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Anti-nuclear movement in India – active and determined

india-antinukeWe are fighting against entire global nuclear industry: S P Udayakumar  Q&A with anti-nuclear activist and convenor of PMANE Business Standard, India , Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai   June 14, 2014  S P Udayakumar, anti-nuclear activist and convenor of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), has been at the forefront of protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant as well as the nuclear power policy of the government. A report filed by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to the Prime Minister’s Office allegedly says Udayakumar has “deep and growing connections with US and German entities” and has an unsolicited contract with Ohio State University Institute, US, to submit “fortnightly reports” for a financial consideration.

Are you receiving any foreign funding and what are the sources of funding for the operations of your movement?
The movement, as I have said umpteen number of times, is funded by the local people and by contributions from the neighbouring villagers and college and school students. We absolutely have not received even a rupee from any Indian or international organisation for our struggle.
You are saying that the leakage of the IB report which named you as a receiver of huge foreign funds is a conspiracy. In general, authorities in India do not want anyone to pose problems in their proposed development projects and if anyone decides to stand up and speak for the poor people, they want to discredit them by saying that they are working for foreign countries. The government has every mechanism to go into the villages and find out for itself if we are giving any money or other incentives to people to join the protests. The media too have not gone to the villages to find out whether Udayakumar is paying the people to join the struggle. The whole thing is orchestrated by the authorities. Authorities include the state government, central government and the officialdom. I would also include the media.

How do you see the government and its policy? You earlier said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to prefer renewable energy rather than nuclear power.
If Modi cares for the people of India, and if he thinks that Indian lives have value, he should go for renewable energy because all over the world, countries are shunning nuclear power and going for the renewable energy sources.

Do you think that the the IB report has been “leaked” on the instigation of foreign powers?
It could well be because we are not fighting against just the state government and the central government.  We are fighting against the global nuclear industry. Americans, Russians and the French – they are all out there to get us. For them, it is a multi-billion business. They don’t want a few individuals and groups like us damage the prospects………http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/we-are-fighting-against-entire-global-nuclear-industry-s-p-udayakumar-114061400793_1.html

June 16, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

4 Comments »

  1. There are many countries where anti-nuclear lobbies are present. These lobbies basically got activated by the irresponsible attitudes of governments towards their people. India is also one of them. This is not the first time Indian government is confronting with such movement but the shocking point is government is still deaf and dump over the people’s plea towards the operation of nuclear power plants. India’s safety and security standards are totally collapsed in that situation why should people allow their government to feed them with energy at the cost of their lives. This is highly inhumane.

    Comment by Reshami | June 17, 2014 | Reply

  2. There is nothing wrong in this if people are demanding to generate energy from renewable energy sources despite of nuclear. The anti-nuclear group is not demanding something which Government can’t work out. There is continued massive protests country wide against the Kudankulam nuclear power project almost more than years. But government actually pays no heed to demands of the protestors and kept on building the plant. People felt danger of their own survival hood from nuclear power plants.

    Comment by Tripti | June 17, 2014 | Reply

  3. One important aspect must be factored into the complex question of attitudes to matters Nuclear in India – and that is the subtle but strong linkage which has been created in the public perception, namely that being a nuclear state and having nuclear weapons and by extension, nuclear power, is a sign of India’s power on the global stage and therefore bound up with nationalism and patriotism. Several of us have had to deal with open accusations of being anti-national, even traitors for coming out openly against Pokhran II in 1998. And since then there has always been a not so creative tension between the departments of nuclear power and all those perceived to be against nuclear at all levels.

    Comment by Sundas | June 17, 2014 | Reply

  4. We need to re-examine our priorities urgently and spread the word that those against nuclear energy are basically arguing for safer, cleaner, and a far less expensive energy system based on renewables, which will address both the critical problems of impending climate change and global warming in addition to being less hazardous , and far less expensive. We are also arguing for growth with equity, and not growth at all costs which ignores the needs of the larger majority and the masses, in favour of huge benefits for the few. Bottom line – tell them to stop misquoting Ludd and the Luddites! And probe answers to the question – Development for Whom? Development for and of what? Development By Whome? And Whose definition of what constitutes development?

    Comment by Danish | June 17, 2014 | Reply


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