Appeal to Our Leaders’ and Nation’s Collective Conscience!
KUDANKULAM ANTI-NUCLEAR SATYAGRAHA, INDIA, 5 Nov 2012
November 4, 2012
H.E. The President of India,
H. E. The Prime Minister of India,
Hon’ble Chief Justice of India,
H.E. The Governor of Tamil Nadu,
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, and
The Fellow Citizens of Tamil Nadu and India
Greetings! We have been struggling continuously against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in peaceful and nonviolent manner for almost a quarter century and for almost 450 days in a more recent concerted campaign. We have been asking in vain for the basic information about the project such as the Site Evaluation Report (SER), Safety Analysis Report (SAR), Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP), the performance report of VVER-1000/412 reactor, and the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on Liability and so forth.
Instead of getting the above information, we are getting dangerous cases (like sedition, waging war on the state etc.), malicious accusations (that we are foreign funded and instigated), imprisonment, curfew and prohibitory orders, intimidation campaigns, home searches, physical attacks on our persons and properties, police atrocities and other such high-handed behaviors of the State. A few of our honest and hard-working fishermen have just been charged under Goondas Act. All this for practicing our citizenship in the Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic of India!
The UPA government is embarking upon an ambitious plan of setting up scores of nuclear parks all along our coast and in many interiors locations with the help of Russia, France, the United States and many other countries. Our politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen are all pleased with the golden opportunities of making a killing out of this multi-billion dollar business through cuts, commissions, kickbacks, contracts and sub-contracts. Some sections of our scientific community talk about achieving energy security and even energy independence with hardly any original or creative scientific research or accomplishments. Much of our national media toe the government line and try to snatch their share of the pie.
There is no national debate whatsoever on the impact of all these nuclear plants/parks on our farmers’, fishermen’s and workers’ right to life and livelihood; our natural resources; our cattle, crops and seafood; food security; nutrition security; health of our people, and the well-being of our progeny.
Even a small mishap in a nuclear facility will destroy millions of people in our highly and densely populated country. We, as a nation, have failed to help our people in Bhopal even after 27 long years; our leaders, bureaucrats and scientists have not even managed to clean up the mess there yet. The dangerous waste still remains there open and exposed. A recent Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Report on the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has concluded that this toothless regulatory agency has not even ensured nuclear and radiation safety in any of our atomic installations.
None of the above bothers our leaders, bureaucrats and scientists. Scores of developed and advanced countries around the world are shunning nuclear power and going for ‘New Energies’. But our national elites are going for nuclear power with no concrete plans to decommission the plants or to store and safeguard the nuclear waste.
Hundreds of thousands of Indians are demonstrating against nuclear power plants and Uranium mines all over the country. And we are doing just the same here at Koodankulam. But the Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu are reacting with such violence and vehemence.
We, as citizens of the largest democracy, are fighting for our right. We have upheld our tradition of secularism, democracy and nonviolence. If sedition charges, Goondas Act, home searches, incarceration and severe repression are the gifts that will be handed down to us, we gladly accept them. We are even prepared to die for the future of our children and grandchildren and our country, but under no circumstances are we prepared to hurt or harm or kill anyone.
As the very last and desperate attempt at securing our independence and freedom, thwarting another spell of colonialism and foreign domination, safeguarding India’s natural resources, changing our energy policy and ensuring the well-being of our fellow citizens, we would like to appeal to your and our nation’s collective conscience to listen to us, the ordinary people of India, and not to repress us. Those of us who fail in this historic duty will be judged harshly by the future generations.
With best regards and all peaceful wishes,
S. P. Udayakumar
M. P. Jesuraj
Fr. F. Jayakumar
R. S. Muhilan
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy –
Idinthakarai 627 104
Tamil Nadu, India
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 5 Nov 2012.
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