A Concept on Energy : ViBGYOR Focus of the Year 2008

The chief criterion for understanding development of any society today is being seen as the manner in which energy is produced, distributed and consumed. At a time when struggles against nuclear power plants, large dams and super thermal plants are becoming more and more common in the developing world, the need to discuss problems related to energy is becoming more and more grave. An understanding of the implications of choice of any form of energy is a political choice which has to be implemented with concern and understanding of its impact on communities, environment as well as future generations.

While most of the developed countries have discarded the possibilities of setting up new nuclear plants due to resistance from their own people, India however is moving towards a nuclear deal with the United States. The number of nuclear plants which may come up following this deal and its impact on the civil society in India is yet to be discussed properly. On the other hand, the adivasis, farmers, village communities and forests in this country have already paid a high price due to proliferation of large dams. The thermal plants have contributed to pollution in a major way and in today’s context of global warming; the threat has become more severe.

While the above forms of centralized energy production has proven to be hazardous beyond doubt, the investment and promotion of sustainable forms of energy are still very weak. We have abundant sun and wind in this country which can be tapped more for many of our energy needs. The loss of energy due to production and distribution are also less in decentralized forms of energy production. However, promotion of sustainable forms of energy production requires a political will, both from the civil society and the governments. When the survival of the planet is threatened more and more, we have no option but to make choices that are less destructive.

Whether the present energy requirement is justified in terms of people’s real needs is another crucial question. There is urgency to stop/control/regulate distribution of energy to all hazardous industries and hazardous forms of agricultural production. Such a control will cut down the projected requirements in a major way. The ultimate answer to the burning questions around energy lies with the survival instinct of the human beings.
In this context, the third edition of ViBGYOR International Film Festival, Thrissur has chosen `Energy’ as a focus of the year 2008. The central theme of the festival to be held in Thrissur, Kerala from February 13-17, is celebrating identities and diversity. This Festival for issue based films is organized every year by the ViBGYOR Film Collective, a collation of various networks and groups, representing Indigenous People, Dalits, Youth, South Asian Relations, Human Rights, Environment and Development, Women’s Issues, Globalisation, Labour, Culture and Media.