Today morning traffic was blocked off on many major roads in Delhi resulting chaos and many people not being able to reach their work place. A few people in our office also called in to say that they are stuck in traffic jam and wont be able to get to work. I didn’t know the reason for these road blocks but I assumed it must be something really important to cause such a huge loss of productivity to so many people.
Well, it turns out I was wrong. VHP (the radical Hindu organization) had organized a chakka-jaam (road blockade) across the country today to protest against the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project which will dredge a channel in a narrow strip of sea between India and Sri Lanka, reducing distances and cutting costs for freight traffic. Now you may ask why would VHP have a problem with something like that? Were they worried about environmental effects on the marine life? Nope. VHP claims that this project will destroy a bridge between India and Sri Lanka which was built by Lord Ram. Firstly, there is no concrete evidence to validate this fact. Scientists claim that is actually a natural structure that developed from sedimentation. Secondly, even if it was indeed built by Lord Ram, who gave VHP the right to protest by disrupting traffic and causing problems to millions of people across the country? Protesting thousands of miles away in Delhi makes no sense. Maybe they were too lazy to go all the way down south to actually protest onsite?
It is surprising and both funny and sad that even today it is possible to get away with this kind of anti-social behavior. I am sure Lord Ram will not not have approved of it!