Hopes And Fears Of An Activist's Family
By Meera Udayakumar
25 September, 2012
Meera Udayakumar, showing her school for unprivileged children which was disrupted by ‘unidentified’ miscreants in March this year.
Meera wife of S P Udayakumar, the leading activist of the anti-nuclear protests in Koodankulam, talks about her hopes and fears
“I meet him once every month. Since the past few months it has been like that. I would go to Idinthakarai with my two sons and meet him. I have commitments here. My mother is sick. Things are not easy. People at home are upset. I find myself responsible for two sets of parents.
“A week ago, he called me urgently. I went with children to Idinthakarai. He said something bad was coming. He was certain he was going to be arrested. There were first information reports against him. He said he will surrender to the police as it will be good for everyone. If he surrendered to the police, they will stop harassing people.
“I was shocked. What will happen if he gets arrested? My children were worried for his life. My younger son, who is 12-year old, asked me if he would ever come back after he was arrested. My elder son, who is two years older, asked if his father would be beaten.
“People told me that I was naive. They said that what they wanted was that no one should ask questions and the plant should go on. The day he decided to get a court arrest, he said it was the ground reality that was forcing him to do so and that I should explain it to the children. He spoke to them, too.
“Arvind Kejriwal came on Tuesday night at 10 pm. People had by then taken him away so that he won’t surrender. Kejriwal said it was decided that he will not surrender.
“Now things have changed. It is very scary. I have no idea for how long would he remain underground. He has no idea either.
“Kejriwal said the intention of the state is to bring everything to an end. That is, if he is separated from people, all will come to an end. The movement would be finished.
“But, that is wishful thinking. It is too simplistic. It will only intensify feelings. He has to worry about it, too. He was training people for a peaceful protest.
“There are FIRs against me, too, under three sections for unlawful assembly. On Saturday, the police came here, about 25 of them and gave me summons asking me to appear in the court.
“It all started a year ago. We were getting ready for school when we got a call. It was the day after the hot run. (The Russian-designed Kudankulam nuclear plant conducted the hot run — testing various equipments in the plant with dummy fuel — in August last year). Anxious people gathered outside the church and he had to go.
“Everything changed after that. They branded him a Naxal. Then, they said he was getting money from foreign countries for this struggle. All that has been proved false. He never got any money from anybody.
“We run this school, where 90 per cent of students are first generation learners. Yes, they know what is happening around them. They watch TV. On Saturday, a four-year old came to me and asked me about him.
“My children want him to come back. I want him back. I want him to come out and pick up his life from where he left it. I know that would happen.
“The government will realise we can do without nuclear energy. All will understand the fact that this energy is not what we want.
“I remain positive always. I am sure there is a stronger force up there. This whole thing was led, despite obstacles, not because of one person but a collective spiritual power, whatever is leading this universe. There will be an end. A win-win solution will be there. I believe it. Idinthakarai wants alternative energy policy. They are lobbying for altrernative policy for the whole country. The government will be there for the people. They are people, too. They are not bad people. I hope that people will see a reason in having a safer alternative.”
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