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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Eminent Indians Speak Out Against Harassment of Anti-Nuclear Activists in Koodankulam



Eminent Indians Speak Out Against Harassment of Anti-Nuclear Activists in Koodankulam


Eminent Indian Citizen, including members of the govt's own National Advisory Council, acientists, intellectuals, social activists and prominent personalities from film and art circles have come out to oppose the harassment of Koodankulam activists.
 
This is the same "thinking component" of the Indian society about which our Prime Minister claimed that they are supportive of nuclear power in general and Koodankulam nuclear power project in particular. He also used the opportunity to blame "the foreign hand" for anti-nuclear protests in India. But PM's claim proved to be as hollow and contrary as his previous claim before Grorge Bush that all Indians love him !
Several eminent citizens, concerned about nuclear safety and the government's campaign of slander against the Koodankulam anti-nuclear plant agitation in Tamil Nadu, have signed a public statement denouncing the government's high-handedness against the peaceful protesters in Koodankulam. This statement was released today in New Delhi in a press conference addressed by senior journalist and peace activist Praful Bidwai, Anil Chaudhary of Indian Social Action Forum and P K Sundaram, Research Consultant,  Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP).
They include Aruna Roy, Harsh Mander, Farah Naqvi and AK Shivakumar, all members of the government's National Advisory Council; social scientists Romila Thapar, Deepak Nayyar, Amit Bhaduri, Sumit and Tanika Sarkar, Rajeev Bhargav, Ramachandra Guha, Zoya Hasan and Nandini Sundar; former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman A Gopalakrishnan, and former civil servants/diplomats SP Shukla, EAS Sarma and Nirupam Sen.
The signatories also include writers Arundhati Roy, Adil Jussawalla and Vandana Shiva; scientists PM Bhargava, MV Ramana, Suvrat Raju, Shankar Sharma and Vineeta Bal; former Navy chiefs L Ramdas and Vishnu Bhagwat, and Maj-Gen SG Vombatkere; former High Court judges Hosbet Suresh and BG Kolse-Patil; and activists and others such as Surendra Gadekar, Shabnam Hashmi, Ashish Kothari, Sharmila Tagore, Ram Manohar Reddy, Sadanand Menon, Sumit Chakravartty and Sripad Dharmadhikari.
The statement is of vital public importance in view of the government's plans to forge ahead with nuclear power expansion regardless of its safety and economic issues, and strong public opposition to new nuclear reactors.
STATEMENT:

Stop Harassing Anti-nuclear Activists in Koodankulam: Say Eminent Citizens

March 5, 2012
We are dismayed and pained at the government's campaign of vilification of the sustained popular movement against the Koodankulam nuclear plant, which has raised vital issues of atomic safety. These issues have assumed pivotal importance worldwide after the Fukushima disaster, the world's first multiple-reactor meltdown. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has trivialised the movement, and the five months-long relay fast by thousands of people, by attributing it to "the foreign hand", or Western non-governmental organisations, without citing even remotely credible evidence.
This is part of a growing, dangerous, tendency to delegitimise dissent. If we reduce genuine differences and disagreements with official positions to mere plots of "subversion" by "the foreign hand", there can be no real engagement with ideas, and no democratic debate through which divergences can be reconciled. Absence of debate on nuclear safety, itself a life-and-death matter, can only impoverish the public discourse and our democracy. The "foreign hand" charge sounds especially bizarre because the government has staked all on installing foreign-origin reactors and tried to dilute the nuclear liability Act under foreign pressure.
The claim that all is well with our expansion-oriented nuclear power programme sounds hollow in the absence of an independent, thorough, transparent review by a broadly representative body, which includes non-Department of Atomic Energy personnel and civil society representatives. Some of us called for this 10 months ago. But the government ignored our plea. Its attitude to nuclear hazards is worrisome given its abysmal and persistent failure to protect Indian citizens' lives and rights in the Bhopal gas disaster.
We urge the government to cease harassment and persecution of activists of the anti-nuclear movements in Koodankulam and other sites, to drop concocted charges against them, and instead to resume dialogue. Until people's fears and concerns are allayed, all nuclear power-plant construction must be halted. There must be no use of force—categorically, and regardless of the circumstances. Ramming nuclear plants down the throats of unwilling people will usher in a police state.
A Gopalakrishnan
A K Shivakumar
A. Muthukrishnan
Abdul Raheem TM
Abhay Vir Singh
Achin Vanaik
Adil Jassuwala
Admiral L. Ramdas
Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat
Ajay Kumar
Ajay Patnaik
Ajaya Kumar Singh
Ajit Patil
Alaka Basu
Ali Javed
Amar Jesani
Amartya Paul
Amit Bhaduri
Amita Baviskar
Ammu Joseph
Anil Chaudhary
Anuradha Chenoy
Arun Mitra
Aruna Rodrigues
Arundhati Roy
Asit Das
B K Pal
B N Thakur
Bhimrao Bansod
Bina Sarkar
Bindu Desai
Capt Rama Rao
Chaitali Bhowmick
D Sucharitha
Deepa Dhanraj
Deepak Nayyar
Dinesh Abrol
Dipankar Gupta
EAS Sharma
Elisa Morsicain
Farah Naqvi
Gabriele Dietrich
Gargi Chakravorthy
Gauhar Raza
Harsh Mander
Himanshu Thakkar
Imrana Qadeer
Janaki Nair
Jaya Mehta
Jayati Ghosh
Justice B G Kolse-Patil
Justice H. Suresh
Kamal Mitra Chenoy,
Kamayani Bali Mahabal
Kavita Shrivastava
Kumkum Roy
L S Chawla
Lakshmi Kutty
Lalita Ramdas
Lata Mani, Bengaluru
Lawrence Surendra
M G Devasahayam
M V Ramana
Maj Gen. S G Vombatkere
Malobika
Mary John
Meenakshi Ganguly
Meha Dixit
Meher Engineer
Mili Sahu
Minati Panda
Mira Shiva
Moggallan Bharti
Mohan Rao
Mr N Madhusudhan
Muhammaed Muhassin
Mukul Kesavan
Mukul Sharma
Nabita Baruah
Nandini Gooptu
Nandini Sundar
Navroze Contractor
Neeladri Bhattacharya
Nirupam Sen
P K Sundaram
P M Bharagava
Pijush Kanti Das
Pooja Ravi
Prafulla Bidwai
Prafulla Samantara
Prakash Katoch
Prashant Bhushan
Pratihar Sharma
Primila Lewis
Rafiq Ellias
Rajaneesh S R
Rajeev Bhargav
Rajesh Tandon
Ram Manohan Reddy
Ramchandra Guha
Ramila Bisht
Romila Thapar
Rupa Chawdhary
S Alok Kumar
S N Malakar
S P Shukla
S.Srinivasan
Sadanand Menon
Sanghamitra Gadekar
Sankar Narayan
Sankara Narayanan
Santanu Chakravarty
Seema Mustafa
Shabnam Hashmi
Shankar Sharma
Sharmila Tagore
Shripad Dharmadhikari
Shruti Dubey
Shruti Jain
Soumya Dutta
Soumya Rajan
Sudhir Chella Rajan
Sumit Chakravartty
Sumit Sarkar
Supriya Varma
Surendra Gadekar
Suresh Khairnar
Susan Visvanathan
Suvrat Raju
Swathi S Senan
Tanika Sarkar
Uma V Chandru
Umasankar behera
V K Yadavendu
V.N.Sharma
Vandana Shiva
Vineet Tiwari
Vineeta Bal
Vinod Koshti
Vivek Sundara
Xavier Jeyaraj
Zoya Hasan