Sunday, September 25, 2011

People's power Vs Nuclear power

The broad-based ‘struggle committee’ against KNPP, spearheaded by anti-nuclear activists, S P Udhyakumar and Anton Gomez, have just ended a heroic 12-day long fast, thanks to a politically sagacious Chief Minister J Jayalalitha passing a Cabinet resolution, urging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to suspend all work at KNPP until the local people’s apprehensions are fully allayed.

Equally, what turned the nation’s eyes towards an obscure ‘pandal’ overlooking the 110-year-old Saint Lourdes catholic church, the fasting venue at Idinthakarai coastal hamlet, 2 km north of the KNPP site, was the sudden upsurge of thousands of people from neighbouring districts including children and disabled, whose solidarity for the fasters bellowed like the boiling sea along this fragile 2004 tsunami-hit coastal stretch.

How come a motley crowd of fasters in a little known village suddenly took centre-stage? It cannot all be put down to anti-nuclear NGOs’ getting hyper-active overnight or committed social activists like Medha Patkar visiting them on a morale-boosting mission.
‘The affected people’s emotive response looks sudden, but this has been simmering from the late 1980s’,” says Father James Peter, pastor of a local parish. “Irrespective of caste, creed or religion, it is now a people’s fight for their survival and cultural identity,” he said.
A report in Deccan Herald. Here

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