The Tamil Nadu government’s crackdown on those protesting against the operationalisation of the nuclear power plant in Kudankulam is shocking. It has struck at the root of democracy, which is the right to freedom of expression. Today, we find that democracy is at the mercy of elected governments, and any form of protest is treated as a national threat.
It is the poor foresight of successive governments that has led to the energy crisis in Tamil Nadu. Freebies — fans, mixers, laptops — have brought power consumption under pressure. The government is looking for an easy way out of the power crisis. Nuclear energy may be clean but the disposal of nuclear waste and safety are always tricky issues. One day, history will prove that KKNPP was a disaster.
The protesters should understand that the power plant is located on a land that is tectonically and geographically stable. Recalling the Fukushima disaster is of no significance. Some countries are more prone to earthquakes and Japan is one of them. The protesters must overcome their sense of foreboding. Politicians who support the protest do not seem to relate to the life of the common man suffering from frequent power cuts.
If one were to apply the argument of the Kudankulam agitators that lives are endangered on account of the possibility of an accident at the nuclear plant to other development projects, India will return to the bullock cart age. Top scientists and knowledgeable persons have assured us that the Kudankulam plant is safe. But the so-called self-appointed scientist, Udayakumar, and a few of his friends assume they know better. Now that the plant is set to be operationalised, they are agitating the innocent villagers, and we are becoming victims of a hidden agenda.