Ultimatum to UPA- File affidavit in favour of the conservation of Ram Setu by Jan 16

published on December 30, 2007

Chorus appeal: Save Ram Setu

Author:Smriti Singh | New Delhi

Source:Daily Pioneer

… VHP’s ultimatum to UPA for affidavit in apex court to conserve bridge

The Sangh Parivar on Sunday served an ultimatum on the Union Government regarding the Ram Setu project. Passing a resolution at a massive rally organised in the Capital under the banner of Rameshwaram Ram Setu Raksha Manch, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Sunday gave an ultimatum to the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government that by January 16 it should file an affidavit in the Supreme Court in favour of the conservation of Ram Setu bridge. The VHP reiterated its demand of scrapping the controversial Sethusamudram project.

Addressing the crowd, VHP general secretary Pravin Togadia said, “If the Union Government does not declare Ram Setu a protected historical heritage, we would launch a countrywide agitation.”

Outlining the security dangers that the construction of Sethusamudram project can cause, Togadia said, ”The destruction of Ram Setu would create severe security risk for the country through the entire south and south east coastline in view of the ISI links with many terror groups operating from Indonesia and Malaysia via Sri Lanka up to Nepal.” He added, “The move would virtually kill the livelihood of 10 lakh fishermen.” In a clear move to revive its Hindutva plank, Togadia wondered whether the Government would have gone ahead with the project if it was “Ali Setu”.

Since early morning, lakhs of people from all over the country had gathered at the Swarna Jayanti Park in Rohini to support the cause of protecting the Ram Setu. The rally which saw a galaxy of leaders from the Sangh Parivar and the BJP, including RSS chief KS Sudarshan, warned the Government that the people of the country would not tolerate any damage to the Ram Setu, which, they believe, has been built for Lord Ram’s conquest of demon king Ravana.

Senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi, BJP President Rajnath Singh, Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Jagdish Mukhi, Harsh Vardhan, Vijay Goel, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje were among other MPs and MLAs who were present at the huge protest rally. Also significant were messages of support from former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, whose Shiromani Akali Dal is part of the NDA.

The protesters hailing from various parts of the country marched to the venue shouting slogans like “Ram Setu bachao” (save Adam bridge), “Congress Murdabad”. Varsha Gupta, a member of Rohini Mandal said that more than 1 lakh people had already arrived the venue the night before the rally. Swami Ramdev addressed the mega-rally urging them to participate in a movement to protect Ram Setu, which he wanted to be declared as a “national heritage site”.

The mega rally was also addressed by VHP president Ashok Singhal and religious leaders like Mandaleshwar Swami Vivekanand, Sahnkaracharya Nishilanand and Sadhvi Rhitambra among others. While urging the crowd to take the responsibility of protecting the historic landmark, Sudarshan said, “Not only Hindus, but Muslims and Christians also oppose the project. If the Ram Setu was destructed, we would lose the thorium available at 31 per cent of the Indian beaches. The vast chunks of thorium would merge into the ocean and lakhs of fishermen would lose their livelihood.” He asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to succumb to the “pressure” from its southern ally, the DMK, and go ahead with the project.

“Government will face the consequences if it does not cancel the project,” Sudarshan said, adding, ” The Prime Minister should not think about the survival of his Government. If he scraps the project, he will get good wishes from crores of Hindus.”

Incidentally, apart from the 40 Hindu organisations associated with the RSS, which took part in the rally, organisations belonging to other religions also joined hands to protest against the actions of the UPA Government. “More than 1,000 temples, 70 schools, 250 community centres and 50 dharamshalas have been booked to accommodate the rambhakts participating in the rally,” VHP member Vinod Bansal said.

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