Indian Left and the Nuclear Googly


Flag of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Flag of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by- – A.Muthukrishnan

The CPIM and CPI are a part of the Konkan Bachao Samiti in Jaitapur which has a resolve of protesting against the world’s biggest nuclear complex which is coming up at Jaitapur. This Jaitapurnuclear plant will not only have safety issue’s but it’s going to make extinct the Alphonso mangoes which this konkan region gifts to the whole world in every season. A committee has been formed which has Prakash Karat and Baradhan as its key leaders. The left parties are also part of the  protest committee against the  Kovvada plant in Srikakulam in Andrapradesh.  But the same parties in Tamilnadu have been welcoming the Nuclear Plant in Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. This dual approach is snowballing into a big debate among Anti Nuke protestors across India. It’s as if the Russian reactors are Communist in nature and the French are Capitalist reactors.

The CPIM and CPI have on the record been pro Kudankulam since the protest began 210 days ago in Kudankulam. They have been ridiculing the protest and have been demanding commissioning of the Nuclear Plant at the earliest as they very strongly think that this is the only way out to overcome the power crisis in Tamilnadu.

Both the parties have been writing editorials and continuous columns in their respective party organs Theekathir and Jana Sakthi advocating nuclear power as the only viable option and that Russian reactors were the safest. They also were frequently quoting Abdul Kalam and M.R.Srinivasan to defend their stands. When this issue was raised with comrades of both the left parties, answer were naïve. Our comrades had an intimate bondage with the  Kudakulam Reactors as they originated from Russia our Comrades share a great nostalgia with the word “Russia” and this was the profound reason. They further went on to say that Russian reactors were tested ones and Areva was going to install a untested reactor in Jaitapur. Both the parties had spoon fed their cadres that this protest was just orchestrated by the American money against a Russian Reactor.

On March 1, 2012 CPI (M) general secretary G. Ramakrishnan stated that based on former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam‘s recommendations, the Centre should ensure the safety of those in and around Kudankulam and allocate Rs.200 crore for development activities.

Similar to this view CPI TN Seceretary D.Pandian also said that power cuts were increasing, affecting all sections of society. The government should initiate all necessary steps to find a solution quickly and overcome the shortage. The CPI supported the commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. The just demands of the local people, such as providing employment opportunities, should be addressed.

On March 24th The State unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday called upon anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) protestors to give up their agitation, as panels of experts appointed by the Centre and the State governments had vouched for the safety of the plants.

In a statement State secretary of the party G. Ramakrishnan welcomed the State government decision to go ahead with the commissioning of the plants. He requested the local people to extend their support for the functioning of the plants. Mr. Ramakrishnan said that instead of resorting to repressive measures such as filing criminal cases against the protestors, the State government should take steps to allay the fears of people about the technology and safety aspects of the Kudankulam project.

On March 25 th CPI secretary D. Pandian also backed the CM’s decision to support commissioning of the Koodankulam plant and demanded that the entire power generated from it be given to TN. The State should initiate dialogue with protesters and demand that the entire 1,000 MW generated in the first reactor should be given to TN till the power crisis in the State was solved, and he also went further to state that “Their apprehensions are borne out of ignorance. It cannot be cleared,” CPI state secretary D. Pandian said, demanding immediate commissioning of the Nuclear plant. Accusing anti-nuke protesters of “holding the country for ransom” the CPI leader said, “It is a national asset and it must be utilised.”

Earlier D. Raja, CPI leader, too, reacted on similar lines saying, if America-based NGOs are playing a role in Kudankulam, then they should be isolated and action should be taken against them.

Just a few days ago when ten thousands of  police forces were moblised by the state against the protestors at the same time CPI state secretary D.Pandian went on the media and said, if u don’t want the Nuclear plant to operate  please come take your compensation and vacate  this place.

Even at the recent Tamilnadu state conference of the CPIM Prakash Karat went on in full length to say that this issue was a bit complicated to explain. “The CPIM stand was that they were pro nukevis-à-vis the first reactor in Kudankulam” as that was a contract between India and the erstwhile Soviet Union, and then went on to say that , “We would oppose the other 3 phases which are about to come up in Kudankulam as they were signed by agreements with the new government in Russia which has a Capitalist character and these were pure business deals. CPIM also is against all the reactors which are mushrooming in India as a result of the 123 pact which transformed India as a military partner with US, UK and France”. This dosage has added to the already confused understanding of the party comrades.

Both the state and central Governments are not ready to address the simple question raised by the anti-nuke protestors but are keen in tainting and intimidating the fisher folk with cases and crackdowns in various shades.  First they tried to paint a communal portrait, then the Congress brought in the hand of Jesus and now it has replaced the hand with a gun, the Naxal angle. The Government and the Nucleuocracy knows well the answers to the questions But the huge billion dollar contracts and the spill offs are more nearer to them.

VVER-1000 reactors pose many safety concerns. Their operating experience raises questions about the reliability of their control-rod mechanism, which is crucial to preventing a runaway fission chain reaction. In the last couple of years, at Temelin in the Czech Republic and at Kozloduy in Bulgaria, numerous control rods, which are supposed to arrest power excursion or reactor misbehaviour, did not move as designed.

On March 1, 2006, when Kozloduy’s Unit FIVE was operating at full capacity, one of the four main circulation pumps tripped due to electrical failure. As reactor power was reduced to 67 percent of nominal capacity, three control-rod assemblies remained in the wrong position. Of the remaining 61 assemblies, 22 did not move with driving mechanisms. The number of control-rod assemblies unable to scram remains unknown. Control-rod insertion failures are considered serious and lead to a severely degraded state of safety if an accident-initiating event occurs. Kozloduy, Temeling to the almost 10 lakh lives lost in the last 25 years in Chernobly the whole power guzzling world needs to learn lessons about risking lives. But even with so much tragedy lying around the VVER the leftists still tilt to the rhythm of nostalgia.

Adding to the VVER and Russian debate Nuclear Cheer leader Abdul Kalam had stated in this article that only 57 persons died in Chernobyl accident. But on the contrary John Vidal says ”Five years ago, I visited the still highly contaminated areas of Ukraine and the Belarus border where much of the radioactive plume from Chernobyl descended on 26 April 1986. I challenge chief scientist John Beddington and environmentalists like George Monbiot or any of the pundits now downplaying the risks of radiation to talk to the doctors, the scientists, the mothers, children and villagers who have been left with the consequences of a major nuclear accident. It was grim. We went from hospital to hospital and from one contaminated village to another. We found deformed and genetically mutated babies in the wards; pitifully sick children in the homes; adolescents with stunted growth and dwarf torsos; fetuses without thighs or fingers and villagers who told us every member of their family was sick. This was 20 years after the accident, but we heard of many unusual clusters of people with rare bone cancers…. Villages testified that ‘the Chernobyl necklace’ – thyroid cancer -was so common as to be unremarkable”, in “Nuclear’s Green Cheerleaders Forget Chernobyl at Our Peril,” The Guardian, April 1, 2011.

S.P.Udayakumar who leads the people’s non voilent struggle at Kudankulam said in an interview that “Both the CPI and CPM are confused. CPM is anti-nuclear in Jatapur, but pro-nuclear in Kudankulam; they are against nuclear weapons, but are pro-nuclear for energy”. The Leftists still think that electricity is directly proportional to the development of this country.

It’s high time that the Left understand the Jaitapur and Kudankulam are twin sisters of the Nuclear Tragedy.

 

Kabhi Haan ,Kabhi Na – Left Parties stand on Nuclear issues


A timeline of statements by Left parties on the Kundalkulum / koodankulam power plant. Just a few days ago when ten thousands of  police forces were moblised by the state against the protestors at the same time CPI state seceratary D.Pandian went on the media and said, if u dont want the Nuclear plantto run please come take your compensation and run out of this place.

On Feb 25,2012

A. Raja, CPI leader,  said, if America-based NGOs are playing a role in Kudankulam, then they should be isolated and action should be taken against them.

On Feb 28th 2012 S.P.Udayakumar who leads the people’s non violent struggle at Kudanklam said in an interview that both   The CPI and CPM are confused. CPM is anti-nuclear in Jatapur, but pro-nuclear in Kudankulam; they are against nuclear weapons, but are pro-nuclear for energy.

On March 1, 2012

CPI (M) general secretary G. Ramakrishnan stated that based on former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam‘s recommendations, the Centre should ensure the safety of those in and around Kudankulam and allocate Rs.200 crore for development activities.
On the same day CPI TN Seceretary D.Pandian

Expressing concern over the deteriorating power situation, Mr. Pandian said that power cuts were increasing, affecting all sections of society. The government should initiate all necessary steps to find a solution quickly and overcome the shortage. The CPI supported the commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. The just demands of the local people, such as providing employment opportunities, should be addressed. 

March 23, 2012 Stop Repression at Koodankulam

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
 Stop Repression at Koodankulam-The CPI(M) condemns the police repression on the people protesting against the commissioning of the nuclear power plant at Koodankulam. Those arrested are being charged with sedition and for waging war against the State which is baseless and unwarranted. There are reports of water supply being cut off and other essential supplies being blocked to the Idinthakari village. The CPI(M) calls upon the state administration not to resort to repression and force against  peaceful protesters. Since there are a number of issues still agitating the people regarding the nuclear plant, the concerned authorities should immediately begin talks to address these issues.

On March 24th

The State unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday called upon anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) protestors to give up their agitation, as panels of experts appointed by the Centre and the State governments had vouched for the safety of the plants.

In a statement here, State secretary of the party G. Ramakrishnan welcomed the State government decision to go ahead with the commissioning of the plants. He requested the local people to extend their support for the functioning of the plants.

Mr. Ramakrishnan said that instead of resorting to repressive measures such as filing criminal cases against the protestors, the State government should take steps to allay the fears of people about the technology and safety aspects of the Kudankulam project.

On March 25 th

CPI seceratary D. Pandian also backed the CM’s decision to support commissioning of the Koodankulam plant and demanded that the entire power generated from it be given to TN. The State should initiate dialogue with protesters and demand that the entire 1,000 MW generated in the first reactor should be given to TN till the power crisis in the State was solved.and he also went further to state that

“Their apprehensions are borne out of ignorance. It cannot be cleared,” CPI state secretary D. Pandian said, demanding immediate commissioning of the nuke plant.

Accusing anti-nuke protesters of “holding the country for ransom” the CPI leader said, “It is a national asset and it must be utilised.”

Some links on their statements

CPI(M) seeks commissioning of Kudankulam project

Today’s Paper » NATIONAL » TAMIL NADU

CHENNAI, March 1, 2012

Special Correspondent

The State Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday urged Central and State governments to initiate steps for commencing operations of the Kudankulam project soon after reviewing the reports submitted by the expert committees.

In a release, CPI (M) general secretary G. Ramakrishnan stated that based on former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s recommendations, the Centre should ensure the safety of those in and around Kudankulam and allocate Rs.200 crore for development activities.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article2948357.ece

 

Give up anti-KKNPP protests: CPI (M)

Today’s Paper » NATIONAL » TAMIL NADU

CHENNAI, March 24, 2012

The State unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday called upon anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) protestors to give up their agitation, as panels of experts appointed by the Centre and the State governments had vouched for the safety of the plants.

In a statement here, State secretary of the party G. Ramakrishnan welcomed the State government decision to go ahead with the commissioning of the plants. He requested the local people to extend their support for the functioning of the plants.

Mr. Ramakrishnan said that instead of resorting to repressive measures such as filing criminal cases against the protestors, the State government should take steps to allay the fears of people about the technology and safety aspects of the Kudankulam project. — Special Correspondent

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article3208162.ece

CPI not to support any party in Sankarankoil

TIRUCHI, March 1, 2012

The Communist Party of India (CPI) will not support any party in the Sankarankoil by-election, its State Secretary D. Pandian said here on Thursday.

“We have decided not to support anybody in the by-election as it is not politically important and will not bring about any change. All are our friends,” he said while briefing reporters on the decisions taken at the party’s day-long State council meeting.

Reiterating the CPI’s demand for an international inquiry into allegations of war crimes in the last stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka, he urged the Indian government not to support Sri Lanka on the issue in the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Mr. Pandian welcomed the stand of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi on the issue.

India should stop all military and financial assistance to Sri Lanka and press the Sri Lankan government for an early political settlement within a specific timeframe.

The CPI cadre will observe fast in district headquarters in the State on March 6 to press the demands, stated a resolution adopted at the council. It appealed to political parties and all sections of people to participate in the agitation. Expressing concern over the deteriorating power situation, Mr. Pandian said that power cuts were increasing, affecting all sections of society. The government should initiate all necessary steps to find a solution quickly and overcome the shortage. The CPI supported the commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. The just demands of the local people, such as providing employment opportunities, should be addressed.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/article2951393.ece

Jaya absolutely right, PM ambiguous: CPI

March 25, 2012

Pandian also backed the CM’s decision to support commissioning of the Koodankulam plant and demanded that the entire power generated from it be given to TN. The State should initiate dialogue with protesters and demand that the entire 1,000 MW generated in the first reactor should be given to TN till the power crisis in the State was solved.

http://expressbuzz.com/topnews/jaya-absolutely-right-pm-ambiguous-cpi/374483.html

Oppn push for K-plant commissioning

With the state government maintaining silence on Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) issue, the Opposition parties — DMK, Congress, Left parties and BJP — are pushing for the commissioning of the project in the wake of unprecedented power crisis facing the state.

The CPI would hold a demonstration seeking commissioning of the nuke plant on Tuesday in the city.

The Opposition parties have raised their pitch for commissioning the plant after the state government appointed expert committee, which submitted its report to chief minister Jayalalithaa on February 28, expressed satisfaction over the plant’s safety aspects.

When the protest gained momentum, the CPI was among other parties which had demanded that the Centre and the state government dispel the apprehensions of the locals before proceeding with the project.

“Their apprehensions are borne out of ignorance. It cannot be cleared,” CPI state secretary D. Pandian said, demanding immediate commissioning of the nuke plant.

Accusing anti-nuke protesters of “holding the country for ransom” the CPI leader said, “It is a national asset and it must be utilised.”

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/chennai/oppn-push-k-plant-commissioning-788


Probe shows foreign hand behind Kudankulam N-protest: PMO

Feb 25,2012

A. Raja, CPI leader, too, reacted on similar lines saying, if America-based NGOs are playing a role in Kudankulam, then they should be isolated and action should be taken against them.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120225/main2.htm

Kudankulam protest: PMANE’s Udayakumar pounds PMO

Feb 28,2012

SP Udayakumar says

The CPI and CPM are confused. CPM is anti-nuclear in Jatapur, but pro-nuclear in Kudankulam; they are against nuclear weapons, but are pro-nuclear for energy.

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/kudakulam-protest-pmanes-udayakumar-pounds-pmo-227526.html/2

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