Dear friends,

I have been visiting Koodankulam over the years and with each visit have come back struck by the amazing power and depth and strength of the women who have virtually been the backbone of the prolonged struggle of the people against the nuclear plant in Koodankulam. Above all else it has been a sustained peaceful and non violent struggle without parallel in recent times, and therefore even more deserving of attention and support. What is happening in Koodankulam is a microcosm of the way in which peoples’ voices are being silenced and ignored, and democratic freedoms being trampled.

Lalita Ramdas in Idinthakarai with Admiral L. Ramdas

The loading of fuel rods into the plant without awaiting the verdict of the Madras High Court is a total flouting of all norms, besides being dangerous.

I have been sending information and posting messages about the participation of women in the anti nuclear struggle which they clearly see as part of a larger fight against other forms of take over of lands,  forests, and other sources of natural resources in other parts of India. As these women in the message reflect, it is a question of their homes, their livelihoods, their very survival and sustenance. In my conversations with them they are clear that they are not against progress or development but have serious questions and concerns about the nature of that development and the kind of energy choices being imposed on them.

And in their own unique way women are articulating profound wisdom and indicating their preferences and choices with regard to India’s energy future – a key question today.

While individual women amongst us have indeed spoken out on the nuclear question, we need to hear many more voices from women’s groups collectively with regard to these many struggles which are taking place across the country . If we are to put pressure on an inhuman, undemocratic, increasingly corporate driven political and economic agenda being pursued by our current leadership, of all hues,then it means that we will need to be seen and heard on a much broader range of issues, in many fora.

After Aruna Roy’s recent visit to IDINTHAKARAI there will be a public hearing on several aspects of what is happening in each of the projected nuclear power plants from Koodankulaam, to Jaitapur, to Fatehabad, Mithi Virdi, Kovada and others. Delhi, Aug 22 at Gandhi Peace Foundation. Those of you in Delhi, do please try to be there.

Please share your concerns and do  write to Udaya Kumar, PMANE, or to CNDP.

Please circulate this message from the women from Koodankulam as widely as you can .

Thanks

Lalita Ramdas