Dear Prime Minister,
We urge you to reconsider the decision to supply uranium to India. This uranium will fuel the massive expansion of nuclear power programme that the Indian government is undemocratically pushing on poor people of India, criminally overlooking the concerns of safety, environment, livelihoods of surrounding populations and the financial implications.
Supplying uranium to India also amounts to legitimizing its status as a nuclear weapons state. At a time when people’s aspirations for comprehensive nuclear disarmament have heightened globally, any such dilution of disarmament norms would be unfortunate.
As the struggles of common people, farmers, fisherfolk, women and children in places like Koodankulam, Jaitapur(Maharashtra), Mithivirdi (Gujaratat), Fatehabad (Haryana), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh), Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh) etc have highlighted, the nuclear expansion is in no way helping the poor, as it was claimed by you while reversing the Australian Labour Party’s policy of not supplying uranium to India. In fact, under the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Indian elite offered the lives and livelihoods of its poor people, India’s huge consumer market and rehabilitating global nuclear corporates in return for an elusive seat on the nuclear high table.
In Koodankulam 2 fishermen have died recently in a brutal police repression while large numbers of protesters are languishing in jail. Charges of sedition and ‘war against the Indian state’ have been leveled against thousands of non-violent protesters in past few months. In the pursuit of this nuclear insanity, the government has brushed aside the voices of its own secretaries, the Chief Information Commissioner, members of the National Advisory Council and voices of independent experts and eminent citizens. We reiterate our demand to drop all fictitious charges against the Koodankulam protesters and initiate a broad-based public consultation on nuclear energy.
Parliamentarians from UK and Australia, human rights organizations like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, and citizens groups from more than 165 countries have condemned the police brutalities on the anti-nuclear protesters in India. We urge you to take a principled stand and reconsider supplying fuel to the Indian government’s nuclear insanity.
Admiral L. Ramdas
N D Jayaprakash