Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Young India Really Wants!

I was discussing how bad this book 'What young India wants", by Chetan Bhagat, is with a friend recently. Yesterday, I received the below mail from Vivek, a friend, with similar title. Couldn't help but share it with all the readers of this blog. I think Mr. Bhagat will have to a do some more research before he goes on to sell another "masterpiece". 

A must read ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ये दाग़ दाग़ उजाला, ये शब गज़ीदा सहर 
वो इंतेज़ार था जिसका, ये वोह सहर तो नहीं 
ये वो सहर तो नहीं जिसका आरज़ू लेकर 
चले ये यार कि मिल जाएगी कहीं न कहीं 
फलक के दश्त में तारों की आखरी मंज़िल
- फैज़ अहमद फैज़ 

Inline image 1
(L to R): 1. Black flags adorn the village on 'Independence Day'
2. The proximity of the reactor to the coastline is alarming
3. Rohind said, "Don't take my picture, take one of all of us."

Over the last couple of days most of us celebrated the Indian Independence day. We bought flags, hoisted them and saluted them. However, people in a small coastal village of Tamil Nadu abstained. The people of Idinthakarai know the historic freedom struggle too well and they also know that freedom doesn’t come easy. They abstained because they are reliving part of the struggle. Their freedom is at stake and they have decided not to be mere spectators. Idinthakarai is a small coastal village in Tamil Nadu that most of us would not have known in our lives. However, from 1986, seeds of a pact between Russia (then Soviet Union) and India meant that 3.5kms from this village, the world’s biggest nuclear power plant is going to be made. The Koodankulam nuclear power plant has had a rather slow construction, thankfully. Since the birth of the idea for this nuclear power plant, in 1986, the people of the area have resisted it. However, delayed construction, political realignments across the world and a blithe middle class meant that the advent of the 21st century eclipsed the struggle of these people. But the resilience of the people hasn’t faded one bit, over the last year the people of the area have resisted the commissioning of the nuclear power plant through peaceful protests. Their reasons are simple; they want  “risk-free electricity, a disease-free life, unpolluted natural resources, sustainable development and a peaceful future.” For over 370 days they have led a peaceful protest against the nuclear power plant that will drastically affect their lives. In the process, they have been called several names: foreign agents, anti-development, uneducated, anti-India. However, most people who attributed these names are the ones who are not ready to accept the fact that ordinary people can understand issues that affect their life and take constructive action to make change happen. I visited the village on the 17th of August to see for myself what was happening there. I happened to meet a young boy of 13, Rohind. It was painful to know that we have ignored the people of this village, their lives and their rights. I don’t want to narrate his story. It is his story and you should hear it straight from him. I have attached the recording. Before I left I told Rohind that I would bring him his picture when I visited next, he smiled and replied, “Next time you come, we close the nuclear reactor.” What young India really wants, if only we care to listen rather than proclaim. 

Audio link: Rohind's interview [please click to listen to the audio]