Narmada Bachao Andolan
-Shubhangi verma , 130534
Development is not purely an economic phenomenon but rather a multi-dim...
Gandhi’s View on Development
Gandhi's espousal of ecologically sustainable and employment-oriented development is all he ...
Narmada Valley Project - Sardar Sarovar Dam
In 1946, India’s Central Waterways, irrigation, and Navigation Commission con...
Drawbacks of the Project
The dam is one of India's most controversial dam projects and its environmental impact and
net ...
Mass Media on Narmada Bachao
According to Gandhi, he recognized that communication is the most effective tool to shape
The strongest grounds for this struggle are neither environmental nor religious (though both
are important in...
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Alternative development
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narmada bachao- gandhi view

narmada bachao andolan critique , Gandhian view, alternative development, development.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Education      

Transcripts - narmada bachao- gandhi view

  • 1. Narmada Bachao Andolan -Shubhangi verma , 130534 Development is not purely an economic phenomenon but rather a multi-dimensional process involving reorganization and reorientation of entire economic and social system. Development is nothing but improving the quality of human life through advancement in technology, improvement in agriculture, expansion in industries, enriching cultural diversity and evolution of mankind. Alternative development is a process to prevent and eliminate the problem of irrigation, power production, and floods through specifically designed rural development measures in the context of sustained national growth and sustainable development efforts in countries recognizing the particular socio-economic characteristics of the target communities and groups, within the framework of a comprehensive and permanent solution to the problem. Alternative development has been concerned with redefining the goals of development and with introducing alternative practices of development-participatory and people centred. It can be viewed as concerned with local development, with alternative practices on the ground, or as an overall institutional challenge to mainstream development, and part of a global alternative. Alternative development has been concerned with introducing alternative practices and redefining the goals of development. Arguably this has been successful, in the sense that key elements have been adopted in mainstream development. It is now widely accepted that development efforts are more successful when there is participation from the community. Development is no longer simply viewed as GDP growth, and human development is seen as a more appropriate goal and measure of development. By the same token this means that alternative development has become less distinct from conventional development discourse and practice, since alternatives have been absorbed into mainstream development. In the context of alternative development several pertinent positions and methodologies have been developed. The tendency to equate development with modernization and alternative development with de-modernization, premised the ‘incompatibility between modernization and human development’. Alternative development is rejected because `most of the efforts are also products of the same world view which has produced the mainstream concept of science, liberation and development. The debate over the word “development” is not merely a question of words. Whether one likes it or not, one cannot make development different from what it is. Development has been and still is the Westernisation of the world.
  • 2. Gandhi’s View on Development Gandhi's espousal of ecologically sustainable and employment-oriented development is all he more significant today as fossil fuel-driven industrialisation and insatiable consumerism engender crisis in resources on a global scale. Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas are still highly relevant in this day and age, particularly during debates on development issues. One recalls his advice to policy-makers and others that whenever you are in doubt “recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him? Will it restore him the control over his own life and destiny?” Translated into tangible terms, the needs of the poorest people should receive the topmost priority in development planning. The two most important challenges today are: protecting the environment; and meeting the basic needs of all. The Gandhian response to both challenges is simple and identical – release resources from the grip of the very rich so that the needs of the poor can be met. The lifestyle of the richest is attractive, and so it soon becomes a model for others. Mahatma Gandhi had said clearly that this is a model not worth emulating because it is destructive to nature. Instead he tried throughout his life to experiment with low-cost food, farming, education and Medicare which could meet the needs of all. While considering an alternative path of development, Gandhi was very clear on the point that it must not be based on exploitation. According to Gandhi, The economic system should be so organised that every individual has an opportunity of getting gainful employment, so that he can buy his own bread and essential means of living. Gandhi did not believe in the poor living on the charity or mercy of others and wanted eradication of poverty which is possible only through everyone getting employment. Gandhi opposed to mindless industrialisation as it displaces labour and causes unemployment and is the main reason for rural poverty. Gandhi supported rural-centric development with agriculture and small scale industries getting pride of place, as this is the only way the unemployment problem can be solved in a labour abundant country like India. Gandhi believed in the decentralised development model as this helps the fruits of development reach everyone and promotes equality and social harmony. We need a new matrix of economic development, in which progress is measured in terms of development of human capability, dignified employment for everyone, equitable distribution of income and wealth, ecological sustainability and social well-being of the community.
  • 3. Narmada Valley Project - Sardar Sarovar Dam In 1946, India’s Central Waterways, irrigation, and Navigation Commission constituted a committee to study the feasibility of such a project. Fifteen year later, Prime Minister Nehru inaugurated the Narmada Valley Development Project. The Narmada basin is almost 100,000 square kilometres in size and is home to twenty-one million people. The Sardar Sarovar dam’s impounding of water in a 455-foot-high reservoir would ultimately submerge 37,000 hectares of land in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, and divert 9.5 million acre feet of water into a canal and irrigation system. The project took form in 1979 as part of a development scheme to increase irrigation and produce hydroelectricity. The project will irrigate more than 18,000 km2, most of it in drought prone areas of Kutch and Saurashtra. The dam will irrigate 17,920 km2 of land spread over 12 districts, 62 talukas, and 3,393 villages (75% of which is drought-prone areas) in Gujarat and 730 km2 (280 sq mi) in the arid areas of Barmer and Jaloredistricts of Rajasthan. The dam will also provide flood protection to riverine reaches measuring 30,000 ha covering 210 villages and Bharuch city and a population of 400,000 in Gujarat. In 2011, the government of Gujarat announced plans to generate solar power by placing solar panels over the canal, making it beneficial for the surrounding villages to get power and also helping to reduce the evaporation of water. Without the dam, the long term costs for people would be much greater and lack of an income source for future generations would put increasing pressure on the environment. If the waters of the Narmada river continuous to flow to the sea unused there appears to be no alternative to escalating human deprivation, particularly in the dry areas of Gujarat. Therefore, The project has the potential to feed as many as 20 million people, provide domestic and industrial water for about 30 million, employ about 1 million, and provide valuable peak electric power in an area with high unmet power demand (farm pumps often get only a few hours power per day). In addition, recent research shows substantial economic multiplier effects (investment and employment triggered by development) from irrigation development. Set against the futures of about 70,000 project affected people, even without the multiplier effect, the ratio of beneficiaries to affected persons is well over 100:1.
  • 4. Drawbacks of the Project The dam is one of India's most controversial dam projects and its environmental impact and net costs and benefits are widely debated. The people were being evicted from their land and livelihood with no proper compensation. Also there were the adverse environmental effects of the dam that had not been fully appreciated, as no proper environmental studies have been carried out. The Narmada Dam has been the centre of controversy and protest since the late 1980s. The figurehead of much of the protest is Medha Patkar, the leader of the "Narmada Bachao Andolan," the "Save Narmada Movement." The movement was cemented in 1989. Chief stated goal of the movement is of ‘creating an alternative political culture based on Gandhian Principles’. It has been driven by a very Gandhian belief that modern development projects supported by the state run roughshod over the economic needs as well as civil rights of the mass of the rural poor, and that the only way to counter such tyranny is through non-violent mass resistance. The two main leaders, Medha Patkar and Baba Amte, have also used fasting as a weapon, often with some success. The Narmada Bachao Andolan is best seen, therefore, as a campaign for economic and civil rights that employs Gandhian-style satyagraha to powerful effect. The movement gradually gathered momentum with an escalating series of rallies, protest marches, demonstrations and fasts. Medha Patkar advances the Gandhian argument that the struggle was for decentralisation of power, with local people having the right to decide how their resources should be utilised. Timeline 1979 Narmada Valley Project took place. 1980s Protests against the project. 1989 Formation of Narmada Bachao Andolan 1990 Janpenese Government withdraw fundings 1993 World Bank Withdrew financial support 1994 The Supreme Court of India allowed 88m height of dam. 2000 2-to-1 majority judgment in the Supreme Court-construct the dam up to 90 m 2002 Narmada Control Authority approved increasing the height of the dam to 95 m 2004 height increase to 110 m 2014 Narmada Control Authority gave the final clearanceto 138.68 m
  • 5. Mass Media on Narmada Bachao According to Gandhi, he recognized that communication is the most effective tool to shape opinion and mobilize popular support. There was number of journalists, writers, filmers and reporters who supported Narmada Bachao Andolan. They expressed their views in many forms of media like books, documentaries, movies, novels etc. Some of the examples are documentaries like Drowned Out by Spanner films and A Narmada Diary by Anand Patwardhan, book written by Arundhati Roy The Greater Common Good. Review of Narmada Diary: In A Narmada Diary, Patwardhan argues that economic development and its technological feats cannot only be damaging to the environment, but can also work against the citizens to which it is supposed to bring better living-conditions. The film also shows the discrepancy between the promises of political leaders and the actual implementations of these promises; for example when the government agrees that no village will be submerged before relocation has been completed, but in fact this does not translate in deeds. Likewise, the dam is promoted by some people for its benefits for the people, yet we learn that the electricity produced by the dam will be too expensive for poor villagers and tribal to buy, and that the villages that have had repeated droughts will not receive the benefits of irrigation from the dam, but that fertile lands in Gujarat and cities will be the beneficiaries of the water channelled through the dams system. The fact that the BJP is involved in attacking the NBA’s office, and that Advani, its leader, is also present at the Chief Minister’s funeral; show that business and political interests go hand in hand against the poor and the destitute. When the villagers organize themselves and protest, the police fire at them, and their demonstrations end up in police beatings. The unbalance in power is clearly illustrated in the film by the scenes showing the living conditions of people in submerged or to-be-submerged lands, the distraught and issues that they face as they have to leave their traditional means of subsistence; and this is contrasted with found footage from official documentaries and representatives that speak of progress and technological achievements. It creates a duality between the people, which represent the human side of the society, and development embodied by the machine.
  • 6. Conclusion The strongest grounds for this struggle are neither environmental nor religious (though both are important in their different ways), but those of the rights of citizens to a livelihood, a decent standard of living and freedom from arbitrary acts of the state coercion. All of these basic rights are violated most blatantly by the Narmada project. The struggle began as a local demand for social justice, but in the process it expanded to providing a fulcrum for a critique of a whole system of rule which was prepared to ride roughshod over the basic needs of one section of the population for the sake of development projects which enrich those who are already well off. While the state claims that this furthers national interests, it in fact strengthens class divisions and is thus socially divisive. The government did not carry any kind of environmental research before implantation of the project. Also many of the times, the government officials were harsh with the protestors and did lathi charge and were violent with them. Eighty percent of the entire irrigation budget of Gujarat was being poured into the work, starving other irrigation projects of funds. Also, did not provided proper rehabilitation facilities to the adivasis. Although the Narmada Valley Project emphasis on growth and development of the country and provides scheme to increase irrigation and produce hydroelectricity but the way it implemented is not in systematic form. ‘All forms of criticism of mainstream development are arraigned together as if they form a cohesive alternative, but all good things put together do not necessarily make great things.’
  • 7. References  - Alternative development  - Quote of mahatma gandhi  documentary-film-in-india/104-a-narmada-diary - A Narmada Diary  - Gandhi and Alternative development  Young India  - Gandhi  – Narmada Project