Funny: Nuclear Plants, Post Tsunami Wave Heights, and APJ Abdul Kalam.

English: Pic taken at 12th WIEF


Honourable Ex-President of India, Shri APJ Abdul Kalam, has become of an oracle of technology driven big development ideas and tours extensively igniting minds. His role as a roving ambassador for big ticket ideas is so appreciated by the Indian establishment that he is often fielded as a last word in Science in many controversial projects in the country. If Kalam has said it, then how dare can it be untrue goes the general argument. A delightfully informative exchange occurred recently on a forum [






— In andamanicobar@…, “Malini Shankar” <mogli@…>


Friends… sometime ago there were a few posts on this group where former
President of India Sri A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was quoted as saying the last tsunami
was only 5.44 metres in height. I need to read this … in context and I need
the full quote. Can anyone help me please?
Many thanks




“naveen_cas” <naveen.namboo@… naveen_cas


I feel the truth should now be unraveled. The Hon ex-President of India Shri
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was visiting Campbell Bay incognito in late 2004. On
December 26, Boxing Day, he climbed a hilltop in the vicinity of Campbell Bay, a
hilltop that has since been named “Tsunami Tikri”, to enjoy the sunrise.


With his 20-20 vision he espied a large wall of water making its way speedily
towards the shore.


Being a former DRDO functionary, he immediately realised the import of the
situation, and ordered a laser rangefinder to be dropped immediately. He then
trained it on the aforesaid wall of water. With his scientific acumen he took
repeated measurements to reduce the standard deviations of his observations.


This is where there seems to be a mistake. The wave, as per his measurement, was
5.4 +/- 0.002 m, and not 5.44m as has been popularly discussed in this group.
This information seems to be highly dubious.


I guess its reasonable to assume that this was the first out of several waves.
Subsequent measurements would have proved difficult.




sajan venniyoor <venniyoor@… sajanvenniyoor


The Kalam quote came from a PTIreport<\-standards-kalam.html>ona speech made by the former president in Delhi on 24 Nov 2011, at a seminaron “Disaster Risk Reduction: Another important Route to PovertyAlleviation<\olution-of-Risk-Free-Society>”.The 5.44 metre wave height, accurate to two decimal points, wasn’tpart of Kalam’swrittenspeech<\enuname=Speeches%20/%20Lectures&linkid=68&linkname=Recent&content=1949&columnno=&starts=280&menu_image=-&contentsForum=Address%20at%20the%20Seminar%20%22Disast\er%20Risk%20Reduction:%20Another%20important%20Route%20to%20Poverty%20Alleviatio\n%22>.It was probably an off-the-cuff remark, with figures taken from an NPCILdope-sheet<>.Indeed, pretty much all of Kalam’s ‘facts’ were contributed by NPCIL, anagency which may have more than a passing interest in establishing thesafety of their nuclear power plants.How they arrived at this magical figure of 5.44 mts is interesting, and Ifound the calculations in a visitreport<>onthe Kudankulam Project by Dr.MR Srinivasan, former Atomic Energy Commissionchief. They have factored in a run-up height of 2.5 mts, based on theestimated 2004 tsunami wave height, which is straight out of Rauf’s Journalof Irreproducible Results.In other words, they are totally prepared… for the 2004 Tsunami.According to figures easily available outside NPCIL, tsunamis can throw upwaves tens of metres high. The 2004 tsunami surged 15 metres high in someplaces and — according to one well-known tsunamiresearcher<>– southTamil Nadu could see maximum wave heights of up to 9.5 mts in afuture tsunami. (The reactor building in Kudankulam is situated at 8.7 mts).The NPCIL site report confidently states that “in October 2010, NPCIL hascalculated tsunami height at Kudankulam based on recently developedforecasting method in Japan and arrived at a figure of 2 meters. Thus, theconsidered design value of 2.5 meters wave height is adequate.”Of course, if the Japanese developed this exceptional forecasting method in2010, it’s bound to be infalli… wait a minute. Did someone say’Fukushima’?When the Great East Japan tsunami hit in March 2011, subsequentresearch<>show\edthat “along the coast of the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around theFukushima No. 1 plant, the tsunami *substantially exceeded theexpectations*of nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. Everyone of theresearchers’ 28 survey points showed evidence of a wave higher than the 5.7meters TEPCO planners said was the maximum possible at the Fukushima No. 1plant.”Wave heights at Fukushima ranged from around 7 mts, up to *21 mts *in oneplace between Fukushima No.1 and No.2 reactors.With Japanese forecasting methods, Indian technicians on govt salaries andnuclear reactors from the people who gave us Chernobyl, who could possiblydoubt the safety of the Kudankulam power plant?Sajan


PMANE warns of siege to Kudankulam nuke plant


Centre turns down protesters’ plea for White Paper

The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) has warned that its anti-nuke protestors would lay siege to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project site if the Centre commissions the first two reactors in “haste and secrecy”.


A statement from PMANE said the official machinery, which had imposed artificial power cuts in the area with the ulterior motive of commissioning KKNPP early, had also filed hundreds of cases against people who were resorting to non-violent agitation against the upcoming nuclear complex.

PMANE’s warning has come in the backdrop of a senior official attached to the Union Government informing that the KKNPP would attain criticality “within a few days”.


“The Centre, which hanged Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru in secrecy, is trying to commission the KKNPP in a similar fashion.

Thousands of protestors including women and children will lay siege to the nuclear complex in a non-violent fashion if the Centre commissions the first reactor in haste and secrecy,” the statement said.


The people’s movement has been unrelenting despite a good number of experts from former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to Central Expert Committee chairman A.E. Muthunayagam certifying the KKNPP reactors as the safest in the world with futuristic safety features.


Plea turned down

Meanwhile, the Centre has also turned down the protestors’ plea for a White Paper by the Centre on the KKNPP and its reactors.


  • It comes in the backdrop of official informing KKNPP will attain criticality “within a few days”
  • People’s movement unrelenting despite a good number of experts’ assurances


Just A Word Away, From Dr. Abdul Kalam to Women of Idinthakarai

By Anitha.S

30 September, 2012

There was a recent reference to Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam’s statement “ The Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant is a project of God for fulifilling the electricity production and need of this country which will be 50,000 mw in 2030.It is a necessary project” ( Deccan Heralad, Sept 26,2012).

At the same time this came in the newspapers, the women of Idintakarai village, the closest to the KKNPP shared their views on the real project of God. This was not published anywhere but will perhaps go down in the annals of history as a perspective tempered by years of thought about peace and harmony. Chellamma who lost her dear brother Sahayam to a mishap caused by the aircraft which flew low on the people who had aggregated in the sea said in her quiet tone
“ Does this land and sea belong to us? Is it the Government who gave it to us? This sand is sacred .It is a gift of God. We have lived here for ages. We will not leave this land”

Chinna Thankam who taxed her aged body by being on fast for more than a week in March 2012 became eloquent one evening:
“ We are children of the Ocean. We have grown up playing in the ocean. The Ocean mother gives us many gifts by which we live. We do not know of any life away from the sea”

The 2 sentences from the women of Idinthakarai which is echoed by many seems a world away from Dr.Kalam’s statement which is connected to a few megawatts of electricity. It may seem incongruous and not so opportunate to write about 10 year old Shyamili (whose mother went missing since September 10th and who has been found in Trichy jail) who expressed her anguish about the radiated fish that would be exported to other places spreading the danger to children elsewhere”

Many women were more concerned about the future generations and the impact on the sea life and atmosphere. This is happening at a time when the KKNPP is getting the green signal with no comprehensive study yet being done on the ecology and environment of the area. The currents and tides which determine the migratory shoals of fishes on which the fisher folk depend is unknown. The temperature of the ocean which is crucial for the life forms to survive as there is a definite zonation based on the variations in heat and cold. The characteristic pattern of the food chain which determines the abundance of higher forms like fishes are unknown. The producers in the marine food chain like the plankton and algae which inhabit the surface waters in the sea where sunlight is available will be most affected when unfamiliar temperature rise happens. This is in addition to issues of concern like impingement and entrainment and destruction in large numbers of phyto and zoo plankton , fish eggs and larvae of many sea creatures that will hamper the food chain of the marine ecosystem. How can this biological chain reaction that will lead to a biodiversity collapse be enclosed in a single sentence “ this is a project of God” or a blanket statement “ It is safe”? The green clearance that was given in 2008 does not furnish the details of impact of 7 degree rise of temperature on the marine system but just states that for Koodankulam it is this and for Jaitapur it is 5 degree Celsius.

We need to do a complete review of the ecological impact of the Nuclear power plant on the marine and terrestrial ecosystem in the region along with the vulnerability of exposure for migratory fishes and birds along with pelagic birds that inhabit the surface waters. Yes. Koodankulam region is certainly God’s gift not the Koodankulam Nuclear power plant. Because the sea and the land has sustained human life and culture for many years. What we need now is a comprehensive recheck and review of the norms and mandates that have cleared the project. In the case of nuclear power plants where humans are playing God and manipulating the life of future generations, it is never too late to stop. Let Koodankulam be a pointer.

From Dr.Kalam to the women of the coastal villages, Koodankulam is just a word away. And if you change it from a God’s project to a God’s gift a whole world is gained instead of a few megawatts of power.

Anitha.S on 29.9.2012 (

Pratibha Patil to return 155 artifacts to Rashtrapati Bhavan by 15 June 2013, reveals RTI reply

VINITA DESHMUKH | 17/09/2012

To a RTI query by this writer asking about the list of gift items loaned specifically to Pratibha Patil along with the evaluated price of each item, Rashtrapati Bhavan says information not necessary as it is a ‘temporary’ arrangement

The Rashtrapati Bhavan has officially admitted through a RTI (Right to Information) reply to this writer that “An MoU was signed on 15th June 2012 between Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Vidya Bharti Shaikshnik Mandal, Amravati, for display of 155 artifacts/mementos on a purely temporary basis, which in any case, cease to be operative with effect from 15th June 2013 and all the artifacts presently on loan shall be returned to the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum thereafter” but refuses to divulge detailed information on the list of artifacts transferred to Ms Patil’s museum.

The Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the President’s Secretariat takes this ‘temporary’ arrangement as an excuse to not provide the list of artifacts given to Ms Patil to display it in her museum in her hometown, Amravati, along with their individual costs and countries that they were gifted from.

The RTI application filed by me on 3 August 2012, specifically asked the PIO of the President’s Secretariat, “List of gift items loaned specifically to Ms Pratibha Patil along with the evaluated price of each item; from which country did each gift item come from; what was the purpose of her visit when she received each of the gift item.” The reply is “do not arise in view of the answer at (3) above” (which is she would be returning artifacts by 15 June 2013 as the agreement would cease by then.

The RTI reply interestingly suggests that it was President Abdul Kalam who started the trend of moving out gifts received in the capacity of being President of India. The CPIO Saurabh Vjay states in his reply dated 6 September 2012, “No such requests have been made by any former President of India. It is, however, stated that in the past, 36 artifacts were handed over during the Presidency of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam for being displayed in the Brahmos Centre, New Delhi.” This reply came to the writer’s query under RTI seeking “copies of official requests made by Presidents of India for loaning of gifts from 1990 onwards. Provide copies of all such correspondence within the President of India office as well as between President of India office and the relevant district/city authority where the President of India may have resided or the place where she/he wants to display the loaned gift items, form 1990 onwards.”

The RTI reply also states that “no such rules and regulations are available for loaning of gift items received by the President of India. This was in reply to my query, “Copies of Rules/GRs/amendments/correspondence for rules and amended rules regarding gift articles and souvenirs which are received by Presidents of India from other countries and within the country; Copy of rules and regulations for ‘loaning’ official gifts received by President of India to presidents on their retirement or loaned to any other organisation.”

To the query, “How many gift items in total does the ‘Tosha Khana’ of the President’s office have at the moment and what is the total amount in value?” CPIO Saurabh Vijay states in his reply that “as per our records there are about 2,500 gifts in ‘Tosha Khana’ of the President’s Secretariat and as regards the value of these items, no such records are available in the Art section.”  This is indeed shocking for, as per the ministry of home affairs, any contribution in the form of gifts received by President of India or other dignitaries must be valued within 30 days of receipt of gift.

It may be recalled that a museum is being specially set up in Pratibha Patil’s hometown by the family trust, Vidya Bharti Shaikshnik Mandal, run by her politician-son Rajendra Shekhawat.

The writer is filing a first appeal to the President’s Secretariat since the information received is inadequate.

Read the previous article here: Pratibha Patil’s Museum: Gifts received by VVIPs from foreign countries can be purchased by them but can they be loaned?

(Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet – The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart – Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte. She can be reached

Shall we film the President ? #FOE #Censorship


Why doesn’t India make prez movies?

Priyanka Dasgupta, TNN

(Still from Politics of Love )

India doesn’t have a Presidential form of government. Censor Board of Film Certification will not clear a film about our President that’s even remotely controversial.

Indian Presidents have largely led uneventful lives that haven’t interested our directors enough to make movies on that.

The above are just three of the many reasons often put forward when asked about the conspicuous absence of any movies made on the President of our country. The only cinematic indulgence with a rashtrapati has been in the form of Kunaal Roy Kapoor’s The President is Coming starring Konkona Sen Sharma and Shernaz Patel and Subhash Kapoor’s “Phas Gaye Re Obama” starring Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dhupia and Amole Gupte. Unless, of course, one includes Mallika Sherawat’s “Politics of Love” on the unexpected romance that develops between an Indian-American, Democratic campaign worker Aretha Gupta ( Mallika Sherawat) who falls for an African-American Republican Kyle Franklin ( Brian White) before the 2008 US Presidential Election.

While Indian cinema finecombs reality to find drama in real life, those surrounding the President’s life, scandals and controversies have never been a fodder for celluloid. Forget biographical movies, we haven’t even seen any attempts like “Wag The Dog” (about how a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join to “fabricate” a war in order to cover-up a presidential sex scandal), “In The Line of Fire” (about a disillusioned and obsessed former CIA agent who attempts to assassinate the President of the United States and the Secret Service agent who tracks him) or “Vantage Point” (about how the attempted assassination of the American President is told and re-told from several different perspectives). Speculations are rife that Hollywood is making Reagan on the man who once co-starred with a chimp and went on to become the head of the country.

Though it’s not completely incorrect to say that Indian Presidents have largely led uneventful lives, Pranab Mukherjee nomination has been quite engaging. The will-she-won’t-she tension over Mamata Banerjee’s support, her facebook campaign for APJ Abdul Kalam and EC rejecting Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s vote in the presidential election — all that ensured that this year’s presidential poll vaults have entered drawing room conversations. Once in drawing room conversations, has the plot of making of India’s 13th President lent itself to cinema?

Says Anuvab Pal, the script writer of “The President is Coming”, “I don’t think there is anything more to add in fiction that hasn’t already been done in the press about Pranab Mukherjee’s presidential candidature. I would be interested in penning a script on Pranab Mukherjee’s difficulty as a finance minister. I generally like political stories. My new play, “The Bureaucrat”, is getting packed houses because we love to make fun of politics. People stay away from it because they feel if a politician, or party, thinks it’s a mockery of them, they might get into trouble. So, people self-censor.” Pal thinks it would be interesting to write a film on the Indira Gandhi and Giani Zail Singh relationship. “The difficulty would be to make it engaging for the youth today,” he says.

Shyam Benegal, who made a biopic on Netaji, sees no point in India aspiring to make movies on presidents simply because the West has been doing them. “We have a different form of government. Why should we ape the West? We are a nation with work in progress. If I were to make any film, it would be about the political system. If the President gets featured, it would be incidental.”

But for Goutam Ghose, who has made a documentary on Jyoti Basu, a feature film on Pranab Mukherjee is an exciting proposition. “Saying that the Censor Board will create problems or that we don’t have a Presidential form of government is just an alibi. In India Win’s Freedom, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad has argued that India wouldn’t have been divided had our country adhered to a truly federal structure. Lord Mountbatten’s mission messed up the whole thing and partition became a reality. We keep on saying that our President doesn’t have much power. But the Constitution does guarantee our President a lot of power. I’d be interested in making a movie that examines how Pranab babu, rises above the problems between the Centre and state, to truly use his power and ensure that India becomes a federal nation. A plot on how a person, who has served so many portfolios, handles power to address issues of the subaltern classes in India interests me as a director,” Ghose says.



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