TIRUNELVELI: “Green politics” that the noted anti-Nuke activist, Dr S.P. Udayakumar attempted in the 2014 and 2016 elections in the south is yet an elusive ideal in the state that is facing several environment issues.
Even Udayakumar seemed to be not positive about the emergence of environmentalism as an issue at least in the southern districts of Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi that witnessed series of struggles against industrial projects starting from Sethusamudram channel to Sterlite copper plant issue.
The noted anti-nuke activist and environmentalist, who is also the founder of 'Green Party of India' in 2001, which later in 2016 was revived and rechristened as "Patchai Tamizhagam Katchi", hopes that green politics will emerge as the younger generation has now come with ideas for creating a ecologically sustainable society rooted in environmentalism, non-violence, social justice and grassroots democracy.
But he added that it might take at least another two decades to come to the fore replacing 'Dravidian politics' that according to Udayakumar, is 'waning'.
"We too should be careful that the hate-centered Tamil Nationalism should not be allowed to hijack the space created by the fall of Dravidianism and Nationalism," worried Udayakumar, who was in the campaign team of the American environmentalist, Ralph Nader, Green Party of the United States (GPUS) candidate in the American presidential election in 2000.
Udayakumar's electoral attempts in the 2014 immediately after the Idinthakarai struggle against the Kudankulam nuclear power project in the Kanniyakumari Lok sabha constituency and later in the Radhapuram Assembly election in 2016, were not encouraging. His co-activists, Pushparayan and M P Jesuraj, also failed to make any impact respectively in the Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli constituencies in the 2014 Lok sabha elections.
The total votes polled by the three anti-nuke activists in Kanniyakumari, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi Lok Sabha constituencies put together, was around 60,000.
Mr. Udayakumar, however, claimed that his 'Patchai Tamizhagam' party has organisational set-up in 15 districts in the state.
The coordinator of the 'Federation of Tamils against Sterlite', Krishnamurthy's response, however, was more pessimistic about the idea of fielding candidate at least in Thoothukudi, where the Sterlite issue is expected to be one of the deciding factor in the Lok sabha election.
However, president of Tamil Farmers Association, O Narayanasamy, who too is an anti-Sterlite activist, named a farmer, Sundarraj to contest in the Thoothukudi Lok Sabha constituency on issues like Sterlite and farmers' problems. The farmers' leader added,"the anti-Sterlite movements and the coastal community in Thoothukudi assured to support our candidate in this election in Thoothukudi."...