Colombo Telegraph

The Kudankulam: Questions Of Ideological Horizons, Strategic Orientation And Urgent Practical Tasks

By Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe

Ajit Rupasinghe


First of all, we hail the heroic masses who are braving intense repression in order to sustain and build the people’s resistance to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project-KNPP- in India, and extend our revolutionary solidarity across the sea. For our part, late as we are, we shall do all that we can to build the people’s resistance movement and struggle here in the Land of Lanka. We share our views on the above matters since it is increasingly clear that building sustained mass resistance to the KNPP is of foremost priority in defending the right to life, livelihood, homeland and heritage of millions of people which the KNPP considers and calculates to be expendable, or a reasonable risk, compared to the astronomical margins of profit and commissions to be robbed and shared among the shareholders and stakeholders,  the eternal power and glory conferred upon the architects and executors – the bloated political and corporate luminaries of Russia and India, and the possibilities of opening up the market and subjecting human labor power to even more degrading and life-denying exploitation, and offering the Land and resources to even more plunder, ravage and ruin.

Political concentration of the KPM:

This article is to contribute towards clarifying and sharpening our ideological horizons and strategic orientation. This is to open up friendly debate and discussion on how to view the political essence and ideological content of the KPM, – what its goals and objectives are, and the strategic orientation, program and plan that can identify immediate, short and long-term tasks. This is so we may develop an internationalist perspective of our responsibilities, duties and tasks, and begin to unite forces across the sea and throughout South Asia, and internationally, as a single front of struggle against the marauding rule of corporate profit and plunder, which the KNPP embodies. This is so together we may do our utmost to save Mother Earth and Humankind from these devouring, marauding dominators who care not for life, joy, beauty and harmony, but for accumulating profit and corrupt gain. The is the universal political content and concentration of the people’s resistance and struggle to dismantle and demolish the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

The Turning the Dialectic of History:

The dialectic of history changes as society ruptures and leaps to a new and higher stage of evolution.  The slaves break their chains and unite to become strong to overthrow the emperor, and struggle to bring forth a world without ministers, generals, priests and  emperors. But, this will depend on how the advanced, conscious revolutionary forces intervene and act upon the objective situation. This will depend on their level of scientific understanding, theoretical vision and strategic clarity translated into the organized fighting capacity of the oppressed revolutionary masses. As a beginning, this capacity to wage conscious, organized mass revolutionary class struggle will be germinated by building the principled unity of the multi-national proletarian revolutionary forces of South Asia. So, there is a lot of catching up to do. We would all have to raise our own level of scientific understanding and revolutionary practice in order to grasp the essence and the dimensions, the deadly challenges and the rare historic revolutionary opportunities presented by building and advancing the protracted peoples resistance around the KNPP. This struggle will pass through its natural stages of evolution, growth, maturation and transformation. It can and should be raised to a new and higher level and stage. Again, that depends on the ability and willingness of the revolutionaries across borders to forge their principled unity.

A Fight Against The Dark, Demonic Forces Of Profit And Plunder:

Why the KNPP- a nuclear power plant within a potential tsunami radius, and not solar power and wind power, and community-based, de-centralised systems of generating and sustaining safe, replenishing and renewing forms of energy? Because there is no profit and private gain in that way of life, in that path of development. The KNPP is yet another example where the regime of Capital and the rule of corporate profit have overridden the sovereignty and survival of the people and violated the integrity of Nature for the sake of perpetuating  the reign of  universal destruction and degradation of life and its sources that the system of imperialism embodies.

As it stands, the project is off the ground and the Indian State is busy negotiating the cost-effectiveness of providing insurance and compensation for possible victims, with its Russian counterpart! The mere logic of this calculation is itself morally revolting. Cost effectiveness of sacrificing the life, limb, heritage and future of millions of people at the alter of corporate profit and plunder, legitimized under the slogan of ‘development’. More fundamentally, the calculation of cost-effectiveness reveals the calculated possibility of an incalculable nuclear disaster! The truth is that the environmental and human factors that can trigger a melt-down or any other calamitous nuclear disaster cannot be fully calculated- and we do not have to be nuclear physicists to know that! Did anyone predict the previous tsunami that caused some 40,000 lives and wreaked sheer havoc just in Sri Lanka, which also affected Tamil Nadu? Can we safely predict the behavior of natural laws and processes, given the accelerated outbreaks of hurricanes and earthquakes? What would the effect of global warming be on rising sea-levels and tidal waves, and how would that affect the KNPP? Can we scientifically predict all the possibilities to take such a risk of such magnitude? Then, why are you negotiating insurance and compensation? Of course the magnates of the nuclear energy industry and its paid lackey scientists and advocacy lobbies would claim with certainty that all the possibilities have been calculated and that the required safety mechanisms are in place- or will be in place in due time! It is proven that they have deliberately lied before- as in Chernobyl, Three-Mile Island, Bhopal and Fukushima. In fact, in all these cases, the states and relevant authorities deliberately hid the full impact and lied to the world. Everywhere, it has been the people who have paid the price. It is the future of humankind that is being held hostage by these corporate predators. We have to challenge and overthrow the whole ideology and politics of ‘development’ that places economic growth and accumulation of wealth for the few at the expense of the poor, while defiling Nature, the very source of our being. In the case of the KNPP, we are talking of directly risking the lives and future of hundreds of thousand of the poorest, just so the skyscrapers can go up and the upper classes can enjoy life to the full, while corporate empires bleed the masses.  If we are to divert this path of madness and self-destruction, we must rely on the only force that can change the course of history and human destiny. That is matter of strategic principle, policy and orientation.

The Role of the Masses:

As a strategic principle, we have to rely on raising the consciousness, and mobilizing and unleashing the creative revolutionary initiative of the oppressed masses in liberating themselves from their conditions of domination and enslavement. The focus and concentration of this class struggle applies particularly to those directly affected by the Kudankulam project-both in Tamil Nadu and here in Lanka. We have to build their conscious understanding, unity and organized fighting capacity to resist repression, suppression, manipulation and corruption, and guide the struggle forward towards the final aim of burying the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. The unity in struggle between the Indian and Lankan  revolutionary-democratic forces –and indeed throughout South Asia- who share common goals and objectives is the most vital factor that can build the people’s political power that can resist and overcome the powers that be behind the KNPP. That too is a matter of strategic principle and policy. Along with this, we have to mobilize the solidarity and participation of the broad array of progressive social forces of civil society –regionally and internationally- to play their role in this historic struggle.

The Strategic Target and Main :Task

From the perspective of those forces in Lanka arrayed in opposition to the KNPP, their main focus should be to compel the GOSL-the Mahinda Rajapakse Regime (MRR)- to oppose this project unconditionally, on grounds of protecting the lives, livelihood, homelands and heritage of its citizens, and protecting the sovereignty and independence of the country. We know that the essence of the Comprador Capitalist State is just the opposite and the truth is that its ruling classes rely upon slaughtering and suppressing the masses, plundering Nature and selling the country to foreign plunder for fat commissions under the guise of ‘democracy’ and ‘development’. Well, we have to explode this diabolical myth of the Capitalist State as the protector of the people and guardian of freedom. We must hold the State accountable in the eyes of the people to live up to its own rationale to exist within its own bourgeois constitutional mandate and stamp of legitimacy. We must expose the true Comprador-Capitalist class character of the State and the Regime by pushing it up against the wall to account for its mandate with which it deceived the people and robbed them of their sovereignty. Every protest  and agitation should aim at holding the bourgeois state accountable for the protection of its people, and on this basis, expose how it is in compliance with India on the Kudakulam project, as part of its overall reactionary, counter-revolutionary strategic partnership in defending the neo-colonial set up in South Asia. We have to raise a clear picture of the stakes involved in terms of the perverse disregard for the life and future of the masses, the willful degradation of the living environment and the politics of corrupt, parasitic crony Capitalism that overrides and perverts all humanity and the very possibilities of civilized coexistence on Earth.  This is our duty.

A nuclear disaster issuing from this project has the potential to destroy all Life, and all possibility of Life, throughout a vast geographical area, including the Northern, North-Central, North-Western and Eastern provinces, with collateral effects spreading throughout the Land. This is not to mention the immeasurable destruction and devastation that could be unleashed throughout Tamil Nadu and beyond. Literally, millions of lives are at stake, not to mention the unthinkable humanitarian and ecological catastrophes that would spread far beyond these geographical boundaries. As it is, the Lankan State, and the MRR are complicit in this monstrous crime. So is its political ruling class, including the entire bourgeois parliamentary Opposition. All these ‘supra-patriotic’ ruling bourgeois forces have sold out the sovereignty of the country and betrayed the people by not offering a noticeable whimper of opposition to this menacing threat to our survival. As stated, it is the foremost duty of the Lankan State to protect its people. If it does not, it has no moral reason nor constitutional right to exist, and we have a moral responsibility to ensure it doesn’t exist, as our foremost duty to the people.

Strategic Vision and Tactical Orientation:

The strategic orientation would be to isolate the die-hard reactionaries who would stand to gain from this project and would willingly sacrifice the lives and future of our people to the wolves, vultures and vampires of Capital. As against these forces, there is the vast majority of people who value life and freedom, who know that Mother Nature is the fountain of all life, who understand that to defile her is to bring about ruin and disaster, and who yearn for the liberating warmth and sweetness in living in loving union with fellow beings. This vast reservoir of boundlessly beautiful, creative humanity must be motivated to isolate, challenge and resist these reactionary forces and overcome them through the democratic will and the political power of the people. Without such a clear strategic vision and tactical orientation, the movement will lack the conscious will and determination, the shared sense of noble and enlightened purpose, the unity of creative thought and bold initiative required to overcome the reactionary forces – locally, regionally and internationally- who have high survival stakes in maintaining the neo-colonial status-quo in the region.

The Power of Vision- The Power of Dreams:

The people’s resistance movement shall be a renewing, reawakening and liberating celebration of life in all its wondrous diversity, born as it is in resisting evil forces who would defile and plunder the Earth and all life to feed their insatiable appetites for property, power, conquest and glory.  It will forge new bonds of solidarity  between the oppressed people of Lanka and India – and South Asia- in a common struggle to overcome and overthrow the power that makes such horrible monstrosities possible and necessary as the KNPP. It will infuse a new vision and purpose that would serve to unite the oppressed masses across the divided barricades in the Land of Lanka. The people’s resistance movement should regenerate and envision a world of freedom where people would have learned to nurture and share the bounteous resources of Mother Nature, as they discover, rejoice and  delight in each other, in their journey through infinity, in the pursuit of truth and wisdom. Without the light of vision and the power of dreams, the movement is already dead from within. Armed and infused with a scientific vision and ideology of universal human emancipation, the movement replenishes and regenerates itself through the blood and sacrifice of the people in their struggle for liberation, scaling new horizons of freedom. The heights of our vision shall determine the scope of our actions. The power of our dreams and the concentration of our political will shall determine the summits of scientific revolutionary consciousness and practice that must be scaled.

The people’s resistance movement should constitute itself as an act of conscious self-determination in deciding an alternative path of life where unthinkable horrifying human time-bombs such as the KNPP, and all such technologies of mass destruction, and their enforcers and dealers would no longer have a rhyme or reason to exist. To finally bury the KNPP- and all such technological abominations, we would have to transcend the prevailing system of human social organization- the system of world imperialism and neo-colonialism- which makes such an inherently destructive and blindly irrational logic of survival necessary and possible. Above all else, a strategic orientation should be infused with an all-encompassing vision of human liberation, where the infinite power of science, technology and culture would be consciously applied not to dominate and enslave, but to advance the cause of the universal emancipation of humankind.

*The writer is the Secretary: Ceylon Communist Party-Maoist.

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