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Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Setu row: Centre accused of giving dubious interpretation in SC

NEW DELHI, OCT 16 (PTI)

Provoked by the government's stand that Rama Setu is not an "essential" and "integral" part of Hindu religion, Janata Party President Subramaniam Swamy today rushed to the Supreme Court accusing it of giving "dubious" interpretations to the facts admitted earlier.

He told the apex court that when the matter had come before the Madras High Court the Centre had admitted the sacredness of Rama Setu or Adams bridge and even contemplated building a viewing gallery along the Sethusamudram channel alignment and thus demolishes its fresh contention.

"Moreover, sacredness and worshipping of the Rama Setu has already been admitted by the respondents (Centre and its concerned department) themselves and judicially noticed by the First Bench of the Madras High Court, that because of the need of Hindu pilgrims to visit Adams bridge (Rama Setu) and offer obeisance, the SCL (Sethusamudram Canal Project Ltd) is contemplating provision of viewing gallery along the channel alignment," Swamy said in his written submission.

"This admission demolishes the stand of the counsel (Centre's advocate), especially the averment that Rama Setu is not integral part of Hindu religion," he said and added that the Centre and those concerned with the project have "no locus standi to pontificate on what is at the core of Hindu religion".

Swamy, who has sought declaration of Rama Setu as an historical monument, accused the Centre of burdening the court with "unsubstantiated" and "dubious" interpretations from the Puranas and the Ramayana to undermine the sacredness of the mythological bridge.

Before filing his written submission, he mentioned the matter before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and said the Center's stand was contrary to the submissions made by it in the latest affidavit which was filed after withdrawing its controversial affidavits in which it had questioned the existence of Lord Rama, epic Ramayana and doubted that Rama Setu was a man-made bridge.

In the affidavit filed on February 29, the Centre had said the state should not be called upon to determine an issue of faith.

"A secular state cannot espouse the cause of any religion, faith or belief. In a multi-religious, multi-cultural society, the state cannot and should not be called upon to determine issues of faith".

"The state respects all religions and faiths but cannot make them the basis and instrument of state policy. The Centre is of the belief that it should not be called upon to respond to issues of faith, except in recognising their existence," the affidavit filed by the Centre had said.

However, government's new stand assumes significance as on the last hearing on July 30 it had assured the court that it was considering the possibility of pushing the project through an alternative alignment to avoid any damage to 'Rama Setu' for which an expert committee has been set up.

The court, while waiting for the report of the Committee headed by noted environmentalist R K Pachauri, had allowed the contesting parties to file written submissions.

The Centre has persisted with the argument that Rama Setu or Adams Bridge was broken by Lord Rama while returning from Sri Lanka and as such "anything broken could not be worshipped".

It has said "a religious belief or practise which is not an essential and integral part of the religion is not protected by Article 25 or 26 of the Constitution".

Swamy opposes Centre's stand on Rama Setu

NEW DELHI, OCT 16 (PTI)

The Centre's stand that Rama Setu did not form an integral part of Hindu religion was today opposed in the Supreme Court by Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy.

Swamy, who has demanded that Rama Setu be declared a national monument, alleged that the Centre's stand in the written submission was contrary to what was argued by it during the hearing.

A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan allowed him to file a written submission.

Ram Setu not part of Hindu religion: Govt tells SC

NEW DELHI, OCT 14 (PTI)

Giving a new twist to the Sethusamudram project controversy, the government has contended before the Supreme Court that the mythological Rama Setu bridge is not an "essential" and "integral" part of Hindu religion.

"It has not been proved undoubtedly to be the belief of the Hindu community that Lord Rama did not himself break the bridge. Nor has it been established that whatever remains of the Rama Setu as a piece of worship is an essential and integral part of the Hindu religion," the UPA government said in its written submission.

The government stand assumes importance as on the last hearing on July 30 it had assured the court that it was considering the possibility of pushing the project through an alternative alignment to avoid any damage to 'Rama Setu' for which an expert committee has been set up.

However, it persisted with the argument that Rama Setu or Adams Bridge was broken by Lord Rama while returning from Sri Lanka and as such "anything broken could not be worshipped".

It said that the opponents of the project have not proved that Rama Setu forms an "integral" and "essential" part of Hindu religion and has to be protected.

"A religious belief or practise which is not an essential and integral part of the religion is not protected by Article 25 or 26 of the Constitution", the Centre said and quoted various previous judgements of the apex court to drive home its point.

Following the government assurance in July that it was considering an alternative alignment for the project, the Prime Minister Office had set up an expert committee headed by noted scientist R K Pachauri, Director General of Tata Energy Research Institute, to look into the suggestion.

Though no time-frame has been set for the Committee to place its report, the apex court had said that it will consider the findings of the panel before giving its verdict and had allowed the contesting parties to file written submissions if they wished.

In September last year, the Centre had to withdraw its two controversial affidavits questioning the existence of Lord Rama and opposing claims that the Rama Setu was a man-made bridge.

The Centre once again attacked the AIADMK Chief J Jayalalithaa for opposing the project on religious grounds saying that the environmental clearance to the project was given by her government.

It said that Jayalalithaa's change in stand was politically motivated despite the fact that in the 2001 Assembly elections she came to power by promising in the election manifesto that the project would be implemented.

"Now at this point of time to say that the Adams Bridge should not be cut is nothing but a politically motivated submission," the Centre said.

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At 11/02/2008 12:47:00 AM, Anonymous Renjith Nair said...

http://renjithmn.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/root-cause-of-terrorism-in-india

 

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