Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Poetry, politics

It is July. What is happening in the Narmada valley? How much did the water levels rise this monsoon? Whose houses were submerged? How many people decided they couldn't take it anymore and wearily accepted miserable resettlement packages? What gives strength to those who choose to remain?

Read Vikram Seth's 'The Elephant and The Tragopan' and think of Narmada. Go here to see what last year's submergence looked like. Imagine what this year's creeping water levels will do. Juxtapose that with us watering our lawns and splashing around in water parks (and I don't just mean in Baroda, Ahmedabad, Kheda, Gandhinagar and Surendranagar, though those will be the most grotesque comparisons because of proximity).

Watch this space for news of the UK Narmada Network (first meeting in the first week of August, London). It's worth remembering that every CM of Gujarat from Chimanbhai Patel through Narendra Modi has courted NRI Gujaratis for financial and political support for the Sardar Sarovar Project, particularly in periods when international investment in the project started to dry up as a result of the movement. The pro-dam lobby actively courts external support and then accuses anti-dam activists of being 'anti-national' when they do the same.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?