Wednesday, October 17, 2007

where are we headed?

I thought I was dreaming. In the dream, P actually asked me to write a blog post! Yes the same P who rarely reads my blog that I sometimes have to tell him myself to please read where there are some references of him. By the way he wants me to write about Ram Sethu and even provided me with related links!! Thanks P, and here is the much awaited post.

I purposely didn’t want to write about it. I strongly believed that it had nothing to do with Ram or Hinduism. It was plain dirty politics. I was convinced I was right. My theory: MK is sure that congress will not be in power next term. He wanted to be out of the alliance, yet did not know how to say bye. (He has not seen Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna itseems!)So he played this game. Yes he invited a lot of trouble. But indirectly it’s the central govt that’s facing the storm. They can neither publicly denounce him and his comments nor can they openly go ahead with Sethusamduram Project. Congress is doomed which is what MK also wanted.

Things turned a little sour when he (as foolish as he is) made some stupid uncalled-for statements.

Raama is a fictional character and neither he nor his bridge ever existed

Was Raama a civil engineer to have built that bridge?

…so on and so forth. I ignored these as well; one of his ever famous stupid comments against religion. (Particularly Hinduism because nobody has the guts to say anything against any other religion in this country)

Isn’t it ironical that neither the British rulers nor the Mughal emperors questioned the existence of Lord Ram? They were the so called foreigners, invaders who came to loot and destroy India. But our government is doing it. The very body which is supposed to protect us is questioning our beliefs itself!

I am not saying that everybody should believe in Ram and accept him as the supreme God, but we are a secular country right? Shouldn’t we respect each others beliefs?

Though I didn’t write about it, I was really intrigued. I wanted to find out more about this bridge. Just one NASA picture was not going to satisfy me.

If we just look at it with a religious eye, there are no second thoughts. You cannot just go and destroy a religious monument; Not only in our country, but in any country for that matter.

Let us keep the religious aspects aside for the time being, because there is no “debate” on that. I want to look at it scientifically.

The reasons given “for” the project are as below

  1. Obtain a navigable sea route close to the coast, with a reduction in travel distance of more than 350 nautical miles (650 km) (for larger ships).
  2. Expected to provide a boost to the economic and industrial development of coastal Tamil Nadu
  3. Development of other ports can be done once this project is complete.

So, as clearly seen above, the main “aim” is to reduce travel distance and hence boost the coastal business.

Now, let us see why this project fails to achieve even the stated purpose.

  1. The depth of the canal is proposed to be of 12 meters. This is “enough” only for small ships but not at all enough for larger ships (which is what they are aiming for). The larger ships need atleast 17 meters.
  2. The time saved is just 2 hours. How much of a difference that makes in the naval world? This is because ships cannot travel at the same speed through the canal as they travel on open seas. Also there will be pilotage delay; meaning a pilot will board the ship at the entrance of the canal and get off at the exit to “guide” the ship thru the canal. We know how much time it takes for a ship to come to a complete stop and start again for the pilot to board and get down the ship…. So!
  3. It’s not economical for the ships to pass thru the canal either. The pilotage costs are huge. Why would a shipping company pay those pilotage costs, when it can travel cheaper around SriLanka?
  4. The canal is in shallow waters which is a high siltation and sedimentation area. There would be annual dredging costs to just maintain the canal.
  5. Security. The coastal lines of this canal are till date in control of LTTE. What they would is unpredictable and hence risky.

It’s obvious that there are too many scientific reasons which seem quite obvious to even a common person like me, without any deep technical knowledge in this area which go against the proposed project. But still there is heavy pressure from the government to continue with the project. Why?

  1. The dredging cost which I have talked about is a constant source of revenue to the dredging company. They have tied up with the govt to go ahead with this. More revenue for the company and hence more under the table revenue for the Govt.
  2. MK wants his name to be etched in history (now it’s already done for all the wrong reasons anyway!) to be known as the man behind the Ram Sethu. This project was first conceived in early fifties; he will surely get the credit if it gets done in his tenure.
  3. It’s a huge project and hence lots of employment opportunities to a very large number of people which inturn formulates into hefty contracts for some companies. (Any idea which companies and what contacts they have with MK?)
  4. MK wants to send a strong message to his DMK community that he is anti religion and does not give importance for religious monuments (specially Hindu monuments because he has no guts to oppose other religions. Hinduism is a very easy and susceptible target.)

These are my imaginative reasons for them vouching so hard for the project. I might be right or wrong. There might be some other hidden agenda.

Interestingly here is a link which kind of proves that Ram Sethu is man made.

But at the end of the day, I am scared to see the path we are taking. Today it is one MK, but tomorrow there might be 100s of them. We have Muslim terrorists plotting to kill all of us, we have our own leaders against our religion… what more threat can we ask for?


References :

  1. A Mythical Bridge to Voters
  2. The Adam Bridge
  3. The Nautical Details
  4. Save Ram Sethu
  5. The wiki story
and so on...


Bhel Puri & Seekh Kabab said...

Hey, interesting post. I was in Bangalore the day he made that statement and remember thinking, flippantly, "even if Ram was not a civil engineer, he would have been enough of a manager to delegate the design to some civil engineers."

Seriously, though, it's the kind of fact-based reasoning you have in your post that is missing from this debate. Btw, what are the sources for some of this information (e.g. the 12 feet vs. 17 feet etc.)?


GuNs said...

I wont be surprised if somebody gets up and shoots this guy in the head somewhere. I mean, how irresponsible can a politician get? Everyone has a right to opinion but you cannot go out in the media and bullshit beliefs of a billion people without having foolproof evidence to prove anything.

This again raises the issue of press censorship. Why should any news channel or newspaper publish this idiotic statement of his? Its is a trend now for politicians and celebrities to make bold ridiculous statements to gain media coverage and publicity. It is high time the bunch of monkeys running the news understand this. IF they don't, put them in a cage and don't give them food until they realise their mistake or die. In short, press censorship.


Vijay said...

This is one of the best write ups I have seen on this subject..very well thought off...

I think the TV channels are all fighting for ratings and hence publish any junk that gets said...

I agree with Guns' comment ...

To top it he called him a "Drunk" as well.. of course now his daughter blames Valmiki for it..

Kadalabal said...

It happens only in india india india it happens to Hindu Dharma only and all are done for political motives it is irony we have to live with it in a country where Hindus are in majority and small regional parties can take govt. for a literal ride
your post is truly informative and the research made and infomation given is highly commendable

Kadalabal said...

see this on the same subject quite interesting

pavan kumar said...

how many red bulls did you have before writing this? :P truly I appreciate your energy and enthu.. I get that it was truly close to your heart and you were moved, but I couldnt write anything even half of what you wrote!

shark said...

@BPSK: Updated the blog post with the references .. should have done it before :)

@guns: Rightly said. Everyone has a right to opinion, but people holding high official posts have to be a "little" responsible in their thoughts and actions.
You have raised a very valid point about press censorship. he got so much of attention only because media was willing to give it :)

But there is a very fine line between press freedom and press censorship, I wonder when and where and who draws the line?

@vijay: Thanks :)
TV channels can get to any level for ratings! The other day they were showing what Sanjay had for lunch when he was in jail.. I mean come on! Leave him alone atleast there! and most of all leave us alone from this kind of crappy news!

Regarding HIM and his daughter.. just look at how they got away even after they did make such outrageous statements :-/

@kadalabal: I think Hindu dharma teaches tolerance and hence we are in this state. It is a very good teaching, only thing is that other people are misusing it. I hope the almighty sees it all...

@pavan: come on.. :) I can't write half humorously as you do with your range of topics :)

parijata said...

A very objective analysis. Very nice post.