Monday, April 2, 2007

From The Horse's Mouth

Hardly six months had passed since the killer Tsunami had visited the Indian Ocean, and memories of the devastation were still fresh. Not paying any heed to the pertinent concerns raised by the oceanography experts about the configuration of the proposed channel and potential impact of another tsunami, the government impatiently went ahead and inaugurated the dredging for the channel on July 2, 2005. The reason for the impatience was partly the upcoming Tamil Nadu state elections, besides other motivations.

The most venerable Ms. Sonia Gandhi began her inaugural speech, with this thunder:

Today, we realize a 150 year old dream.

Yes. That's how she began. Didn't she say it all, in the beginning itself? A dream indeed?

But lest you think by 'we' she meant Indians, think again. Who dreamt, we must ask, this dream 150 years back? It would be useful to know that, back in the year 1860, this 'dream' first occurred to the colonial British navy officers for the purely imperial reason of quicker troop logistics, as a strategy rethink in the direct aftermaths of the First War for Independence in 1857.

Make no mistake, in her collective 'we', madam proudly takes a seat with the colonial imperialists.

But let us let her proceed.

The Sethusamudram project has been talked about all these years, but little was done to make it a working reality. A Government at the centre, a Government in which the DMK, the PMK and the MDMK are allies and partners, has moved ahead decisively to bring to realization...

Got it? Let us make sure nobody else steals credit for destroying the Hindu icon from these: The Congress, Communists, DMK, PMK and MDMK. Let us remember this lot. Thanks for highlighting this, Ms. Gandhi!

I am aware that environmentalists have raised some issues. Fears have been expressed about the impact on coral reefs, for example. I am confident that the project authorities are alive and sensitive to these concerns...

Yes madam. Coral Reefs, not Rama Setu. Concerns are only ecological, not of heritage.

Today’s youth is very keen on it. We have ensured that software is now available in Tamil so that young boys and girls from all over the state can acquire computer skills and literacy. Our Government has already give Tamil the status of a classical language.

Several questions arise concerning this statement of hers:
1) As for the software in Tamil, what exactly did she do, we wonder! What had she 'ensured'? Aren't there plenty of software applications already available in Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, various other Indic languages? Microsoft has come out with the latest version of Windows which includes support for almost all the Indic languages, including Tamil.

It would be interesting to know what she means by 'ensuring'!

2) And she has given the status of 'classical language' to Tamil? Tamil is a classical language regardless of whether she recognises it or not (does she even know any Tamil?); neither Tamil nor its speakers were waiting around for Ms. Sonia Gandhi's (or her colonial predecessors') condescending 'recognition' to that effect.

3) But if she is merely handing out her own personal certificates to languages she deigns to consider classical, is she herewith implying that other Indic languages are not 'classical'?

4) But this one makes me really sceptical: why did she bring up Tamil, in the inauguration speech for SSCP? What exactly does the topic of the Tamil language have to do with the matter of the bridge and the SSC project under discussion?

Once again, let me say how happy I am that the Sethusamudram project is being launched today... It is truly a day of satisfaction, a historic moment for Tamil Nadu and for the country.

She would be satisfied indeed, and that truly should be a historic moment, when India looked on as the destruction of her oldest civilizational icons began.

If people of India looked on, as an indifferent lot, even cheering, who is to be blamed? Indians themselves and their continued mindset of colonial slavery! Just look at the project website, and one gets a clearer idea of colonial slave mindset we still live in.

Under the 'History of Sethusamudram Channel' page, it says:

In 1862, a Parliamentary Committee of Her Majesty’s Government was appointed to report on the site for a canal across the Island of Rameswaram...

In 1863, His Excellency Sir William Dennison, R.E., Acting Governor of Madras, visited Pamban and selected a site which he considered the most advantageous...

Ghosts of Her Majesty and His Excellency still haunt us! Throughout the website, they stick to "Adam's Bridge" and "Palk Strait", not once did they dare mention 'Rama Setu'. No wonder, they moved on from one Her Majesty's Government to the other Her Majesty's Government.

And these people have found out the person with the perfect name to head the project. The CEO of the channel building project is Mr. N. K. Raghupathy! Raghupathy is all too eager to destroy the bridge which his namesake of yore is believed to have constructed. He says:

...Work at Adam’s Bridge, long awaited, commenced in December, 2006.

We have...been working very hard and continue to do so with missionary zeal for making this ... a reality.

Need we comment further?


  1. Inaugural speech of Ms. Sonia Gandhi
  2. History of the project, from its official website.

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