Anti-nuclear activist is AAP candidate from Kanyakumari

By Staff Reporter,

Chennai: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded anti-nuclear energy activist S.P. Udayakumar from Kanyakumari. AAP announced the seventh list of 26 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday.

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Udayakumar was born on June 8, 1959 at Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India. After getting his B.Sc. (Mathematics) and M.A. (English Literature) from Madurai and Kerala Universities in India, he spent six years in the conflict-ridden Tigrai province of Ethiopia teaching English and renewing the UNESCO Club movement in Ethiopian senior secondary schools.

S.P. Udayakumar

From 1989 till 2000 he lived in the United States obtaining an MA in Peace Studies (Notre Dame), a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawai’i, and working as a Research Associate and Co-Director of Programs at the Institute on Race and Poverty, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He also taught conflict resolution, nonviolence and international relations courses at University of Hawai’i, Monmouth University, Hamline University, University of Minnesota, European Peace University, Lady Sriram College etc.

An active member of the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) and the International Peace Research Association (IPRA), Udayakumar takes special interest in Futures Studies and Peace Studies. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Futures Studies and In Review, and also one of the Co-Directors of TRANSCEND: A Peace and Development Network. Udayakumar also runs the South Asian Community Center for Education and Research (SACCER) Trust in India to carry out educational and research ventures.

Udayakumar has written several academic and popular books: More than a Curriculum: Education for Peace and Development (with Johan Galtung; Information Age Publishers, 2012); ‘Presenting’ the Past: Anxious History and Ancient Future in Hindutva India (Praeger, 2005); Handcuffed to History: Narratives, Pathologies, and Violence in South Asia (Praeger, 2001); Anu Aatam (Vikatan, 2011); Puyalukku Pinne Poonthentral (Kalachuvadu, 2012); and Thakararu (Vikatan, 2013).

He has also published many public education books, booklets and pamphlets on various socioeconomic-political issues. Some of the academic papers he has published include: “India and Pakistan: A Twosome Trouble, or a Troublesome Two?” “Race, Poverty and Globalization,” “Futures Facilitators and Futures Studies,” “‘Om-made’ History: Preparing the Unlettered for the Future Hindu Rashtra,” “Nukes as a Way of Life?: Contextualizing the Nuclear Madness in South Asia, A Review Essay,” “The Deadly Slide: Understanding Regress,” “Historicizing Myth and Mythologizing History: The Ayodhya Case in India,” “Accursed Futures and Redemptive Fantasies: An Analysis of the Indo-Pakistan Predicament,” “Landing Peace Theory on Solid Ground,” “Mapping the ‘Hindu’ Remaking of India,” “South Asia: Before and After,” “Betraying a Futurist: The Misappropriation of Gandhi’s Ramarajya,” “The Free Trade Frenzy,” “The Peacekeeping Triangle,” “The Futures of the Poor,” “Regional Cooperation in South Asia: The People Factor.”

Udayakumar has given lectures and presented papers in academic conferences all over the world. He has travelled to some 25 countries that include Austria, Britain, Cambodia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States.

Udayakumar speaks Tamil, English and Malayalam fluently and knows a smattering of Hindi, Amharic and Spanish. He is married to Ms. Meera Udayakumar, social worker and school principal, with two sons, Surya and Satya. His family lives with his parents Mr. S. Paramarthalingom and Mrs. S. Ponmony, and visits frequently his in-laws, Mr. P. Rajamani and Mrs. P. Janaki who live close by at Nagercoil.

An ardent lover of pets and books and black tea, Udayakumar enjoys reading, writing, cycling with his sons and struggling for a Nuclear-free Tamil Nadu, India and the world.

Kumar, who joined the AAP in February 2014, is the convenor of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) which spearheaded the anti-Kudankulam campaign.