NEW DELHI: Whether it is protests against the Koodan­kulam Nuclear Power Project or the concerted opposition towards genetically modified Bt Brinjal, according to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, US-based NGOs are to blame for engineering popular unrest on Indian soil.
In an interview given to Science magazine on the state of Indian scientific research and inclusive growth, Singh says, “What’s happening in Koodankulam (is that) the atomic energy programme has got into difficulties because these NGOs, mostly I think based in the United States don’t appreciate the need for our country to increase the energy supply.”
Drawing an analogy with China, the PM seemed to suggest that popular protests cannot be ignored by an elected Government in India. “But we are a democracy, we are not like China,” he added, by way of explanation.
Asked whether nuclear energy has a role in India after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, Singh admitted that there has been a rethink. However, “the thinking segment of our population certainly is supportive of nuclear energy”.
It becomes apparent from the interview—uploaded on PMO’s website on Thursday—that the PM is of the view that foreign­-aided NGOs are coming in the way of India realising its development goals and fulfilling its growth potential. For, not just KKNPP, he said, the government had to put a morato­rium on release of Bt Brinjal due to protests engineered by US’ and Scandinavian NGOs who have little understanding of India’s agriculture sector.