Bridge Over Troubled Waters

19Sep07

If you’ve been following the news lately, you’re probably aware of the uproar over the Sethusamudram Project and the subsequent fallout. For the uninitiated, the project aims to create a shipping canal between India and Srilanka through the island chain called Rama’s Bridge (Adam’s Bridge to the angrezis). Dig canal-connect countries. Fairly simple isn’t it? Afraid not.

According to the Hindu scriptures, the bridge was built by Rama’s allies which enabled him to rescue his abducted wife Sita from Ravana (this guy). The canal apparently serves political interests as well and when myth (er…religion) mixes with politics, the combination rarely proves to be fruitful. First the Supreme Court of India had to retract (when the BJP created a stir) it’s ruling which stated that there was no substantial scientific evidence the said bridge was built by Lord Ram. I wonder whose job it was to actually *search* for the evidence in the first place. Fine, the trident waving ”Ram Sevaks” backed off.

adams_bridge_aerial.jpg

Then, Mr M ”too old to think coherently” Karunanidhi goes on to say that Ram was a myth. He has a career spanning 60 years in politics but sadly, this bloke with the shades hasn’t learned a thing. Chaos ensued. Buses burnt. Homes attacked. People dead. Bonus points for God.

Why are we as a country so dense? Didn’t we start out on the right foot? Aren’t we the same people whose hearts fill with pride every time we hear those oft repeated lines?

when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance …. We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again.

What happened to secularism and tolerance? What happened to reason?

Friedrich Nietzche’s treatise, Thus Spoke Zarathushtra speaks of the Persian sage, Zorastar who descends from his solitude in the hills and declares, ”God is dead” and goes on to argue the meaning of existence and power of the human life force.

If Zorastar descended from the Himalayas today with the same message, he’d be running back.

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5 Responses to “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”

  1. Very well written……. But I’m surprised that you are surprised. Isn’t this something, we were always good at? What’s surprising in all this? All the more, I’m surprised, if I may so be, at the comparativley low key reactions from all quarters. But isn’t this a harbinger of changing times… or is it not?

  2. It’s pure madness. Another blog friend of mine blogged about the same thing on the same day (almost the same time too). I didn’t know about this until I read this post. But what I would like to say is- Since when have our politicians been rational? They need a reason to come to limelight. This is just another opportunity in the name of religion.

  3. @Indisch I’m not surprised…just ….I don’t know. Our generations as bad as the previous one! aaargh!

    @Ruhi What bothers me most apart from all the politicians brawling is that Freedom as we know it does not exist. Neither does rationality.

  4. I just wanted to say that, also, there’s absolutely no mythological basis to say Sinhala is Lanka.

    There are many Lankas the world over; Ramayana’s Lanka could be in Orissa, the Krishna – Godavari doab, or in what is now Malaysia. Ram may or may not be fictional, but anybody claiming that Sri Lanka is the Lanka hasn’t read the Ramayana.

    Neat blog, nevertheless! 🙂

  5. 5 bApHoMEt

    hey, i am actually against the Sethusamudram Project. The question is not wether there is scientific or historical proof of it being man-made, but wether a load of people believe it has a religious significance or not. If everyone in kerala thinks that Toddy is a religious drink, then it shouldnt be banned. if Hindus feel that a cow is holy, it should not be killed. in such matters science and logic should not be considered.


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