The extreme southern coastal landscape in India perhaps has been one of the most beautiful regions, despite all human interventions that have taken place so far to destroy it. Strong waves, good beaches connecting hills with coconut trees mark its beauty. This region is also one of the richest aquatic biodiversity. There are twenty wedge banks in the world today, marking high biodiversity of aquatic life. India has only one such region. That region stretches from Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthauram to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. There are various threatened and rare species in this oceanic belt. The region is also thickly populated due to rich fish and aquatic resources. And it is here that Adani is trying to construct a transit harbour.
The Vizhinjam Transit Harbour Project plans to uproot two hills from the Western Ghats, one from Kerala and one from Tamil Nadu, to fill an oceanic region of high biodiversity with rocks for construction. The port will be inside the sea. There are plans to blast rocks inside the sea also, the implications of which are unknown to even marine scientists today, since the geographical plate under the sea is extremely sensitive. The project which costs around 7,500 cores will be funded mainly by the Kerala State Government and the Central Government with a contribution of two third of the expenses, using public money. As per the understanding with Adani, he has to pay one percent of the profits after 15 years, `if there are profits’! Economic analysts have already declared that there will be no profits in this game. At the same time social and ecological costs are beyond any state government or central government can bear.
Tens of thousands of fisher people’s livelihood and homes will be destroyed. The beaches of over two dozen villages will vanish. Kovalam beach will become Kovalam rocks. Perhaps you may be able to have a drink
on the rocks’ but there will be no beach, since the sand will be carried by the waves to the southern side of Vizhinjam, creating another environmental havoc. One temple, one mosque and one church may be affected. Therefore you can call it asecular’ project. Apart from the land mafia, corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, there is only one person to gain from this destruction: Adani! Whether you are a chief minister of the CPI (M) led front, or a chief minister of Congress led front or a Prime Minister of BJP led front, they all have one thing in common. They are all blessed by Adani!
At one level, the fight is between people and the political leaders, between environment and the corporates, between livelihood of many and profits of some, between invasion and democratic values, between development and destruction and between lies and truth. Many social organisations have placed their objections and warning signals. But the capitalist profit can dictate our communist politics, congress politics and the extreme right sanghi politics. It was in this context, that we thought of making a music video on this issue. It was just accidental.
Some thing just clicked. I was reading a post by AJ Vijayan on the social, economic and environmental impact of Vizhinjam Transit Harbour. Something struck me and the lyrics of a song was born in 15 minutes, thanks to Bob Dylon. Binu Mathew, the editor of Countercurrents.org published it with a title `Blowing in the Wind in Vizhinjam’. Many friends told me to make a music video with this song. Mustafa Desamangalam suggested the name of Susmit Bose. He has been a fan of Susmit Bose. Because of Mustafa, I have also been listening to Susmit’s songs during the last few years. And then, on another shooting trip between Guahati and Hyderabad recently, two stanzas of the song were shot with Susmit Bose, in Calcutta. Meeting and talking to Susmit Bose was a memorable event. Some people are born to be different. Talented young Ronak Singh edited it. This is just a trailer. A lot of work is needed on this to make a proper music video. Proper shooting in Kerala and proper recording has to be undertaken. If we can raise money to complete it the way we plan, it will become a reality. Any support from your part would be welcome.
Otherwise, you can be satisfied with the trailer alone. For more details on the man-made disaster called Vizhinjam Transit Harbour, you may search for other articles in Countercurrents.org (Here & Here). Dear friends, listen to `Blowing in the Wind in Vizhinjam’ and share it as a part of an overall campaign for survival – of the hills, livelihood of fisher folk, aquatic environment, beaches, homes of the poor and the money that belongs to the public!
K.P. Sasi is a film maker. He can be reached at email@example.com