Koodnkulam Could be Another Bhopal Disaster In Waiting: Noam Chomsky
Internationally acclaimed academician Noam Chomsky of Massachussets Institute of Technology of the United Stateshas said that Koodankulam could be another Bhopaldisaster in Waiting. In a solidarity letter to the struggling people he said `Nuclear energy is a very dangerous initiative, particularly in countries like India, which has had more than its share of industrial disasters, Bhopal being the most famous,’ said Noam Chomsky. ` I would like to express my support for the courageous people’s movement protesting the opening of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant.’
Avram Noam Chomsky is internationally famous linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, historian, political critic and activist. He has worked as a professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT. In addition to his work in linguistics, he has written on war, politics, mass media and a many other areas. Chomsky was cited more often than any other living scholar from 1980 to 1992 and he was voted the “world’s top public intellectual” in a 2005 poll.Described as the “father of modern linguistics, he is most well known for his book called `Manufacturing Consent’
`The support of Noam Chomsky is a major blessing to the fishing community of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, who are unfortunately the first victims of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant,’ said T.Peter, Secretary, National Fish Workers’ Forum. `We hope more and more groups and individuals will flow now to support the struggle.’
`Chomsky is one of the most leading existing internationally reknowned left intellectuals today. It is surprising that while such a great personality has expressed support to the Koodankulam struggle, the left in India is still confused about their stand on the hazards of nuclear energy,’ said Civic Chandran, activist writer. Chomsky’s response came as a part of the efforts of the anti-nuclear activists to campaign on Koodankulam issue through the net in a unique manner through a well known website called www.countercurrents org The site has been publishing posters using statements in support of the the Koodankulam struggle from well known national and international personalities every day along with their photographs from October 11, onwards.
Mairead Maguire, the 1976 nobel peace prize winner and Irish peace activist also expressed her solidarity to the Koodankulam struggle. She said the struggle is an inspiration to the world. She also said “I offer my solidarity with the brave people of Koodankulam, as they non-violently resist the Koodankulam nuclear power plant in their community. The courageous villagers-men and women- who are risking their lives do so to safeguard the lives of their children, the livelihood of all their fishermen,and their environment.We support you all, continue to be brave,
refuse to be silent, and you will overcome… your actions are in inspiration to many of us around the world and we join you in spirit…Shanti”
The campaign through posters on the net began with former Chief Minister of Kerala, V.S.Achuthanandan who said: `We do not need this nuclear bomb. The Central Govt. must immediately stop all activities regarding this plant. The Kerala Govt. must wake up with an understanding on the threat from this on the people and act immediately.’
While the stand of Achuthanandan on nuclear energy was being debated, some of the others who expressed their stand on the campaign are the following:
`What the poor people of Koodankulam is doing is what anyone would struggle for the protection of one’s own life and future. It is not surprising that the Government which has become a part of the nuclear lobby could not understand this. Let them learn from the widespread lessons of Chernobyland Fukushima’ – Binoy Viswarm, Former Minster of Kerala & CPI leader.
`We fully support the courageous struggle against the nuclear power station in Koodankulam. In Denmarkthe resistance against nuclear power was strong and well organized and today Denmarkis free of nuclear energy. Our resistance was able to close the nuclear power station Barsebäck in Swedenclose to Denmark’ – Christian Juhl, Member of Parliament and spokesman, The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark.
`Koodankulam nuclear plant is a Fukushimain the making. It will be another genocide of the Tamils, Sinhalese and Indians waiting to happen. Sri Lankais just a stone’s throw away from Koodankulam. We the Sri Lankan people, Tamil, Sinhalese and Tamil speaking Muslims oppose it tooth and nail, along side our brothers and sisters of Idinthakarai and Koodankulam – Siritunga Jayasuria, Former Presidential candidate, General Secretary, United Socialist Party, Sri Lanka
`We agree that electricity is needed for development. But the main question is whether we have used all safer options for the production of energy before we think of nuclear option. This question is leading to a lot of suspicions’ – Annie Raja, National Council Member, CPI.
`Public pressure is needed to break the power of the greedy nuclear lobby. Koodankulam struggle is vital and I will do my utmost to spread the word about your struggle within the trade union and anti nuclear movement in Europe’ – Reknowned politician Paul Murphy, Member of the European Parliament for the Socialist Party of Ireland.
`Socialist Alternative (SAV) Germanycondemn the state terror unleashed on the peaceful protesters of Koodankulam. We demand the immediate withdrawal of the police force. We demand that the government heed to the sane voice of the anti-nuclear movement and immediately stop the killer project which is bound to put the people, flora and fauna, the fragile environment and the other species in irrevocable danger’ – Lucy Redler, Spokesperson of Socialist Alternative (SAV) Germany
`The government must immediately stop the brutal treatment of protesters and shut down the plant without further delay. The investment should be channeled to renewable energy production. All development should be people centric and not for the profits of the few. Tamil Solidarity campaign will continue to support the Koodankulam anti-nuclear struggle and will continue to build support internationally’ – TU Senan, International coordinator for Tamil Solidarity Campaign.
`I am totally in solidarity with people in Koodankulam and elsewhere protesting against nuclear reactors. This we do not need in the world. We do not understand the long term dangers and must ban all new installations’ – Mallika Sarabhai, Indian classical dancer and social activist
`Atomic power is against Humanity. Human beings have not evolved enough to handle atomic power. At source level atomic energy is no different from atomic weapon. Every Nation has a hidden agenda of producing atomic Weapon. Say NO TO ATOMIC POWER!’ – KAVIGNAR Thamarai.
`The Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project will have serious health consequences, not only for the local people, but also for the people of the entire region. This will be accompanied by large scale loss of livelihood for the fisher folk communities of the entire area. The long term risks of a nuclear accident are unpredictable’ – Dr. Binayak Sen, Member, Planning Commission’s Steering Committee on Health.
`Without a fully worked out disaster management plan, Koodankulam or any other nuclear reactor is a sure passport to disaster. This is an unwarranted risk. A nuclear reactor is potentially more dangerous than an ato bomb, because each 1000 MW reactor contains radio active materials equivilant to 200 nagasakibombs’ – Dr. M.P. Parameswaran, Nuclear Engineer, KSSP.
`Stop Nuclear Menace in Koodankulam. Defend the Planet!’ – Anand Patwardhan, Film Maker.
`I stand in complete solidarity with the villagers of Idinthikkarai who are resisting Koodankulam reactor. I happened to be in Japanin March 2011 when the earthquake damaged the Fukushimareactor. After the disaster, almost every country that used nuclear energy declared that it would change its policy. Every country, except India’ – Arundhati Roy, Writer.
The campaign through Counter Currents is generating more and more national and international support through face book, twitter, e-groups, websites and many other ways of internet sharing.` The anti-nuclear activists have always used creative ways of campaigning and this poster campaign through the net is certainly a new step,’ said Subramanian, State Convenor of the Koodankulam Solidarity Group.` What is most important is that we motivated Noam Chomsky himself to respond to this struggle which is situated in the other part of the planet. We are sure it will inspire many significant personalities and organizations to come out strongly against the nuclear power plant to defend life and environment’
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