“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance” – Martin Luther King Jr. The recent Sterlite protests at Tuticorin still show that Martin Luther King’s words are relevant in today’s society. If you refute to this option we welcome you to Tuticorin, where emotionally influenced people are protesting for the shutdown of an industry that literally feeds them.
Communism has always played the environment card wherever it has tried to gain relevancy. Sterlite Tuticorin protest is no different. Trees, lakes, air-we breathe seem to be the buzzwords used by influencers to gather mass crowds in shutting down a company that contributes to around 3.3% of Tamil Nadu GSDP. Customizing the communist agenda to Tamil Nadu, Whats-App forwards high on emotions low on facts ending with “if you’re a true Tamizhan share this” are being circulated. Have they been successful in drawing out crowds to the protest? Yes! After the Jallikattu protest, people in TN are gullible and are easy preys. Politicians seeking political redemption, and new-entrants who are seeking for political relevancy are milking the opportunity presented to them. And the victims of these protests? The people of Tamil Nadu, economy of Tuticorin and the Indian defense sector!
How Sterlite Copper contributes to Tamil Nadu & Tuticorin?
Sterlite Copper recruits 70% of it’s employees from Tamil Nadu. The close down of the plant would mean that Tamizhans would be put out of jobs and would have to look elsewhere for livelihood.
On the Human Development Index, which measures high life expectancy, purchasing power and education, Thoothukudi fares better than Chennai and sits at Rank 3 with a score of 0.852 (source : Tamil Nadu Human Development Report 2017). This is a direct outcome of the increased socio-economic development of an area, for which Sterlite Copper is a key contributor.
Per Capita Income measures the average income earned per person in a given area. Thoothukudi’s economy has been increasing at a much faster rate than the Tamil Nadu state economy. The district’s per capita income was the fifth highest in the whole state in 2011-12, at Rs. 74,933.(source : Thoothukudi District Human Development report). Sterlite Copper has contributed to this growth through employment generation to 1000’s of families of which 70% are from Tamil Nadu. In addition, the company’s operations have directly encouraged the growth of downstream industries.
Increase in Port volumes, thereby more revenue to the state. VOC Port Trust Thoothukudi is Tamil Nadu’s 2nd largest port and amongst India’s largest. The Port is relatively young compared to other major Indian ports, its operations have grown impressively especially in the container market. In 2007, Tuticorin handled 210.8 lakh tons of cargo. This has almost doubled to 384.63 lakh tons of cargo handled in 2016-17.(Source : VOC port trust). Sterlite Copper is today the largest user of Tuticorin Port in terms of Export and Import, thereby contributing significantly to its growth.
Increase in literacy rate. Thoothukudi’s literacy rate has grown from 81.52 % in 2001 to 86.16% in 2011. Out of 86.16%, Male and Female literacy were 91.14 and 81.33 respectively Thoothukudi’s district average literacy rate (86.16) and Sex ratio (1024) are significantly higher when compared to the state of Tamil Nadu (Source: Thoothukudi District Human Development Report 2017). For 20 years, Sterlite Copper’s Education program targeted 55,000 children decreasing the school dropout drastically.
How Sterlite Copper contributes to India’s development?
India produces 60-65% of copper at the moment, and the remaining is being imported from Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, UAE. Sterlite’s current capacity is 400 KTPA, on expansion the company stands to produce another 400 KTPA, put together a mammoth copper production of 800 KTPA, thereby producing 60% of India’s copper requirement & India will be producing 80% of the copper demand thereby becoming a self-sufficient country! Copper, for the novice, is a crucial metal used in any country’s defense sector. This surge in production will thereby make us a very powerful nation!
Could there be a foreign communist hand in stopping our country from developing? Could these protests be just smokescreen that blinds us from their agendas?
Fathima Babu (MDMK), Nithyanand Jayaram (environmentalist), CPI(M), SFI are part of the team that has managed to put together the nitty-gritty of the protest, that has successfully managed to get mileage. As per a report from Deccan Chronicle, police sources suggest that there seems to be a foreign hand behind these activists who are involved in these protests. “One Samarendra Dhas representing ‘Foil Vedanta Group’ of London had allegedly visited Thoothukudi recently for a ‘secret meeting’ with the anti-Sterlite leaders, where he reportedly promised help to keep alive the fire against the copper smelting plant.”
One can see how Nithyanand Jayaraman is getting caste into an event! Such reactions makes one question whether the protest is really about environment or just politics for leaders who have lost narratives in today’s scenario!
Kudamgulam, INO protest, Neduvasal protest, Hydrocarbon protest, and a large number of industries leaving Tamil Nadu, is hurting the state’s finances and development! A state drowned in “conspiracy” theories claiming every other person as Illuminatis, is being emotionally influenced and used by people for their personal gains! And who stands to gain out of all this? Our communist neighbor: China! They remain the bigger power in the Asian region and India plays second fiddle to them.