Ram Setu is an land connection between India and Sri Lanka and this bridge is also known as Adam’s bridge. History and secret behind Ram Setu has always been a controversial subject. Ram Setu by etymology means Rama’s Bridge. Ram Setu connects Pambam Island or Rameshwaram Island in India to Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. Ram Setu has a length of around 50 km. The sad part is that most of the Ram Setu is under water now and according to geologist, it is believed that it was destroyed in the cyclone which happened around 1480 and till then the bridge was good and people could use it.
The story of Ram Setu goes back to Ramayana,when Ravana the King of Lanka abducted Rama’s Wife Sita. In order to reach Lanka Vanar(ape men) Sena(army) decided to built a Setu(Bridge) from Rameshawaram(India) to Lanka. When they started to use some stones to built the bridge, the stones drowned in the water. Then Hanuman said to his army please write Shri Ram on every stone and when they did that, the stones floated on the water and they were able to built the bridge. As soon as the bridge was built, Ram was able to get to Lanka and defeat Ravana.
The authenticity of Ramayana is validated by the stones which are still found in Rameshawaram and these stones really float on water. There are other theories about the authenticity of Ram Setu which reject the idea that it was built artificially. There is one theory that suggests that the Bridge is formed when Sri Lanka got separated from India. The other theory suggests it is formed by the accretion and rising of the Land. Government of India decided to built a complete shipping canal from India to Sri Lanka and it was finalised in 2005. This project is not as simple as it sounds, the problem is that in building this canal the limestone or floating stones have to be removed that were used in building Ram Setu. As we know now a days people are the owner of the Religion so they opposed it as it is destroying something that is important to Hinduism.
There are some thinkers who have opposed to building the shipping canal due to environmental reasons. What they believe is that building the shipping canal would destroy the aquatic flora and fauna. Amazing part about this bridge is that, Hindus call it Ram Setu, while Muslims and Christians call it as Adam’s Bridge. The good part is that even due to the religious differences, what everyone wants is to protect this Heritage. What we must understand is how to build a bridge between Heritage and Development and if a bridge has to be built then it should be uniform throughout the country. If Ram Setu has to be destroyed on count of Progression and development,then why Qutub Minar was preserved which was built from the stones of destroyed temples. Development should not be biased on any religion and if Development is the only agenda then no Religion or belief should be spared.
A developed country is one which always keeps a good symbiotic relationship between Development and culture and for a country that is as vivid and diverse as India, It is very important and necessary to keep the Religion and culture in Mind. It is Imperative for the Government to find a way in which they can make the shipping canal without harming the natural environment and Ram Setu.