While the protesting people from Tamil Nadu and Kerala are keeping with their protest calendar for January in support of the ongoing agitation in Koodankulam, the Nuclear Power Corporation has turned to TV adverts and radio jingles.  The 60-second radio and television  advertisements are aimed at clearing “doubts that locals and fishermen might have”.

The NPCIL had tried a similar exercise in Jaitapur where it had published comic books to “educate” people on issues related to nuclear energy. This led to a “comic war” when the local anti-nuke activists came out with their own version of comic strips describing dangers and risks inherent in nuclear power. In Jaitapur exactly a year ago, the govt hadtried ordering primary teachers to organize compulsory sessions for students to “educate” them about nuclear safety. Schoolchildren bunked en-masse, this time with their parents consent.

Far from realising that the protests are a manifestation of a deep-rooted alienation from the current centralised and growth-driven model of “development” in which people are disenfranchised, empoverished and their natural surroundings that sustains them is violated, the government considers it is all just a failure in public relations. The scientists and officials of the nuclear establishment, who have been fed with the post-colonial project of “national development” all through their education and career are baffled when people are questioning them openly.  It is time they should try and see the point: it is not really about their integrity, but the very existing top-down model of progress and a more decentralised and sustainable living.

On the other side, the activists in Koodankulam have made it clear that nothing short of closure of the plant will satisfy them. PMANE’s leading activist S P Udaykumar has also said that the villagers in Kudankulam and neighbouring areas would replace tungsten bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) on January 14, the day of Makar Sankranti.

PMANE has written letters to the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, UP and West Bengal urging them to ” take steps to rescind all the nuclear agreements that the central government has signed.”

Here are a few pictures of last 2-3 day’s protest from Koodankulam:

 –  A DiaNuke.org report