In defence of Kalam's Kudankulam stand

Obviously, India is now a highly liberal country where it appears that any small group can disrupt any activity, without fearing that the heavy hand of the government would put down their protest.

In many of these protests, the religious groups and caste outfits also play a part , furthering their own interest making it difficult to distinguish as to what is the legitimate protest and what is not. With the vote bank politics in election oriented democratic set up and with a highly vociferous media that have no guidelines and discipline in publishing the news and views which may even be motivated and disruptive in some cases (what is now notoriously known in India as paid news), the daring protestors in India now have a field day.

At cross roads
In such a scenario, good causes and good projects suffer and sane and intelligent discussion become impossible. Certainly, Indian democracy is at the cross roads.

As far as the Kudankulam issue is concerned, senior nuclear scientists in India, many of whom are highly respected in the world nuclear science fora and some of whom can walk into any nuclear science think tank in the world, have been repeatedly assuring that the Kudankulam nuclear power plant is safe.

They are answering every one of the doubts and criticisms expressed by the protestors. But it is strange that whatever the explanation they give, the protestors are repeating the same doubts and allegations,completely ignoring the explanation given by the nuclear scientists. Seeing this scenario, some seem to be wondering as to whether India is paying too big a price for its liberal , democratic set up and procedures.

Former president, A P J Abdul Kalam has taken the initiative to solve the Koodankulam nuclear power plant issue, by visiting the facilities and discussing with the scientists and providing his approval for the project from the safety and environmental angle. Besides, Kalam is a renowned scientist with all the credentials to air his views on the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

He is held in high esteem all over India and particularly by the youth, for his advocacy about the need for scientific temperament and ethical value system in personal and public life amongst the people. Kalam is widely recognised as the most sane voice in India today. Most Indians would pledge readily that Kalam is the conscience keeper of India.

It is extremely difficult for a common man to understand the technology issues about the nuclear power plant beyond a level. In such matters, it is necessary that the country men should place faith on the assurances of the scientists and accept the project.

This is how major scientific advancements and projects have been promoted all over the world with large number of people, who cannot understand the nuances of science, putting their faith in the words of the scientists and going along with them.

Implementation of any project and any activity would become extremely difficult in a society where some group can just raise the protest against it without listening to reason and scientific explanations.

It is surprising that even the views of Kalam, who is not only a scientist but also a humanist and who is no less concerned about the country men than the protestors, is not being accepted. One wonders where India would go from here.

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