India Politics

Ram Setu : A National Heritage

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“Hindus have destroyed the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya and it was time for the Muslims to take revenge by demolishing the Ram Setu”

These words pretty much sum up the intentions of M Karunanidhi and the then UPA government for demolishing the Ram Setu. Yes, there was a time, almost a decade ago when the Ram Setu was on the verge of being bombarded using RDX. The Congress-DMK alliance was hell bound on destroying it on the grounds of “economic importance” but the real reason was to hurt the Hindu sentiments. 

Source: Planemad

The Setusamudram Project:

2nd July 2005, the UPA government approved the Setusamudram Shipping Canal project. The idea backing it was that the ships that used to come from the Middle East, Africa and European region had to travel all the way around the Indian Ocean and then to the Bay of Bengal to reach the specific ports. The idea proposed a shorter route that went through the Palk strait region that is between Sri Lanka and India and in that it had to go through the Ram Setu although 5 shorter and easier ways were available. The main agenda was to destroy the Hindu sentiments in the name of economic importance.  



The project had faults on every possible aspect like economic, environmental and cost. The initial cost of building the canal was around 3000 crores. Dr Subramanian Swamy, who fought the case in the Supreme court to stop the project, came up with an idea which was cheaper and would not endanger the Ram Setu and the marine life. He proposed an idea of building a railway line and put up a container port in Kanyakumari or Tuticorin and from there, it could be taken via trains to the docks at Vishakhapatnam. The ships would unload all their goods and it will be carried to the ports through trains and this whole project would cost around 600 crores. Another aspect was the demolishing of marine life. The region is a hub for marine life and corals, and the route will destroy it and would also impact the local fishermen who have their livelihood because of the trade worth 150 crores per year.

The government was all set to destroy the Setu and heavy machinery had already reached Rameshwaram but the lack of logical counter from the government against the arguments of Dr Swamy forced the Supreme court to put up a stay order on the Setusamudram Project just 4 days before the intended date. Dr Swamy is now constantly making efforts to make the Ram Setu a National Heritage Site so that no future government can try to hinder it in any aspect whatsoever. 

A National Heritage Site?

Ram Setu is an extraordinary feat of Engineering. A structure at least 7000 years old surviving till date is surely a marvel. But a lot of arguments are made about it being natural or man-made. The Setu is made of stones that are generally found on the coastline and not inside the ocean which means that someone brought those stones from the coast and used them to build a Setu. In the words of S. Badrinarayanam, (Retd.) Director of Geological Survey of India and the former Coordinator, Survey Division of the National Institute of Ocean Technology, “It is a well-known fact that coral reefs can only form in clean and unpolluted water and these being marine organisms require firm and compact formation as the foundation. Corals grow only in hard rocks. The presence of loose marine sands below these indicates these are not natural and are transported. Unless somebody has transported and dumped them these could not have come there. This is an ancient causeway and an engineering marvel”. 

Ancient texts like the Skanda Puran, Vishnu Puran, Agni Purana, Brahma Purana all refer to the construction of the Ram Setu/Nala Setu/Setu BandhaThe Ramayana text has a very emphatic reference about the construction of the Ram Setu in 85 Shlokas in a separate sarga in Yuddha Kanda. It took 5 days for the construction of the Bridge and after completion, it was 100 Yojana in length and 10 Yojana in width. Science Channel came up with a documentary video on Ram Setu in Dec 2017 and it said, “There are stones that are brought from far apart and are set on the top of the sand bar”. It also said that the rocks are at least 7000 years old but the strange thing is that it is sitting on the sand which is just 4000 years old which means that the bridge is, in fact, man-made and not a natural occurrence. Its indeed a superhuman achievement. If a structure like Ram Setu doesn’t deserve a title of a National Heritage, we genuinely don’t understand what will.

We find it amusing, a country that accepts all kinds of culture and religion and welcomes everyone with open arms often have discussions over the existence of Shri Ram. We have debates over National Anthems and are hell bound on destroying ancient structures and shamelessly try to benefit over it on economic grounds. They also tried their best to even hinder the court proceedings by sending the Chief Justice to South Africa to speak on Nelson Mandela memorial a night before Dr Swamy was going to meet him and file the review petition so that the verdict may not be delivered on time and they can proceed as planned. The project was a deliberate effort to destroy the ancient Hindu relic or else what could be the reason for the government to come up with a project which was so controversial, which was lacking all kinds of the logical approach, would cause the government huge loss and criticism and despite all this they sanctioned it. 

The United Nations still recognises Ram setu as “Adam’s bridge” and we never question them for this. We keep our peace with the theory behind its name but we start questioning our ancient texts which refer it as Ram setu. To be honest they are not wrong because a country that does not recognise and believe its own history and culture, it’s understandable that the world will question it as well. India has always been a country filled with culture and beauty and Ram Setu is a clear example of both of them and a National Heritage title is very less we can give in return. Hope the government this time makes an effort to proclaim Ram Setu a National Heritage site and preserve this structure once and for all. 

Reference/s :

• Ram Setu: A bridge built by Lord Rama by Om Prakash

• Postcard. news

• Ram Setu by S. Kalyanaraman

• Ram Setu: Symbol of National Unity by Dr Subramanian Swamy

• Engineering Marvels of 1.5 million-year-old man Ram Setu by Dr M. Sivanandam

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8 replies on “Ram Setu : A National Heritage”

Sure , not a single point of doubt . If anyone have doubts , he/ she must prove it.Its a national heritage in our hearts even if it’s not in books.

If Ram Setu is not ancient as mention in Puran/s, Bharat never existed;
How many proofs one need regarding existence of Shri Ram and the Places he visited while in Vanvash;

Why the world to question it. When the world knows India has always been a country filled with culture and beauty and Ram Setu is a clear example Its oldest national heritage.

Bureaucrats of Modi govt may be trying hard not to declare Ramsetu as national heritage as Dr Swamy will get the credit if they do. There is no other reason I can think of.

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