By Udayshanker Kasinadhuni
I am reacting to the opinion — Government shies away from making decision on Ram Sethu — by Prof. P.L Bakshi published in the India Tribune issue dated May 25.
There is a strong reason why separation of State and Church is so important in a secular democracy.
All religions are based on faith only, with no concrete evidence, but various speculations, theories and arguments for and against God, and life after death. Our scriptures declare in many places that this world is no more than an illusion and all that is visible, mobile or stationary is transitory in nature. The word Atma or Paramatma from Sanskrit connotes an all-inclusive eternal infinite entity rather than some unitary monotheistic God. In fact, the word Paramatma can encompass all the gods and prophets known to mankind making all the barriers between religions as no more than artificial and manmade.
In view of the transitory nature of the world as we see it, we enjoy the luxury of modifying our environment according to our convenience. The building of Panama Canal or a Suez Canal or ports and harbors all over the world is indeed a creation of manmade wonders. However, like the building of the Narmada Dam in Gujarat, the construction of a navigation channel in the waters of “Ram Setu” will be fraught with high political drama as well as ecological conundrums and huge opposition from those, who want to arouse the sentiments of people in the name of Hinduism.
Faith should remain in the hearts of the people so that we can move mountains and tame the seas. That seems to be the real message of Rama in that He conquered the seas by building a bridge to Lanka and made Hanuman to bring down the mountain. Maybe Rama is challenging us to build a navigation channel just as he built a bridge to cross over to Lanka. The Hindu scriptures declare with unequivocal clarity that the message or Bhavana is more important than the messenger.