An interview with Shri. D.Kuppuramu- Convenor- Ram Sethu Protection Movement30/04/2008 11:57:29
An interview with Shri.D.Kuppuramu, Advocate, and Convener- Ram Sethu Protection Movement.
Shri.D.Kuppuramu RSS Karyavahak , Ramnad District, Convenor of Rameshwaram Rama Sethu Protection Movement.
We met him at the RSS HQs, Chennai on
the 9th of May 2007
, at a time when the Rama Sethu Protection Movement was in nascent stage. Shri.D.Kuppuram was kind enough to spare considerable time to us despite his busy schedule.
As the Ram Sethu issue was in the initial stages of the litigations, we felt that we should better delay the publication for this might be interfering in the legal proceedings. Even now in April 2008, these Q & A are extremely relevant and hence we publish this interview.
Q1. They say the movement to save Ram Sethu has been instigated by North Indian Hindu Fundamentalists.
DK: Firstly, there is nothing known as Hindu Fundamentalist. In today's world the word, 'Fundamentalist' has acquired a sinister aura; meaning, an intolerant & religious bigot, out to create mayhem. In other words, a 'terrorist'. Even a cursory glance at the history of Bharathvarsh would be enough proof that Hindus have always been very tolerant & accommodative and treated people of other religious faiths with due regard & respect, and given asylum to people who were uprooted from their land of birth on account of religious bigotry, in the wake of spread of Islam. Classic example being, the Parsis who are 'fire worshippers' and followers of Zoroastrianism, from Iran, erstwhile Persia, came to India as refugees, hundreds of years ago and were allowed to settle peacefully.
When the Jews faced persecution all over Christendom some 1800 years ago they came to
to escape persecution. Hindu kings granted permission and full rights allowed them to live peacefully, side by side with Hindus, unlike anywhere else. Recently in the 1950s when Red China Invaded Tibet, the Tibetan Head, the Dalai Lama escaped from Chinese, and came to India.They were allotted land and are having their temporary HQ at Dharamshala in the Himalayas. I am a Hindu and a proud citizen of
. I am a son of the soil, born & brought up in Ramanathapuram, a district of Tamil Nadu. As a devout Hindu (Indian): leading life as per SANATANA DHARMA, a patriotic Hindu (Indian): proud of the rich culture & heritage of Bharathvarsh, a responsible Hindu (Indian): having concern for the protection & preservation of ecology, environment, biodiversity, livelihood of lakhs of fishermen &their families living along the southern Tamil Nadu coast, national resources, viz. millions of tons of THORIUM reserves, enough to produce nuclear energy for generation of electricity for over 400 years; and above all, NATIONAL SECURITY; I have filed the petition to protect Ramsethu on behalf of all Hindus (over a billion, living in India and abroad). Hence, the criticisms that I have filed the case at the instance of Hindus living in
is both unfounded and mischievous, to mislead the gullible.
2. Q: Do you mean to say that it is not the North Indian Cow belt, Hindutvavadis?
DK: No, Not Certainly . I hail from Ramanathapuram, and I am not Brahmin. My ancestor were warriors and military chiefs who were attached to the Ramanathpuram Samasthanam and dedicated to the king Sethupathi Maharaja. I am a son of the Soil .Sethupathis have been tradtionally the protectors of Ram Serthu, and they take oath for that. I have no other interest other than protecting this ancient monument. Hence I represent all Hindus. Since 2001, from Ramanathapuram Rameshwaram Protection Group, in 2002 we tried to highlight the issues by organizing meetings and protests through press releases. We are very satisfied with the coverage we got .We struggled very hard and raised the public opinion.
3. Q: You were a leftist in younger days; Leftists are generally known to be anti-Hindu, how come you were attracted towards religion and to Save Ramsethu?
DK: I was born in traditional and religious family. In college days, I was inclined towards leftist thinking. In 1984-85 I came in contact with Sri
Atmananda Swami. I had extended debates with him for more than one year, and got convinced in the Spiritual principles. Since 1985 I have been associated with RSS. The Swami is now no more. He was my friend, Guru and guide.
4. Q: What is the state of the civil suit that you had filed in Ramanathapuram court?
DK: The Civil suit we filed is pending in
Ramanathapuram Sub Court
. The judge, in the course of arguments, has suggested that an expert committee must be formed from various disciplines and according to its recommendations the Government must act. The Hon. Judge has repeated that three times during the hearings.
5. Q: When did you become involved in the Rama Sethu Protection movement?
DK: Since 2001. They wanted the Kodandarama Koil to be demolished in order to implement the Channel three alignments. We opposed it. By 2002 we wanted a broad gauge line extended up to Danushkodi and we made an appeal to the then Railway Minister Nitish Kumar. We also approached the then defence minister George Fernandez. He cleared the fourth alignment between Danushkodi and Kodandarama Koil. This was first recommended by NEERI. After 2003 fifth alignment was cleared, after Danushkodi, that would cut through Ram Sethu, which falls near the *Imaginary, non existing international border*.
6. Q: What is the 6th alignment?
DK: This is a planned conspiracy to demarcate India-Srilanka. Due to the pressure from
the UPA govt is bent upon destroying the Rama Sethu. The alignment number 6 is now referred to as T.R.Balu's alignment after the name of the central minister who is hell bent to destroy and create a channel by breaking in the middle of the Ramsethu. This is a village man's understanding. An international conspiracy has been hatched, to transfer the
to Overseas Controllers, who will take control of the channel perpetually.
7. Q: What was the response from common people?
DK: The response was overwhelming! We had an Anjaneya vigraha carved out of 'Atti' wood and we had planned for taking it to Danushkodi and arranged for the chanting of Ram Nama. We had deployed 360 Swayamsevaks to organize the japam. Suddenly we were overwhelmed by the presence of over one lakh (one hundred thousand) people! Everybody in Rameshwaram participated in the japam. Local people fed more than 40000 outsiders. We arranged local tractors to transport the people.
8. Q: Now, what is the situation?
DK: Now Navy, Coast Guard and special police are deployed to prevent people from going near the site.
9. Q: What is your experience with the Judiciary?
DK: A Good number of the judiciary are political appointees, this is the defacto standard from the lowest to the highest courts in the country. In Tamilnadu especially, the unwritten rule is one has to be in the good books of DMK, and tow DK idealogy to win a judge post. Even though the Judges may be faithful Hindus at home, they cannot openly profess their faith, and they will be branded as sanathani, if they are practising Hindus. Judges will not go against the political ideology of ruling party. The malady can be traced to the Indian Constitution.
The Constitution and law have inbuilt features that discriminates Hindus NEGATIVELY. Even those 15 % of judges who are independent and fair minded are also gagged. Even the Supreme Court is not free. Hindus cannot establish their human rights and religious rights through courts as we have seen in so many cases. The media is also against Hindus and gives negative propaganda for any Hindu cause.
Hindus have been betrayed by the rulers. we are victimized and politically we have been cheated and constitutionally demoted to fourth class citizens. Hindus cannot seek protection from the police nor establish their rights through courts as we have seen in so many cases. One has to belong to a Minority Community if you want a decent hearing ( a minority is largely understood to be Muslim or a Christian not Jains, Buddhists or Sikhs ), or member of a political party, or belonging to a SC/ST Community if the case has to admitted.Many cases filed by Hindu activists have been dismissed even at the time of submitting an application to the Court registrar.
As you know the Acharya Sabha's review petition has been dismissed by the Supreme Court. (This was in May 2007)... Even the Supreme Court is not free...he cites. Hindus will find it very difficult establish their rights through courts.Hindus have been betrayed by rulers, (*reiterates*) by practice we are victimized and politically we have been cheated, and constitutionally reduced to class iv citizens.
April 15, 2008: The Comments of the Hon Judges of Supreme Court have since been published in all News papers, has vindicated the statement that D.Kuppuramu made in May 2007.
10. Q: Now, who will protect the Ram Sethu?
DK: Lord Anjaneya is the sole protector of Ramsethu. We are like squirrels. Divine Power actually exists. DMK is a weak party in Tamilnadu running a minority government with the support of its allies. The AIDMK has got around 80 seats.
11. Q: Who are your supporters in Ramanathapuram?
DK: All local people! Even a communist, Mr.Thillai Backiam who had been in the party since childhood, was expelled from the CPI M party for opposing the SSCP and extending support for us. Now he is with us in the struggle.
12. Q: What about the fishermen who depend on the seas?
DK: The fishermen are 100% opposed to the project, as it will affect their livelihood. From kanyakumari to Cuddalore 22 fishermen/Environmental groups under the "Coastal Action Network" wants the SSCP to be totally scrapped. The sanctuaries for fisheries and hatchlings and an estimated 3600 species of marine life will be totally destroyed. The
Gulf of Mannar
and the Palk Straights are the breeding grounds for rare species.
13. Q: What about Srilankan fishermen?
DK: This is historical waters .Fishermen of
and Srilanka share the waters. More than 360 Indian fisher men have died (as of May 2007) allegedly due to the firing of Srilankan Navy. In spite of such dangers our fisherman are going into sea for fishing. Their livelihood will be affected if the project comes into existence.
14. Q: Why is T.R.Baalu singularly adamant?
DK: We learn from sources that TR Baalu (Union minister for Shipping & Roads) is having commercial interests in the project. He is alleged to have seven ships, all in benami names. ."T.R.Balu's son said "we have commercial interest in this and contractors are benami and we are going to blast Ram Sethu". However, we are unable to verify.
15. Q: What would be the reason according to you for T.R.Baalu's visit to Saraswathi Mahal library in Thanjavur?
DK: As soon as T.R.Baalu went to the Saraswathi Mahal library, we were tipped off, and we swung into action. It was a library developed by the Saraboji Raja of Thanjavur. There is a very rare Map of year 1747 that refers to "Raman Coil". In 1788 Rennel's Map says it was
. In 1804, it became Adam's Bridge. Now unfortunately the library is under the Government of Tamilnadu, managed by a retired Thasildar, who has no knowledge of History, archaeology or preservation. The Thanjavur District collector is the director .Anything could happen there. Anything might have happened to the documents. We will soon send a delegation to inspect thedocuments if they are intact. There is a great deal of historical distortions going on all over the country, with infiltration by vested interests in the libraries also.
16 Q: What about the Bridge? Was it under use anytime in the past?
DK: In 1480 it was used as
. Milk used to be brought to Ramanthaswamy for daily usages like abhishekam & naivedyam from (Thalai Mannar) Jaffnato Ramanathapuram daily on horse back on this road.
17 Q: What are the floating stones?
DK: There are stones, rocks and boulders though big, still float. Sri
Ashok Singhalji was presented a smaller one, by a devotee. He requested me to bring a tub with water to demonstrate the floating stone. Singhal ji was taken aback when the Stone really floated when dropped into water.
18. Q: What is the reaction from Srilankan side?
DK: Experts from various fields have congregated in
and have opposed this. They will put their expertise and study this for one year.
19. Q: Some say it is another Bofors scandal. (Swedish Gun maker)
DK: Bofors is only 65 Crores. SSCP is a 2500 Crore project, with not less than 40 percent commission.
20. Q: Whether it is possible to get information on the awarding of this project and other details from RTI (rights to Information act)?
DK: Yes. We are trying that also.
21. Q: Is it a jinxed project? Is it true that, those who are touching
Rama Sethu are meeting with accidental deaths?
DK: Yes .The local congress leader So.Balakrishnan went to address the public on the inauguration of the project. On his way back, his car lost control in Paramakudi town and dashed against a
entrance. He had serious injuries, and was admitted to a hospital where he later succumbed to those injuries. His son Sri.Ranganthan considers this as bad omen and God's curse, since his father touched the holy bund; he was punished and therefore died. He wanted me to spread this message to one and all. To recall another incident, a Dravidian Minister Thamizh Kudimaghan, when he visited the Ramanthaswamy temple for Kumbabhishekam, he disrespectfully threw the Prasadam and vibuthi offered to him by the chief
priest. Within three months he lost his job of
endowments Minster. He was expelled from the party. He switched to AIDMK, where he died unknown and unheard of, unsung. The same fate awaits anyone who touches Rama Sethu...
22. Q: It is said that there are mysterious forces at play in Rameshwaram, is it true?
DK: Yes. Those who remain one night at Danushkodi will xperience eerie things.
23 Q: what is the fate of those who respect the Soil?
DK: Those who respect the soil like Justice MM.Ismail and Shri APJ Abdul Kalam (the former president) have gone up in life.
24. Q: Did you meet the President Shri. Abdul Kalam?
DK: We met him on 27th September 2006 at Rashtrapathi Bhavan and submitted memorandum with 35 lakhs signatures, carried them in Steel trunks all the way to
and on a Tata Sumo to Rashtrapathi Bhavan. (Thirty five lakhs signatures) The Principal Secretary to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan has acknowledged the receipt of all these signatures. You should know that all these signatures were obtained in a single day, that is, on the auspicious day of Rama Navami in 2006. The president then requested us to take this back. These are kept in a safe place.
25. Q: The DMK and DK says that "Sethu was never an object of worship"?
DK: What else they will say? The history has shown us that the Rama Sethu has been an object of worship. In fact, I would say that anything connected to Lord Rama is worshipped in this great country. The soil, waters, trees, sea, shells, stones, everything in Rameshwaram is worshipped. Who are these atheists to talk about worship? (A phone call interrupts and some one talks to D.Kuppuram from New Delhi and enquires about the attack on the family feud between M.Karunanidhi's sons Stalin & Azhagiri and the Maran brothers, the attack on Tamil Daily Dinakaran's office that resulted in the death of three employees of the Newspaper. A messenger comes and tells that a researcher has called up, and DK asked him to refer to page 131 of Encyclopedia Britannica.)
26. Q: What about the Environmental Protection Groups?
DK: Ms.Jesurathnam (a Christian lady convenor )of Coastal Action Network group is a ferocious lady. She has extended all support to the movement. Then D.Kuppuramu narrates his experience during Tsunami (Nagapattinam) where he had gone to render volunteer service. He said conversions were carried out using the cloak of rendering service by the missionaries. After a pause he recalls another incident. Former HRD Minister Murali Manohar Joshi, when he came to visit Rameshwaram Allah Baksh a PTI correspondent aged (71) came to meet and said "I am Muslim. This is wrong. The Ram's bridge is our heritage. I condemn the destruction of the Bridge".
27. The DK has announced that they will object to the stoppage of the SSCP…
DK: M.Karunanidhi is cornered now. So he is banking upon DK to come to his rescue by using his 60 year old rhetoric. " North Indian Versus South Indians", "Hindi versus Tamils", "Aryans Versus Dravidians", "Brahmins versus Non Brahmins" and Minority Versus majority". But what I started as a son of the soil has become a movement spreading all over the world,Tamilians, Gujarthis, Marathas, Bengalese, Telugus, Kannadigas, Punjabis, all are involved. NRIs are involved. Tamilians of all castes Nadar, Vanniayars, Yadavs, Devars.Mudaliars, Chettiars Forwards, Backward, SCs, and ST and Fishermen are all involved. People cutting across a wide spectrum of all classes, castes and Hindus and non Hindus are all involved.
28. Q: Many say this has put an end to the Divisive politics started by the British Rulers?
Yes. The 150 year old divisive Politics initiated by British appointed Maxmuller, Bishop Caldwell, and Macaulay is dead. Dravidian Divisive politics also is dead. If Ramsethu is broken the future Tsunami will affect the southern coastal fishermen and their dwellings, not the land locked north Indian 'Hindutvavadis' who have no access to sea.
29. Q: Who are supporting your movement to save Rama Sethu?
DK: Some 167 organizations were invited and some 120 came to the meeting and have pledged their support. Christian padres, mullahs, fishermen have come together to join our movement.
30. Q: Who now owns the movement?
DK: RSS has mobilized the masses on the subject .People now own up the issue. In a democracy Politicians are answerable to people. People are the real masters. Getting 3500000 people to sign the petition in a single day is not a joke. It will merit attention by the Guinness book of world records. It is doubtful if anywhere in the world people came together in such huge numbers on a single day! Democracy is about numbers and gaining majority.The UPA coalition must respect this "strength" at least, if not anything else.
Thank you for your time.