Food, Water or Aeroplanes

24th September, 2014

Do not destroy our food and water. This is fundamental to our survival . This was the slogan during the recent one day satyagraha which took place in Trivandrum on 18th june . Sugathakumari teacher, the famous poet and environmentalist took the initiative to bring cultural leaders and political leaders , religious heads and environmentalists to sit for a day to reflect up on this fundamental issue and get the decision makers not to destroy our food and water. Sri O N V Kurup , poet and Adoor Gopalakrishnan also supported her.

The context of this satyagraha is the proposal to build 3 airports , Aranmula, Anakkra and Cheekkallur , after filling paddy wetlands in 3 different regions in the state. Kerala is only 5,40 km long and 45 km wide . Such a narrow strip of  land situated between the western ghats and lakshadweep sea  already has 3 international airports and one more is already sanctioned in north Kerala. Then why 3 more airports? Even ordinary people ask this simple question. Is this the priority issue for Kerala? If any body look at Kerala what do we miss? Kerala is rich in biodiversity. It is green through out the year . But majority of keralites do not eat the food grown in this land. We eat poisoned food and we blame tamil farmers for that. Why is it that government do not see production of food as  development ? While producing food is the most important and fundamental technology developed by humanity , now it is sidelined totally, especially in Kerala. So when we see a piece of land, immediately we start calculating its price , how many lakhs per cent, and have stopped seeing it as a place where we can plant trees or grow our food . This is really an unfortunate situation. This is a sickness and this disease is spreading every where. Similarly the issue of water is also very critical . we have only two situations. Either we do not have water or we have polluted water. Several studies have brought out this fact. Preventing pollution and conserving water should have been our development priority, but government’s answer to this issue is to start a water company and get people to buy bottled water!

During the satyagraha Sri O N V Kurup said very emotionally that when people lack water and food ( annam) in future , roar of aero planes can not compensate for this loss . Media was after other issues on this day and hence his words and the relevance of this satyagraha did not find enough space either in the print media or in the channels. But those who have attended this satyagraha have resolved to take this message forward .

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