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Nuclear Necropower - Raminder Kaur.pdf (828.37 kB)

Nuclear necropower: the engineering of death conditions around a nuclear power station in South India

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posted on 2023-06-09, 22:38 authored by Raminder KaurRaminder Kaur
The article concentrates on the ways people's claim to life, citizenry and democratic dissent were revoked the more they dared to defy and mobilise against a nuclear power plant at Kudankulam in southern India. Building on the literature on biopower and necropower, it is argued that the Indian state is exercising nuclear necropower through the creation of death conditions for subaltern populations as well as their political supporters. These ‘death worlds’ go beyond physical demise to encompass ecological, social and political conditions by which a person's life is diminished. Victims, suspects, and/or targets are geographically, socially and politically created as a consequence of sliding and syncretic subjugations to do with ‘let die’ and ‘make die’. These variegated perspectives might be delineated by way of three overlapping modalities that embed necropower in the politics of the nuclear industries, environment, social hierarchies and state-backed operations to undermine subaltern populations, anti-nuclear activists and environmentalists. The first modality encompasses ecological factors by way of a silent and encroaching death where nuclear industries subject marginalised communities and casual labourers to a life of environmental uncertainty, exploitation and health hazards. The second is the more overt and punitive violence exacted on- and offline in order to contain and extinguish dissent against nuclear power. The third is by way of producing a culture of vilification in terms of strategies designed to malign and outcaste anti-nuclear activists and environmentalists.


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