Hindus Protest the Possible Destruction of the Ancient Bridge Ram Setu

March 9, 2007

Source: Yahoo News


New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Hindu groups are stepping up protests against the likely razing of an ancient bridge in the narrow sea between India and Sri Lanka due to a shipping project, saying it will be unfair to do away with something of such heritage and religious value.

The Ram Setu or Adam's Bridge, a chain of limestone shoals 48 km long that once linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with Mannar in Sri Lanka's northwest, faces possible destruction when the ambitious Sethusamudram canal project comes up to create a navigable waterway in the narrow sea dividing the two countries.

Recent NASA satellite images show clear pictures of the broken bridge that Hindus believe was built by an army of monkeys to help Lord Ram walk over to the land of Lanka to battle its king Ravan, who had abducted his wife. The war and Sita's rescue form the climax of the Hindu epic Ramayana.

'That bridge tells the story of the entire war, how Ram and his army went on to destroy the evil by crossing a seemingly insurmountable barrier,' B.P. Singhal, a former director general of police and a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told IANS.

'Therefore, the heritage is extremely sacred to Hindus. It is a heritage that cannot and should not be destroyed,' said Singhal, 65.