against the demolition of ‘Rama Sethu’ resorting to nationwide protests for the last one year. Geological, marine archeological, economical and security experts & organizations have also come out against the project aided with well-analyzed and researched studies and data. While the central & state governments hyped the project in the name of Tamil as a century old dream of Tamils, on the grounds of over all development of the state in general and coastal districts in particular, they were not able to give a convincing presentation supported by facts & figures about the viability and worthiness of the project. Instead, both the governments indulged in issuing vague statements like “Project is good for South India”, “Revenue will come for the central government”, “Coastal districts will develop” and “heavy employment opportunities will be generated”, etc, in the assumption that the people of the state would blindly believe them.


   A flurry of cases was filed in the courts by Hindu organizations and other organizations against the demolition of ‘Rama Sethu’ and the SSCP. When the Supreme Court considered all the petitions and ordered notice, the central government made a monumental blunder in filing its affidavit through the ASI saying that there is no historical & scientific evidence to prove the existence of Rama Sethu and the affidavit even refuted the existence of Lord Rama and the historicity of Ramayana. When the whole Nation erupted with anger and protested, the center withdrew the affidavit. It finally got three months time sanctioned by the SC to study the SSCP a fresh, which was not liked by the DMK government. In order to show his anger against the center, the Chief Minister Karunanidhi gave vent to his feelings through insensitive diatribes against Lord Ram and attacks on BJP and other Hindu organizations. He asserted, “Lord Rama was a myth and an imaginary character” and ridiculed, “He was not a qualified engineer to build bridges” and questioned, “If so, in which engineering college did Rama study?” Later, he went on to say that Rama was a drunkard. His insensitive statements resulted in the death of two innocent persons when a Tamil /Nadu bound bus was torched near Bangalore and his daughter’s house in Bangalore was also attacked. Karunanidhi again made some bad remarks about the culture of Rama Bakthas and reiterated his remarks on Lord Rama, which invited the wrath of the Hindus. Ramvilas Vedanti, a ‘sadhu’ and former BJP MP from Ayodhya issued a statement against Karunanidhi, which misreported by the media, resulting in statewide violent attacks on offices of BJP / RSS / VHP and Hindu Munnani and the residences of their leaders.


AIADMK Supremo Ms.Jayalalitha came out strongly against Karunanidhi for his anti-Ram remarks. She had said that she would move the court of law under sections 295 and 298 of the IPC. As he developed cold feet over the nation wide impact on his anti-Ram remarks, worrying about the impending elections, he decided to go agresive on making SSCP an electoral factor. Consequently, he called for a statewide bandh after consultation with his allies, for the speedy implementation of the project, the same was challenged by AIADMK & Janatha Party at the Madras High Court, which allowed the bandh after taking a written undertaking from the Chief Secretary for maintenance of Law & Order and other essential services. The AIADMK, which got dissatisfied with the verdict of High Court, approached the Supreme Court with a SLP and got a stay order, the defeated Karunanidhi resorted to a hunger strike, as if “Mud has not glued to his moustache” despite falling face down on the ground. While the hunger strike is on, the DMK ensured almost a total bandh, while at the same time the Shipping Minister T.R.Balu exhibited his stupid arrogance by saying, “Are the SC Judges infallible? What is the urgency to hear the case on a Sunday?”  This made the AIADMK to approach the SC again with a contempt petition against the DPA government. Now, since the SC had come out heavily on the state government on the break down of constitutional machineries and suggested the center to impose President’s rule in the state, the UPA government is also in a fix, as it is very much aware of the inevitability of shelving the project. The CM and the Chief Secretary are likely to be summoned and the Chief Minister has faced defeat after defeat on the hurried implementation of the falsely hyped & worthless SSCP.


As his main opponent Ms.Jayalalitha has already started issuing statements about the navigational & economical intricacies of the SSCP and the wastage of public money on the useless project, it would be better for Karunanidhi to face the people with courage and explain the reasons for the shelving of the project due to its non-viability and save his respect, instead of indulging in political stunts like bandh, hunger strike, etc.   One cannot fool the people all the time in the name of development, when actually such a possibility is not there at all.


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