In the Hindu epic the Ramayana, the hero Lord Ram sets out to destroy the terrible demon Ravana, who resides in what is now Sri Lanka. To cross from India to Sri Lanka, Ram constructs a bridge by quelling the sea, and uses monkeys to help him build it. I enjoyed reading the (shortened version of the) Ramayana greatly, but could not say whether this story was true or not. Some people however, are more certain of the accuracy of this book:
“Protest rallies have been held across India by hard-line Hindus to campaign against a proposed shipping canal project between India and Sri Lanka â€¦Protesters say the project will destroy a bridge they believe was built by Hindu God Ram and his army of monkeys.”
Indian archaeologists have argued that there is no basis for the belief that the â€˜bridgeâ€™ was constructed by Lord Ram. Despite the lack of evidence produced by the protestors though, the minister in charge has still offered to resign. Does it matter whether the bridge was built by Lord Ram or not, since it has become a holy site? Should it be protected on this basis alone, even if the protestors can produce absolutely no evidence to substantiate their claims? Can epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, whichÂ feature gods and demons, be used as evidence?
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Filed in: Current affairs,Hindu,India,Organisations,Religion,South Asia,Sri Lanka