Growing support for Kudankulam anti-nuclear movement in Lucknow

[हिंदी] Growing number of Lucknow citizens came out to demonstrate in Hazratganj in support of ongoing anti-nuclear movement in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu. Members of All India Power Engineers' Federation (AIPEF), National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), Asha Parivar, Lok Rajniti Manch and Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) had also actively participated to vote for no-nuclear and no-carbon energy policy.

UP State General Secretary of AIPEF Om Prakash Pandey, former Inspector General (IG) of Police and NAPM activist SR Darapuri, former Director General of Police UP and noted social activist Shri Ishwar Chandra Dwivedi, NAPM social activist Naveen Tiwari, Right to Information (RTI) Activists Urvashi Sharma, Akhilesh Saxena, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and NAPM leader Arundhati Dhuru, gender rights activist from Humsafar Support Centre for Women Mamta Singh, Asha Parivar activists Chunni Lal, Devesh Patel, Kiran Jaiswar, Shobha Shukla, Rahul Kumar Dwivedi, Nadeem Salmani, Ritesh Arya, Bobby Ramakant, Neeraj Mainali, senior journalist Shailendra Singh, Jitendra Dwivedi, and many others, actively participated in this protest to support anti-nuclear movement in Kudankulam.

Darapuri ji said that we strongly condemn the undemocratic manner in which nuclear energy is forced upon us. Not only Indian government has used a strong hand to snub the people’s movement against nuclear energy (PMANE) in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu, but also is trying to intimidate and stifle resistance by misleading allegations of a ‘foreign hand’ or being a ‘naxal’ on leaders of Kudankulam antinuclear struggle. 

Dr SP Udaykumar who leads PMANE has declared his personal assets and he has no FCRA account to receive foreign money. Whereas it is clear that Indian government is working hands-in-glove with bigger ‘foreign hands’ of USA, Russia and other countries in its joint military operations and expanding nuclear programme.

It is the people in Europe and America that have forced their governments by coming out in large numbers to abandon nuclear energy. But Indian government is trying to stifle such people’s initiatives to have their say. Sadly government is so hell-bent to kill people’s voices against nuclear energy that it has earlier deported a German national who participated in anti-nuclear energy protests in Kudankulam, and on Thursday, 8 March 2012, India had revoked the business visa which was earlier granted on 15 February 2012 to a Fukushima survivor from Japan, Maya Kobayashi, to spend a week in India campaigning against nuclear power plants. Maya was invited by ‘Greenpeace’. The cancellation of Maya’s visa is a clear indicator on the extent to which Indian government is determined to not let people who have faced dangers of nuclear radiation share their experiences in open meetings.

Recent nuclear emergency in Japan leaves no doubt that this world needs to renounce nuclear power for military and civil/ energy purposes, as soon as possible, to put an end to any further catastrophe in the name of 'energy', 'security' or 'technology'. Nuclear power is clearly the most dangerous options for civil or military use. Countries that have been using nuclear power such as Germany have resolved to abandon nuclear energy by 2022. Japan, Italy, USA, China, and many such nations who were earlier pursuing nuclear energy option have now abandoned it.

The nuclear power industry accounts for 2-3 % of India's electricity generation with about 4,800 MW in installed capacity. Even if opposition magically evaporates and the 2,000 MW Koodankulam project goes ahead, it will not make a material difference to power shortages, for the next three years.

There are many lower-hanging fruit visible to meet India’s energy needs. For example, national transmission and distribution (T&D) losses are close to 30%. China has a gross 8% T&D loss; and the European Union 7%. If India cut T&D losses even by 10-15 %, it would be the equivalent of instantly adding 5-6 times nuclear capacity, while incurring zero environmental costs and risks. There would be no protests about implementing improved T&D practices.

We believe that India should adopt the futuristic energy policy like Japan and the European Union (EU) relying on renewable sources of energy which are non-polluting. Like EU and Japan, India too should aim for a low-carbon energy production system. India’s future energy policy should be low carbon and no nuclear. We appeal to the Indian government to support dialogue on nuclear energy in a democratic way.