Hiroshima Day at Idinthakarai, Koodankulam

Anitha Sharma

On Aug 6th , 2012, the 67th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing the people of Idinthikara village voiced their solidarity with all the people struggling for a world without any form of nuclear energy in many innovative ways. This day also coincided with the 357th day of the present phase in the struggle of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

Baffled and angry with the Prime Minister’s untimely demand for assurances regarding the Nuclear Liability Act to Russia along with Mr.Narayanaswamy’s rhetoric that the plant will soon be commissioned, the people and supporters who gathered by 4pm on 6th August demanded a clear answer about the situation. The highlight of the day was the Post card campaign to the Russian Ambassador demanding to be given a copy of the IGA about KKNPP 1 and 2. The hundreds of 10-11 year olds who gathered there waved cards in the air while shouting in tune with M.P.Jesuraj’s evocative slogans. The hand-written post cards were the joint effort of the PMANE with the students from the Bishop Roja Higher Secondary School at Idinthikarai.

Commemorating Hiroshima Day in Koodankulam. Photo by Amirtharaj Stephen

The meeting was also made special by the inspiring speech that the General Secretary of the Viduthalai Chiruthalkal Ketchi Sri.Thol. Thirumavalven gave supporting the struggle and connecting it to the need for a nuclear- free world. The short yet succinct speeches of Rajavoor Rajendran, Santiago, Mathiazhagan and Anitha (Kerala) made the message of the Hiroshima Commemoration Day more clear.

The programs staged by the children and youth had a special relevance connected to the issues of concern regarding the struggle and the commissioning of KKNPP amidst so many unclear statements. The dances that the children of both the Bishop Roja HS School and the Perumanal Village ( one of the closest to the KKNPP) to songs like Velkave, Velkave by Pepsi Ganeshan ( Koodankulam ) and Ilutha Adeeda Muppatam by Samarpa(from Erode about the Sri Lankan Tamils) made a moving impact on the audience. Though the hundreds of women and children broke into loud applause on seeing the skit lead by the young Vivek Sarathy and team (Idinthikara) on the absurdities of the statements made by the Government it also set one thinking about the lies and fraud behind the crucial deals a country makes. The gestures and speech characteristic of the Prime Minster, Chief Minister and other people involved in the nuclear deal including the KKNPP was well presented. The brief but extremely clear skit about a Russian doctor arriving in the village to cure the people also brought to light the effects of Nuclear radiation and the negligent way in which issues like human health and welfare are handled.

The people then lit candles and walked through the village with slogans and prayers. The short round about ended with assembling in the Samara pandal where after a moment of silence for Hiroshima with faces lighted by candle light the group dispersed with slogans. The whole meeting was coordinated by S.P.Udayakumar and V.Pushparayan. The immense patience and listening power of the hundreds of women who came there, the capacity to respond and applaud at the right time were all so evident apart from the determination to see this struggle to the end.

Let there be no more Hiroshimas and Nagasakis
Let no human community suffer for generations like Japan
Let there be no more war and violence
Let KKNPP and all other nuclear power plants never ever be commissioned anywhere in the world
This is the message that the people of Koodankulam want to share with the world.


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