Describe the Sardar Sarovar Project.
The Sardar Sarovar Dam is a gravity dam on the Narmada River near Navagam, Gujarat in India. It is the
largest dam and part of the Narmada Valley Project. The project was part of a development scheme to
increase irrigation and produce hydroelectricity.
Who was displaced by the dam and what happened to them?
The dam displaced more than 41,000 families (over 200,000 people) in the three states of Gujarat,
Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh. Over 56 percent of the people affected by the dam are adivasis. The
government had to relocate these families. The places where they were relocated to usually had less
fertile land which meant that farmers had lost their source of incomes. Some of them who were
previously land owners became wage labourers and in extreme cases homeless.
What is the Narmada Bachao Andolan?
Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) is a social movement consisting of tribal people, adivasis, farmers,
environmentalists and human rights activists against the Sardar Sarovar Dam being built across the
Narmada river, Gujarat, India. Friends of River Narmada. Their mode of campaign includes hunger
strikes and garnering support from film and art personalities (notably Bollywood actor Aamir Khan).
Narmada Bachao Andolan, with its leading spokespersons Medha Patkar. In 1991, Patkar's actions led to
an unprecedented independent review by the World Bank (who had financed the dam).
What did Nehru mean by calling dams the “temples of modern India”?
When Nehru called the dams the temples of modern India, he was referring to the common sentiment
at the time that the dams would provide irrigation that would increase crop yields, that the dams would
also provide the electricity that would spur economic growth. The dams ended up being more trouble
than they were worth neither the promised power generation or irrigation levels expected truly
materialised and later in his life Nehru regretted the statement.
(Roy, Dam/Age) Why does Arundhati Roy write about “the dismantling of the Big”?
-this refers to the big bombs, big dams, big ideologies, big contradictions, big countries, big
wars, big heroes, big mistakes.
-Roy says the quota of big heroes has been met for the time, so for now we must support small
protests, small fights, and most importantly the many small heroes we have trying to make a difference.
And in that process we can dismantle all those “bigs” that have caused so many problems and are
negatively affecting our country
How have adivasis become part of a larger, more diverse movement against the Sardar Sarovar Project?
- The coverage of Adivasis displacement strengt