Home Articles Politics Sethusamudram - An Indepth Analysis

Sethusamudram – An Indepth Analysis

CNN-IBN recently came up with an in-depth analysis report by looking at the Sethusamudram controversy, not just in terms of its religions nature, but also in terms of security risks, the ecological disaster, loss of livelihood for the local people, etc that would be caused by this project.

The most important thing that has to be noted in this report is the one mentioned below.

A Lie by ASI

The ASI/Govt of India which gave a new twist to the controversy over the Sethusamudram project last month by filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that there is no Proof for Ram having built the Ram sethu, has now revealed to CNN-IBN that it has infact NEVER conducted any survey or research on the Ram sethu at all! Let me repeat it, ASI never conducted any research or survey about Ramsethu at all!!

Moreover, the ASI has also said that since the Ramsetu is not yet declared as a cultural/heritage site by the government, it does not come under its jurisdiction at all!!

Then how the hell did it file the affidavit with the supreme court saying there is no scientific evidence for man made construction in Ram sethu?

In other words not only did it file a false affidavit about a research which it never carried out, but by doing so, it has also LIED to the highest judicial authority of the country. This is how our government is functioning.
NOTE: ASI functions under the cultural ministry of the government of India.

In fact the news report also says that many ASI officials themselves think that the Ramsetu should have been declared as a natural heritage site long back!

Exaggerate Claims and Economic Miscalculations

Costs outweigh the benefits. This is what CNN-IBN reported about the economic viability of the project.

The economics of the project is based on the amount of time that this project will save for the ships traveling in the region, by not having to go all around Srilanka. While the project proponents claim that Sethusamudram canal will save 22 hours, the report says that the reality is quite different from the claims.

Ships coming from Africa and Europe will actually save only 8-12 hours if they use the canal, and even this time will not mean a lot of time saved, because the ships will have to actually slow down in the shallow waters of the Sethusamudram canal!

Ships coming from deep south like Mauritius will not use the canal because they will actually lose time if they do so!

Also, the project cost means that if the time saved becomes only 8-12 hours, then the ships will actually have to pay more than the money they save by this slightly shorter route!

Not only that, bulk carriers and tankers will actually find it difficult to navigate in this narrow channel, and also the cost of hiring an experienced pilot to cross the channel would again mean more costs to the ships!

Negative economic impact of Sethusamudram project

If these are the economics behind the project, then we will hardly see any ships using the canal. Looks like the government is all set to create a deep-sea water amusement park in the region in the name of this Sethusamudram canal :)

Ecological Damage

The blasting of the coral reefs for the project will endanger not only the corals in the region but also the fishes in the sea, because the fishes use the corals as their breeding ground. Spread over 10000 sq kms this is India’s only marine bio-reserve!

Sea cucumbers, whales, sea weeds, corals, sea turtles, fishes etc will be almost wiped out in the region by the project. There are thousands of types of marine life forms in these seas. Dredging activities alone will wipe out the sea weeds and prevent coral formation by blocking sunlight.

There is no clearcut planning done about where will all the thousands of tons of dredged up sand be taken to! The plan simply says, The dredged up sand will be dumped on wasteland ! Even school kids do projects in a better way.

Sea cucumbers, etc in this region are all protected under the wild life protection act of 1972, and yet the project has not sought any clearance from the concerned wildlife departments! As the expert in the report says, this is a separate clearance required apart from the environmental clearance.

Blasting the sea beds will also impact whales and dolphins in the region. The report says that already few whales have died ever since the dredging started. Oil tankers and bulk carriers will pollute the marine biosphere in the region.

Loss of Livelihood

The local fishermen in the region say that this project will put an end to their means of livelihood in the region. The dredging machines in the region are already tearing off their fishing nets everyday. And the implementation of the project will also tear off their livelihood by destroying innumerable sea flora and fauna in the region.

Security Risks

Another stated project benefit is the reduction in time for vessels of Indian navy to travel between eastern and western coasts from 33 to 15 hours . The irony is that the government has not even consulted the navy and the coast guard about the security implications of the project! Why is the government moving with such a haste?

A naval expert questions the above claim of time saved, saying that the vessels of the Indian navy which usually travel at a speed of 15-20 knots when moving around srilanka as they do currently, will have to reduce their speed to 6-8 knots once they start moving in the Sethusamudram canal! So where is the gain?

Also, another concern raised by security experts is, the vast scope this canal would give to LTTE in srilanka. Its already a well known fact that LTTE has proven naval capabilities. What if the canal is held to ransom by LTTE? What if LTTE starts damaging the ships moving in the area?

Destruction of Heritage Site

Its altogether a different question as to whether the Ramsethu is natural or manmade, but either ways it deserves to be protected as a heritage site and research should be conducted about its origin and time line. No other country in the world would allow such a wonderful heritage site to be destroyed like this, instead it could be developed as a beautiful tourist spot.

Dirty Politics

While the DMK gave an Aryan-Dravidian color to the Sethusamudram controversy, the congress blamed the BJP of hypocrisy, hiding the true political picture .

And today DMK had planned to take political advantage of the situation by calling for a state wide bandh in Tamilnadu. Only DMK can do such a stupid thing, otherwise will a ruling party in power call for a bandh in its own state? How stupid of the DMK government to call for a Tamilnadu bandh and to try to bring the entire state to a stand still, causing inconvenience to the people. Thank god, we have a wonderful judiciary in the country, which not only termed the bandh unconstitutional, but also said today that,

If there is no compliance with our order, it is complete breakdown of constitutional machinery. We will then have to direct the (central) government to impose President’s Rule. If this is attitude of the DMK government, the UPA government should not feel shy of dismissing it and imposing President’s Rule.

Coming back to the Sethusamudram project, in spite of all the drawbacks, the government still wants to move ahead with the project, only because, as said in the CNN-IBN programme, the whales, the sea cucumbers, the fish, the corals etc in the seas of the project site DO NOT constitute a vote bank.

For those who claim that this mass destruction of nature is essential for developmental projects, please go through this link provided by a reader to see if there is ANY economic/developmental sense in this project.

Finally, about destroying the marine life forms in the seas.

What moral grounds will the humans have, if tomorrow a more powerful alien civilization invades earth and wants to destroy human civilization on this planet, to build a project what they consider is essential for the developmental activities of their alien civilization? What if for instance the aliens want to take away our sun to satisfy their energy needs?

There is a beautiful Telugu novel on similar lines by Yendamuri Veerendranath called Cheekatilo suryudu meaning Sun in the Dark . So please read that novel and then, let us sacrifice all the dirty politics under the dredging machines in the gulf of mannar.

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Gurudev is the developer of Gurunudi AI Platform. This is his official website where he pens his thoughts on a wide range of topics, answers queries, shares resources and tools developed by him.


  1. That does explain that why educated and environment concerned Hindus do not want to live in India. Because their believes and concerns are always questioned and moreover it is not safe anymore for Hindus. Projects are designed without any weight to Environmental impact. Good wishes to Indian Government for joining Arab League from last three years. I hope soon in India Burqa and Sharia laws will be forced especially in Tamilnadu. Also the air and water will be so polluted to breathe. No tree will be left and probably the destructive fire element (bombs) will be used to destroy the nation where only greed works. Definitely India is no longer a pious land or me.

  2. Nothing wrong if he had asked for Dravidstan. Do not cheat yourself. Look at how people in other states are beaten in another. Maharashtra, Gujarat, MP, TN .. If Sri Lanka can exist as a country so can each state in India also. Each of us will progress faster individually. I could not follow the teacher in my class of 50 students. What the heck our MPs are following while amidst the Parliamentary proceedings , 500 of them !!! There is a technical issue here.

    Smaller states are all progressing faster than the bigger states. If they existed as nations then everyone of us will have become a Bangalore ourselves.

  3. Hi Indian,

    I am not comparing Periyar with Ali. just the roles.

    what I am saying is u need that opposition/criticism for a healthy working system. what is most horrible is all becoming yes men. and you shouldn’t throttle this opposition/critisicm out of existence.

    that is what happneded when Draupadi was disrobed. not one opposed except Vidura. the death of scope for opposition means things have gone too far beyond redemption and only a catastophic event like the mahabaratha war is going to bring order. and war is always painful to all.

    one example i think of is alcohol ad in TV. in India it is totally banned or at least was the last i knew. whereas in US or actually in UK it is not outright banned but is highly restricted. the alcohol ad cant claim or be seen claiming an benefit whatsoever from drinking. it is very strict. so how can the drink maker sell them at all or appeal to the drinkers ? they have become very creative and the ads are one of the most interesting ones i have ever seen. just too good.

    regarding danish cartoon; well i havent really paid much attention to it but I dont like the fact something cant be critised at all whatever it is. of course the intention and the context of the criticism is very important. u just cant go critizing things willy nilly.

  4. I=Indian,

    I am not a supporter of Ramasamy, to comment on his each & every saying.
    we dont know why he said that & in which context.
    we, extract a line from two page article or story, & we run into a conclusion.

    We can question him. Its our right. He has got his own magazine. He has written lots of thing(craps too) in it.

    He welcomes questioning.. He said that
    “”I am an ordinary man. I have told what I felt. I have never told you that “”I am telling the truth. You have to believe it.”” Before accepting anything, be it religion/culture/tradition, analyse it thoroughly and then accept it””.

    Saying him as a menace, is how we look at it.

    His positive accomplishments here…

    He has seen untouchability practiced in Hinduism at Vaikom and called entire Hinduism is wrong & so does you, reading some periyar’s quotes, and saying that he was entirely wrong. Its impossible to convince both.

    Life is a mixture of good & bad… Its on the people to extract good from whatever it is.

    When I say Its impossible to convince both. I mean its like British vs India.. in terms of Netaji/Bagat Singh..
    they were British Terrorist but they were Indian hero.

    Pls, again dont ask me any questions about Ramaswamy.
    I am not a supporter of him.
    Stays with Gururaj stand. :) “”self correcting system””

  5. Hi Pandian,

    Brahmins becoming seeker of knowledge gained them and as you know knowledge is power. and power intoxicates. it is very difficult to be powerful and yet sane.

    that is why in my opinion brahmins were made as powerless as possible by the system to restrict this abuse.
    like being directed not to do a job for livelihood.
    following very strict religious practice etc…

    all over the world the priestly class have always been extremely powerful and did/do all sorts of horrible things.
    but in our system they have been clipped to a good extent . yet of course doesn’t mean there has been no abuse of power. power abuse keeps on happening everywhere. that is the nature of it in the hands of a conscious sentinent.

    and in today’s world brahmins have really no power whatsoever either political , financial or whatever.

    and thanks to the system the balance is moving the other way but have to be careful that it is not tilted too much. In my view the greatest asset of any system is how self correcting it is and yet maintain that longevity as much as possible.

  6. Pandian
    What a one line answer for a one page question!!!
    What about Periyar’s quotes? Why are you avoiding them? Was he a crackpot to say things like

    One of the main reasons why there is an upward trend in the prices of clothes and textiles is that women belonging to the Scheduled Castes (Parachies) have started wearing blouses these days

    Who said you that Periyar changed the temples? He actually didnt want any temples at all! Go to Maharashtra/Karnataka/Andhra etc, there was never any periyar there, and still people of all castes are allowed inside the temples.

    Periyar’s comments have made only and only negative effects, and that is not limited to brahmins, but to entire India.
    Do you think comments like
    Indian independence day is a day of slavery
    is limited only to brahmins?

  7. I=Indian,
    Periyar has not done for votes. you can refer to his political career.

    For you, it might be appearing as ant. Look closer, it is really an Elephant.
    At his time, the Dalits were not allowed to enter into streets of brahmins. Its like, even with in a small village, Brahmins were living in a different country where Dalits not allowed.

    It happened espescially in south india. i.e, During the same period, in kasi, a dalit can go into the temple to pray god but which is not allowed in south. He questioned that.
    He answered the questions with his own interpretation. One leads to the other..and so on..

    If his questions & remarks were wrong. Even Today, we would have Temples, only for Brahmins.
    His questions, comments have made both positive & negative effects(on Brahmins).

    I accept that Casteism is not Hinduism,
    But the way Hinduism is practiced today, is not what it was.

  8. Ali is an actor. He did not form a political party to get votes or start a hatred campaign. He speaks to entertain people. Periyar spoke to spread hatred and collect votes.
    Is it correct to compare the two?
    What is your view on danish cartoons? Are they comedy or serious?

  9. Hi Gurudev,

    Some one said all great men are scoundrels :-)

    I am sure you would have watched Ali de (actor cohen) tv series. One of the things is he disrespects everything and sometimes some of his questions are utterly silly. but the point is he is not squeamish in any way ridiculing something. of course it is all done in a very comic way and so is very funny. nothing serious.

    even Rama thanked Kaikeyi after completing the vanvas. i hope u see the point I am trying to make.

  10. Gururaj
    I think men like periyar are a menace in the society. The artificial aryan/dravidian divide which he created is haunting the Indian society even today.
    Jinnah similarly criticized everything and created Pakistan, if Periyar had his way, there would have been a Dravidstan today.

    We need men like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dayananda Saraswati, Kiran Bedi, etc who are the people who “”criticize”” with a “”substance”” in their criticisms. They are the true social reformers.

    We dont need men like Periyar who was actually anti-Brahmin and not pro-dalit, anti-God and not Pro-atheist! He called for elimination of all brahmins and also for their expulsion from Dravidstan!
    Periyar didnt call a spade a spade, instead he called an ant an elephant, and called those who didnt agree with his views as scoundrels!! There is a difference between “”creating”” more problems and “”solving”” existing problems.

    As for the guts, in India, you dont need any real “”guts”” to criticize the majority. I can today write anything against the majority even if it is completely baseless/senseless/abusive and get away with it easily. IT IS A HARD FACT

  11. Hi Indian,

    Though the statements from Periyar obviously seem outrageos, I think for a healthy system we need such people who dont maintain any holy cow and crticize everything. It gives hope that the system doesn’t become a bunch of ‘yes men’.

    I am not supporting Periyar in any way but I am presuming at least he would have had some guts to call spade a spade. that is always a good quality.

  12. Recently Karunanidhi’s daughter in an interview to CNN-IBN supported her father’s controversial statements on Ram saying, Karunanidhi was only “”quoting”” Periyar!

    So madam, here are some other famous quotes by the same Periyar alias E V Ramasamy. In the future, will Karunanidhi again “”quote”” periyar on these things as well?

    Hope atleast after reading the quotes below True Tamilians/True Indians/True Hindus/who really care for dalits, will throw that DMK/Karunanidhi out of tamilnadu! Below are some of the ‘greatest’ quotes of Periyar. Karunanidhi worships this same Periyar!

    “”Tamil is a barbarous language (Kattumirandi Mozhi) used only by barbarians””

    “”What is not there in English which can be found in Tamil Language?””

    “”One of the main reasons why there is an upward trend in the prices of clothes and textiles is that women belonging to the Scheduled Castes (Parachies) have started wearing blouses these days.””

    “”The reason for growing unemployment in society is on account of increasing number of people belonging to Scheduled Castes (Parayans) taking to school education and higher education””

    “”Indian independence day is a day of slavery”” and he declared it as a day of mourning

    “”The only language that ought to replace Tamil is English””

    “”He who created god was a fool, he who spreads his name is a scoundrel””

    Now tell me guys, what the hell is this thing called ‘Periyar’? He was anti Hindu, anti Tamil, anti India, anti dalit, anti God. He was against everything in India except himself!
    He was pro-British rule! He even tried to forge an alliance with Mohammed Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan!

    And Karunanidhi “”quotes”” this guy, and his daughter “”enlightens”” us on that!

    Also, please see http://www.tamilnation.org/hundredtamils/periyar/sundaram.htm

  13. Santhosh
    Why are you making this joke? Please read the article once again, there is neither economics nor any benefit in this project..

    there is only mindless destruction, loss of livelihood of people in the coastal belt, loss of marine biosphere, exaggerated claims, loss of cultural heritage, security risks to the country, dirty politics.

    There is absolutely no gain in sethusamudram canal, there is only pain pain and more pain :)

    Infact if you are really that money oriented, you can make more money by converting what you call the ‘ruined bridge’ into a tourist place than building the canal there!

    By the way, there are many ‘runined’ sites/temples etc all over the country, which are protected as cultural heritage sites, many even listed under UNESCO world heritage sites.. what is your suggestion about these ‘ruined’ sites?? Suppose tomorrow some foreign country promises us billions of dollars if we destroy these sites and build five star hotels there? Will you go for it then???

  14. i can say only one thing if there is ram there is ram sethu
    if people belive in ram then they will belive in ram sethu also. leave the sethu alone already a gorvement has fallen because of ram let these fool not try again and cry in pain.
    jai ram

  15. Just think of our country’s economy level.The ultimate wish all the 100 crore people is that must have to become a well developed and well established country.In order to that this sethu samudram canal very essential for contry’s as well as state’s development.Since our country can earn the invested money within 15 years of time and also it helps in development of ports all over the coastal region of tamilnadu it is a good project forever.Just keep aside the corruption and earning for the ruler from the project .since there is not even a single pure government (both states & central) in coumtry.We the peoples of India has to think of our country not on other things(our main aim is to become a supremo in every field) Our country desperately needs this project.
    And I am asking a question to every people of our country that “”what are gonig to do with that ruined Rama’s Bridge?””
    Which is underwater there is not even a mass witness to say that it is a bridge since it is just a structure made of stone and sand.Ok we keep it is a Bridge built by our Holy god Rama “”what is the use in keeping it?”” instead of that this project’s completion will surely help many helpless in the state as well as in the country.

  16. Now that thew Congress and its allies deny the existence of Lord Rama, they will do the same tomoorw about Lord Krishna at Vrindavan and day after tomorrow about Lord Shiva at Viswanath temple (because the temple was razed during the muslim invasion of India – they can easily say there was no temple to start with). The spiritual India is the only India that keeps us together. I have traveled through the west, orient, Africa, and Latin America. Despite its own problem, the spiritual aspects of Indian culture puts the country ahead of many.

    These bloody fools in Congress do not seem to be sensitive enough to understand. The seem to be sleeping in the same bed with their western partners.

  17. Oh now this is real news! T R Balu owns the dredging company is it?
    I can understand when somebody wants to make money to build a beautiful house, to make a few lakhs or crores, etc..
    But what on earth will a person do with hundreds of crores, or thousands of crores that too earned illegally, by cheating one’s own fellow citizens???

    There are no limits for the greed of these people.

  18. I was about to give the same link which Manish has mentioned.
    There are more things to the Sethusamudram project.
    Estimated project cost: 2400 crores. Of which around 90% will go to the dredging company. Make a note that dredging is not done by any govt agency. Mr. T.R.Baalu Hon’ble minister for road bla bla bla is owning a dredging company and this sethusamudram dredging contract is awarded to that company. So only the DMK is so keen in this project.

  19. Yes, lets see how the people of Tamilnadu will respond in the next elections. People of Tamilnadu should form a party independent of AIADMK and DMK.

    I simply cant imagine how a party can win elections by giving free TV, gold chains etc. The primary duty of a government should be to empower people, so that the people have good jobs, income etc and buy things on their own, instead of making them dependent on government like this for everything including TV. This is not making sense at all. And how ironic that the finance minister of the country supports these freebies!!

    Its the tax payers money, not from the pockets of Karunanidhi or DMK or Chidambaram.

  20. DMK is a break away party of DK. The very basis of DMK / DK is hatread towards to Hindu relegion. One can not expect a better opinion from such parties & leaders. It is our fate to have such parties and plititicians.
    First of all the majority of the country are striving to satisfy monorities in the conuntry. This is rediculous.
    People should observe and retaliate during ballet war.
    It seems DMK & allies will loose deposit in the coming elections. He Ram..

  21. whY are theseTN people so foolish to belive what DMK(Karunanidhi) says and support him in all this acts. Who is he to question the faith of millions(and that to Only Hindus.). We need to understand the physcology of that people also


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