in a judgment giving the green light to the Kudankulam nuclear project, our Supreme Court tells citizens, without a hint of irony, that they must put up with “minor inconveniences” such as exposure to radiation, which causes cancer or genetic damage and is always harmful, because enormous “economic scientific benefits” (sic) will come from nuclear power, which “remains as an important element in India’s energy mix”. “Minor inconveniences”? Tell that to the families of the estimated 34,000 people who died from Chernobyl, to the mothers of thousands of babies which have early thyroid disorders thanks to the Fukushima disaster, to the 80% plus French people who oppose new reactors, or to the countless protestors against Indian nuclear projects, including Kudankulam (Tamil Nadu), Jaitapur (Maharashtra), Mithi Virdi (Gujarat), Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh), Fatehabad (Haryana) and Chutka (Madhya Pradesh).
To the supporters of the Trinamool Congress led by the irascible West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the Saradha scam is an acute embarrassment which comes just before her government completes two years in office. To its opponents, it is the TMC’s richly deserved nemesis, and a political opportunity to put the ruling party on the mat on the eve of the state’s panchayat elections.