#India – Anti-nuke activists urge PM not to sign Nuclear Agreement with Japan


By Newzfirst Bureau5/27/13

New Delhi – In the wake of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Japan, hundreds of people from across the globe have appealed him not to sign the IndiaJapan Nuclear Agreement.

Singh will be visiting Tokyo on Monday, 27th May in a trip that was scrapped last year after a general election was called in Japan.

With an aim to expand the partnership by discussing a wide range of issues including politics and the economy, it is expected to include the signing of infrastructure projects deals worth $15 billion, say reports.

“We stand in complete opposition to the India-Japan nuclear cooperation agreement that is currently under intense negotiation. The governments of both countries must refrain from promoting nuclear commerce, jeopardizing the health and safety of their people and environments.” reads the petition addressed to the both Indian and Japanese authorities.

Referring the Fukushima accident and post-accident impacts, the petition further reads thatIndia must behave responsibly and should rethink its use of nuclear energy.

Nuclear energy currently provides less than 3% of its total electricity and can be easily replaced, freeing the country to embrace renewable and sustainable alternatives, it adds.

Petitioners have also appealed the Government of Japan to desist the Nuclear Export Policy, through which it exports nuclear technology to other countries.

“The current policy option of exporting nuclear energy to countries like India, Vietnam, Jordan etc… are totally unjust while Japan is reeling under the huge financial losses posed by the Fukushima accident and its citizens are observing massive protests to demand a nuclear-free future and the victims of the triple meltdowns remain uncompensated.” the petition says.

(IANS)

 

PRESS RELEASE-Letter from Jail: Maruti Suzuki Workers Union ( English and Hindi )


March 27, 2013, http://marutisuzukiworkersunion.wordpress.com/

Guest Post by MARUTI SUZUKI WORKERS UNION
(Reg. No. 1923, IMT Manesar)

Appeal from Jail
Stand in Solidarity with us for Justice

We are workers of Maruti Suzuki, who are behind bars since 18.07.2012 as part of a conspiracy, and without any just investigation. 147 of us are inside Gurgaon Central Jail. Since July, 2500 permanent and contract workers have been terminated from our jobs. In these past more than 8 months, we have sent our appeal to almost all administrative officials and elected representatives, including Chief Minister Haryana and the Prime Minister of India. But neither have our appeals been heard nor have we been granted bail.

 

The Chargesheet filed by the Haryana police in the Court has no names of any witnesses, and hence is incomplete. This is only a glimpse of the continuous attack on our democratic rights on arbitrary grounds, and we see how law is bent towards siding with company owners. Many of our fellow workers are without parents or guardians, and have been shouldering the entire burden of the household. Many workers’ wives were pregnant when we were put behind bars. And even when the time of their delivery came, the workers were not granted bail, or even parole custody. We do not know under what circumstances their deliveries took place. We give a few instances:

1. One of our fellow workers, Sumit s/o Late Shri Chattar Singh, has no one in the family except his wife. Even then, when she gave delivery on 6.12.2012 in a hospital in Gurgaon, the bail plea or parole custody plea of Sumit was rejected.

2. One of our fellow workers, Vijendra s/o Dalel Singh was the lone earning member in his family. His mother stays sick at most times and was not able to accompany or help her daughter-in-law when she gave her delivery on 10.01.2013 in a hospital in Jhajjhar. Even then, Vijendra was neither granted bail nor let off on parole.

3. In the case of one of our fellow workers, Ramvilas s/o Late Shri Silak Ram, his grandmother, who fell sick after Ramvilas was put behind the bars as he was too affectionate to her, passed away on 26.02.2013. Ramvilas was not even let off on parole to meet his grandmother on her death-bed or to attend the funeral. After few days when it was the time of his wife’s delivery, his request for bail or parole custody was turned down. It caused a mental shock to him.

4. One of our fellow workers, Prempal, s/o Shri Chhiddilal, had the responsibility to look after his family alone, as his family’s livelihood depended entirely depended on his earnings. When he was thrown into jail arbitrarily, his two years old daughter mourning her father’s absence, fell sick and breathed her last. This wound was yet to heal, when Prempal’s mother aggrieved by the imprisonment of her son and the death of her granddaughter fell sick and passed away. But even after this, Prempal’s meager one-week parole leave permission was rejected and he was allowed only a one-hour parole visit on the next day of his grandmother’s funeral. His wife, now alone in the house and mourning the death of her daughter and Prempal’s mother, fell sick and had to be hospitalized. She is still unwell and there is no one to look after her. It has caused terrible mental agony for Prempal.

5. One of our fellow workers, Rahul, s/o Shri Vinod Ratan, was the only son of his parents, along with a sister. His sister got married on 16.11.2012. But he was not even granted parole custody to attend the ceremony for kanyadan. The marriage of the sole daughter took place in an environment of sadness, and Rahul is yet to recover from this wound.

6. One of our fellow workers, Subhash, s/o Shri Lal Chand, was very close to his grandmother. After his imprisonment, his grandmother almost stopped taking food and all the time used to think of his grandson, and passed away in grief some days later. But Subhash was not allowed even to attend her funeral on parole custody.

These and many other incidents that go on daily in our lives are enough to fill up the pages of an entire book.

About ourselves: our identity, family and work

We all are children of workers and peasants. Our parents, with huge effort and sacrifice, ensured our 10th standard, 12th standard or ITI education, helped us stand on our feet to do something worthy in our life and help our family in need.

We all joined Maruti Suzuki company after passing the written and viva-voce tests conducted by the company and on the terms and conditions set by the company. Before our joining, the company carried out all kinds of investigations, like police verification of our residential proof or whether we had criminal records! Neither of us had any previous criminal record.

When we joined the company, the Manesar plant of the company was under construction. At that stage we foreseeing our future with the progress of the plant invested huge energy and diligence to lift the Manesar plant of the company to a new height. When the entire world was struggling under the economic crisis, we worked extra two hours daily to materialize a production of 10.5 lakh cars in a year. We were the sole creators of the increasing profit of the company, and today we are implicated as criminals and murderers, and those who engage in ‘mindless arson’!

Almost all of us are from poor worker or peasant families which has been dependent on our job. We were struggling to weave dreams for our and our family’s future, such as of our own homes, of the better education for our brothers-sisters and children so that they could have a bright future and ensure a comfortable life for their parents who took the pain to bring after them.

But in return, we were being exploited inside the company in all possible ways, such as:

1. At work, if any worker was unwell, he was not allowed to go to the dispensary and was forced to continue with the work in that condition.

2. We were not allowed to go to the toilet, the permission was there only at tea or lunch time.

3. Management used to behave with the workers very rudely with abusive language, and used to even slap or make them murga in order to punish them.

4. If a worker was forced to take 3-4 days leave because of his ill health or some accident or other serious problem in his family or because of the death of a relative, then half of his salary which amounted to almost Rs. 9000 used to be deducted by the company.

Because of this continuous exploitation, the workers felt the need of forming a Union. Maruti Suzuki company was against the idea of a union, and because of that, three strikes of the workers took place in 2011. After the third strike, thirty fellow workers of ours were forced to resign as they had participated in the strikes. But at last in February 2012 we were successful in registering our Union, in which the then HR Manager, Late Shri Awanish Kumar Dev, helped us. The company was angry with Mr. Dev because of his helpful attitude towards us and as a result, Mr. Dev resigned from the company. But the company did not accept the resignation of him as they were afraid that their misdeeds could get exposed. To crush the union and to remove Mr. Dev from its way, the company with a previously chalked out plan called the bouncers and hooligans in the factory premises on 18th July 2012 and materialized the ‘accident’.

The present situation of the workers inside the Jail

We, 147 workers in total, were thrown behind the bars without any just enquiry, and we are now here for more than 8 months. We are under severe psychological stress inside the jail. Many of us are suffering from diseases like tuberculosis, piles, mental imbalance and several other diseases.

Almost all of us were earning members in our family and we are in jail now. Due to this our families are approaching the situation of dying of hunger. The education of the female members of the family and the children have stopped, which are otherwise their fundamental rights. The future of ours and our families has plunged into darkness. All the members of our families are mentally too disturbed. We are afraid lest they not take any wrong step because of the mental pressure.

The present situation of the terminated workers outside the jail

Apart from putting 147 workers behind the bars, the company terminated the service of almost 2500 regular and contract workers without any domestic enquiry and these workers are unemployed now. The condition of their families is also very serious. The situation is that they don’t have any proof of work experience, their career is doomed and whoever of them comes forward in our support, he is arrested and jailed immediately (the arrest of Imaan Khan, who was a member of Provisional Working Committee of MSWU and whose name was not there in the FIR, Charge-sheet or SIT report; also the names of 65 workers are under non-bailable arrest warrants). None of the jailed workers or the terminated workers outside have any occupation to sustain the livelihood of people dependent on them and it is putting everyone under mental pressure. Still, against all these odds, the struggle for justice of our fellow workers outside is giving us hope and energy behind the bars. In this struggle that has gone outside the factory in society now for more than 8 months, news of the solidarity that we have received from various parts of the country from workers, toilers and common people has continued to give us hope, and enthused our spirits.

There is no door of any elected representative that we have not knocked in the space of these 8 months. We’ve taken our appeal for justice from the State Industries minister to the Chief Minister, but the government is bent backwards in trying to take side with the company management and owners rather than listen to us workers. We appeal to the government for the last time, that before we are forced into a situation of committing suicide or killing others, we are given justice which is due to us.

We hope to have your solidarity and your opinion.

Maruti Suzuki Workers Union

(The entire Union body of MSWU is behind the bars of Gurgaon Central Jail, where a total of 147 workers continue to languish without any justice, or even bail. This letter of appeal has been sent from there.)

अपील (जेल की बंद दीवारों से)
न्याय के लिए हमारे समर्थन में खड़े हों

मारुति सुजुकी वर्कर्स यूनियन
(रजि. नॉ. 
1923, IMT मानेसर)

 

हम मारुति सुजुकी के वो मजदूर है जिनको 18-7-2012 की दुर्घटना का इल्जाम लगाकर बिना किसी न्यायिक जांच के जेल में डाल दिया गया हैं. हम 147 मजदूर अभी भी गुडगाँव सेंट्रल जेल के सलाखों के पीछे बंध हैं. जुलाई के बाद लगभग 2500 पक्के और कच्चे कर्मचारियों को नौकरी से निकाल दिया गया. पिछले 8 महीनों से हम हरियाणा और केन्द्रीय सरकार के बहुत सारे उच्च अधिकारियों, हरियाणा राज्य के मुख्यमंत्री और देश के प्रधानमंत्री जी को भी कई बार अपील कर चुके हैं. लेकिन न तो हमारी कहीं सुनाई हो रही है, न ही हमें जमानत दी जा रही है. और तो और, जो हरियाणा पुलिस ने चार्जशीट कोर्ट में पेश की है, उसमें किसी गवाह का नाम नही है और वह आधी अधूरी है. हमारा लोकतान्त्रिक अधिकारो का हनन लगातार हो रहा हैं, और कानून को कंपनी मालिकों के स्वार्थ में व्यवहार किया जा रहा हैं. इस दौरान बहत से कर्मचारियों ने अपने परिवार के सदस्य के साथ-साथ बहत कुछ खो दिया है. काफी मजदूर ऐसे भी है जिनके माता-पिता नहीं हैं और पुरे परिवार का पालन पोषण का भार उन्ही पर है. काफी ऐसे भी साथी हैं, जब उन्हें जेल में डाला गया, तब उनकी पत्नियाँ गर्भवती थी. उनकी डिलीवरी के समय भी कर्मचारियों को न तो जमानत दी गयी, न ही पे-रोल पे छुट्टी दी गयी और न ही पे-रोल कस्टडी में ही भेजा गया. परिवार में अकेली होने के कारण व पति के जेल में होने के कारण, पता नहीं किन परिस्थितियों में उनकी डिलीवरी हुई है. इसके हम निचे कुछ उदाहरण प्रस्तुत कर रहे है:-

  1. हमारे एक साथी सुमित S/O स्वर्गीय श्री छत्तर सिंह के घर में सुमित और उनकी पत्नी के अलावा कोई अन्य पारिवारिक सदस्य नहीं है. लेकिन फिर भी दिनांक 6.12.2012 को उनकी पत्नी की डिलीवरी गुडगाँव के एक अस्पताल में हुई और उनकी देखभाल के लिए सुमित को कोई भी राहत प्रदान नहीं की गई.
  2. हमारे एक साथी विजेंद्र S/O स्वर्गीय श्री दलेल सिंह अपने परिवार का पालन पोषण करनेवाला अकेला सदस्य है. उसके घर में उसकी पत्नी व बिमार माँ है. उसकी पत्नी की डिलीवरी 10.01.2013 को झज्जर के एक अस्पताल में हुई. विजेंद्र के माँ के बिमार होने के कारण उसकी पत्नी कि डिलीवरी के समय देखभाल करनेवाला कोई नहीं था. लेकिन फिरभी विजेंद्र को पत्नी के देखभाल के लिए डिलीवरी के समय कोई राहत नहीं दी गई.
  3. हमारे साथी रामबिलास S/O स्वर्गीय श्री सीलक राम की दादीमा 26.02.2013 को रामबिलास के वियोग में बिमार हो कर स्वर्ग सिधार गई, क्योकि वह उसकी दादीमा का बहुत लाडला था. और तो और उसे दाह-संस्कार में सामिल होने या दादीमा के अंतिम दर्शन करने के लिए पेरोल कस्टडी में भी नहीं ले जाया गया. कुछ ही दिनों के बाद जब उसकी पत्नी कि डिलीवरी होनी थी तो उसकी जमानत या छुट्टी के लिए याचिका लगाई गई तब भी उसे कोई राहत नहीं दी गई. इससे उसके ऊपर बड़ा मानसिक आघात हुआ है.
  4. हमारे एक साथी प्रेमपाल S/O श्री छिद्दीलाल के उपर पुरे परिवार के पालन पोषण का भार है, वह जब जेल में आया था तब उसके परिवार की रोजी-रोटी उसी के बलबूते पर टिकी हुई थी. परन्तु उसके जेल में आने के बाद उसकी इकलौती बेटी जो मात्र दो साल की थी, जो अपने पापा के वियोग में बीमार होकर पापा-पापा करते हुए भगवान को प्यारी हो गई. ये जख्म अभी हरा ही था कि तभी कुछ दिन बाद प्रेमपाल की माँ बेटे के वियोग में व अपनी लाडली पोती के वियोग में बीमार होकर स्वर्ग सिधार गई. हद तो तब हो गई जब उसकी एक सप्ताह कि छुट्टी भी ख़ारिज कर दी गई व उसे मात्र एक घंटे के लिए दाह-संस्कार होने के अगले दिन पे-रोल कस्टडी में भेजा गया. जबकि गुडिया व माताजी के देहांत के दुःख में घर में अकेली उसकी पत्नी भी बीमार होने के कारण अस्पताल में दाखिल करवानी पड़ी जो अभी भी बिमार है तथा उसकी देखभाल करनेवाला कोई नहीं है. और इस कारण प्रेमपाल बहुत अधिक मानसिक दबाव में है.
  5. हमारे एक साथी राहुल S/O श्री विनोद रतन जो घर में अपने माँ-बाप का एक इकलौता बेटा है व उसकी एक ही बहन है. उसकी बहन कि शादी दिनांक 16.11.2012 को हुई. परन्तु उसे कस्टडी में भी अपनी बहन के शादी के कन्यादान के लिए नहीं भेजा गया जिसके कारण घर की इकलौती बेटी की शादी होते हुए भी घर में मातम जैसा माहौल रहा और राहुल मानसिक दबाव में है.
  6. हमारे एक साथी सुभाष S/O श्री लाल चंद जो कि अपनी दादीमा का बहुत लाडला था. जब वह जेल में आया तो उसके वियोग में उसके दादीमा खाना-पीना छोड़ दिया व कुछ दिन में ही अपने पोते को याद करते हुए स्वर्ग सिधार गई. परन्तु सुभाष को दाहसंस्कार या अंतिम दर्शन के लिए पे-रोल कस्टडी में भी नहीं भेजा गया.

ऐसी और कितनी ही दुख भरी घटनाएँ है जिन्हें लिखते लिखते एक पूरी किताब बन जाये !

हमारे बारे में: परिचय, परिवार, नौकरी

हम सभी किसान या मजदूरों के बच्चे हैं. माँ-बाप ने हमे बड़ी मेहनत से खून-पसीना एक करके 10वी-12वी या ITI शिक्षा दिलवाई व इस लायक बनाया कि इस जीवन में कुछ बन सके व अपने परिवार का सहारा बन सके.

हम सभी ने कंपनी द्वारा भर्ती प्रक्रिया में लिखित व् मौखिक परीक्षायों को पास करके व् कंपनी की जो जो भी नियम व शर्ते थी, उनपर खरे उतर कर मारुति कंपनी को ज्वाइन किया. जोइनिंग करने से पहले, कंपनी ने सभी प्रकार से हमारी जांच करवाई थी, जैसे- घर की थाने तहसील की व क्रीमिनल जांच करवाई गई थी! पिछले समय का हमारा कोई क्रिमिनल रिकार्ड नहीं हैं.

जब हमने कंपनी को ज्वाइन किया तब, कंपनी का मानेसर प्लांट निर्माणाधीन था. हमने अपने कड़ी मेहनत व लगन से अपने भविष्य को देखते हुए, कंपनी को एक नयी उचाई पर ले गए. जब पूरी दुनिया में आर्थिक मंदी छायी हुई थी, तब हमने प्रतिदिन दो घंटे एक्स्ट्रा टाइम देकर साल में 10.5 लाख गाड़ियों का निर्माण किया था. कंपनी की लगातार बढ़ते मुनाफा का हम ही पैदावार रहे हैं, जबकि आज हमे अपराधी और खूनी ठहराया जा रहा हैं.

हम लगभग सभी मजदूर गरीब मजदूर-किसान परिवारों से हैं जिनकी जीविका हमारी नौकरी पर ही निर्भर हैं. हमनें अपने व अपने परिवार के भविष्य के सपने बुन रखे थे, कि हमारा भी अपना घर होगा. भाई-बहन व बच्चो को अच्छी शिक्षा दिलाएंगे, ताकि उनका भविष्य भी उज्जवल हो सके व माता-पिता जिन्होंने इतने कष्ट उठाकर हमें इस लायक बनाया कि हम अपने पैरों पे खड़े हो सकें, उनका जीवन आरामदायक बनायेंगे.

कंपनी में हमारा हर प्रकार से शोषण हो रहा था, जैसे कि-

 

  1. किसीको भी तबियत ख़राब होने पर डिस्पेंसरी न जाने देना व बिमारी की हालत में भी पूरा काम करवाना.
  2. यहाँ तक कि टॉयलेट भी नहीं जाने दिया जाता था. केवल लांच या टि-टाइम में ही जाने दिया जाता था.
  3. अधिकारीयों का कर्मचारियों के साथ भद्दा व्यवहार व गालिया देना और कभी कभी तो दंड देने के लिए थप्पड़ मारना व मुर्गा बना देना.
  4. यदि किसी कर्मचारी के साथ या उसके परिवार के किसी सदस्य के साथ दुर्घटना या कोई समस्या होने पर या यहाँ तक की किसी सम्बन्धी की मृत्यु होने पर यदि कर्मचारी दो या चार दिन की छुट्टी लेता था, तो उसकी सेलरी का आधा भाग, लगभग नौ हज़ार रुपये काट लिया जाता था.

इस प्रकार शोषण के कारण कर्मचारियों को यूनियन कि जरूरत महसूस हुई. कंपनी यूनियन के खिलाफ थी, जिनके कारण हमारी साल 2011 में तीन हड़ताल हुई, जिसमे हमारे तीस साथियों को नौकरी से निकाल दिया गया. लेकिन आख़िरकार हमने फरवरी 2012 में यूनियन का रजि. करवाया, जिसमे हमारी मदद एच.आर. मैनेजर स्वर्गीय श्री अवनिश कुमार देव ने कि थी. हमारी मदद करने के कारण कंपनी देव जी से बहुत खफा हो गई थी, जिसके चलते देव जी ने नौकरी से अपना इस्तीफा दे दिया था. कंपनी ने पोल खुलने के डर से उनका इस्तीफा नामंजूर कर दिया था. यूनियन को तोडवाने व देव जी को रास्ते से हटाने के लिए एक योजनाबंध तरीके से बाउन्सरों व गुंडों को बुलाकर 18  जुलाई 2012 की ‘दुर्घटना’ को अंजाम दिया.

 

अब कि स्थिति

हम 147 मजदूरों को बिना किसी न्यायिक जाँच किये जेल में डाल दिया गया. हमारा जेल में बंध रहते 8 महीनें से ज्यादा समय हो चुका है. यहाँ जेल में हम बहुत मानसिक दबाव झेल रहे है. कई लोगों को टी. बी., पिलिया व किसीको दौरे पड़ रहे है. और बहुत सारे कर्मचारियों को अन्य काफी बिमारियों का सामना करना पड़ रहा है.

हमारे लगभग सभी परिवारों में कमाने वाले केवल हम थे जो जेल में बंध हैं. जिसके कारण परिवारों को भूखे मरने की नोबत आ गई है. औरोतों और बच्चों कि शिक्षा तक भी छुट गई है जो कि उनका मौलिक अधिकार है. हमारा और हमारे परिवार का भविष्य अंधकार हो गया है. हमारे परिवार के सभी सदस्य भी मानसिक तौर पर बहुत परेशान है. हमे डर हैं कि वो परेशानी के कारण कोई गलत कदम न उठाये.

 

जेल से बाहर कर्मचारियों कि मौजूदा स्थिति

147 कर्मचारियों को जेल में डालने के साथ साथ कंपनी ने लगभग 2500 कच्चे और पक्के कर्मचारियों की बिना किसी न्यायिक जाँच के नौकरी से निकाल दिया और वह बेरोजगार हो गए. उनकी परिवारों की  स्थिति भी गंभीर है. यहा तक कि उनके पास कोई एक्सपीरियंस डोकुमेंट प्रूफ नहीं है और उनका पूरा कैरियर बर्बाद हो चूका है और उनमे से जो भी कोई हमारी पैरवी करने के लिए आगे आता है, उसे भी उठाकर जेल में डाल दिया जाता है (जैसे साथी ईमान खान के साथ किया गया, जिसका नाम कोई एफ.आई.आर., चार्जशीट या एस.आई.टी. रपट में नहीं था; 65 मजदूरों के ऊपर अभी भी गैर-जमानती वारंट जारी हैं). जेल में बंध कर्मचारियों और बाहर बेरोजगार कर्मचारियों के पास अपनी जीविका चलाने का कोई भी साधन नहीं है, जिसके चलते सभी मानसिक दबाव में है. लेकिन इन हालातों के बीच भी जेल के बहार के हमारे साथी जो न्याय के लिए संघर्ष जारी रखे हैं, उससे हमे इन सलाखों के पीछे भी आशा और उर्जा मिलती हैं. आठ महीने के उपर चल रहे इस संघर्ष में हमे देश के अलग अलग प्रान्त से मजदूर, मेहनतकश और आम जनता के समर्थन के खबरे आती रही हैं, जो भी हमे उम्मीद देती रही हैं.

हम अपनी जाँच की मांगों को लेकर सरकार के लगभग सभी मंत्रियों से मिल चुके हैं. राज्य उद्योग मंत्री, मुख्यमंत्री से लेकर प्रधानमंत्री से भी न्याय की गुहार लगा चुके हैं, लेकिन सरकार हरियाणा के मजदूर-कर्मचारियों की बजाये कंपनी मालिकों की ही तरफ झुकी हुई है. हम अंतिम बार सरकार से अपील करते है कि मरने या मारने के इस मुकाम तक पहुचने से पहले हमारे साथ न्याय हों.

हमे आपकी समर्थन और राय कि जरुरत है. कृपया अपनी राय और सहायता दें !

 

मारुति सुजुकी वर्कर्स यूनियन

(MSWU यूनियन के पूरे पदाधिकारी गुडगाँव सेंट्रल जेल के अन्दर बंध हैं, जहा अभी भी 147 मजदूर बिना जांच या जमानत कैद हैं; यह अपील कि चिट्ठी वही से भेजा गया हैं.)

 

 

Contact: marutiworkerstruggle@gmail.com

 

The Silent and Telling Emergency in India



S. P. Udayakumar, Idinthakarai, June 26, 2012

Today is the 37th anniversary of the infamous emergency that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed on the people of India. While some people were quite happy that the bureaucrats came to offices on time, shopkeepers kept price lists outside their shops, trains were punctual and so forth, many people were worried and concerned about the curtailment of our freedoms and entitlements. As a 15-year-old boy, I was worried about my father’s safety (as he was active in the DMK party), the complete absence of freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, and most importantly, freedom from fear. People were afraid to speak their minds out, the newspapers were full of blank spaces because of censorship, and the society was enveloped by a thin layer of fear and suspicion. That was not the India I had grown up to love and cherish. Never did I imagine even in my wildest nightmares that I would find myself in a similar but silent emergency after some 37 years of liberty and freedom.

Today is the 100th day of my and Pushparayan’s self-exile here at Idinthakarai. On March 18, 2012 at 4:45 PM the Personal Assistant (General) of the Tirunelveli Collector called me and asked me and Fr. F. Jayakumar, the Parish Priest of Idinthakarai, to go and meet the Collector in his office the next morning at 10 am. The Collector, Dr. R. Selvaraj, himself called me later that night and the next day morning asking us to go and meet him. A warning bell rang in my mind and I told my friends that we were all going to be arrested. My intuition proved to be right; some 200 of our friends from Koodankulam, Koottapuli, Chettikulam and Erode were arrested. Rayan and I and 13 others embarked on an indefinite hunger strike demanding our friends’ immediate and unconditional release.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr. Vijayendra Bidari, called me on my mobile on March 19th evening and asked me to surrender. With him still on the phone, I asked the thousands of people who had gathered there for their permission to surrender and they all shouted down the idea. I asked the SP to send enough vehicles and two officers with the arrest warrants so that we all would get arrested en masse. He did not like that idea and hung up by saying, This is the last time I speak to you. We used to speak to each other quite often as I got his oral permission for all our rallies, campaigns and public meetings.

Ever since March 18th, Rayan and I never left this small coastal village (except two short visits to the nearby Kuthenkuzhi village by sea). Thousands of people including women and children from all the neighboring villages were keeping a constant round-the-clock vigil to protect us from police action. The Tamil Nadu government imposed 144 prohibitory orders in our area and blocked our access to food, water, electricity and other essentials such as baby food, vegetables and fruits. Young mothers were forced to feed their babies sugar water; pregnant women could not go to hospital; and men could not leave or enter the village. We were surrounded by a massive deployment of police personnel from all over Tamil Nadu and paramilitary forces. We rightly called the situation another Mullivaikal. Indeed, it was!

Pushparayan, Jesuraj and I are not afraid of police arrest or incarceration; we just do not want the struggle to be folded up by the Tamil Nadu police, the Government of India and its intelligence agencies. This is the reason why we have decided not to venture out of Idinthakarai. This self-exile has not been easy or smooth-going. But the singular achievement of our self-exile is keeping the struggle alive and active with several hunger strikes, public meetings, campaigns, planning meetings and other assorted activities.

So far, more than 300 false cases have been filed against us, the leaders of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), and the struggling people of southern Tamil Nadu. Up until December 31, 2011 some 170 FIRs were filed against us. A friend tabulated these cases and had this to say: Just between September and December 2011, FIRs (First Investigation Report) have been filed against 55,795 people and an undisclosed number of “others.” At least 21 sections of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) have been used, include Section 121 (Waging War against the Government of India) against 3600 people, and Section 124A (Sedition) against 3200 people. The Koodankulam police station has the dubious distinction, perhaps, of being the station where the largest number of “sedition” and “waging war” cases has been filed in the shortest time in the history of colonial and independent India. Here is a partial list of cases that were filed against us just in October and November of 2011:

Cr. No. 299/11 D.O. 13.10.11

Sec. 121, 143, 188, 153(A), 341, 506(1), 505(1)(b) & 7(1)(a) CLA Act R/W 120(b)

S P. Udayakumar and 19 others (including 4 women)

Cr. No. 301/11 D.O. 14.10.1

Sec. 143, 147, 188 R/W 34

S. P. Udayakumar and 13 others (including one woman) as well as 2,000 people

Cr. No. 303/11 D.O. 14.10.11

Sec. 147, 148, 341, 294(b), 353, 506(ii) IPC R/W 34.

S. P. Udayakumar and 13 others (including one woman) as well as 1,000 people

Cr. No. 304/11 D.O. 14.10.11

Sec. 147, 148, 452, 121, 506(I) IPC R/W 34 IPC

S. P. Udayakaumr and 2 others as well as 15 supporters

Cr. No. 305/11 D.O. 14.10.11

Sec. 147, 148, 452, 121, 506(I) IPC R/W 34 IPC

S. P. Udayakumar and two others as well as many people

Cr. No. 306/11 D.O. 14.10.11

Sec. 147, 148, 452, 121, 506(I) IPC R/W 34 IPC

Allwyn and four others as well as many people
Cr. No. 307/11 D.O. 14.10.11

Sec. 147, 148, 452, 121, 506(II) IPC R/W 34 IPC

S. P. Udayakumar and three others as well as many
Cr. No. 315/11 D.O. 15.10.11

Sec. 109, 121, 124 (A), 125, 143, 153(A), 341, 353, 505(1)(b), 506(i) IPC & Sec 3 of

PDDL Act & 7(1)(a) CLA Act. R/W 120 IPC

S. P. Udayakumar and 16 others (including 6 priests, 2 doctors, 2 women)

Cr. No. 316/11 D.O. 16.10.11

Sec. 147, 188, 353, 341 R/W 34 IPC.

S. P. Udayakumar and 13 others
Cr. No. 372/11 D.O. 21.11.11

Sec. 121, 124A, 143, 153(A), 447, 505(1)(b) & 7(1)(a) CLA Act, 120(B).

S. P. Udayakumar and 14 others as well as 3,000 people
Cr. No. 373/11 D.O. 21.11.11

Sec. 143, 188, 147, 124(A), 153(A)

S. P. Udayakumar and 19 others as well as 450 people
As you can see, some of the above cases carry the charges of sedition and waging war against the Indian State. But what is interesting is the fact that the Prime Minister of India, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the Tirunelveli District Collector, the Tirunelveli Superintendent of Police (SP) and many other officials have been meeting with us on a regular basis as the diary below establishes. The question here is if we are guilty of sedition and of waging war against the Indian State and so forth, don’t these officials become co-conspirators in our crimes and stand accused of abetting us, the dangerous criminals? Shouldn’t the same charges be brought against them also?

September 15, 2011

Tamil Nadu Ministers Mr. Chellapandian, Mr. Chenthur Pandian, Mr. Shanmuganathan, Mr. Nainar Nagendran, MLA, and Mr. Rajendran, MLA came along with the District Collector, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Superintendent of Police (SP), Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) and a few other officials to Radhapuram to meet with the Struggle Committee members.

September 21, 2011

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu met with us in her office and passed a cabinet resolution the next day asking the central government to halt all the work until the fears and concerns of the local people were allayed. The Catholic Bishops of Kottar and Thoothukudi and the CSI Bishops of Tirunelvei and Thoothukudi and several other prominent citizens were with us. The CM talked to us for some 45 minutes.

October 7, 2011

A large delegation of the Struggle Committee members, the Catholic Bishops of Kottar and Thoothukudi and the CSI Bishops of Tirunelvei and Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu politicians, MPs and Tamil Nadu ministers met with the Prime Minister of India under the leadership of Tamil Nadu Finance Minister, Mr. O. Panneerselvam. Minister of State Mr. V. Narayanaswamy, Dr. Sreekumar Banerjee, the head of the Department of Atomic Energy, Dr. S. K. Jain, the head of the NPCIL, Mr. Shivsankar Menon, National Security Advisor, were also with us during the meeting.

October 10, 2011

Some of the Struggle Committee members had talks with the RDO and Additional Deputy SP (ADSP) from 12:30 to 3:00 PM; we insisted on their honoring the Tamil Nadu Cabinet resolution and stopping work at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

October 20, 2011

Some of the Struggle Committee members met with Kerala Minister Mr. P. J. Joseph, Chief Minister Mr. Oomen Chandi, and the opposition leader Mr. V.S. Achuthanandan in their homes and/or offices.

November 1, 2011

Some of the Struggle Committee members were at the Collector office talking to the Collector from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm.

November 7, 2011

Some members of the Struggle Committee spent several hours talking to the Collector in his office.

November 8, 2011

M. Pushparayan and Mi. Pa. Jesuraj met with the Central Government’s Expert Group and held talks at the Collector’s office; the Collector and the SP also participated in the meeting.
November 16, 2011

Some of the Struggle Committee members met the SP in his office at 3:00 pm; then we met with the District Revenue Officer (DRO) and the Collector’s Personal Assistance (General) at the Collector Office.

November 18, 2011

In the second meeting of the team, M. Pushparayan and Mi. Pa. Jesuraj met with the Central Government’s Expert Group and held talks at the Collector’s office; the Collector and the SP also participated in the meeting.

November 30, 2011

Some of the Struggle Committee members went to the Collector’s office and met with the PA(G) at 5:00 pm; waited for the Collector who came only at 6:30 pm. Complained to him about more people entering the KKNPP, Dinamalar’s criminal activities, and the Tamil Nadu government’s slapping severe cases on us. He promised to look into all these issues and to send the RDO and the Deputy SP (DSP) to the KKNPP premises.

December 13, 2011

S. Sivasubramanian, Mi. Pa. Jesuraj, Muhilan and S. P. Udayakumar went to see the Collector at 5 PM. We had a long discussion with the Collector, the Planning Officer, RDO, ASP, one other official, and the PA(G) about the inflow of workers and vehicles into the KKNPP.

December 15, 2011

In the third meeting of the team, M. Pushparayan and Mi. Pa. Jesuraj met with the Central Government’s Expert Group and held talks at the Collector’s office; the Collector and the SP also participated in the meeting.

January 3, 2012

Some Struggle Committee members met the PA(G) at 5:30 pm as the Collector wasn’t there in his office. We gave him a memo for the Chief Minister.
January 6, 2012

Met with the ASP, ADSP and Inspectors of Koodankulam and Radhapuram police stations and discussed the people’s siege issue at length. The officials agreed to go and check the presence of workers at the KKNPP tomorrow.
January 12, 2012

Mi. Pa. Jesuraj, Muhilan and S. P. Udayakumar gave a memorandum to the BSNL officer at Radhapuram and the Tahsildar of Radhapuram. Then some of the Struggle Committee members went to Cheranmahadevi to meet the Sub-Collector, Ms. Rohini Ramdas Bidari at her office.
January 20, 2012

S. Sivasubramanian, Mi. Pa. Jesuraj, Muhilan and S. P. Udayakumar went to Tirunelveli to meet the SP and handed over a complaint about the Dinamalar newspaper. Then met with the PA(G) of Collector about the same issue. Later met with the Collector in his office and discussed about the Jan 31st meeting.

 

January 31, 2012

The fourth meeting with the Central government’s Expert Group did not take place. As our car entered the compound and approached the main office, a small group of some 15 men (both Congress and Hindu Munnani thugs) came rushing towards our car and pelted stones and attacked the vehicle. We drove out of the Collector office compound and refused to participate in the talks. Talked to the press and left the scene. Police escort came and took us to the Muntradaippu police station; The SP also came and met us there. In the meantime, some 10,000 people had gathered in front of the KKNPP front gate. We rushed to Koodankulam and talked to the people for almost an hour and asked them to disperse peacefully. The DIG, SP, RDO and several hundred policemen were there at Koodankulam. Took some people to meet the DIG at the Koodankulam police station and had a dialogue with him. Took the injured women to Radhapuram govt. hospital for treatment and they were all admitted as in-patients.

February 18, 2012

People laid a siege in front of the KKNPP from 12 pm till 9 pm. The Tamil Nadu government’s expert panel visited the KKNPP site at around 5:30 pm. They were there for hardly an hour. We held talks with the DIG and the Collector at the Koodankulam police station with two demands: reducing the work force at KKNPP to 20 and the Tamil Nadu panel should come to our villages to meet with the people.

February 19, 2012

Some of the Struggle Committee members went to the Collectorate in the afternoon. We had a long meeting with the team, Dr. Iniyan, Dr. M.R. Sreenivasan, Mr. Vijayaraghavan and Dr. Arivu Oli. The Collector, SP, DRO, RDO and PA(G) were also there.

February 29, 2012

We met the AIADMK MP Mr. Manoj Pandian as we were waiting to meet with the Chief Minister and talked to him about the struggle. M. Pushparayan, S. Sivasubramanian, Dr. R. Ramesh and S. P. Udayakumar met with the CM. She stood up, smiled and received us. I gave her some of my books. I spoke for some 15 minutes which she listened to very carefully and attentively. When I paused, she said, Have you finished? Then Dr. Ramesh spoke for 5 minutes and gave some of his reports. She said, I’ll go through them carefully. We thanked her and left.
More than 300 cases including sedition and waging war against the State’ charges and life in self exile in a remote coastal village without any mobility, family, access to health care, and other essentials of life make me remember the Emergency and MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security Act) days. Yes, there is a silent emergency prevailing in India today.

The State that accuses us of waging war against it is indeed waging a war against its own people. Also we have to ask what is seditious today in India. The Manmohan Singh government has scores of ministers who are accused of serious corruption and fraudulence charges but it is the common people like us who struggle for the safety and betterment of our people stand accused of sedition.

The Manmohan Singh government, the most controversial government independent India has ever had, has tried all kinds of dirty tricks to put down our struggle and the movement. They have been accusing us of receiving foreign money, acting at the behest of foreign powers, conspiring with the Catholic Church, conniving with opposition parties and so on. They have damaged my school, destroyed the poor little children’s library books, vandalized the children’s water taps, intimidated the family members, and indulged in all kinds of inhuman, devious and criminal behavior. The Indian government and the Department of Atomic Energy have refused to give any information to the public and are speaking half-truths, non-truths and complete nonsense just to mislead the country and enhance their own self interests.

Having exhausted all options to end opposition to the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant, the Government of India now plans to take a peek into all our minds and remove any fears with the help of psychiatrists from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore. The government is getting sicker and sillier.

Besides the prevailing silent emergency,’ there is also a telling emergency in the country, viz. we are stuck with a government that works for foreign governments, foreign corporations, foreign interests, and cannot for a second accept the simple fact that ordinary Indians’ can think through policy issues, take a stand on them, and stand up for their rights. We have got an emergency situation indeed.

Note: S. P. Udayakumar is the Coordinator of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) and the opinions expressed here are his own. For contact: spudayakumar@gmail.com  .

Dr. Manmohan Singh wins lifetime achievement Oscar for acting as India’s Prime Minister


Dr. Manmohan Singh did India proud by bagging the Oscar for Lifetime Achievement for acting as the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to present.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science said Dr. Singh’s Irving Thalberg Memorial Award was given to “a mild mannered and soft-spoken economist whose body language reflects a steadfast commitment to keeping up appearances of being in control and operating in silence, which in turn has spawned a plethora of behind the scenes state and non-state actors”.

It was of course more than a coincidence that on the night honoring one of the greatest practitioners of silent acting, ‘The Artist’, a silent movie, won 5 Academies including the best picture award. French star, Jean Dujardin, who won the Oscar for best actor in a leading role for portraying a fading film star of the silent movies era, acknowledged the mountain of debt he owed the Indian Prime Minister.

In stark contrast to the commonplace black ties and ubiquitous strapless gowns on display, Dr. Singh graced the red carpets attired in an elegant bandgala and spoke in a well rehearsed, flat tone without betraying any hint of emotion during his acceptance speech.

Read more here

 

 

Open letter to the prime minister expressing concern over the EU-Trade negotiations


English: Manmohan Singh, current prime ministe...

Image via Wikipedia

To,

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India

South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi-110 011
Tel: 91-11-23012312 Fax: 91-11-23016857/91-11-23019545; email: pmo@pmindia.nic.in

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) members express grave concern with regard to the round of negotiations on intellectual property that continues to be held between Indian and European Union (EU) negotiators as part of the India-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks. News reports in India quote the EU Ambassador as stating that discussions on Pharmaceuticals have progressed significantly.

It is reliably learnt from media reports that on the 10th February 2012, at the India-EU Summit to be held in Delhi, the EU & India will agree on and finalize the political framework for the FTA.

We express grave concern that these negotiations between the EU and India are progressing towards an agreement which includes provisions that will seriously hamper India’s ability to manufacture safe, effective and affordable generic medicines and export these to other developing countries.

Background:-

Indian generic industry is rightly known as the “Pharmacy of the Developing Country” because:-
In 2001, India’s generics brought prices down from $15000 per person per year to $350 for first line AIDS medicines.
80% of people living with HIV in developing countries are on Indian generic ARVs.
Over 90% of pediatric AIDS medicines are supplied by Indian generics.

For millions of people in the developing world, access to essential medicines is often a question of life and death. Most of them rely on the affordable generic medicines being produced by countries like India. Backed by the big multinational pharmaceutical companies, US, European Union and European Free Trade Association are pushing for aggressive trade policies to restrict the supply and production of the generic medicines. The attack is taking various forms but with a single handed objective: Pushing for TRIPS plus provisions through Free Trade Agreements and other international agreements. The impact of such actions could be devastating and result in loss of millions of lives in absence of affordable medicines.

BUT ALL THIS COULD CHANGE IF INDIA DOES NOT SAY NO TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP) IN THE INDIA-EU FTA.

AIDAN demands:-

REMOVE:

§ Investment Rules, which enable foreign companies to take the Indian government to private courts over domestic health policies like measures to reduce prices of medicines.

§ Border Measures, which will deny medicines to patients in other developing countries with custom officials seizing generic medicines in transit.

§ Injunctions, which undermine the independence of the Indian judiciary to protect right to health of patients over the profits of drug companies.

§ Other Intellectual Property Enforcement Measures, which put third parties like treatment providers at risk of police actions and court cases.

DON’T BRING BACK:

§ Data Exclusivity, as it delays the registration of generic medicines and will not permit the placing of affordable versions of pediatric doses and combinations of “off-patent” medicines on the market. IT’S NOT REQUIRED UNDER THE TRIPS AGREEMENT!

§ Patent Term Extension, as it will extend patent life beyond 20 years.

The EU states that these two provisions are off the table. It must keep its word!

We urge you to look into this important issue and save the Indian generic industry from the onslaught of the multinationals, which in turn will save millions of lives all over the world!

Yours truly

(Dr Mira Shiva) – 09810582028

(Mr Srinivasan S) – 08056292350

(Dr Anant Phadke) -09423531478

(Dr Gopal Dabade) – 09448862270

(Mr Naveen Thomas) – 09342858056

ALL INDIA DRUG ACTION NETWORK- http://aidanindia.wordpress.com/
Towards a people oriented, rational, drug policy!

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