Troubled Waters   (25 Jul 2008)

The latest government affidavit filed in Supreme Court over the Sethusamudram project is finally going to take the wind out of BJP and VHP’s campaign against the project. The two parties have repeatedly cited Ramayana and other ancient scriptures to claim that construction of the canal will damage the Ram Setu- the mythical bridge said to be built by Lord Rama- and will hurt the faith of millions of followers of Lord Rama.

But the latest affidavit turns this claim on its head; as it cites from the same scriptures to prove that Lord Rama had broken the bridge himself at three different places. Since the bridge was no longer intact, there is no question of harming it by constructing a canal across it.

Ever since the Sethusamudram project was green lighted in 2005, BJP and VHP have eyed it as another opportunity to milk political mileage in the name of Lord Rama. Simultaneously, the government is keen to go ahead with a project that promises to boost maritime trade and bring in economic prosperity to south India.

Rajeev Shukla