(This is a MaxiPost... Read Part-1 of this series).
There is place for all opinions in a democracy. There is abundant room for protests and agitations. These are not hindrances to a democracy but its essence. But time is equally of essence. How long do we protest and agitate? How long do two parties keep insisting their opinion must prevail? In the end either some compromise is worked out or one party wins the battle by the acceptance, defeat or death of the other. Don’t look too far for an example of compromise in differing opinions. The partition of India was opposed by a large number of people but those in power made the compromise. We moved on. Unfinished debates usually take a deadly turn. We have seen that for Telengana too, haven’t we? Kashmir? Some countries wage wars to settle difference of opinion. Some people even kill footballers for losing a match in the World Cup through self-goals. Therefore, the argument that there is place for all opinions in a democracy is true but the debate cannot be forever. On critical issues someone has to bring the curtains down.
In the case of Narmada Dam it took the SC to bring the curtains down. But even that is not acceptable to Medha Patkar. What will be acceptable to her? That all her opponents die so she can prevail? We protest, we agitate, we stall and all that is fine. But surely, the SC of this country or the parliament has to be accepted as the final arbiter. One cannot go on forever with “only my opinion should prevail” kind of agitation. That then is not merely opinion; it is intolerance for an opposing view to succeed lawfully. There are still those tricksters who argue Narendra Modi is not “legitimately” elected to the PM’s office. They can continue to retain their opinions but our democratic process has definitely brought an end to that debate. The problem with the Medhas, Greenpeaces and Kejriwals is that any other outcome other than that of their choice is unacceptable to them, even if lawful and legally endorsed.
Of these, Greenpeace (GP) is the McDonald’s of NGOs. They operate in 40 countries have 28 regional offices, thousands of staff and unknown number of volunteers. Let’s read a bit of what former GP founders say. This is an excerpt from ex-founding member Paul Watson (on the anti-whaling adventures of GP):
“Greenpeace is a major international corporation. Over the years, those of us who envisioned and founded Greenpeace way back when, have watched in frustration and anger as faceless bureaucrats turned ideals into profits, secure in their understanding that the media myth of Greenpeace cannot be tarnished irreparably within the mass media culture. For every person who gets wise to their scam, two more are recruited. Greenpeace is a massive direct mail publicity machine utilizing media and psychology to part people from their money… We created a large green corporate monster that has forgotten where it came from and is now busy feeding frantically at the trough of public guilt. Greenpeace has become the world's largest multinational "feel-good" corporation… Greenpeace is posing and marketing the illusion of saving the planet and they have an army of gullible volunteers and paid canvassers who have been talked into believing that Greenpeace is really, really saving the environment and saving whales in particular… It's obscene, and it is high time that people woke up and saw these large green organizations for what they really are - high-powered public relation machines designed to fleece the public… It is now the Green Piece organization. They have become very successful and efficient with their incredible corporate skills in turning hot red blood into cold green cash”.
Greenpeace started with a few volunteers in small boats to oppose nuclear tests by the US. Their boats kept getting bigger and bigger. Their protesters and agitators knew how to create drama and how to collect money. This tactic is now common to modern agitation technology in India and abroad. One could say GP was among the pioneers: Money and Drama. Take a look at these pics:
That’s a GP rubber boat attacking a Japanese ship. On the right is a larger GP boat blocking a Russian tanker from uploading oil. Mind you, the oil upload is a legal operation but that doesn’t stop GP from physically impeding and blocking operations. That is mild. In 2013 two of GP (Australia) activists invaded a farm and destroyed GM crops. They filmed their act of vandalism and used the video for publicity and drama. The NGO was sued and paid $280000 in damages. They are rich, they can afford that. The two volunteers were given suspended sentences because it was a first time offence and one of them was pregnant. The two employees took the rap but GP didn’t take any responsibility for this act. I wonder if these are “democratic” protests (do read the whole story). Err… remember our own Kejriwal re-connecting power-lines of defaulters and asking people not to pay bills? India tolerates these jokers because they peddle a fake “moral superiority” over everyone else. And many gullible people fall for their tricks.
You can oppose GM crops or power bills but there is a line that one does not cross. The dangerous addition to agitation technology is break laws, destroy private property, intimidate and dare the govt to take action. Time to read about another ex-founding member of GP, Patrick Moore:
“Canadian ecologist Patrick Moore, a former Greenpeace founding member, is a critic of the organization. Moore's main criticisms have been leveled at the campaign to protect the forests of British Columbia. In addition, Patrick Moore had once spoken out against nuclear power in 1976, but today he supports it, along with renewable energy sources. In Australian newspaper The Age, he writes "Greenpeace is wrong — we must consider nuclear power". He argues that any realistic plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels or greenhouse gas emissions need increased use of nuclear energy. Phil Radford, Executive Director of Greenpeace US responded that nuclear energy is too risky, takes too long to build to address climate change, and by showing that the U.S. can shift to nearly 100% renewable energy while phasing out nuclear power by 2050”.
Do note, according to the GP expert above (Phil Radford) even advanced countries like the US can shift to 100% renewable energy only by 2050 and that is just a wild estimate. Most of the advanced countries have been using fossil fuels for hundreds of years but GP wants India to stop straight away. India has been struggling to cope with a huge population and the demand of electricity but GP wants us to live with solar panels and windmills. Their lofty idea may be attractive to gullible people but it is neither feasible nor implementable. Indians are already agitating for power. Many of them have lived without it for centuries. They want it yesterday while GP, which is unable to get advanced countries to replace their current systems, wants India to make all the shifts. Here’s more from the actual article of Patrick Moore:
“It is the IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) that my former colleagues in Greenpeace, and most of the mainstream environmental movement, look to for expert advice on climate change. Environmental activists take the rather grim but measured language of the IPCC reports and add words such as "catastrophe" and "chaos", along with much speculation about famine, pestilence, mass extinction and the end of civilisation as we know it. Until the past couple of years, the activists, with their zero-tolerance policy on nuclear energy, have succeeded in squelching any mention by the IPCC of using nuclear power to replace fossil fuels for electricity production. Burning fossil fuels for electricity accounts for 9.5 billion tonnes of global carbon dioxide emissions while nuclear power emits next to nothing. It has been apparent to many scientists and policymakers for years that this would be a logical path to follow. The IPCC has now joined these growing ranks advocating nuclear energy as a solution. In its recently issued final report for 2007, the IPCC makes a number of unambiguous references to the fact that nuclear energy is an important tool to help bring about a reduction in fossil fuel consumption. Greenpeace has already made it clear that it disagrees. How credible is it for activists to use the IPCC scientists' recommendations to fuel apocalyptic fund-raising campaigns on climate change and then to dismiss the recommendations from the same scientists on what we should do to solve it?”
That was written in December 2007. Since then the IPCC itself has been under scanner for Climate Change falsification of data and fraudulent practices in 2009-10. That, though, need not concern us in this post. So what attracted GP to India? Well, the same reason that MNCs were attracted to India post-1991. You now go to a super-store and you’ll find shelves packed with soaps, body-sprays and stuff never heard of before. The shelves are as crowded with these products as people in a Modi-rally. Naturally, the McDonald’s of NGOs, GP, had to make an entry – even if a late one. You see, since the mid-1990s the donors and donations to GP were decreasing so they turned to the masses for direct collection of money (see here under “funding”). Some call it the MLM type of business.
As with the MNCs, if you want to find masses for your products where do you go? China or India! And that’s how GP found their market in India. And people like emotion, drama and the media feeds it to them in large doses. Just say the govt is “anti-poor” and you can easily collect 1000 people around you in India and also, importantly, money. And tell Indians: No nuclear power, no coal-fired plants, no dams. Call everyone who opposes you corrupt, call everyone who opposes you anti-poor, call everyone who opposes you anti-environment and you have a winner. That is precisely what GP does and that is precisely what Arvind Kejriwal & Co do. And what GP did earlier in the sea is now an adopted “agitation technology” in India. Take a look at these pics:
The top montage is from the Kudankulam protests and the bottom couple are from MP. These make good TV but the leaders of these agitations do deserve to be prosecuted for endangering lives of ordinary people. The MP river-agitation was a farce though. The leader was quite clever in appearing to sink in water but was always ready for TV soundbites. Let me reproduce a TOI report that I had quoted earlier and it’s a great example of “choreographed agitations”:
“Welcome to the village which was in the eye of the storm with 'jal satyagrah' for the past three weeks… It's a story of how the entire media was taken for a ride with the help of mobile phones, which came in handy for keeping tabs on TV crews. The spot shown on TV channels where the agitators protested is not the village proper but the banks of a canal running into the Narmada…When TOI inspected the place of demonstration after the water receded, the spot was found to be only two feet deep… "We were sitting in water," said Mehtab Giri, a villager who joined the protest. "First, we laid bricks and stone slabs on which were placed iron doors used for sluice gates of the dam. This would help us sit comfortably during the protest… "Whenever the media took shots, the second arrangement in the slightly deeper water was used. Agitators waded into water to show the level sometimes chin-deep and at others, neck-deep. When they stood up, it was hardly till their waist." And they weren't in water all the time; they frequently walked in and out of the canal"… there were only three people in the water most of the time… The third was NBA worker Chittarupa Palit, who also walked out to brief the media and file documents. Others took turns. The evidence is all in the television shots".
There! That’s modern TV-time agitation technology for you. And the hearts of viewers melt at the sight of these suffering people and they start shelling out money. What about Kudankulam and that charlatan SP Udaykumar? He’s as fluent in Nuclear-science as Russians are in Bhojpuri. There are cases filed against him and I hope he is prosecuted for his illegal activities. The agitation he led was nothing but “sponsored fear-mongering” backed by Churches. The story is a long one but explained in depth by @TheKaipullai in his blog: “5 reasons why there is something wrong with the protests in Kudankulam” Part-1 and Part-2. I strongly recommend you read both parts and decide for yourself. Of late, it is money and not causes that motivate the actions of many of these unscrupulous NGOs. And they will claim they are God’s angels sent to save you from yourself. “We are killing the earth, we are killing the earth”! That is enough to frighten anyone from the devil that is you.
There is an irony to the GP story that came out only 2 days ago on June 16. When the greed for money is never-ending, what do you do? Gamble! That’s what some people do and that is what GP did. “Greenpeace loses £3m in currency speculation” says the headline. And the explanation is: “We offer a full apology to our supporters for the series of errors that led to the loss”… Greenpeace says the staff member, who worked in its international finance unit, was not acting for personal gain, but had failed to obtain authorisation from senior management. He has since been released from his contract”. So you see, as in the GM farm destruction it’s the employees who acted on their own. GP had nothing to do with it. Oh yeah, some employee handled millions of Euros without the GP management having the slightest of clues on what was happening. Do you believe that? If that is believable then you can understand why many gullible people buy the dooms-day screaming of Greenpeace. It’s money and innovation in agitations.
… To be continued.