The villager in the below video says that there are around 10,000 family in Tuticorin without jobs. He goes on to say that an Anti-Sterlite Copper activist by the name Mahesh has got around 50L, has bought a house worth Rs 22L and bought a car worth Rs 4.5L and running a business using the car. He concludes by saying that they all want Sterlite Copper to be re-opened.
The alleged activist in question is A. Mahesh, a graduate who has quit his job to protest against Sterlite and is leading the villagers of Kumarrediarpuram to carry out a continuous protest that started from 12th Feb, 2018. There are 5 FIRs registered against him for creating unrest in Tuticorin.
Ever since the 3 member NGT panel visited Sterlite Copper at Tuticorin, the place has been abuzz with plethora of activities. One can see the spike in “environmental activism” by groups in the town.
The pic below, represents the letter used by environmental activists to get signatures from the locals to shut down Sterlite Copper. Referring the photos shared on social media, the modus operandi is to get signatures on this printed letter from the locals.
From the pictures, one sees that there’s no cover letter attached to the signature forms. Just by mere word of mouth, the people are signing the anti-Sterlite Copper letters. The pictures also indicate that, a crowd of more than 3 pass on the letter to be signed by a local.
Religious places of worship are being used as a place for collecting signature against a corporate company. Now going by the video where the villager speaks about the activists getting paid to the tunes of Rs 50 Lakhs, we should be asking the following questions :
- Why isn’t a cover letter attached to the signature forms?
- Since a crowd of more than 3 people approach to get signatures, are the people in the town bullied to sign the petition?
- Tuticorin being a small town, do people fear social boycott and go onto sign the letters?
- Why is a place of worship being used for a campaign against a company?
- If going by the words of the villager who says that the activists are being paid to protest, isn’t this signature campaign also a paid one? Why hasn’t the Tamil Nadu government probed into these activists’ accounts to find their biases?
One should be raising all these questions when they talk about developing the nation. If religion, fear of social boycott, and misinformation are indeed used against a particular corporate, India is witnessing a worrying trend of muscle power pinning down the country’s growth. If these activities grow unchecked, we may be staring at corporate shutdowns just because of pure Anti-India propaganda.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SatyaVijayi.