Koodankulam Ground Zero Report: It’s About Saving Indian Democracy!

Activists from all over India reached Koodankulam on 15th March to raise their collective voice against repression of the local movement against the nuclear power plant. Apart from a massive protest meeting and a procession covering neighbouring villages, the activists also discussed strategies to face the government’s onslaught when it arrives. Concrete plans were laid up in this discussion with emphasis on better coordination, swift countrywide action and using all possible democratic platforms to prevent repression against the anti-nuclear movement in Koodankulam. Press Conferences were organised today in Chennai and Trivendrum.

The “national” media has almost blacked out this huge wave of protest, although the “Occupy Koodankulam” campaign got good coverage in the regional media over last few days. DiaNuke.org will soon publish a detailed report of this event.

Here is a letter that the women delegates and the local women from Koodankulam collectively faxed today to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister:

Why Koodankulam Nuclear Plant Cannot be Allowed to Happen: Voices of Women 

To :Honourable Chief Minister,

Tamil Nadu 16/3/12

Dear Madam,

We write to you as women against KKNPP and also as emissaries on behalf of mothers, sisters, daughters who have been in staunch and steadfast opposition to the project., KKNPP will irrevocably ruin lives and livelihood of many future generations, if allowed to operate. We do want energy and electricity for our homes, villages and communities. Yet, as women, we resolutely oppose KKNPP because

1. We will not be mute observers to a real threat of a nuclear accident which depends on occurrence of natural disaster, guarantee of technical safeguards, and also, very importantly, human error and terrorist attack. To claim any nuclear plant is 100% safe is a deliberate falsehood.

2. The impact of radiation on biological and reproductive health of women and girls in particular has been well documented around nuclear power plants. We cannot endanger lives and health, current and future, of our families, our people, our communities, our land, our air , our water, our sea , and our seafood because the GoI deems us expendable. We urge you to please put the welfare of the people of your state before the irrational nuclear ambitions of GoI.

3. Nuclear Energy is unnecessary. There are sufficient alternate and renewable options for Tamil Nadu. Immediate solutions include enormous gains via conservation (example switching to CFL bulbs, solar thermal water heaters) and reduction in transmission losses which eliminates the need for such large, complex, unsafe technologies.

4. Many countries are moving away from a nuclear option to meet their energy needs. Current generation nuclear technologies with a high cost of insurance undermine nuclear power being the ‘cheapest’ energy option – as promoted by the industry. Post Fukushima, and with China entering the photo-voltaic market, solar energy will soon be competitive in providing a viable safe and renewable power alternative.

5. KKNPP has unanswered and unresolved technical issues like the known seismic activity of the region; it is also the only nuclear plant in the world that depends entirely on the desalination plant for its entire fresh water supply.

We write to you from Idinthakarai, the seat of people’s opposition movement. What we saw here, inspired us and moved our hearts. Women far outweighed men in sheer numbers, their intensity, their loud and vocal opposition, and their complete commitment to the cause. We saw women sit for eight hours without food, water, carrying babies in their arms, and transfixed in attention to what was been spoken on the strage. They had taken to streets, under sun, rain and the elements, to protect their children and their future generations. Their faces showed that they had already crossed a threshold of no-return. They would protect their children and their lives at all cost. They have been at the forefront of a battle for life itself. We urge you, please, to take their side; please take our side, and call an immediate halt to this mindless project.

Arati Chokshi (People’s Union for Civil Liberties – PUCL)
Lalita Ramdas (Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament & Peace –CNDP)
Gowru Chinnapa (People’s Union for Civil Liberties – PUCL)
Raminder Kaur (Anthropologist)
Dipti Desai (JANASTU) &
Thousands of Women from the KKNPP Struggle Area


Thousands of people in the procession

Ground Zero: Idinthikarai

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