Monday, September 17, 2007

The saga of an epic or an epic saga?

The latest news in India these days is the fact that the right wing BJP is against the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal project.

What is the Sethusamduram Shipping Canal project?

The project proposes the linking of Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka through the shallow sea – Sethu Samudram and through the island chain of Rama Bridge also known as the Adam’s Bridge. The main advantage of this is the reduction in travel distance of more than 350 Nautical miles, therefore reducing the cost of transportation.

Why is the BJP against building this channel?

As per the BJP, the island chain of Rama Bridge is the bridge that was built by the Vanara (Monkey) Army led by Lord Rama to save his consort Sita who had been kidnapped by the evil king Ravana and taken to Lanka. Whether this is actually the same bridge or not is pure speculation and at this point in time not borne by evidence.

The Government of India in its affidavit in the Supreme Court had maintained that this fact – there is no archeological evidence that it was built by Rama – thereby questioning the very existence of Rama.

Now Rama is the main protagonist of the book Ramayana written by Valmiki. Ramayana is widely treated as an Epic in India and abroad just like IIiad written by Homer is in Greece and elsewhere.
My disconnect is with the fact that we seem to be moving away from the understanding that books which have later been hailed as Epics have mainly become that because of the fact that these books give the nation a sense of what is right and wrong in the period that it has been written in – Most of these definitions of rights or wrongs have invariably stood the test of time, which is why they are so revered!

This is so typical of India today – we always come up with a problem rather than thinking of solutions – We need to at least get an alternative solution to a problem – whether it involved the Rama Bridge or 123 Agreement. I understand that there could be, in the future, some proof that can possibly prove beyond a shadow of doubt the existence of Rama or a being like him (setting the cat among the pigeons here!) – it could even be aliens – remember humans did not have the necessary technology at the point in time in history – for example – Rama’s most potent weapon was the "Brahmastra" which is comparable to today’s Nuclear weapons!

I am from the Services industry and this attitude of always coming up with problems and not an alternative will hurt my job and my career – why is it so different with the politicians of India?

Lets not be a part of the problem – Let us be a part of the solution!

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