Friday, May 2, 2014


Koodankulam Protests , Church and Western NGOs- A Citizen’s Probe

In an interview for the science magazine, PM Manmohan singh while speaking to the NDTV Science editor , Pallav Bagra blamed US non-profit groups for whipping up anti-nuclear demonstrations that have stalled the two new atomic plants in Koodankulam nuclear power Plant \(KKNPP). This is what the PM said,
"The atomic energy programme has got into difficulties because these NGOs, mostly I think based in the United States, don't appreciate the need for our country to increase the energy supply." He further added in context of application of biotechnology for agriculture sector that ,

here are NGOs often funded from the United states and the Scandinavian countries which are not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces.”
This was confirmed by the MOS for the PMO,V.Narayanswami who also told media that three NGOs have already been blacklisted and their foreign funding suspended. Though, the names have not yet been made public, the convener of the protest against the KKNPP, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) , S.P.Uday Kumar went overboard and threatened to sue the PMO, ministers and told all English channels which are in collaboration with news agencies of same countries, that he has never received a single paisa either from foreign or even from national organizations for the protests. He said if proven he is ready to face the capital punishment. But, the reports that are coming in reveal that four organizations which have been blacklisted are Tuticorin Diocese Association; Good Vision, Nagercoil, Trust for rural Uplift and Education, Rural Uplift Centre.
It is to be kept in mind that the whole protest movement picked up steam only in 2007 after One-day Hunger Strike was organized on February 15, 2007, prior to the Indo-US 123 Agreements when the US began eyeing for India’s huge nuclear market. One-day hunger strike was organized that was attended by poor Christian fisherman communities brought on truck load with the support of the two overgrown Diocese of Tuticorin and Tirunelveli. Here is the list of some of the leaders of the initial protest-Y. David, Gabrielle Dietrich, Lal Mohan, Anton Gomes, Mano Thankaraj, Balaprajapathi Adigalar, Dhanraj, Alankaram Bharathar, Peter Dhas, Kavitha, Rosammal, , Frederick, Gilbert Rodreigo, Jeromios,Jayakumar and parish priests Panneerselvam, Venis Kumar, Jesuraj,Suseelan, Arul Raj, Jagdish, Clarence. So, the movement from very beginning was organized by the Church, and various parishes. In fact, Uday Kumar is believed to be stationed at the Idinthakarai village church. Idinthakarai is the centre of the protest under the full guidance of the Church. Udaykumar himself stays with the parish priest Father Jaikumar, and uses the Church infrastructure for coordinating the movement.
Why is the Church arrayed against the project? Though, the Convener will always quote that another Fukushima may happen in India and scares fisherman about coming tsunami; the reasons are geopolitical. India is not the place where tsunami as powerful as one that hit Fukushima may again arrive. The simple reason is that KKNPP is too big a strategic investment for India . India and Russia signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement on the project on November 20, 1988 for the construction of two reactors. The project could not take off for a decade due to internal crisis in Soviet Union and then in Russia. Construction started in 1997 and there was certain problem to be addressed for transporting the LWR from Russia. A small port was then constructed and it also took further decade.
In 2008, India renegotiated on building four additional reactors at the site. It is expected that the capacity of each reactor will be 1000 MW. If all reactors can be operationalized, the total capacity of the power plant would surge to 9200 MW and it can wipe out the energy deficit in Southern India. Apart from six Russian-made nuclear power plants producing 6000 MW power, two Indian-made fast breeder plants (FBR)producing 400 MW power each will be contructed. This will make India to stockpile enough fuel for strategic nuclear deterrence and this will be the biggest nuclear facility in the entire world. India's coming strategic autonomy has pinched many in the Western world since many powerful states do not want emerging power like India to achieve autonomy and pursue a peaceful, co-operative policy vis-a-vis northern neighbour ,in particular, China..
Thus, there have been multiple layers of operation to destabilize KKNPP. The NGOs from Scandinavian countries have been roped in, particularly Denmark and Sweden as these are the weak NATO states and pander the US for their own security. Danish missionaries have centuries older foothold in Tuticorin. the three contiguous southern district of Tamilnadu, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari have a substantive Christian population. The three districts have 1.4 million Christians upon which various Churches have strong influence. The plan to sabotage the operationalization of the first two units which are "99% and 94%" ready, does not seem to have local hands. Consider the fact that the chief Russian architect of the KKNPP ,Sergei Ryzhov and whole leadership of designer unit of Russia’s state nuclear corporation was wiped out In June 2011, while flying from Moscow to the Karelian capital Petrozavodsk.
It is also to be observed that suddenly there have been spurt in foreign money entering Tamilnadu as grants( legal money) in last 4 years, once the first hunger strike was organized.The divertion from church to insurgent organizations in the North east India is well documented. This is the easier route even in Tamilnadu where it is seen that nearly 800 crore rupee was received by the Church and Christian Missionaries only in 2010-11.
Uday Kumar’s public defense cannot hide the real reasons and brains behind the protest. Kumar now admits that he is associated with Swedish groups, particularly, IDEA, on whose Board, he is a consultant. earlier, he was running South Asian Community Centre for education, Research and Development(Saccer) under the auspices of which he started an India-Pakistan Reconciliation School. Uday Kumar has been working closely on South Asian geopolitics after his decade long training in the US and later his conflict-resolution work in Africa.
The US caught on wrong foot has stated that it is fully supportive of India’s nuclear energy programme while Russia has stated that its stand that “some foreign friends of India are playing proxy game” stands vindicated.
Below is documentation of the foreign funding in Tamilnadu from the MHA FCRA data about organizations receiving more than one crore contribution annually. At least 958 organization got Rs 1 crore or more foreign contribution in the year 2010-11. World Vision of India, based at Egmore, Chennai, tops the list of 958 for 2010-11, with Rs 233.74 crore. Interestingly, the organization have avowed objective to provide emergency aid to all people affected by conflict or disaster and to promote justice to change unjust equations affecting the poor. It has received more than 1100 crore rupees as foreign contribution in last five years. The address of organization is Vepery,Egmore,Chennai,600008 ,Phone Number:+91-44-26620026 and only local vigilant citizens can unravel whether some of this huge fund also gets diverted in protest activities?
In 2010-11, out of 958 organizations receiving more than a crore of foreign contribution, at least 515 were Christian missionary organisations, which collectively received Rs 2,003.75 crore as foreign contributions. But, nearly 186 such organizations are based in Tamilnadu and these received more than 800 crore in the year 2010-11. that means, Tamilnadu which does not have a huge chunk of Christian population( received almost half of the foreign contribution and the share of the organizations is almost one-third. The sudden spurt does not seem unconnected with the way poor Christian fishermen have been instigated to confront the State frontally. Even 10% diversion would be a huge amount and incentive for the poor fishermen to hold the nuclear complex on ransom.

Western powers have made umpteen efforts to not let Asian countries reap the benefit of higher technology. The US had been smart enough to engage in ‘policy of congagement” vis-à-vis emerging powers. They engage with the emerging power like the hub and the spoke and on the other hand engage in policy of off-shore balancing at different level. The emerging powers have to be contained by the second most powerful regional actor. While at the trans-regional level, it maintains a balance of power among various regional powers by excluding itself so that it remain the arbitrator of the global order. The weak NATO states have always been the carrier of the containment strategy in the name of human rights or insufficient democracy and now the hoax of technology threat. One must remember how it was the Americans and the Dutch who connived to let Khan steal nuclear secrets from URENCO . When the matter came to light, the case file was stolen from the Dutch court. A former Dutch premier in an interview to a Dutch radio, VPRO Argos Radio on August 9, 2005, Dr Ruud Lubbers, admitted that the Dutch internal agency, BVD and the Americans wanted to help Pakistan to build nuclear weapon as they wanted Pakistan to be a regional balancer against India during Cold war. The American –Scandinavian-Dutch connection to derail India’s nuclear programme and to help build a nuclear counter weight against India has a long history. One can also study BVD spy Frits Hoekstra’s book, a senior BVD officer who quit the service in 1987; to understand the level of complicity of Dutch with American agencies to create disruption in third world. Since, the Dutch lid was taken off in India, the baton passed to other neighbouring Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Denmark.
The good thing is that the government has realized that national security can no longer be soft-pedaled. With the funds drying out, the few hundred fishermen would move back to their villages and it will be few weeks when the first plant can become fully operational. KKNPP is India’s strategic asset. The Church which should focus on preaching and social work should not indulge in political activities. Though, Tuticorin Dioceses was founded by the Danish and is still a strong foothold of the Scandinavian missionaries, the colonial period is passé. It is a resurgent post-colonial India in the Age of Asian Century. The Church must mend its way now to reengage with the spiritual universe and should not be seen as indulging in activities which brings disrepute to a great religion and its Asian Prophet!!

Association in Tamilnadu that received more than Rs.10 crores in Tamilnadu from Foreign Sources( in Rupees)
Year 2010-11

Christian organizations in Tamilnadu receiving foreign funds (2010-11)
Amount range in Rupee
1-2 crore
2-5 crore
5-10 crore
>10 crore
>100 crore

Tuticorin- Tirunelveli Christian organizations receiving direct foreign fund in 2010-11
S.No. in FCRA State list
Amount in Rupees
95, Chinnammalpuram, , Dhalapathisamudram (P.O),,Tirunelveli Dt., Tamil Nadu-627101
14, Chitambana Nagar, Ist Street , Tirunelveli Road,Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu-628008
2a, St. Mark’s Street, Pb 108, Palayamkottai Tirunelveli,Tn-627002
Bishop’s House, Post Box No. 122, Tuticorin,Tamil Nadu-628001
Pb-9, Shencalab, , Tirunelveli,Tamil Nadu-
Dohnavur, Tirunelveli,Tamil Nadu-627102
9-h, High Ground Road,palayamkottai, Dist: Tirunelveli,Tamil Nadu-627002
, Tuticorin,-
16, Sattanayakkan St, Tirunelveli,Tn-606601
No. 5 Punithavathtar Street, Palayamkottai,Tamil Nadu-627002
North High Ground Rd Maharajnagar, Tirunelveli ,Tamil Nadu-627011
(Uday Kumar’s group)
Nr Police Colony Trichy Road, Dindigul,Tn-
Amount of foreign fund received by single Missionary from foreign sources Case of World Vision Of India

11026627700 (1102.67 crore)

Christian population in contiguous district of South Tamilnadu,2001 census

Total Population;( Christian population %)
Thoothukodi (Tuticorin)
^ 1453335

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