PROTESTS over the Kudankulam nuclear power plant has reached a new pitch. Thousands of people are being ferried to the area by the orchestrators of the protests, namely the Church under the directions of Bishop Yvon Ambroise. Right from the beginning, the oppose- Kudankulam movement has been in the hands of the Christian missionaries. In these very columns we have discussed and disclosed this.
Now new evidences have surfaced showing pumping of huge amount of money into the NGOs operated by this bishop and others in the movement, amounts that have not been accounted for.
The Tuticorin Multipurpose Social Service Society, Tuticorin Diocese Association (both run by Ambroise), God Vision Trust and People’s Education for Action and Liberation are among the NGOs whose funds were frozen by the Home Ministry following the Prime Minister’s statement in February this year accusing foreign NGOs of opposing the Kudankulam project. TMSSS has received a whopping Rs 420 million in the last five years. It does not even have a website to post information on. The TDA received Rs 220 million. Together, one man received Rs 660 million in five years.
The visible face of the anti-Kudankulam movement has been one Dr Udaykumar, whom the Church has been projecting as the ‘Hindu face’ to debunk the accusation of its involvement. This person, who lives in the house of the local church priest, had dared those who accused him of working on the protest for money. He claimed that he had collected Rs 22,51,519 (22 lakh). He claimed that he had collected Rs 200 from each household in Idinthakarai. Given the population of the village is only about 4000, the number of households cannot be more than 1350 (assuming there are three persons in a household). That in simple maths works out to a little over Rs 260,000. It is puzzling that no one has challenged Udaykumar to keep his word. His supporters have now taken him to a safe point to prevent his arrest. All these and more information are available in the site of [www.firstpost.com.]
Kejriwal, the latest headline monger too has reached the site. He has of late been moving away from the core issue of fighting corruption of the ruling coalition to co-opt several issues of interest and favour to the Congress. His support to anti-Kudankulam campaign has definitely exposed him to be a crass opportunist, out to grab attention, as part of his scheme to jump into the political bandwagon.
Now where does the foreign or church interest come in, one may ask. It springs from the American interest. It is pertinent to point out that though India has signed a nuclear deal with America, we have not yet gotten into an agreement on setting up an American nuclear power plant, on a splurge of a budget, which would offer jobs to the American industry. The Jaitapur project is with France and the Kudankulam with the Russians. It is very much in America’s interest to scuttle these projects so that they can emerge in the scene offering ‘viable’ and ‘safe’ alternatives. Incidentally, Italy is among the major donors to the NGOs mentioned above.
The Indian government has spent thounsads of crores of rupees on the Kudankulam project. It is incumbent upon it to make the maximum use of the facility. To begin with the government should have anticipated and tackled the protests. Though Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde mentioned about the NGOs, he has not named them. Nor has the government carried out credible counter campaign. On the other hand, the protestors have spread the movement to not just that village but to all the neighbouring areas.
The Indian scientists have carried out extensive tests to ascertain that there would be no radiation and the chances of a Fukushima-like disaster are next to nil. In India it has now become an industry to protest and stall development projects. A set of NGOs, with polished, anglicised front men/women do a paid, outsourced job of delaying if not stopping any initiative that may benefit the people. The Jal Satyagrahas and beach styagrahas have to be viewed in this light. The Naxalites are also supported by the Church. Now that the veil has been ripped off the face of the Church involvement in Kudankulam, the government would do well to make use of the offices of the arbitrators of church politics in India to disarm the anti-nuclear plant movement.