All major antidevelopment forces have reached Kudankulam. Sole objective to close the plant. It does not matter to them that country needs electricity to fire industry, to light homes, for children to study and in general a little bit of comfort once a person reaches home. When questioned about alternative, they will say thermal or hydel power. Some will even suggest solar energy. Moment you start mining activity, the same people will jump and go on satyagraha. God knows, in the name of poor and poverty, what exactly is their agenda. Can a society and nation come out of poverty by constant reminder about it, or by hard work, taking risk and by enterprise?
I saw on NDTV several months before that when TV team visited Kudankulum unannounced, it was found that protest sites were empty. So there goes 24 hour relay fast / protest. Even at Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, much noise was made about 17 day continuous Jal Satyagraha against Omkareshwar dam. Barrage of news coverage made the MP government to agree to the demand of villagers. However, to my utter surprise, I read in Times of India that the Satyagraha was not what was projected. People actually standing most of the time in a 2 feet deep area. They were also moving in and out of the water. However, when they were informed of impending media visit, they moved into deeper area.
I do not hold villagers responsible for this misrepresentation. Protest was backed by a professional protest organisation, some one like Narmada Bachao Andolan. These organisers have adviced villagers to take certain position. In my mind these organiser are to be held responsible. I am just surprised that an organization like Narmada Bachao Andolon should resort to such tactics. Does this not put their credibility at stake? To me the satyagrahis and their backers had tried to manipulate the media to force government to accept their demand. This kind of deception and manipulation, even for a worthy cause, may be the norm of the day, common people like me, who had taken the protest in its face value, will lose faith in such claims next time.
However, many a times protests are manufactured to drive home a point. I think we should look at Kudankulum also in the same light and call a spade a spade.
Reality bytes: Khandwa’s made-for-TV protest
It’s a story of how the entire media was taken for a ride with the help of mobile phones, which came in handy for keeping tabs on TV crews..