OPINION

Ramar Sethu

This refers to Subramanian Swamy’s argument that just as we worship the sun god but don’t go to the sun, it does not matter whether we go to the middle of the sea to offer worship to the Ramar Sethu. There is no doubt that the religious sentiments of a billion people are involved in the Ramar Sethu issue. But the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project is also important for the economic uplift of Indians. Why can’t Dr. Swamy modify his plea to preserve the Ramar Sethu as a monument up to the point of alignment?

A three to four-km stretch from the mainland to the sea, up to the sixth alignment, can be developed and beautified to suit the descriptions found in the Ramayana. The rest can be altered for the SSCP. This way, both sentiment and science can be satisfied.

K. Venkata Rao,

Pollachi



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There is no point in calling India a secular state if the government hurts the religious sentiments of a billion people to construct a canal. Will non-believers of god agree to the demolition of their leaders’ statues? How, then, can they expect millions of people to agree to the destruction of something they hold sacred?

S. Vidhyalalitha,

Vellore



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This refers to the letter written in response to the former Attorney General’s comparison of the Babri Masjid demolition to the possible destruction of the Ramar Sethu (May 8). The demolition of the Babri Masjid was not sponsored by the government. Yet it left a scar on Indian secularism.

When an alternative alignment is available for the SSCP, why should the government insist on breaching the Sethu and hurt the sentiments of millions of people?

P.T. Kumar,

Visakhapatnam



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The comparison between the Ramar Sethu and the Babri Masjid is misplaced. The Babri Masjid is a historical fact. It bore testimony to India’s defeat at the hands of invaders.

Its demolition was the reflection of our inability to safeguard our secular democracy. On the other hand, Ramar Sethu is an article of faith. Let us leave it alone, and use the money saved on its demolition to rebuild the Babri Masjid.

Koti Sreekrishna,

Mason



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The country is slowly but surely being led into a religious trap. It looks like all future development work will need to have religious sanction, which is unacceptable and untenable in a secular democratic republic.

Ramar Sethu is an isthmus and a number of isthmuses exist in several parts of the world.

A. Thirugnanasambantham,

Coimbatore

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