Anamika Badal

The unprecedented and illogical harsh police action against the protests at Koodankulam beg a simple answer.

Is this justified?

When people in the area – who are the primary stake-holders in this project – are protesting so visibly, cannot the State and Central Government understand why the locals are opposing it? Why use brute police force and try to crush a popular, local agitation?

To understand this issue, try to put yourself in the shoes of a fisherman. Yes, a fisherman.

One day, you are a fisherman who has learnt the trade and business from generations… Suddenly, another day, you are asked to be a farmer instead!! Can you adapt to a life from fisherman to farmer?  And above all this, you do not even receive land for farming. That is exactly what happens when a nuclear power plant comes up in your backyard. From fisherman to farmer and from farmer to beggar… that’s what happens to the Project Affected People (PAP).

The problems with all nuclear projects in India start – and end – with not enough being given to the locally affected community. The projects simply take away lives and livelihood of these communities and leave them to fend for themselves. They have NO say in the Project. They have no say in Rehabilitation (sic). They have no say in practically ANYTHING around them. It is almost as if they are told to take a bunch of money and get lost!!

Look around all over India. From Tarapur to Kalpakkam, enough has been scientifically demonstrated that RADIATION KILLS. But yet, NPCIL and DAE persist with the line that ‘background radiation is good!’ Sure, radiation has been part and parcel of the human universe, but can these mentally challenged ‘scientists’ explain about what amount and what degree of radiation they are talking about? Are they so imbecile to understand that a sustained exposure is NOT equivalent to what they claim to be an annual exposure? I am quite sure that our best scientists in the atomic energy field do not have such low IQ!!

So, here we expect a bunch of villagers to accept a NPCIL line that radiation is good, the money (compensations) is good and that the project will be good for them. Really?

Sorry, NPCIL. The script does not work any more. The people have become wiser and no longer trust your propaganda. Take it elsewhere, please. From Gorakhpur to Jaitapur, people are saying that NPCIL and DAE are cheating them and their future generations out of a right to live safely. Can any NPCIL official explain why their quarters are located miles away from reactors? Are these reactors really safe? No way any official will stay there or allow his family to stay near a reactor. They know the facts and the truths only too well.

The Department of Atomic Energy will keep harping on the fact that Nuclear energy is the need of the hour for the ‘development’ of India. What rubbish!! Only 3-4% of Indian energy is generated out of nuclear energy. The Department is simply pushing its own agenda of survival by claiming that in 2020 India will rely mostly on nuclear power. This is nothing but a blatant lie if one checks with the renewable energy statistics. Nuclear power does not stand a chance against the new and renewable energy alternatives.

Time for NPCIL and DAE officials to bow down to popular sentiments and call it a day.