Koodankulam (cartoons)

(set four: cartoons by Aarti Sunder)

(click to view set three: i am foreign ngo) (click to view set two: Sedition) (click to view set one: Koodankulam)

Koodankulam: Curb on Free Speech (Part 3)

Interviews by Nityanand Jayaraman | Camera by Siddharth Muralidharan

Continued from yesterday’s interviews…

+ Koodankulam: Curb on Free Speech (2 Parts)

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.

PART III – M. Vetriselvan, Advocate, Chennai


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?

MV: For the past eight months, in Koodankulam, there has been a very large collective protest going on. This protest is against the nuclear power plant near Koodankulam. So far, this has continued to be a peaceful protest. People have not indulged in any kind of violence or repression against the State. Their method of protest has primarily been fasting. In their own areas, they have been peacefully fasting, going on marches, gathering people and spreading awareness – nothing more! In this situation, for these actions, various cases of sedition have been filed on them. Approximately, 200 cases have been filed on them,  all under various sections in Sedition. This has to be severely objected. One can object to any state policy in a democracy. Protesting against the nuclear policy is important to one’s right to expression. These people are exercising that right. Trying to suppress this demand through such disgusting violence is against democracy.

This English transcript was done by volunteers in Chai Kadai. Feel free to share, copy, distribute and translate this transcript under this Creative Commons license. Please attribute the video interview to the authors mentioned above.  

Chai Kadai. (chaikadai.wordpress.com | chaikadai@gmail.com)