Pushparayan Victoria, 45, Koodankulam, Tamil Nadu
ONE OF the most absurd — and perhaps shameful — decisions by the Indian government has been to slap sedition cases against thousands of protesters in Koodankulam. Instead of using persuasive methods, the government decided to call the anti-nuclear protesters ‘anti-nationals’. Pushparayan Victoria (above, right) is one of the leading lights of the movement along with SP Udayakumar. The crackdown against him began in September 2011 when he was charged with “waging war against the State” and also for sedition. Overall, 325 cases have been filed against Pushparayan.
Though none of the anti-nuke protest leaders have been arrested so far, the police did try to get hold of them last month when they organised a protest in the sea. Pushparayan believes the government crackdown has only helped the agitation with more people across the state and country coming forward to support the movement against nuclear power stations. “The government is using such cases to intimidate us but they are not going to succeed,” he says.
Kunal Majumder is a Principal Correspondent with Tehelka.