Although I agree with some points raised in the article “Where the mind is full of fear” (Sept. 19), I have some reservations. Democracy means dissent, not disoriented demonstrations. The argument that all fears of the locals, however remote, should be discussed and efforts made to allay them sounds perfect. But this can be achieved only across the negotiating table.
The best one can do is to discuss the issues with the agitated people and ensure the best in the given circumstances. But are the residents of Kudankulam ready to listen to what the experts and the government have to say?
The government of the day has let the people of Kudankulam down by giving undue importance to the so-called expert opinion. For whose benefit are the lives of people being put to risk? The country should not seek to promote its economic interest by risking the lives of thousands of poor (called ‘uneducated’ for political convenience). We expect the government to open up the yet-to-be explored channels to initiate a meaningful dialogue.
S.A. Thameemul Ansari,
The article refers to a study on the impact of the atomic power station in Rajasthan on people’s health, which found that people living closer to the plant were more prone to diseases. Considering this, the concerns of people living in and around Kudankulam are justified. Whatever the benefits of the nuclear power plant, the fundamental right of people to a healthy life cannot be compromised.
The article raises a number of questions that are critical for all citizens, even while it focusses on Kudankulam. Who takes decisions on the direction and form of development in our country is germane to the debate on land acquisition, slum resettlement, food security and a number of other issues.
As citizens, we need to realise that unless we play an active role in deciding our future and seize all opportunities to do so, we will be led down the slippery slope of increasing inequity and injustice.