August 9, 2014

Poem by Sri Laurie Baker written on 1, August 1990


Many people know Laurie Baker as an architect, cartoonist, writer etc. He used to write poems too. This is one of the poems written by Sri Laurie Baker when Sri RVG Menon was removed from the post of Director of ANERT (Agency for Non-Conventional Energy Resources and Training) for his open stand against the nuclear power reactors. Ramanna, Iyengar, Srinivasan, etc. figure in this poem. Although Sri Baker was not a citizen of India at that time, he still participated in one of the protest meetings organised by Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) and read this poem.


India's reactors
are as safe as tractors
and cleaner than nice new pins.
They will never explode
for just down the road
there is a fence to restrain all their sins.

Menon's advices
(about solar devices)
(and forget that shower
to cool nuclear power)
have not gone far
with Chief Nayan ar.
So Chief Secret ary
(Be he never so wary)
says please wait a while
(until you're senile)
while we all prefer
Poor Tri Kari Pur.

Ramanna, Iyengar and Srinivasan
all say we must go nu-clea-ar
But R.V.G Menon
(and Kay Ess Ess Pee)
(Not to mention some others,
Like Old Laurie Bee)
Prefer Windmills
(and lots of so-lar).

* * *

It can't happen to us.

Others' reactors are not to be trusted.
(Fallouts warn us that some have busted.)

But it cant happen to us.
For we will build partly under the ground. 
and cool them with water and fences all round.

So it cant happen to us!

We also have places up in the Ghats
and we'll take all our Wastes there in old bullock carts

So it cant happen to us!

No one need Know
that our radiation
will probably go
over nation and nation
until, like snow,
and circumnavigation
all then will Know

That it CAN happen to US!

* * *

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