Chennai, July 25: Opposing any move to demolish the Ram Sethu for implementation of the Sethusamudram project, AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa on Friday said nowhere was it stated in Ramayan that Lord Ram himself destroyed the bridge, as stated by the Centre in the Supreme Court.
"The Centre had said Ram used his magical bow to break the bridge into three parts. The UPA government now allows the Hindus in the country to have faith in every aspect of the Ram legend except the bridge as this has to be demolished to make way for the SSSP," she said.
"It is important to note that various experts on the Ramayana state emphatically that nowhere in Ramayan is it mentioned that Lord Ram destroyed the bridge," she said in a statement here reacting to the Centre's latest affidavit in the apex court on petitions challenging the project.
Claiming that any damage to the bridge would lead to a communal strife in the country, she said if any such move was sought to be implemented, the AIADMK would "fight it in the Supreme Court to uphold the true spirit of secularism."
She alleged that the Centre was trying to precipitate communal strife to divert public attention from more pressing problems like rise in the prices of essential commodities, petrol, diesel, LPG and milk and 'disintegration' of farm sector and other issues.
"What does the Central Government, egged on by the DMK leaders, who have their own economic agenda in dredging the Sethusamudram canal, stand to gain by antagonising virtually every denomination of society? After having backtracked once, why has the Centre once again cobbled together arguements to justify the demolition of the Ram Sethu at the cost of sentiments and faith?" she asked.
Jayalallithaa asked whether the Centre's averment in the court that Lord Ram himself had destroyed the bridge was due to "the pyrrhic" victory obtained in the recent vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha through "crass money power?".
She said the Centre which earlier denied the existence of Ram, now acknowledged the fact that he had built the bridge.
If UPA, at the behest of DMK, continued to ignore pressing issues and persisted with its "patently anti-people actions, people will throw them out in next elections," she said.
Demolishing Ram Sethu amounted to destroying a valuable piece of the cultural heritage of South India. "It is a pity that Dravidian parties like the DMK and Viduthalai Chirthaigal Katchi for narrow political gains, are becoming party to this desecration of their own heritage," she said.
She said according to Ramayan, the Ram Sethu was built by the Vanara Sena (monkey brigade) over a pre-existing oceanic ridge and the vanaras were people, who lived in the forests of south India. "In verity, they were the original south Indians.
Ram sethu was a marvel of ancient South Indian engineering skills," she said adding "True Dravidian parties have every reason to be proud of it."
Alleging that the Centre was adopting different yard sticks for different religions, Jayalalithaa said when it came to Hindu sentiments or faith, the UPA Government became "insensitive and does not hesitate to ride rought-shod over their feelings. What sort of secularism is this," she asked.
"I am an Indian. I am a secular Indian. I was born a Hindu and educated in a Christian institution. To me, secularism implies that all religions should be equally respected... It is not for the governments or politicians to tamper with matters of faith," she said adding "Perhaps, the government is taking the monumnetal tolerance of the Hindu community for granted."