Noam Chomsky: India risks a new Bhopal with Kudankulam nuclear power plant
by Santosh Digal
The noted American linguist signs a letter of solidarity with the people of Tamil Nadu, fighting against the plant construction. Like him, other intellectuals, national and international personalities express their support for people of Kudankulam. Anti-nuclear movement launches CounterCurrents site.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Kudankulam nuclear power plant "can become a new Bhopal disaster," said Noam Chomsky (see photo), famous American communications theorist, expressing his support for the people of Tamil Nadu, who for over a year now  have been fighting to stop the construction of the plant. "The support of Chomsky - stresses T. Peter, Secretary of the National Fish Workers ' Forum - is a great blessing to the fishing communities of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, who are the first victims of the Kudankulam nuclear plant".

Signed in 1988 but only started in 1997, the Russian nuclear power plant Kudankulam has suffered several postponements, due to delays in the supply of components and obstructionism of the population. In early 2012, the plan was resumed at full speed, and is now close to completion. The continuous protests and community initiatives, which in September have also resulted in the death of a man and a six-year-old girl, have proved useless.

Considered the father of modern Linguistics, the academic who is a symbol of the American radical left (in particular for his high profile opposition to the Vietnam war, ed), Chomsky calls nuclear power a "very dangerous initiative , particularly in countries like India, which has had more than its share of industrial disasters,  Bhopal being the most  famous".

Caused by a leak of 40 tons of methyl isocyanate (cyanide) from Union Carbide's pesticide factory, the Bhopal disaster (Madhya Pradesh) is considered one of the most serious environmental tragedies in history. At least 3,500 people died in the first hours after the accident, and another 20,000 in the following months. Permanent disability from the disaster exceed 150 thousand. Even today, the area's hospitals receive about 6,000 people a day with respiratory and brain problems, related to contamination of the territory. However, the Government considers the area out of danger.

Chomsky has published his letter of solidarity on CounterCurrents, a website that collects all the interventions in favour of the Kudankulam anti-nuclear movement. Launched 11 October last, the platform has already numerous statements of support from personalities and intellectuals from around the world. Among them: Mairead Maguire, an Irish activist who in 1976 won the Nobel Peace Prize; VS Achuthanandan, former chief minister of Kerala; Binoy Viswarm, former Minister of Kerala and leader of the Communist Party of India (Cpi); Christian Juhl, Danish member of Parliament and spokesman for the Red-Green Alliance; Paul Murphy, a member of the European Parliament for the Socialist Party of Ireland; Lucy Redler, spokeswoman of the German Socialist Alternative (Sav); Mallika Sarabhai, Indian classical ballet dancer and activist; Arundhati Roy, author; Anand Patwardhan, Bollywood filmmaker.