Saturday, November 01, 2008

An Essay by a School Student... found it interesting

Introduction

In the last few months there was a lot of sound and fury on India’s civilian nuclear deal with the US. The debate was so intense that our union government was brought on the brink of collapse. Opposition to the deal from the left parties reduced the government to a minority and the government survived only because it found a new ally in the Samajwadi party. But in all these debates, however, did not throw much light on the details of the deal and the issues involved.
To me, a student of class eleven, I have my own reservations on the way the debate went on within and outside Parliament. I also have my own reservations against the deal.

Power Requirement

“Power requirement” is the main reason that people are giving in support of the nuclear deal. In Chennai we have 90 minutes of power-cut everyday; in many parts of Karnataka the power shutdown is for 7 hours; and in rural India many places go without night life because there is no electricity there. It is argued that the Indo-US deal and the setting up of several nuclear power stations thereafter will solve all these issues. But we must know one fact that nuclear energy will contribute less than 10% of India’s electricity and even that can be achieved only in 2020. And hence, the argument that the nuclear deal will bring an end to the power shortage that we now face is without basis.

Friendly relationship with the US?

The uni-polar world that we now live in is different from the Cold War days (when the world was bi-polar), when India had the Soviet Union to protect its strategic interest. As for example, recall the sequence of events in December 1971. During the Indo-Pak war, for the liberation of Bangladesh, the US was prepared to help Pakistan by moving their Seventh Fleet, then stationed at Diego Garcia an island in the Indian Ocean, towards the Indian shores. It was the Soviet Union who helped us by making counter moves. India then had a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union.

But then the world today has changed. The Soviet Union does not exist and the US is the only power according to those who support the deal. But then we must realize that China is emerging as a power not only in the military sense but also in the economic sense. And it is likely that the next cold war, if it happens, could be between the US and China. We must remember that in 1962, China not only attacked us but also captured large part of our land in the North East. It makes better sense to be friendly with China, our own neighbour, rather than having US as a friend afar.

India joining the Big League?

Some argue that the nuclear deal will bring an end to “nuclear apartheid” which will enable the Indian atomic energy industry to do for the Indian economy what Indian information technology has done for the country’s export. In fact Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said this much in his speech in Parliament. But, we will simply end up importing the machinery and the enriched fuel rather than going for a sustainable model in the power sector and hence remain dependant on the US for ever.

Is Nuclear Energy Green and Safe?

I would like to start with recalling what happened in Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union. The accident at the nuclear power plant killed many, maimed many and its adverse impact on the future generation is still unknown.

Another aspect is about the disposal of nuclear waste which no one knows and has thought about until now. The truth is that we do not have technology, today, to dispose the waste. As one research study source by M.V Ramana and Surendra Gadekar says“ in the case of India’s smallest full-scale reprocessing facility at Trombay (Maharashtra), decontamination generated about 300 tones of solid waste: about 60,000 litres of medium-level liquid wastes; and about 13 million litres of low level liquid effluents. This waste can any day lead to radiation which will be harmful for humanity. For these reasons, we can never call nuclear energy green and safe.

Conclusion

With all these, do we have to celebrate the nuclear deal? We, the generation next have the right to ask this question because future belongs to us. Yes, we must agree that our power requirement is a concern. But we have other ways; to harness wind, hydel and solar. And more important than this is to conserve energy! One 88888 movement is not enough. We need more! Recall what Mahatma Gandhi had to say: “mother earth has plenty for our needs but not for our greed”.







References

Prisoners of Nuclear Dream by M.V.Ramana and C. Ram Manohar Reddy (edited)
Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia by Stephen Philip Cohen (edited)
“Onward to lose of Autonomy”, Editorial, Economic and Political Weekly, July 26, 2008
I would fail in my duty if I would not mention my parents with whom I had long discussions about the issue.







5 Comments:

Blogger Communist said...

School student deserve a name since you are posting his/her essay.

2:54 AM  
Blogger V. Krishna Ananth said...

yes. ``communist'' cannot be your name too. i know some people suffer from what is known in college/university campuses as identity crisis. will you now stop fooling around and reveal who you are?

6:35 AM  
Blogger Communist said...

Krishnaji, you should be prepared to face the music when you are involved in public cause/write blogs, etc. If you get tense for these issues then how will you will counter us when we seize state power tomorrow? We are not fooling anyone Krishnaji. We are raising serious questions for which you cannot escape. You should be accountable to your posts.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr, Communist, as for seizing state power...

A microscopic minority of anglicised Bhadralok hypocrites claiming to know the answer to all ills of the country is already an attempted seizing of power.

The Indian Communist reminds me of the Brahmin of ancient times who would be just 5-6 percent of the population but would still quote some textual jargon to lay claim to knowing the "truth". And then argue that he should be given the veto in deciding what is good for society.

Today, the upper caste graduate has made merit the the slogan of his casteism and joined organisations like Youth For Equality, but the more educated -- and Oxford/JNU educated -- upper caste elite has made Communism the mask for its elitism.

You have already seized as much power as you could by becoming stooges of the Congress to gain easy entry to top academic institutions. For more you need some democratic support and not just 'neo-Brahminical' textual pride.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Vibha said...

hi sir!!
i loved chinku's essay..i am recalling his earlier essay on gandhi..i think he was in class seven then...
i am feeling so proud of him right now...
wanted to put this down in print..
will call and speak to him as well.

10:44 AM  

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