Award winning Australian filmmaker, David Bradbury, describes in chilling detail his visit to the epicentre of the Kudankulam anti-nuclear struggle in India – the beautiful seaside town of Idinthakarai.
I KNEW we were in trouble when the young auto-rickshaw driver pulled his vehicle off to the side of the road to take a phone call.
Normally Indian taxi drivers take their mobile phone calls while driving at breakneck speed weaving in and out of traffic with an inch to spare either side. This was unusual. We had just slipped past the police barricades at the entrance to Kudankulam town with the plastic flaps of the rickshaw down protecting us from the monsoon rains and the lazy eyes of police on the lookout for any foreigners or trouble makers who dared to stray into this forbidden zone.
Some old women collecting firewood seemed to know our purpose and gave encouraging fist waves to keep going. A lumbering fish truck returning to our intended destination of the seaside village of Idinthakarai came into view. Like a man possessed, I stepped into the middle of the road to flag it down. By now a plain clothes cop on a motor bike had appeared. But I wasn’t to be stopped. Having flown over 10,000 km to record our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, offering to sell uranium to the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and then another 3,000 km from New Delhi to the southern most tip of India, I wanted to reach the valiant anti nuke fisher folk of Idinthakarai.
This where the Russians have built two nuclear power plants on a seismic fault line – right where the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 swept nearly two thousand locals to their deaths and demolished all buildings in its wake.
Read more at David Bradbury on Idinthakarai’s anti-nuclear front line