“Ramar”, said who?

Disclaimer: The title is nothing more than an obscure pun on Ramar Sethu. It does not intend to express any opinion on the origins of the legendary god king who dumped his wife in the forest. It also does not express any political opinion on the construction company that built Adam’s Bridge.

ramarsetu.jpg

So some shifting sand shoals in between the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar have paid heavy bribes to the Saffron brigade to whip up irrational fervour in their favour. Oh wait! That does not make sense.

So some issue has finally united the pro-Hindi BJP/VHP/North and the South by actually getting the northies to use a Tamil word other than “Idli”, “Dosa” or “Samburr”, namely Ramar and not Rama. Oh wait! That’s irrelevant.

The ASI is a rabid organization whose only aim is to destroy ancient religious monuments and hurt people’s sentiments. No wait. That does not make sense too. Because it also seems to describe the BJP and VHP circa 1992.

So let’s first state the bleeding obvious in terms of opposing viewpoints and get that out of the way.

#1 The Ramayana is a glorious and wonderful myth that has inspired billons, but must not get in the way of industrial progress by irrationally insisting that ships must waste fuel going all the way around Lanka. A 650 km reduction in a large ship’s travel distance is absolutely worth hurting 800 million people’s sentiments for.

#2 The Ramayana is, Inshallah, Gospel truth and it makes us Sikh to think that Baha’i destroying Adam’s bridge, we will, in Jew time, all reach Naraka/hell. Let us Buddha matter to rest by leaving it alone, shall we?

#3 Amidst all this din, the real social and environmental concerns about the Sethusamudram project are lost. Since any and all forms of industrialization are attempts to destroy the fisherman’s way of life, we must not ignore this.

But since all the above 3 viewpoints are at the vertices of a really large equilateral triangle of uncompromising dogma, let us simply ditch them altogether and come up with something new. Too many people are talking too much sense, which explains why nobody is listening. But what if we synthesized a new form of fuzzy gilma logic from this morass?

I say, let’s simply admit that the bridge was built by an army of muscular simians a few thousand years ago. But because of the uneven nature of the construction materials (what with squirrels offering to bring miniscule pieces etc), the Ramar Sethu is today nothing more than shifting sand shoals. But today’s Ravana is the ten-headed monster of oil-dependence who is holding the Sita of our foreign currency reserves hostage. So metaphorically, the Ram of today must build a water bridge over the shoals of sand and neutralize Ravana by reducing ship fuel consumption. And to completely kill Ravana, we must start to use non-hydrocarbon powered sailing boats and this way, even the environmentalists are kept happy.

No wait. Lets take this to this logical conclusion. This is also the same bridge that Adam crossed with stolen apple in hand (which explains its alternative name). Sita then happened to pluck this very apple from its hiding place and munch while contemplating about her hubby beloved. And this explains why Rama put her through the Agni test. It was, afterall, the fruit of temptation.

So there. When all of you are done shouting at each other about this issue, ponder a little bit about my recommendation. It does not make any sense, and therefore it should be perfectly palatable to all parties involved.

Cross-posted from Mutiny.in

73 Comments

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  1. We are from a great country in which … leaders oppose anything that can help lakhs of people and hurt 10 guys …

    Hope Rama helps us to learn where not to compromise.

  2. Arguing for the defence (offence?) m’lud.

    If we did not have our beliefs where would we be? There are very few civilizations rich in mythology. Ours is one of them. Safeguarding its symbols therefore falls to us.

    Far be it from us to commit the sacrileges by our own hand that colonial powers visited on other ancients like the Mayans, Aztecs Xhosa or indeed our own pre Islamic civilization.

    Pray, What defines these symbols? My learned opponent may submit that tangible symbols like the Wailing Wall or Hazratbal would qualify.

    I submit, m’lud, that ours pre-dates these civilizations and we therefore will safeguard what we believe to be ours.

    I respectfully submit m’lud, most of the first world economies of the world would recognise the need to preserve these symbols. As case in point i present to you the worldwide anguish over the Bamiyan Buddhas. None of these in their right minds would conceive of demolishing the Alamo or Stonehenge or the men of Easter island even if there were the promise of another Kuwait beneath.

  3. I bed to differ. If there were the promise of another Kuwait beneath Mt Everest, you think they would not try to take over Nepal?(or China…or India?) My geography isnt so good. 🙂

    But, we digress from the point of this post.

  4. //But today’s Ravana is the ten-headed monster of oil-dependence who is holding the Sita of our foreign currency reserves hostage//

    nice co-relation…..

  5. I beg to regress. The Ramayana was probably written somewhere in the central part of the subcontinent inspired by a river (probably the Indus or the Satluj) that regularly flooded its banks every year. Makes it that much easier to envisage an army of tribals (monkeys) led by a prince in exile to wade across a flood plain to rescue a kidnapped wife from a passing plunderer.

    Irrespective of that, if its a choice between permanently gouging out a million year old eco system versus taking a couple of hours extra to sail around the block, I say pack the extra t-shirt and do it. The fuel’s gonna run out sooner than later, so we may as well invent other means of powering our boats while we’re at it.

    Signed
    S.A. Baikrachar
    Prez and chief vendor
    Pachchai Pattani Sundal Gumbal.

  6. This is totally ridiculous and typical of India. Dig it up or leave it alone. I don’t care. But don’t bring religion into this, especially when there is no evidence to show that it has any religious significance.

    Indians see religion in everything! I’m rather surprised that the retarded religious fanatics haven’t opposed the nuclear deal with the U.S. on the grounds that every molecule was God and that splitting it amounted to sin.

  7. I am not too much of a religious person myself but I have a few problems with these rationalists in India.All religions survive on myths but here in India, rationalists have become dangerous, because they attack selectively. Rationalists would have been credible if they had attacked myths of all religions. Attacks only on Hindu myths is politically dangerous. The attacks have only induced orthodox Hindus to become more irrational, rather than more rational.

  8. The perspective one needs to have is this. We are talking about people from a land, where even a milestone could be a sacred god and a rock that seems to have a resemblance to a monkey or elephant is venerated.

    We are not talking of destroying something that was definitely built on the basis of religion (for example, babri masjid). It is a supposition, a belief that an important event of a myth (please to check dictionary for meaning) happened here and it should be preserved as a religious heritage.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to doing this. A rational look is needed, but not an offensive one.

  9. Everybody,
    The title, I admit, is a little misleading. It was meant to be nothing more than an obscure pun on Ramar Sethu. The intent was to talk about the ridiculousness of the extreme viewpoints on every side.

  10. It’s really sad that everybody’s forgotten the real dangers behind the Sethusamudram project. I dislike the typical, “It’s religious” attitude. It’s such a goddamn pain everywhere, you can’t do anything to that giant temple in the middle of the road because “it’s religious”, you can’t even talk about digging up a natural formation because “it’s religious”.

    Very annoying.

  11. Hi Krish..& Ram Ram to you,

    I don’t want to take a slam dunk here, but an atheist who is fanning anti Hindi agitation along with his foul mouth as to Lord Ramar which school he went is way too much to swallow, not to mention the insult after insult he’s throwing as the Chief Minister from Tamil Nad. I’m not a religious fanatic, nor I’m here on any bandwagon but my ancestors are strong in the beliefs that had moulded me to who I’m today. I know you’ve nothing to do with an imbecile that makes puking remarks, but your blog and your presence in Tamil Nad will make a big difference for this dribbling idiot to take good look what he said to the umpty Hindus on this earth.

  12. @Sukhram M. Gounder

    “I don’t want to take a slam dunk here, but an atheist who is fanning anti Hindi agitation along with his foul mouth as to Lord Ramar which school he went is way too much to swallow, not to mention the insult after insult he’s throwing as the Chief Minister from Tamil Nad.”

    Please show me atleast one piece of evidence that rama actually existed and built that bridge. If you do have any, please stop saying that a imaginary character has been insulted.

    “I’m not a religious fanatic, nor I’m here on any bandwagon but my ancestors are strong in the beliefs that had moulded me to who I’m today. ”

    What makes you believe your ancestors were right and not to be questioned ? If people had not questioned the flat earth theory and had blindly followed what their ancestors told them then we would still believe that the earth is flat when we know that’s not true. There is absolutely nothing wrong in questioning your own culture and tradition. Questioning would only enrich your knowledge and make you understand your culture better. It is better to know the truth than be deluded in falsehood just because it hurts the sentiments of a few people.

    “I know you’ve nothing to do with an imbecile that makes puking remarks, but your blog and your presence in Tamil Nad will make a big difference for this dribbling idiot to take good look what he said to the umpty Hindus on this earth.”

    Its Tamil Nadu(Thamizh Nadu to be precise) and not Tamil Nad – Learn more about your country and its history first rather than attacking this blog or the person who wrote this post.

  13. Sukhram, just show us evidence that the ‘bridge’ was not a natural occurrence.

    The Archaeological Survey of India says it is natural. What more do you want?

    It’s in the ocean, for Ramar’s sake! It’s not like you’re going to go there every year on a pilgrimage!

    Most people probably wouldn’t have heard of this ‘bridge’ before this issue was blown out of proportion and it surely isn’t going to affect most people.

    Like I always say: “Aavara velaiya parunga pa!”

  14. Brilliant post. Pity something that can be solved with a little reason is being blown out of proportions and being fuelled by politicians who are desperately holding on to the last straws of their life and career.

  15. Karthik,
    I also got confused with the wordings a little bit, but I think Sukhram was referring to Karunanidhi when he used those harsh words, but on the questioning of traditions and ancestors bit, I do agree.

  16. I just read what MK said in the news, and though I dislike the man (I used to live next door to the Anna Arivalayam and his motorcades were annoying), I find him patently hilarious. Made my day, reading that in the morning.

  17. intha blog kuppai thotti’la you are the only guy who made a sensible post, given the contraints of being sensible on a subject like this

    none of the religious guys have a cogent argument. the science guy are all like this karthik krish, full of ignorance.

    enadappa karthik krish,

    what is the proof that your great grandfather existed? What is the proof that he was indeed your great grandfather? what is the proof the veerapandiya kattabomman existed?

    for you i think this answer should be sufficient – there is a valmiki ramayana sitting in the national religious library archives. it says rama existed.

  18. Proses Anonymitus..bravo and I salute you, as for Clarissa & Hawkeye thanks a bunch folks. Krish your neutrality is still shinning, and for the sack of shits Parthik(spell intentionally) & the one that calls Marc..here’s something for both of you..and it goes like this..my index finger pointing directly to both of your faces. Get it..and get it good. Parthik if the world is round and not a table..watch my lips one more time..it’s a sacred place for people like us and for others like myself that has significant value, and that’s what we’re talking about, and not a dumb fvck like both of you that have sewer mouth..rambling sordid pieces of crap that has not head or tail to begin with. Both of you can say what you want after this posting, and see if I care. FYI it’s my prerogative if I want to call Tamil Nad or Madras Presidency..and if you’ve a problem with that ..go suck a lemon.

  19. Whoa guys lets be civil.
    No need to go about slinging anything at anybody.

    Please read the authors blog and refrain from passing judgements.

    Go do that in your own blogospace

  20. @Hawkeye
    “what is the proof that your great grandfather existed? ”

    Well….i would not exist without him.

    “What is the proof that he was indeed your great grandfather? ”

    I have no idea what he looked like…just that we have a family chart going back 10 generations with enough corroborative evidence.

    “for you i think this answer should be sufficient – there is a valmiki ramayana sitting in the national religious library archives. it says rama existed.”

    Thats like saying….There is Harry potter book sitting in the library therfore he exists…

    Something written in a book does not make it true…yes..the book says he existed but it has to be corroborated with physical evidence and other events at that time which i think scientists have never been able to do in this case.

    Anything which does not satisfy the above criteria remains pure speculation and not a fact.

  21. Sukhram,
    Dude. Let’s get a little civil alright? Your last sentence about your prerogative to call this state anything you want is pretty much the only thing that made sense. Lemons, Fingers and sordidness did not in any way address the broader issue of this growing social gap between the generation of Karthik (and partly myself if you read my earlier posts) on why tradition and wisdom-of-ages must be questioned, but in a civil tone.

    Hawkeye,
    In branding both Sukhram and Karthik as extremists on two sides of this issue, let us not forget the key messages here.
    1. We in India do have a big superstition problem. We tend to create sacred cows and expect everybody to not question them. The Ramar sethu is perhaps a trivial example of this, but when one looks at the broader tendency of Indians to not accept any questioning of religion and tradition, sometimes we need the occasional cobbler on NDTV who says “look, my shoe repairing stand is also drinking milk”. This is ofcourse a reference to the infamous ganesha milk drinking mania about a decade back, when a combination of capillary action and surface tension convinced a lot of people that idols were seriously lacto-crazy

    2. That said, religion will not disappear in India at least in the next couple of generations. Religion and Science in India have co-existed, what with the grandeur of our temple architectures etc. But religion will fade, much like it did in Western Europe, but the next century or so will require less mudslinging and more balanced arguments to achieve a balance between tradition, religion and science. If the pro-religion and the pro-science can avoid ad hominem attacks and continue a civil debate here, that might make sense.

  22. krishashok,

    1. it depends on how you look at things. things without merit should dissappear. it need not neccesarily be religion. It could even be the debunking of every theory we ever knew about science. I am only against the “question our ancestors” thought process dominating every other aspect of intelligence and rationale. Questioning ancestors is a small part of knowing the world around us. Anything opposite of ‘ancestral belief’ is not a sure fire way to the truth. This makes sense stand alone but many commentors here espouse this belief strongly.

    2. Lack of an answer to those questions by people present today does not mean answer never existed or does not exist. That alone is logically insufficient to debunk a theory

    3. 90% of everything is crap. Its a very old theory. 90% of science, 90% of religion – all crap. we cannot cherry pick ganesha drinking milk as a conclusive prove that religion, ancestors are completely wrong. you didnt intend to do that but i guess you get my point. 90% of all blogs is crap but that does not mean all of blogging is stupid. the other 10% contributes to 90% impact. this is true for religion and science also.

    4. judging religion using scientific methods and science based logic is actual very stupid. That there is no “scientific proof” to prove religious theories is a failing/inadequancy of science. Its almosst as stupid as saying gravity doesnt exist because the upanishads doesnt mention it. religion and science are mutually exclusive. just because a few stupids decide to explain religion through science does not increase the prominence of science to answer existential questions. this, i believe requires experience.

    I apologzie for the ad hominem. you have to agree that the branding of anybody who questions science as ‘religios fanatics or conformists’ is a blanket ad hominem.

  23. krishashok,

    1. it depends on how you look at things. things without merit should dissappear. it need not neccesarily be religion. It could even be the debunking of every theory we ever knew about science. I am only against the “question our ancestors” thought process dominating every other aspect of intelligence and rationale. Questioning ancestors is a small part of knowing the world around us. Anything opposite of ‘ancestral belief’ is not a sure fire way to the truth. This makes sense stand alone but many commentors here espouse this belief strongly.

    2. Lack of an answer to those questions by people present today does not mean answer never existed or does not exist. That alone is logically insufficient to debunk a theory

    3. 90% of everything is crap. Its a very old theory. 90% of science, 90% of religion – all crap. we cannot cherry pick ganesha drinking milk as a conclusive prove that religion, ancestors are completely wrong. you didnt intend to do that but i guess you get my point. 90% of all blogs is crap but that does not mean all of blogging is stupid. the other 10% contributes to 90% impact. this is true for religion and science also.

    4. judging religion using scientific methods and science based logic is actual very stupid. That there is no “scientific proof” to prove religious theories is a failing/inadequancy of science. Its almosst as stupid as saying gravity doesnt exist because the upanishads doesnt mention it. religion and science are mutually exclusive. just because a few stupids decide to explain religion through science does not increase the prominence of science to answer existential questions. this, i believe requires experience.

    I apologzie for the ad hominem. you have to agree that the branding of anybody who questions science as ‘religios fanatics or conformists’ is a blanket ad hominem.

  24. Karthik Krish,

    /* Well….i would not exist without him. */

    so if the poor grand father decided not to have sex and procreate, he wouldnt exist at all. heh?

    /* just that we have a family chart going back 10 generations with enough corroborative evidence */

    do you have some sample of his genes to do some genetic testing and conclude that he was indeed your grand father. if you dont have it can it be reasonably concluded as per [1] that you never had a grandfather ( fammily trees dont count according to [1] )

    [1] Something written in a book does not make it true…yes..the book says he existed but it has to be corroborated with physical evidence and other events at that time which i think scientists have never been able to do in this case.

    Anything which does not satisfy the above criteria remains pure speculation and not a fact.

  25. You seem to be arguing just for the sake of arguing.

    What would you consider as valid proof then? You won’t accept anything. Shifting an analogy is clever but does not help.

    You say 90% of everything is crap but you don’t seem to be aware that it is your own opinion. I can say 90% of everything is not crap and still be as correct as you.

    Why do we do any construction activity at all then? Any place might be sacred to some person or the other. According to you there would be no way to say for sure.

    From the amount of fuss this issue was generating, you’d think that it was some regularly visited holy site or something that is being demolished for a highway.

    Don’t you think the people who live there and who would actually be affected by the project should be the people whose opinion we should listen to? Well, the fishermen there want it done (report in today’s paper).

  26. Hawkeye,
    I think the family tree and the Ramayana are quite different from the perspective of documentary evidence. Ofcourse, the family tree could very well be incorrect, but in a lot of cases, it tends to be supported by land title records, village historical documents and medical records (in some cases). So from a verifiability perspective, a family tree is therefore verifiable.

    I am not arguing that the Ramayana is unverifiable, but Karthik’s point that it has been so far, unverified, remains true.

    Now this also does not justify the demolition of a holy site because clearly to 800 million people, the veracity of the holy book does not matter.

    One might want to take a quick look at Bikerdude’s comment earlier in this post. Quite a lot of mythologies often start out as simple stories of heroism set in a very local context.

  27. What a relief to see this. A great post!
    Humor, sarcasm, wit, and punch!

    Great stuff. Liked reading it. Compared to by boring and serious posts on the same subject, I like yours as a welcoming relief.

  28. @Hawkeye
    Mr. Essence of Over Confidence, After reading the description of your blog, I decided not to argue with you. Thank You.

    @Marc
    /* You seem to be arguing just for the sake of arguing. */
    So true, atleast after reading his reply to Karthik’s reply – /* Well….i would not exist without him. */

  29. /* Ofcourse, the family tree could very well be incorrect, but in a lot of cases, it tends to be supported by land title records, village historical documents and medical records (in some cases). So from a verifiability perspective, a family tree is therefore verifiable. */

    consider this simple logical thing. assuming these are the tools (title, village docs, medical docs) you would choose to use as verification tools, would these tools be able to verify everbody who has ever lived in the indian region? There are million people who died without land/village/medical records. Just because they never owned land or didn’t have medical issues doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

    The point is – no matter how many more items you add to your verification tool (more records, more material evidence), there will be more and more people who will still be excluded from being verified. Take back things in time to a 1000 years (say 5-7 AD) and you can’t really verify most people. You can easily argue many pandiya pallava kings, all their loyal subjects, sankaracharya never existed. They are all Just hear-say and any eulogy poems on them can be called fictional works.

    what I am trying to say is when you dont have a fool proof method you shouldnt worship it so much. Science people aren’t much different from religious fanatics, they are are maniacal about things they dont know very well at all.

    Marc,

    on the subjject of ad hominem arguments, Marc, I am sure you have a much higher purpose to the reason why you argue. But nevermind why I argue.

    /* What would you consider as valid proof then? */

    maybe you should think about this more than I should because you claim science has one.

    I dont care if ram sethu is demolished but a lot of people who dont know anything about science using words like ‘scientific evidence’ as if they know what it means is just plain nonsense. There seems to be no proprtion to the way in which science is used to pass judgement on anything. science fanatics are more blind than religious ones.

    K,

    hate to stress the word ad hominem again. But I’d like to point it out. Thanks for reading the decription of my blog, which is scientfically relevant to the contents of my comment. Talking to my social studies teacher will also help you make a sound judgment on whether to answer to the said comment or not.

  30. @Hawkeye

    Again you are missing the entire point here. He was talking about a question you had asked about my great grandfather and we just showed you we have the evidence. We are not talking about every living person on earth but just my family because we have the records.

    There is no way we can get evidence about the existance of every person who has lived on earth. Science does not claim it has the answer to everything. But atleast science changes and adapts itself as more information is available which i think is the key point. It keeps an open mind. Science has been sucessful at explaining many things just because of this one fact. I will change my mind on this issue if you can show atleast one piece of physical evidence which you still have not and continue to just attack the methods of science.

    What does religion offer? An unchanging view of world written at a time when we did not even a quarter of the things we know now and refuses change and critisism.

    I think i would rather bet on science to eventually give me the answer to everything than religion.

  31. Hawkeye,
    Science has proof. Atoms don’t lie and provide unambiguous answers. If even that proof does not satisfy you then what will?

    If the point you are trying to make is that the sentiments of people must be respected even if there is absolutely no evidence to support their claims, then why don’t you just go ahead and say that?

    And if you are saying that evidence is not necessary, then there’s no talking to you. There’s a reasons why law is based on evidence.

  32. reposting the damn thing. it is not letting me comment.

    You seem to be under a mistaken view that somehow i am here to toss a coin in favor of religion. I am much happy with rama drinking and smoking pot. I just want to poke holes at science because it is presented as an answer to everyting.

    /* we just showed you we have the evidence. */

    no you did not. I just showed you that even by your own definition/standards of evidence you dont have evidence. Let me not get personal and pull in your grandfather. What physical evidence do you have to prove that some ‘aam aadmi’ existed 100 years ago. What physical evidence can you bring to the table? Any man written records can easily be called forged/fantasy just the way valmiki ramayana in the archives is called forged/exaggerated.

    I am telling you – you define the standards of what is calaled ‘subtantial proof’ and apply that equally to every man who has ever existed and rama. Until then do not tout science has an answer to everything.

    /* There is no way we can get evidence about the existance of every person who has lived on earth.*/

    thanks for proving my point. This is what I wanted to say about science, evidence and rama. there is no way science can be used as a tool to judge rama.

    /* Science does not claim it has the answer to everything. */

    good! when it has an answer then start using words like scientific evidence to pass judgement on everything.

    /* I think i would rather bet on science to eventually give me the answer to everything than religion.*/

    I appreciate your optimism. Similar bets can be placed on religion too. what happens in the future is best left to the future. My point is – dont get ahead of yourelf and pass judgements on what you think might happen 500 years from now.

    /* I will change my mind on this issue if you can show atleast one piece of physical evidence which you still have not */

    I will change my mind when you show me science can easily explain everything that has ever existed, which you have clearly accepted as currently impossible.

    You have to understand the logical reasoning here.

    claim1: science can answer everything and is the only answer to everyting.
    claim2: science cant support existence of rama.
    claim3: rama does not exist

    without claim1 being true everything else is moot. I think I have already made you agree that claim1 is untrue.

    claim3 may be true but it cannot be proved in this sequence.

  33. marc,

    /* If the point you are trying to make is that the sentiments of people must be respected even if there is absolutely no evidence to support their claims, then why don’t you just go ahead and say that*/

    you increasingly are assuming that you can read my mind. dont try all this nonsense on me. you talk to things I put out as comments. dont second guess me.

    /* Science has proof. Atoms don’t lie and provide unambiguous answers. If even that proof does not satisfy you then what will? */

    why are you saying all this. is this an answer to a question that I posed to you or is it even relevant to something we are talking about here. are you generally using the word ‘atoms’ etc to show that you know a thing or two about science.

  34. @Hawkeye
    “no you did not.”

    Yes we did. You cannot forge every corroborative evidence and the family tree. The chances of that happening are very very small.

    “I will change my mind when you show me science can easily explain everything that has ever existed, which you have clearly accepted as currently impossible.”

    I think the onus is on you to prove he existed since you are making that claim. Extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence.

    Once again you are cherry picking words from my post and not looking at the entire picture. If you have a better alternative than science, please enlighten me on them. I think i clearly demonstrated that science is the best approach we have(in my previous post) and will be in the future(just look at the last 1000 years of scientific advancement – this is evidence of the sucess of science in explaining things).

    Evidence is the only way to prove just about anything. I can claim that harry potter exists and that i have supernatural powers but without evidence my claims are moot.

    Claim 1 is just dead wrong. Science does not have the answer to everything “now” but it is making progress. Try to look at the entire picture and not cherry pick words to support your argument.

  35. Hawkeye these three which includes Krish are firm with their beliefs, and we can turn blue to our faces or until the cows come home to stand firm with our notions. Their concepts is to make sure the most bigoted and the atheist sinister will propagate with his hate and anger to promote disparities amongst us. That’s all to it and nothing more. Underneath those proofs they’re harping on like broken records these three are reeling in for more gripes to bite on, and all they’re trying to do is to make sure see the followers of the sinister will go ahead with their rampage to tore down our ancient and prized old architectures. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure these out, but these three are here with their firmness that you and me are nothing but bunch of flukes underneath their eyes. Well, on that note Krish..keep on harping with your sermon because the cronies of the atheist that’re sprawling on the web, will make sure they thrive with their passion to quash anything in front of them, and you’re making it possible. As a friendly guesture and word for you..don’t equate me as an extremist with your side kick Parthik..cozz I’m not.

  36. Hi, Ashok!
    I finally found a space in your blog for me to post a comment. From the tone and contents, this particular comment thread looks like a ‘poor man’s Leitmotif blogpost’! 🙂
    I don’t think I should aggravate matters here, so here is me wishing you all a good night.
    Now that India won against the Aussies, time for all to build bridges, Setul down and watch the replays in the Panorama of Life!
    🙂
    Ashok: Ah well. FYI I have been banned from commenting on Leitmotif, for being a slow thinker 🙂

  37. Ok. One request to everybody. Please consider using italics to quote others. Using code-style two-forward-slashes or slash-asterisk is causing Akismet to mark your comment as spam.

    I would like to respond to Hawkeye’s reasoning – The inabilty to prove something 100% does not prove its existence or veracity. Thats a logical fallacy called Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam. In other words, because Ram cannot be proved to not exist, he must exist/science is wrong is an invalid argument.

    That said, I understand his broader point about science not being able to explain everything, but I think the grandfather analogy is a little weak. I would agree with the 100% sure bit being questionable, but corroborative evidence (what with photos, heirlooms, wills, medical records, family trees, horoscopes, letters perhaps) etc one can reasonably prove that one’s grandfather existed. Let me take a slightly more difficult example that you mention – the Pallavas. Now while the existence of a single particular pallava king could very well be questioned, the existence of monuments, stone sculptures and archaeologically dated inscriptions could support the claim for the king’s existence quite a bit, again, not 100% but yes, reasonably enough. Now the Ramayana is a slightly different thing. No monuments, no inscriptions, no palaces, no scrolls and no historical lineage remains. Again, this does not prove Rama’s non-existence, because, as you rightly point out, many thousands of years is a very long time. So to both Karthik and Hawkeye, rather than debate the merits or demerits of science, lets bring this long winded discussion back into the context of the Ramar sethu, to the issue of what constitutes a “dont-mess-with-this” place?

    1) If the Ramar sethu is holy and therefore should not be touched, why not pretty much every bit of geography referred to in the Ramayana or Mahabharatha? Wouldn’t we have a ridiculous situation on our hands?

    2) Clearly, the whole Karunanidhi thing about Rama being a lie is a case of a typical politician preaching to his choir. And the subcontinent is not going to overnight get degrees in science and logic to be able to apply cold reasoning to what is truly an emotive issue. Millions of kids have heard the story about the vaanara sena building the bridge, and leaving the issue of historical veracity aside, a lot of religoius people are sure to see this as an issue thats close to their hearts

    3) But hey, before idiots like Advani and MK started putting their dirty hands into this vettha kozhambu, did any one really care about this issue? Are we all simply falling for these dirty politician’s tricks? Is this what they wanted? A big debate about a non-issue?

  38. Hey Sukhram,
    🙂 Hawkeye, Karthik, Marc and me are having a nice debate, albeit with a few unnecessary touches here and there, but overall, fairly civil. Neenga dhaan summa ketta vaarthailaam pesitrikkeenga. Innaadhu, hate and angeraa? Adhu neenga sollakoodadhe 🙂 Summa chill out panni point-by-point debate pannunga. Adha vuttuttu….

  39. if you dont want me to cherry pick something, dont use that as an argument. How will I know what is convenient for you ann what you wouldnt want to be quotes against you? Just dont say anything that will not make sense and I will not use it against you.

    /* You cannot forge every corroborative evidence and the family tree. The chances of that happening are very very small */

    you cannot forge an entire epic with all those minute details and 7 khands, the chances of that happening are small.

    /* I think the onus is on you to prove he existed since you are making that claim */

    go ahead cherry pick and try and quote me on where I said such a statement.

    /* Claim 1 is just dead wrong. Science does not have the answer to everything “now” but it is making progress. */

    if claim1 is wrong claim3 is wrong.

    /* Try to look at the entire picture and not cherry pick words to support your argument. */

    the entire picture does not make sense when the individua elements i seem “cherry pick” does not make sense. You do realize that I cant develop an understanding of the entire picture without contesting your individual arguments. If cant quote anything say, you tell what should I quote.

    the problem is that you apply logic selectively.

    krish ashok,

    I apologize for the mild indiscretions. i will try and avoid it in the future.

    /* I think the family tree and the Ramayana are quite different from the perspective of documentary evidence */

    you can say that for a family tree that is 70 years old, but a 1000 year old family tree drawn by some one from 7 AD is as fictional as ramayana.

  40. krish,

    sorry i didnt see this comment. and i apologize for my rather weak spelling.

    /* The inabilty to prove something 100% does not prove its existence or veracity. */

    i agree. I have been saying all along that I am only opposed to people claiming that “science has proved ram doesnt exist”. nothing more nothing less.

    /* but I think the grandfather analogy is a little weak. I would agree with the 100% sure bit being questionable, but corroborative evidence (what with photos, heirlooms, wills, medical records, family trees, horoscopes, letters perhaps) */

    it is just an example i quoted to drive hoome a point that everything under scrutiny is weak. 10 generations ago we didnt have photos,photos, heirlooms, wills, medical records, family trees, horoscopes, letters perhaps.

    /* Let me take a slightly more difficult example that you mention – the Pallavas. Now while the existence of a single particular pallava king could very well be questioned, the existence of monuments, stone sculptures and archaeologically dated inscriptions could support the claim for the king’s existence quite a bit, again, not 100% but yes, reasonably enough. */

    if you look at nilakanta sastri’s book on history of south India, 10% of kings contributed to 90% of the architecture. Most of it is hear-say, taken from local folk lore etc. FOr example, we dont have a single piece of physical evidence surrounding veerapandi kattabomman.

  41. Well, I suggest you take family tree out of the discussion.
    There is one more request. Lets conclude that religion is very important and science is not. Lets conclude that Rama exists and so as Ramayana.

    Now, as Ramayana exists – There is a character named “Tara” – wife of Vali. She wanted to commit “Sati” – A Hindu religious process of burning widow along with her husband’s dead body.

    Now, Sati is in Hindu Religion. Its in Ramayana. Its in Rig veda. Lets fight with the government for hurting feelings of all INDIANS by banning it.

    I’m sure that Hawkeye will support my argumentum ad hominem. Thanks in advance @ Hawkeye

  42. @Hawkeye
    “you cannot forge an entire epic with all those minute details and 7 khands, the chances of that happening are small.”

    Do you even understand what corroborative evidence means? I am sorry your argument is still weak.

    What do not understand about “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. Nobody here said science has proved that rama does not exist, just that if you make a claim, the onus is on you to prove it otherwise the issue is moot and you have no argument.

    You cannot make wild claims and expect scientists to prove it for you. This is the standard arguments made by creationists against evolution and has been beaten to death.

    I think i am done commenting on this post.

  43. /* Do you even understand what corroborative evidence means? */

    it means that 60 – 80% of the people, kings, saints, prophets, concepts, which are claimed by historians/scientists to have existed, dont exist.

    what corroborative evidence can you provide for a family tree drawn in 2 B.C ?

    /* You cannot make wild claims and expect scientists to prove it for you. */

    i think you the point, sentence and the whole chapter. when it can be proved that science is not 100% accurate in determing existence. religious records become as (in)valid as scientific claim. They will be considered parallel. Then no one is obligated to prove it using ‘ineffective scientific methods’. This is the reason who debunking science as an effective tool has its own religious advantages.

    Marc,

    /* The Archaeological Survey of India says it is natural. What more do you want? */

    I am willing to bet all my property that if you put ASI under rigorous scrutiny, they will fall apart like a cheap lingerie. Their methods, their evidence, their scope, their reach and ability all can be potentially proved to be ineffective in a court of law. This is probably the biggest reason why it was pulled out of court. If you do not know anything about the ASI ask people who have been involved with it. The discipline of conducting scientific studies is completely absent in india.

  44. Hawkeye: what corroborative evidence can you provide for a family tree drawn in 2 B.C ?

    You can. Take Chandragupta Maurya, most of whose life is shrouded in mystery and little is known about his early life or ascension to the Maurya throne.

    We know he existed because of corroborative evidence (yes, including family trees). The maurya dynasty is mentioned in a buddhist text chronicling the latter stages of Gautama Buddha’s life. Chandragupta Maurya is also mentioned by name in Kautilya’s Arthashastra as the first emperor of the Maurya Dynasty.

    At the same time, A person referred to as ‘Sandrakuptos’ is mentioned by 2 different greek historians, as an emperor of an indian dynasty around the 3rd century BC.

    Another greek historian, Junianus Justinus, writing in the 3rd century AD, mentions in much detail Sandrakuptos’ conquest of macedonian territories in north-west India.

    Also, coinage in the northern parts of India seems to have gone a shift around this time based on archaelogical evidence. Coins bearing the royal seal of the Mauryans appear throughout the north. India consisted of a number of fragmented kingdoms around this time, so this offers some proof that a large empire did come up suddenly.

    On top of this, there are ashoka’s pillars, records of Ashoka’s reign that mention Chandragupta and family lineages, fifth century inscriptions mentioning the end of his life, two more greek historians (Pliny and Strabo) who mention him in connection with Alexander and later macedonian holdings in India, and the archaelogical sites of the later Mauryans.

    Each of these in themselves would not amount to much evidence, but when taken together, they offer corroborated, connected proof of Chandragupta Maurya’s existence.

    But a quick look at his Wikipedia article will convince you that none of this is ‘irrefutable’ or ‘final’, in that sense of the word. Scientists and historians are still debating the details of Chandragupta’s life and reign, but the sheer amount of corroborative, connected evidence proves that, irrespective of the details, Chandragupta DID exist.

  45. Rambodoc, you and your puns! You’re getting worse than Ashok these days!

    Hawkeye, by mentioning atoms I was referring to the process of carbon dating. I thought you’d get it.

    The ASI report was withdrawn from the court by the government so mollify the fanatics.

    And I’m trying to second guess you because you haven’t taken a clear stance. What is your point?

    Science is not adequate to prove anything with complete certainity? Well, it’s the best method we got and the rest of the world accepts conclusions drawn from evidence.

    You’ll have to wait until time travel becomes possible.

    K, sati is banned already. Didn’t the British ban it a long time ago when they were here?

  46. Marc,

    /* Hawkeye, by mentioning atoms I was referring to the process of carbon dating. I thought you’d get it. */

    ya. sure. how could i have missed. those are the only things that are relevant to atoms. everything else has no connection to atoms.

    /* The ASI report was withdrawn from the court by the government so mollify the fanatics */

    ya, i read the news paper too.

    /* And I’m trying to second guess you because you haven’t taken a clear stance. What is your point? */

    considering that i have said my point 30000 times so far, i thought you’d have got it.

    /* Well, it’s the best method we got and the */

    your best method aint good enough and if it

    /* rest of the world accepts conclusions drawn from evidence. */

    if it comes to a poppularity contest i am sure religion will lose.

  47. You’re the one who said I was throwing in the word ‘atom’ for scientific effect. You’re arguing both sides of the argument.

    I’m not sure anyone else got your point, why don’t you just state it in one sentence for the sake of clarity.

  48. Marc,

    since you are slow

    /* it depends on how you look at things. things without merit should dissappear. it need not neccesarily be religion. It could even be the debunking of every theory we ever knew about science. I am only against the “question our ancestors” thought process dominating every other aspect of intelligence and rationale. Questioning ancestors is a small part of knowing the world around us. Anything opposite of ‘ancestral belief’ is not a sure fire way to the truth. This makes sense stand alone but many commentors here espouse this belief strongly.

    2. Lack of an answer to those questions by people present today does not mean answer never existed or does not exist. That alone is logically insufficient to debunk a theory

    3. 90% of everything is crap. Its a very old theory. 90% of science, 90% of religion – all crap. we cannot cherry pick ganesha drinking milk as a conclusive prove that religion, ancestors are completely wrong. you didnt intend to do that but i guess you get my point. 90% of all blogs is crap but that does not mean all of blogging is stupid. the other 10% contributes to 90% impact. this is true for religion and science also.

    4. judging religion using scientific methods and science based logic is actual very stupid. That there is no “scientific proof” to prove religious theories is a failing/inadequancy of science. Its almosst as stupid as saying gravity doesnt exist because the upanishads doesnt mention it. religion and science are mutually exclusive. just because a few stupids decide to explain religion through science does not increase the prominence of science to answer existential questions. this, i believe requires experience. */

    to which you said

    /*You say 90% of everything is crap but you don’t seem to be aware that it is your own opinion. I can say 90% of everything is not crap and still be as correct as you. */

    if 90% of everything is not crap then start praying to ram immediately or ommachi kanna koothiduvar!

  49. more times where i have explained my point, which i guess was written too fast that you couldnt read.

    /* i agree. I have been saying all along that I am only opposed to people claiming that “science has proved ram doesnt exist”. nothing more nothing less. */

  50. /* You’re the one who said I was throwing in the word ‘atom’ for scientific effect */

    they make no sense to the arguments we have been having whatsoever. i still dont understand how you used it and how you expected others to immediately connect atoms to carbon dating. that incredible piece of intuitive jump left me stranded.

    /* I’m not sure anyone else got your point */

    now you speak for the class. previously you second guessed me. can you post a comment that is actually logical?

  51. @hawkeye
    Let me just intrude here for a moment as there is some name calling going on. There is no need to call people slow…marc did not name call you in any way.

    I agree with marc here. What exactly is your point? You logic has really stumped us.

    “judging religion using scientific methods and science based logic is actual very stupid. That there is no “scientific proof” to prove religious theories is a failing/inadequancy of science.”

    So you are basically saying….no questioning religion please…we will stay above critisism. I can only think of one thing “You are really deluded.”. Good luck and good bye.

  52. Ashok,

    the adam’s bridge is not as crucial as the panama canal wherein the distance that was reduced was tremendous. in the case of adam’s bridge, even if the view of ‘reducing travel time’ is considered, is it worth the risk considering that the LTTE is sitting like a stone pelting child on the banks of the river?

    i personally feel that rather than trying to save fuel by creating such a ruckus, we can make a cumulative contribution by making conscious efforts from our side 😀

    third, i really doubt if an ecological survey has been carried out.

  53. I asked you to state your point in a sentence, not re quote yourself.

    Your roundabout logic and obfuscation is on a scale I’ve never experienced before. It looks like you’re more interested in arguing with people and trying to browbeat them than the actual issue at hand. I was mistaken in thinking that you would make sense.

    I’ll take Karthik’s example and leave.

  54. Deepak,
    Agree completely. In fact, my post did not in anyway demand the construction of the bridge. It was meant to be an absurd look at all the extreme positions we have been hearing. In fact, Im not even sure if anybody saw my not-so-subtle Michelangelo superimposition on the map (Adam’s bridge and all) 🙂

    Everybody,
    Nice debate, although we need to go a little easy on the sarcasm next time. Only the author is allowed that liberty and that too, only in the post 🙂

  55. “If that was in reference to the water you get in Tambaram, agreed.”

    Well, George, that was strait six of a comment!
    Shall we name this, in your honor, as Aqua Georgia?

  56. well. Ram sethu project will charge about 5000 us$ for a ship to pass through. if i were a shipping merchant, i prefer staying away from a such an expensive passage and go round lanka happily at lower cost to me. and i will also avoid nosy indian staff at the stuff i am carrying. and i will also stay away from LTTE pirates as much as possible. i would want to be caught in a cross fire between indian navy and the LTTE.
    ah ah ah ah . let Sonia baby enjoy the dolors pilfered from the project and dole out some few bucks to that old man in madras who likes to lick her boot.

  57. Adams bridge????? 🙂 Breaking of Rama sethu… umm interesting… break it… I am with you guys 🙂

    But for those who are ready to join hands with me for breaking the bridge.. i have question…

    Will any political parties think or even dream about breaking the bridge if it is called allah bridge and a story that says allah once lived there. Same with lord jesus.. Will sonia or karuna nidhi thought about touch the bridge?

    Will the so called KRISH write so funnily about bible or kuran?

    This is the problem with Indians.. opps sorry hindus… they still letting Karuna/sonia live. They would not be on earth if they give any comment about any another religion.

    And what are you gaining by destroying bridge, few million dollars. hurreyy INDIA is getting few million dollars… by breaking the hearts of few crores of people.

    Dear brothers… breaking bridge doesn’t matter… There are few crores of peoples who thinks that is part of ramayana. You decide whether hurting crores of indian hearts is good idea for millions of dollars? There wont be any more poverty in India?

    Mr Krish.. I wish you are not believe in god or you do not believe in hindu god. If you do not believe in god. Do give respect to the those who believe in god and their beloved god. By making a funny story on ramayana might make your near and dear folks to clap on the crap you think. by hearing those claps.. do not get encouraged to write what ever you think about holy things. Believe me…

    Such a big post is not reply for this post… But for making sure you do consider about the points i mentioned in your future posts.

  58. He got the bridge built because he had an entire army to take across. Rama was a purposeful man. So much so that he did not care to use the bridge a second time. He took a flight back home directly from Colombo to Ayodhya.

    If he were watching all this, he would be ashamed of us still fighting over retaining something that can no longer be used and that he himself did not care to use a second time.

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