Commonality between people's movements

Kudankulam vs Konkan agitation

The natives of Jaitapur in Konkan were not just fuming over the attempts to install the planned nuclear power plant, but were boiling at the euphemistic usage of word ‘development,’ for imposing ‘questionable projects shrouded in secrecy,’ on their lands.

Professor of Theoretical Physics in Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, K Sridhar feels that the kind of, “secrecy that shrouds most such projects itself aggravates fear psychosis. It is the duty of the State to come out in open with the facts. What is surprising is that there exists some kind of taboo to discuss such issues. Nowadays, people from nuclear power projects talk more of politics and less of science.

And this kind of talk rarely goes down well with people at large. Statistically, incidents of leakages or mishaps in nuclear power projects maybe less as compared to incidents taking place in for example,  chemical factories. But then one also has to take the impact into account along with other issues like the storage of waste fuel etc.

Development, an euphemism

All these things need to be discussed and deliberated upon. But then we love putting the cart before the horse. Just look at chemical factories emitting noxious gases and effluents in densely populated areas...nobody is there to claim responsibility for the horror and disaster that takes place silently every day.

And Konkan is a case in point where the State wants a total of 12 power projects. And the last one decade has witnessed fulmination of open cast mining projects dotting like pock marks the green ribbon stretching along the sapphire tinged emerald seashore. All these projects are being carried out under the umbrella of “Development.”

Prof (Dr) Vivek P S of Developmental Studies, Sociology Department, Mumbai University, questioning the misuse and twisting of the term, “Development,” said, “Agitations in Kudankulam, Jaitapur and Odisha have one common thread - “development of under-development’. The projects, especially nuclear power projects imposed on Indian lands by foreign countries, indicates a desire to create dependency on what the latter consider as development.

State as dictator

Kudankulam project is a case in point. Russians are the designers and also the suppliers of nuclear fuel to India. Even a simple analysis reveals that they (foreign governments) are hardly bothered about the latent potential threat to people in case of any mishap. In Konkan, by twisting the word “development,’ the state has been imposing projects which instead of spurring sustainable development… will only end up destroying the flora and fauna and reducing future generations to mere semiotic ghosts.”

Talking to Deccan Herald, Dr Vivek Bhide, a key figure of Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti (KVPVS), comparing the Kudankulam agitation with Konkan protest movement said, “The issue here is the government’s furtive manner coupled with imposing its diktat on the people. People demand answers to their questions and the officials parrot ambiguous answers.

Just like in Konkan, people in Tamil Nadu are not talking of land compensation. They just don’t want it. In Jaitapur, though State keeps on harping about land compensation, out of 2,350 farmers till date only 152 farmers have accepted the cheque.


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Planning for best, preparedness for worst


 
 
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