A claim of US-based Science Channel that the ‘Ram Setu’ connecting India and Sri Lanka was man-made and not natural has given the BJP cannon fodder to attack the Congress for questioning the belief that the 50-km bridge was built by Lord Ram to rescue his wife Sita from the neighbouring country. Ever since the trailer of the show has been out on Tuesday with the tagline “Are the ancient Hindu myths of a land bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka true? Scientific analysis suggests they are”, several BJP leaders have said it vindicated the party’s stand.
“Those who filed the affidavit should explain now. The research has supported what the BJP has been claiming all along…The setu is part of our cultural heritage,” PTI quoted Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as saying. Prasad was referring to an affidavit filed by the UPA government before the Supreme Court in 2008, which had doubted the existence of Ramayana, Lord Rama and their links to Ram Setu. The government’s move had led to a massive uproar at that time and the Congress faced backlash from Hindu outfits and satraps.
— Science Channel (@ScienceChannel) December 11, 2017
However, the UPA later modified its affidavit and said if Lord Ram had indeed built the bridge, he must have also destroyed it later. The affidavit was filed regarding the construction of the Sethusamudram Channel Project after there were concerns that it may cut through the Ram Setu – also known as the Adam’s Bridge.
“So where is the Setu? We are not destroying any bridge. There is no bridge. It was not a man-made structure. It may be a superman-made structure, but the same superman had destroyed it. That is why for centuries nobody mentioned anything about it. It (Ram Setu) has become an object of worship only recently,” the UPA government’s affidavit had said.
In the trailer of the upcoming show, the channel quotes an archaeologist, saying the rocks on top of the bridge pre-date the sand. “There are stones that have been brought from afar and set on top of the sand bar,” the archaeologist says.
Responding on the new claims, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said, “This is what the BJP has been saying all along.” Firebrand BJP leader Subramanian Swamy too chipped in, saying the US scientists said what was already know. “It was already known that the bridge is man-made. The US scientists have come forward to say what we already knew…I have said this in the Supreme Court itself that three retired directed generals from Geological Survey of India gave a report, which was placed in the apex court to show that this is man-made,” ANI quoted Swamy as saying. On Tuesday, Smriti Irani posted the trailer of the show on her Twitter account, saying, “Jai Shri Ram.”
The controversy regarding the Ram Setu, however, is not new and historians have been divided whether actually Lord Ram built the bridge to save his wife Sita from the clutches of Ravan, the ruler of Lanka. Some historians believe there was a land bridge existed between the two nations during the Ice Age, while others say Sri Lanka was part of the Indian sub-continent and broke away about 1,25,000 years ago.