People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy

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The People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy is an anti-nuclear power group in Tamil Nadu, India, founded by S.P. Udayakumar. Since September 2011 the aim of the group is to close the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant site and to preserve the largely untouched coastal landscape, as well as educate locals about nuclear power.[1][2]

S.P. Udayakumar, a Ph.D. in Political Science from Department of Political Science, University of Hawali,USA in 1996, M.A. from International Institute for Peace, is leader of the group. He lives in a village around 30km (18 miles) from the plant site. Udayakumar believes nuclear power benefits only "industrial India", and not the common man. He says the movement has a clear aim: "Our end game is to close down this nuclear power plant. We think that this will have a disastrous impact on our livelihood, on our future generations. Because the Indian government never talks about waste, never talks about decommissioning. It does not tell us the full story."[1]

In March 2012, Udayakumar said: "We have been carrying out hunger strikes, rallies, public meetings, seminars, conferences, and other demonstrations such as shaving our heads, cooking on the street, burning the models of the nuclear plants. This struggle has been going on for the past 197 days and the morale of the people is still very very high".[3][2]

On February 6 2012, Union Minister V. Narayanasamy accused the NGO run by S.P. Udayakumar of receiving foreign funds to the tune of Rs. 1.50 crore. Udayakumar responded to the charge by saying that he was "contemplating suing the Minister after obtaining formal sanction".[4] On February 24 2012, The Hindu reported that the licences of the three NGOs have been cancelled for diverting foreign funds towards anti-nuclear plant campaign in Kudankulam.[5]

Union Minister V. Narayanasamy was quoted as saying “These NGOs were receiving funds from foreign countries for social service… such as helping the physically handicapped and eradication of leprosy, but these [the money] were used for the anti-nuclear [plant] protests. In fact, the people who are agitating near the plant have been continuing their agitation for the past three months. People are being brought there in trucks from various villages. They are being given food.”[5]

On February 25 2012, Narayanasamy wrote a letter to Udayakumar, demanding an explanation for his links with Swedish funded NGO, IDEA. Narayanasamy claimed the government had evidence that SACCER, a NGO run by Udayakumar and his wife, had got funds from abroad. Udayakumar said that he is only on the expert panel of SACCER.[6] Udayakumar said he would take legal action against Congress leader E.V.K.S Elangovan who had accused Udaykumar of being convicted for drug peddling in the US.[6][7]

On Sep 10, 2012 around 1,000 anti-nuclear protesters tried to march towards the plant, the police responded with tear gas shells.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nidhi Dutt (22 November 2011). "India faces people power against nuclear power". BBC News. 
  2. ^ a b Raminder Kaur (9 July 2012). "Nuclear power vs. people power". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 
  3. ^ Fiona Harvey (8 March 2012). "Dramatic fall in new nuclear power stations after Fukushima". The Guardian. 
  4. ^ "Bishop's two NGOs received Rs. 54 crore, alleges Union Minister". 15 August 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Centre pulls the plug on three NGOs". 15 August 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "PMO quizzes N-activist on Swedish links". 15 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Stung NGO’s threat to sue PM, Minister". 15 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Cops clash with villagers near Kudankulam site. Business Standard (2012-09-10). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  9. ^ Kudankulam nuclear plant: Police lathicharge protesters - Times Of India. Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com (2012-09-10). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.