Anitha spits blood and wipes her lips as she talks to me. A few sentences later, a large blister on her lips begins to glisten with blood again, and she has to spit it out one more time. Hundreds of villagers at Idinthakarai have similar clusters of blisters on their lips. They say that they developed the sores as a reaction to the tear gas that was used during the clash that took place between police and protesters who were protesting the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. This event occurred on tenth September. Nearly a week later, the sores continue to remain fresh and open, and a scab does not seem to be forming for any of those who were involved in the clash.
Which of these three images brings dishonour to India?
The full coercive force of the state slams down on villagers who have been so far peacefully protesting the location of a nuclear power plant in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu.
Charges of sedition have been laid on hundreds of protesters in Kudankulam.
The women of Kudankulam wrote recently in a moving message to their fellow citizens:
When we carried the dead body of democracy and burnt it in the outskirts of our village on Aug 15th, 2012, little did we realize that so soon we would witness the real death of democracy. As this last nail is being tightened on our lives, we realize how insignificant has been our voice. But this has only strengthened our vow to be together.
As I sit here in my home village of Idinthikara watching the hot sun light up the waves rolling onto the shores, I think of the news that has hit the world today about the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant. All of you must have seen the news that Madras High Court has given the go-ahead for the KKNPP.
When we carried the dead body of democracy and burnt it in the outskirts of our village on Aug15th, 2012, little did we realize that so soon we would witness the real death of democracy. As this last nail is being tightened on our lives, we realize how insignificant has been our voice. But this has only strengthened our vow to be together. Continue reading Are We Not Alive: Women’s Voices from Kudankulam→
in Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and other cities in coming weeks. Grassroots organisations are distributing the appeal as pamphlet, translated in regional languages.
This Sunday, Vandana Shiva, renowned environmentalist and eco-feminist, released the national appeal on Koodankulam at the India Gate in New Delhi. Releasing the appeal, she expressed her anguish on the undermining of democracy by the Indian government in its pursuit of nuclear energy. Inviting NIMHANS doctors to ‘treat’ the mindset opposing nuclear energy projects is reflective of the nuclear-obsessed government’s contempt for its own people and their concerns, she said. Continue reading National Appeal on Koodankulam Becomes a Rallying Point for Solidarity Actions Across India→
Statement issued from the struggle against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant.
This statement is a reflection of our collective frustration and instead of being sent to the Government, it will be presented before people of India on May 20th (6 pm) at the India Gate, New Delhi.
It is already endorsed by prominent figures like Prashant Bhushan, Vandana Shiva, Lalita Ramdas, Partha Chatterjee, Parful Bidwai, Achin Vanaik, Gnani Sankaran, John Dayal, Meher Engineer, Sandeep Pandey.
Please send the e-petition on DiaNuke.org.
Endorsements can also be directly sent to email@example.com
Dear Fellow Citizens of India,
On the occasion of our Parliament, the pinnacle of democratic governance, celebrating its 60th anniversary, our hard earned democracy is being ruthlessly repressed and violently suppressed. Within the accelerated race towards ‘destructive development’ and the generation of nuclear power to fuel such ‘development,’ entirely peaceful mass protests voicing people’s legitimate dissent are brutally put down. The common man, woman and child are unheard. In utter desperation, people at large are surrendering their ‘Voter ID cards,’ the ultimate symbol of ‘people’s power,’ which is the essence of any genuine democracy. Can there be a more ominous way to dissent?
Dear all: The state’s propaganda and witch-hunt has taken a fresh and disturbing turn with an engineered FIR filed by the husband of Vijayapathi Panchayat President and his brother Stalin.
I spoke to V. Pushparayan at 1015 a.m. today. According to media reports, a gang instigated by Pushparayan and Udayakumar, attacked and injured Sahayaraj (President’s husband) and Stalin (Sahayaraj’s brother) at 830 p.m. on 14 April, 2012. The media reports do not even bother to interview the people accused of this alleged crime. The allegation is made into a fact, as if the reporter had observed the attack.
My name is V. Geetha, and I live in Chennai. I am a writer, with an interest in civil rights issues. I write this note to register my shock and bewilderment at some recent developments in my state. Given your concerns about the relationship between freedom and responsibility as far as the media is concerned, I felt it important to convey some of my – and other peoples’ – misgivings over media reporting of sensitive political events.
It is amazing how the very same Malayalees and their media, which made Mount Everest out of that molehill of Mullaperiyar, remain sweetly calm in comparison at the events unfolding in Kudankulam. In fact the amnesia is so complete that it is as if few remember (except the anti-nuclear activists in Kerala who have been consistently supporting the struggles of the local people) that it was common knowledge in the late 1980s that the plant would affect both Tamil Nadu and Kerala.There was far greater awareness of the special problems of locating the plant in Kudankulam for Kerala, where natural radiation levels are already very high. The violence too had an early start, with the police firing on a people’s rally against the plant in 1989, which killed one person.
Click here for the Letter from the National Fishworkers Forum to the Prime Minister.
Further below is a press statement released on 23/03/2012 about the arbitrary arrests, illegal detention and custodial torture of three activists whose politicl affiliations are being wrongly read on to the Kudankulam struggle in order to take focus way from the issues in question and malign the people’s struggle that continues.
KOODANKULAM – PMANE UPDATE – 25.03.2012
Greetings! Pushparayan, the other 13 friends and I have become weaker and tired; but we are still able to sit up and talk to people. Today is the seventh day of the indefinite hunger strike. Nobody from the State Government or the Central Government has bothered to come and see us or talk to us. A medical team came to check our health day before yesterday (March 23) but no public health officials came and offered any help even though some 10,000 people have been congregating here at Idinthakarai every day since March 19th. Our friends from Idinthakarai have been cooking some simple meals for all these people and most of the people are sleeping here as there is the prohibitory order of 144 still in effect. They are scared of going out of this foot-ball stadium sized space in front of the St. Lourdes church. The police are waiting for me and Pushparayan to collapse so that we would go to an hospital for treatment and they could arrest us there. How cruel and anti-people our governments could become!
Below is a note written by Udayakumar, one of the leaders in Kudankulam that is being circulated. Further below is an update from activist Nityanand Jayaraman on the Madras High Court interim orders in response to cases filed against all the illegal steps taken by the government on Kudankulam.
Recording of a report by Sundari from Idinthakarai, the village in Kudankulam where many are on fast unto death and 15000 people have gathered in protest of the Nucelar Plant. Sundari is a long time local activist in the region who has been part of the struggle against the Nuclear plant.
Police have cracked down on the village and there is now a complete blockade. Journalists are not being allowed at all. This is an effort to get news out regularly. This recording has been made possible by the efforts of activists who work with enabling reporting for community radio through mobile phones. These broadcast and others that will follow, will be sent to community radio networks within Tamilnadu and around the country. Please spread the news. A translation is available below.
The Tamilnadu police in alliance with the paramilitary, rapid action force, Industrial security force has laid an utterly illegal and anti democratic siege on the peaceful struggle by fisherpeople and others in Idinthakarai village. In an attempt to terrorise the people and weaken their struggle the police in a nexus with civil administration has suspended electricity and water supply to the village. Vital supplies like milk powder, medicines and food stuff have been blocked entry. When neighbouring villagers tried to bring in firewood through the sea route they were blocked this morning. A pregnant woman who was in labour pain was detained by the police for quite some time and her admission into the hoispital was delayed. There are thousands of children, women, elder people and men in the protest site surrounded by layers and layers of police of every possible denomination and this is a peaceful struggle waged by the poor people of idinthakarai to safeguard their livelihoods and also to protect all of us all of humanity from yet another nuclear disaster.
So please take time and call/ message
Vijendra Bidari, SP, Tirunelveli : 09940193494
George, ADGP: o9442200913
Register your protest.
Demand them to stop intimidating the peaceful protesters.
SMS message: “Do not block media, food, water, medicines or movement of people in and out of Idinthakarai. Restore access to basic facilities and media freedom”
You must all be aware of the sustained struggle put up by the people of Idinthakarai and other neighbouring villages against the commissioning of the nuclear energy plant at Kudankulam. The struggle has been a concerted one, waged by fishers, agricultural labourers, small peasants and those in the artisanal trades. It has been a struggle for asserting people’s right to livelihood, life and liberty, all of which stand imperiled by the proposed nuclear reactor.
These are moments when spaces like Kafila become so important.
On the 19th of March, news came in that Tamilnadu Police men of six districts led by the ADGP for Crime of the Tamilnadu Police, Mr. O.S.George were sent to Kudankulam. This meant 6000 armed police men, 3 DIGs and 20 SPs were in Kudankulam. The TV reports, when they were still possible, showed police violence and extensive police presence in the village. We also saw women from Kudankulam, the backbone of the movement, declaring that there will be a strong people’s response to this violence and that they cannot be taken peaceful protest cannot be taken for granted. The first project taken up by the police seems to have bee to block off the village from any outsiders. Nearby villagers who tried to approach the villages by sea were also arrested by the police. As of now, all roads to the village have been blocked. Communication systems have been tampered with. Continue reading Kudankulam: A brief history and a recent update→