Sethusamudram – The New Number One
After weeks on top of the Indian political drama charts, the 123 Nuclear deal between India and the US has been ousted as the number one choice of the Indian politicos by the Sethusamudram project. The canal, under construction for 5 years, has shot to the top propelled by the highly combustible mix of politics and religion. But The deal really did not stand a chance. Religion gets a wider audience in India than economics and energy security.
As expected the trusted ‘saviour of Hinduism’ the BJP is at the forefront of protecting the ‘sentiments’ of the Hindus. But it also helps the regional political parties like the VHP to get into action…this nuclear deal wagera are a little too complex for them to understand and shout about. Bring in a religious topic concerning the Hindus and they revel! So, as soon as the ASI sleuths filed the affidavit saying that “no historical evidence about Ram’s existence is available”, all the pent up energy burst out. What followed was a heart-wrenching effort to protect the ‘Hindu Sentiment’ by the VHP:
“We have been requesting the government for the past one year to stop the project but they are not listening. Therefore, we have organised blockade all over the country from 8.00 am till 11.00 pm today. It has been successful”
The first sentence itself gives away the farce being played out. The Sethusamudram project has been in the pipeline for quite a few years now. The BJP-led NDA government had approved the project in 2002. It had its opposition, but everything revolved around the environmental damage the project would cause. Knowing the VHP’s and BJP’s knowledge about and inclination towards environmental issues, it’s obvious that they did not protest earlier. Therefore, the affidavit played a key role in giving them a reason to shout about. What good people, I say!
Meanwhile the Sonia Gandhi-led UPA which realised its ‘mistake’ got into action and promptly suspended the two ASI culprits who filed the affidavit. But Ambika Soni, one of the greatest Sonia-bhakts and the Union Culture Minister, under whose guidance the affidavit was filed, escaped with a few harsh words from madam.
The silence of the DMK in this drama is quite surprising. I am sure Sonia madam has done her bit. The DMK has supported the ‘Dravidian’ Ravana over the Aryan Ram. Imgine what would happen if they were to speak out now! If the Sethusamudram drama were to enter the hall of fame of the Indian Political Drama Charts, the DMK’s role is very important. Let’s keep our fingers crossed in hope.