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Fact Check: The Telegraph misquotes the Centre as saying there is no conclusive evidence of Ram Setu

"I am glad to share with him that the department of space is actually engaged in this…. As far as the question that was asked by him here concerning the Ram Setu, we have certain limitations in discovering that because the history dates back to more than 18,000 years and if you go by history, that bridge was about 56km long," Dr Singh said in Rajya Sabha.

English news daily The Telegraph recently published a report titled ‘No conclusive proof of Ram Setu: Govt in Parliament’, giving an impression that the Centre has denied the existence of Ram Setu, the historical bridge built by Lord Rama’s army connecting India with Sri Lanka.

The article quoted Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh’s response in the parliament to a question asked by MP Anil Desai, and which was verbally asked by BJP MP Kartikeya Sharma, who wanted to know if the government was making any efforts to conduct a scientific assessment of India’s past.

Citing Dr Singh’s response to Kartikeya Sharma, the article tried to imply that the government has denied the existence of Ram Setu or the Adam’s Bridge between India and Sri Lanka.

Did Dr Jitendra Singh deny the existence of Ram Setu?

While The Telegraph’s headline tried to suggest that the government had dismissed the existence of Ram Setu, Dr Jitendra Singh’s response did not indicate the same. 

Responding to Sharma’s query, Singh said, “I am glad to share with him that the department of space is actually engaged in this…. As far as the question that was asked by him here concerning the Ram Setu, we have certain limitations in discovering that because the history dates back to more than 18,000 years and if you go by history, that bridge was about 56km long,” Singh said.

He added, “So, what I am trying to say in short is that it is difficult to pinpoint the exact structure that existed there, but there is some kind of an indication, direct or indirect, that those structures have existed.”

Dr Singh said the islands captured through satellite imagery showed “a certain amount of continuity in location through which some surmises can be drawn”.

“Yes, to some extent, through space technology we have been able to discover pieces and islands, some kind of limestone shoals, which of course can’t be accurately said to be remnants or parts of a bridge,” Singh said in Rajya Sabha.

Essentially, Dr Singh said that Ram Setu existed at the said location, but since it is more than 18,000 years old, their means to find conclusive proof of the said bridge has not yet yielded the desired result. In a nutshell, Dr Singh was lamenting about their limitations in finding evidence and not denying the existence of Ram Setu, which he said was 56 km long, evident by the continuity of structures at the location.

ASI approves project involving underwater exploration of Ram Setu

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) last year cleared a research proposal involving the Ram Setu. The project involved an underwater exploration that will determine the age of the Setu (bridge) and how it was formed.

The project was approved by the Central Advisory Board on Archaeology, a body under the ASI. The project was mooted by the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Goa.

The Ram Setu is a chain of shoals between Pamban Island (also known as Rameswaram Island) in Tamil Nadu of India and Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. According to past geological evidence, the structure is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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