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‘Run Against Ram, You’ll Be Wiped Out’

Ram Setu activist BP Singhal speaks to SHIVAM VIJ

Photo: Salman Usmani

Opponents of the Ram Setu say that large ships can pass through easily once the Sethusamudram project is completed, wouldn't it be worth it?
They can't, even after the canal is built. Small ships - at the most 30,000 tonnes or something. Large ships will still have to go the old way.

But certainly more trade traffic than earlier will be able to go.
You look at the map. All these ships coming from the West, whether they go from this side of Sri Lanka or that, it hardly makes a difference in distance and time considering the huge distance they are already travelling. It will make a very small difference. If they take a straight angle while coming from the West, the circumnavigation is minimal. Yes, if a ship has to go from the West coast to the east, then it matters. But how many ships go from the west coast to east anyway?

The ships will have to travel 780 kms less and will save 30 hours.
These are fake figures. These figures are from the canal project and not from experts. The oceanography people, the navy, nobody. They just got the archeology people and said Ram ka bhi patta kat do.

They are coral formations really, not a bridge.
Those who have investigated have found that there is 2-3 kms of hard stone, then there is a munga stone, three beaches of sand, then there are rock boulders of origin from various hills. There is also stone that floats. The World Tsunami Association's president, Satyamurthi, has said that this Ram Setu saved Kerala from the tsunami. If the next tsunami can wipe out Kerala, that is reason enough not to destruct the Ram Setu. So it should not be touched purely for secular reasons, though it started because of religious reasons.

But religion is a matter of belief. Some may believe that Lord Ram built a bridge there but there may be those who don't belive that. How do we know that Lord Ram even existed?
Can anyone say for sure that the birth of a child can take place with the mother remaining virgin? If a billion people believe that it is possible, and have faith in the person born thus, nobody has the right to question it.

But there is an objective way of looking at such things that can recognise mythology but not mythological beliefs.
If you come to the scientific realm I will give you scientific evidence. There are seventh century onward coins which have the word Setu on them. There are temple complexes in Indonesia which have sculptures of seven monkeys carrying stones on their arms and heads, and with bows and arrows Lakshman and Ram behind them.

But those could be artistic representations of mythological stories.
Who are you to give your interpretation, artistic or non-artistic! And who is anybody? There is a picture that speaks for itself. If you don't understand its language say I don't understand its language. But you have no right whatsoever to give another interpretation than what it is giving in your face!

If there are alternatives, why do they want to demolish the 'bridge'?
Simply because America is out - have you not been watching the way places of Hindu faith and shraddha have been denigrated!

But what is the motive?
Americans! Americans! Americans and the Christians. I mean, Christians because of Americans and Americans because of Christians, and Christians themselves.

But why is the UPA government doing this?
Sonia Gandhi is reason enough. Shankaracharya's humiliation and other things... there is a whole series of charges.

And Manmohan Singh?
It was he who reversed this affidavit, not SOnia gandhi. By now it is clear that it was Manmohan Singh who held a cabinet meeting and said withdraw this, whoever gave this order. He didn't even consult Sonia Gandhi. He didn't need to because it was so outrageous. He said it will finish the Congress. You run up against Ram and you will be wiped out!

So you think this could become another emotive issue for the BJP after Babri Masjid?
It has already become! It has exposed the anti-Hindu mindset of the UPA and its partners. It is a government affidavit, not by some officer. Hitherto we were saying all their policies indicate rank pro-Muslim communalism but now its openly anti-Hindu.

A VHP report used NASA pictures but NASA has denied...
VHP only used the NASA picture and asserted that you can see the Ram Setu therein. But we never said that NASA is saying this. How would NASA know?

What are the paralells between the Ram janambhoomi issue and this one?
The Ram janambhoomi was destroyed at one time - by Babar. They are now going to destroy the Ram Setu. Rama's movement on foot has been traced on foot and cycle from Ayodhya upto Dhanishkhodi. All the evidence of Shri Ram's existence is there. And the UPA ne keh diya ki Ram nahi thay!

Within the Parivar there have been many differences over Hindutva and the Ram janambhoomi movement. Do you think the Ram Sethu movement can bring the Parivar together again?
Why only the Parivar, don't you see Jairam Ramesh! Jairam Ramesh is not alone. Every Hindu in the Congress, in the Communist parties, in all other parties, whatever their ideology may be, and they may not be able to voice it because of party compulsions. On this issue every Hindu is together.

Sep 29, 2007
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