Interviews by Nityanand Jayaraman | Camera by Siddharth Muralidharan
Continued from yesterday’s interviews…
Since March 19, 2012, when Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced that work on the controversial Koodankulam nuclear plant could be resumed, and even before that actually, the protesting villagers have been at the receiving end of a vicious state led campaign to paint their non-violent struggle as a violent one, and to crush their campaign into silence by using harsh sections of the Indian Penal Code. More than 7000 cases of “sedition” and “waging war against the Government of India” have been filed just in the Koodankulam police station. That is probably more than in any other police station in India. Certain sections of the media too have played the role of a willing partner in propagating the State’s propaganda. In pursuing this counter-campaign against its own people, the State Government has placed itself above the law of the land and pursued an openly anti-democratic agenda.
The interview below with M. Vetriselvan, Advocate (Chennai), seeks to explore the seemingly ironical situation of a “Democratic” State whose actions are anti-democratic.
Tamil (English translation below), 1 min, 38s. Published on 15 April 2012.
NJ: What is your reading on the attempt to use repressive laws to suppress the democratic protest of the people of Koodankulam?