The plot behind ‘Sabotage Kudankulam’
On the night of June 20, 2011 a Tupolev-134 jetliner with 43 passengers and a crew of nine took off from Moscow for Petrozavodsk, about 950 km to the north. Midway through the flight, the plane lost altitude and crashed onto a highway in the northern republic of Karelia.
The passengers killed included Sergei Ryzhov, the chief designer of the light water nuclear reactors built by Russia in various countries, including Kudankulam in India. In fact, the entire leadership of the reactor design unit of Russia’s state nuclear corporation was wiped out. The cause was of the crash was never satisfactorily established.
The tragedy, however, did not stop Russia from completing Ryzhov’s unfinished job in Kudankulam. That’s because the allure of the atomic power is very strong in India where high economic growth is creating an unprecedented demand for power. If the country hopes to grow at a rate of 8 percent over the next 25 years, which will lift its entire population to middle class status, then India must triple its energy supply. Nuclear power alone can meet these goals, and end India’s overdependence on oil from the volatile Gulf region.
Sounds like a good plan, but the problem is that’s not how the West sees it. The re-emergence of a fiercely independent India has long worried the West, but things are now getting out of hand. India is not only refusing to play according to the Western script, it is publicly tangoing with the Russians. That’s when the West switches to Plan B – put India back in the box.
WMDs – workers of mass disruption
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh can be accused of many things – that he speaks too little and when he does say something it’s boringly banal. But nobody can accuse Singh of being prone to outbursts.
Which is why his allegation that American-funded NGOs are behind the protests at Kudankulam made headlines all over, giving what was suspected for along an added credibility. He also accused American and Scandinavian backed outfits of trying to derail India’s biotech farming sector.
Unlike the ceaseless flogging of the “foreign hand” by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the 1970s, Singh’s allegation was backed by solid evidence ferreted out by Indian intelligence. His office revealed that the protests at the Kudankulam nuclear plant were orchestrated by NGOs and churches, which were bringing in truckloads of paid protestors (of which there is never a dearth in India). These outfits were in turn being funded by foreign sources.
Within days India cancelled the licences of three NGOs; 77 more NGOs are on a watchlist, and the Home Ministry confirmed most were from the US and the European Union. In 2010, the US-based NGOs accounted for one-third of foreign funds worth Rs 90,000 million given to Indian NGOs.
Subverting India – in the name of God
The nexus between the Western governments, evangelist churches and NGOs has happened because they work best as a pack. Their targeting of India started in earnest with the election of George W. Bush as the US president.
In February 2002, Bush set up the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in the White House. His agenda was to promote government aid to churches, Christian faith-based organisations and charities.
Bush was paying back a favour – a favour so huge he would do anything in return. Despite losing the popular vote to Al Gore, Dubya was elected president mainly due to the support from far right Christian evangelists who run huge transnational missionary organisations (TMOs).
According to V.K. Shashikumar’s expose in Tehelka magazine, “In the decade 1990-2000 these TMOs were running a global intelligence operation which was so complex and sophisticated that in terms of its scale, magnitude and intensity of coverage, the real short-term and long-term implications from the point of view of India's territorial integrity and national security, were indeed frightfully staggering. This operation has succeeded in putting in place a system in India which enables the US government to access any ethnographic information on any location virtually at the click of the mouse. This network in India, established with funding and strategic assistance from US-based TMOs, gives US intelligence agencies virtually real time access to every nook and corner of the country.”
Organisations like the International Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Aid, World Vision, Seventh Day Adventist Church and multi-billion enterprises run by evangelists and demagogues like Pat Robertson, Billy Graham and Roger Houtsma were running a coordinated conversion campaign in India under the banner of AD2000 from 1995 to 2000.
What has made things easier for the missionaries is the opening up of India to US businesses. Billy Graham and his ilk openly admit that they dispatched spying missions to India. Just as Joshua sent out the spies to survey the land and report on its condition before the children of Israel moved out in obedience to God's command, many more missionaries and Christian workers are finding research information invaluable in laying their plans, says the AD2000 document.
We want your soul, and your country
This church-state nexus has been brilliantly documented by British-born academic Iain Buchanan in his book, The Armies Of God: A Study In Militant Christianity, in which he talks about the rise of US evangelism as a force in global affairs.
He looks at the imperial relationship between Western and non-Western countries, and the main players in the process of evangelisation. In an interview to Yogesh Pawar of India’s DNA newspaper, Buchanan said, “Deep in Washington, self-professedly Christian pressure groups have both a highly influential membership and a powerful grip on policy. The network of evangelical influence goes far beyond this: there are scores of such groups at work in Congress, the military, and departments of state. All act to connect politics, business, the media, and the military with one another in pursuit of a common vision of a Christian American dominion over the world.”
So what does this mean for a targeted country? Quite simply, the US won’t stop at proselytizing for that would only be the gain of intangible Third World souls. “In addition, there must be infiltration of every sector of influence in a society, from religious groups to government departments to local charities to private business, in ways which blur the line between Christian indoctrination and secular change,” says Buchanan.
Evangelicals thrive on suffering and disaster. India-born evangelist K.P. Yohannan welcomed the tsunami of 2004 as “one of the greatest opportunities God has given us to share his love with people”. He wasn’t the only one expressing such sentiments. The tsunami in India was indeed a windfall for many American churches which poured in untold billions of dollars to convert large numbers of poor fisherfolk in the Kudankulam area.
Flashpoints like Kudankulam are excellent for plucking martyrs – a key ingredient for conversion in the evangelists’ scheme of things. American evangelists have a continually updated list of names said to identify martyrs in any given district of India, and this heroism is publicised as a mark of honour for the local villages to emulate. This database is a veritable machine for generating misinformation about Christian deaths that could be blamed on others. Often deaths may have been entirely unrelated to religion. It wouldn’t be surprising if five years from now a ‘St Kudankulam’ appears in Indian Christianity’s pantheon.
The protests and roadblocks in Kudankulam are also directed against Russia. The plan was that the Russians would get tired of waiting around and pack up their bags and leave. Not only would the sterile concrete and steel edifice become a symbol of victory for the protestors, it would also be a stark reminder to Russia of the perils of doing business with India.
However, the Russians refused to be baited. (unlike the British who launched into an orgy of hate-India theatrics when their Typhoon fighter aircraft was rejected). Russia’s ambassador to India Alexander M. Kadakin, an Indophile with a deep emotional attachment to the country, understands the predicament India currently faces. In fact, he can see a parallel in this Christian-American-NGO nexus back home.
The West’s invasion of Russia’s near abroad, Bulgaria’s NATO membership and the bombing and the subsequent division of Serbia are all visible aspects of the embattled state of Orthodox Slavs. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the West has attempted to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church, a key pillar of Russian nationalism. The Roman Catholic Church sees a huge opportunity for conversions in the CIS region, with the Vatican sending in its stormtroopers to go out and bring Russia into the Catholic fold.
Fission and friction
So what happened to Plan A? The Nuclear Suppliers Group, the global cartel which controls the export of nuclear fuel, equipment and technology, is in reality a grouping of 46 mostly Western countries that was created to stymie India’s nuclear ambitions. It was hastily set-up in 1974 as a response to India’s atomic bomb test earlier that year.
The NSG is an idea whose time has gone. Today it includes members like New Zealand, Latvia and Austria – which have absolutely no nuclear technology. For more than three decades the NSG has practiced a form of nuclear apartheid designed to exclude India from the high table. All sorts of sanctions, including denial of travel visas to Indian nuclear scientists to member countries of the NSG, were imposed.
It is indeed ironic that the NSG’s growing irrelevance started after yet another atomic explosion by India in 1998. With the leading Western nations deciding that India’s market was worth more than keeping the NSG on life support, the nuclear apartheid crumbled.
But the bickering didn’t end there. Even as the 2009 India-US civil nuclear deal opened a market for equipment and technology estimated at $175 billion, the US found itself shut out of the same market while the Russians were already close to completing two reactors at Kudankulam.
This nuclear heartburn is the reason why the Russian-built plant is being targeted. It is because the US is not able to compete on even terms that it has called in the dirty tricks department. (The crash of the Tupolev-134 carrying Ryzhov and 42 other nuclear scientists and engineers could well be a Western job.)
As Russians, Chinese and other emerging nations descend on Delhi to trade, barter and talk, the West becomes increasingly marginalised. However, it will use every tool at its disposal – including churches and NGOs – to stay in the game.
Time to end the siege
India’s power shortage is nearing a crisis and there’s little tolerance for anti-nuclear protesters, especially when it has been proved they are working for their Western masters.
Hindu nationalists are getting aggressive, seeing this brazen attack on a symbol of India’s progress. With nationalist party workers attacking a group of trucked-in protestors last week, there is now the real possibility of this becoming a law and order issue, or worse, a communal tinderbox.
India can either let Western detritus dictate terms over a $3 billion plant or give them the marching orders. How the country’s leadership acts will decide if power goes to people’s homes – or whether it will empower the enemy of the people.