From: Radha Rajan
Subject: Brilliant on Koodankulam - Absolute Must read
Kudankulam protests: Hijacked by the church and the foreign hand?
Generally our Prime Minister rarely opens his mouth and, even then, he speaks little. When it came to Kudankulam our Prime Minister went back to the 1980s vintage, ‘Foreign Hand’ theory when he railed against the protest. This time however, for a change, he made sense.
The story actually begins in 1974. The year in which Indira Gandhi decided that India needed some nuke bombs. Let us say the US was as benevolent towards India after that nuclear test as the US today is towards Iran.
In line with the US policy of benevolence, India was slapped with a trade embargo, which among other things, prevented us from getting something called uranium. And without the uranium, the entire nuclear infrastructure in the country at that time went into panic mode. The reactors were scaled down and power generation was cut because we did not have sufficient fuel.
Since India refused to sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, no uranium-rich, decadent western country was willing to sell it to us. According to them, if India ever got uranium, she would peddle it to the first crackpot dictator who wanted to build a bomb.
India was effectively placed in a quarantine, and denied access to anything that was remotely related to ‘Nuclear’.
The status quo continued till 2006, when George W Bush arrived in India. Amidst all the despicable things George W Bush has inflicted on this world, he has to get credit for one thing. He was the only guy who got Manmohan Singh to talk. In fact ‘Dubya’ Bush is singularly responsible for Manmohan speaking up for something that did not have the word Gandhi in it.
If you are wondering if I’m making that up, here is a clue: do the words INDO-US NUCLEAR DEAL mean anything to you?
Well, for Manmohan Singh, it meant a lot. Hell, it meant so much that, MMS flipped the normal protocol of ‘Madam Tell, Me Follow’ upside down. He allowed India a brief glimpse of a part of his anatomy called the spine. For the first and the last time as a PM, in 2008, he opposed a major coalition partner, stood his ground and got something done.
MMS single-handedly ended India’s three=decade-long nuclear isolation.
But there are no free lunches in the capitalist world.
When the US guys told us they will take care of that NPT thingy and get us all the uranium we need, as a quid pro quo, they demanded a major slice of the Indian nuclear power pizza. In fact they wanted the whole pizza. You see, the whole point of this generous nuclear deal was to ensure the US derives the maximum economic benefit out of our inevitable nuclear boom.
The major hurdle in the quest for that pizza: Kudankulam Nuclear Plant.
You see, the reactors used to generate electricity in Kudankulam, the aforementioned VVER-1000 reactors, are a direct competitor to General Electric’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor. If the VVER-1000 is successful, India might opt for more of these reactors to satiate her power demands, which are projected to go north.
If that happens, the US would become the guy who did everything possible to impress a girl, only to see a direct competitor walking away with the credit and the girl on a first date.
Just think about it: the other nuclear project announced after the deal was signed was Jaitapur. It was a French one.
In short, the US has every reason to pray for the failure of Kudankulam. Mostly because if Kudankulam is successful, the US will be the biggest loser.
After the PM’s accusation (about foreign NGOs creating a hurdle) in the Science Magazine interview, the Home Ministry moved quickly to freeze the accounts of four NGOs – Tuticorin Diocese Association (TDA), Tuticorin Multipurpose Social Service Society (TMSSS), People’s Education for Action and Liberation and Good Vision Trust.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, they were misdirecting the funds meant for social work to fund a political protest. This is explicitly stated as wrong. See Image I.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, has an amazing web-page. It lists all the transactions made by NGOs that receive more than Rs 1 crore a year.
Here is the 2010-2011 account statement of the Tuticorin Multipurpose Social Service Society (TMSSS). Click on link to see Image 2 for details.
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