Activists gather to mark Chernobyl Day in Bangalore

The following news article appeared on the website Newzfirst (http://www.newzfirst.com) covering the recent protest demonstration that took place in Bangalore on 26th April, 2011 led by Peoples Solidarity Concerns – Bangalore, marking the 25th year of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, in which members of the New Socialist Alternative (CWI –India) played a leading role.  Most of the article is based on the address by Cde. Jagadish Chandra during the demonstration as well as excerpts from the leaflet produced by this campaign.

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BANGALORE – “United States has large market interest in establishing Nuclear Plants in India, and it has unholy nexus with the selfish politicians of our country to fulfill the needs” said Jagadish, Social Activist (Jagadish Chandra – New Socialist Alternative), addressing the gathering of the protestors here at Town Hall.

The protest was held by many civil groups under the banner of Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns, to mark the 25th year of Chernobyl nuclear accident and to strongly assert and demand an end to this nuclear madness.

“As the result of such a powerful conspiracy neither politicians nor the media of our state do focus on the issues like ill impacts of nuclear plants. They remain so negligent that even the abortion cases due to nuclear radioactivity at Kaiga are not being reported by anybody” he alleged.

Expressing the concerns over the pathetic life of residents of the Kaiga region, he said “Pregnant women are bound to abort the fetus effected by the radioactivity caused by  Kaiga Nuclear Plant, farmers of that region are worse hit by the functioning of the plant and  the number of cancer patients is on rise”

“All the governments irrespective of parties have failed to take a pro-people stand in this regard. Governments and authorities should come out of the illusion that only nuclear plant is the mere alternative source of power generation” he added

Recalling the Chernobyl nuclear disaster he said, “An estimated 65,000 to 105,000 people were killed due to Chernobyl nuclear accident. Chernobyl released a thousand times more radiation than the Hiroshima bomb into the atmosphere. People are still dying and will continue to die for generations due to this accident. There have been at least 22 major and thousands of minor nuclear accidents before and after Chernobyl”

“Do we have a right to safe living? At the time of Chernobyl disaster, 200,000 pregnant mothers were asked to abort their children. If a similar accident takes place in Kaiga, what would be the implication for the women and children of Karnataka?” he questioned the Government.

According to the Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns, “During this period, most of the western countries have stopped building new nuclear plants. India however, is pursuing this dangerous technology in an aggressive manner.”

“Disaster is a continuing phenomenon. Most of the nuclear set ups here are producing cancer and genetic disorders regularly. Indian Rare Earths, Kota, Jadhuguda, Kalpakkam, Kaiga and other bodies of Department of Atomic Energy have produced cancer, Down syndrome, skin disorders and reproductive problems for both men and women. The extent of damage so far is still to be studied properly by independent researchers.”

Relating Chernobyl accident to the Kaiga Nuclear plant of Karnataka, Forum says “As per reports, Yellapur panchayat, which is 20 km away from Kaiga has recorded a tenfold increase of cancer cases.  Many abortion cases are also noticed.  The officials have always denied any leak from Kaiga. Normal functioning of the plant will release radiation through the regular water release as well as through air. A nuclear plant generates 20 to 30 tonnes of nuclear waste every year. No Science has so far found any safe mechanism for disposing nuclear waste. Eminent scientists have warned us about the alarming quantities of nuclear waste being generated and absolutely inadequate mechanisms and practices to handle it in India. But these warnings have gone on deaf ears of the authorities. Given the connections of water, wild life, air and agriculture,Radiation from Kaiga can reach Bangalore without much effort.”

The People’s Solidarity Concerns also condemned the absolute secrecy of the nuclear establishment and the total undemocratic functioning of the Department of Atomic Energy and system of non-accountability of the same Department to the Indian Parliament. It also condemned the illegal detention and harassment of 134 activists protesting peacefully against the Jaitapur power plant.

The forum finally demanded that an immediate halt to all existing and future nuclear power projects. And an independent enquiry into the already existing health effects created by the nuclear power projects. Proper relief, medical care and compensation for those affected with cancer, Down syndrome and other health problems due to the functioning of the nuclear power plants. Also, a complete review of the Indian official secrets act under which the nuclear insanity is perpetuated.

You can also read the article by clicking on the following link:

http://www.newzfirst.com/web/guest/full-story/-/asset_publisher/Qd8l/content/activists-gather-to-mark-chernobyl-day-in-bangalore?redirect