Words on Water - Documentary about displacement caused by Narmada Valley Dam


Above is a YouTube link to a 4-minute trailer of the documentary, Words on Water by Sanjay Kak. This documentary is about the mass displacement of indigenous populations caused by the building of the Narmada Valley dams. Rob Nixon mentions this project when discussing the work of the writer-activist, Anudharti Roy, in his book that we read in Human Rights class.

This documentary is primarily about the conflict in views about the ongoing dam building project between the government bodies and the indigenous populations of the areas which would be affected by the construction of these dams. It shows how the indigenous population would be affected severely, and how the government's relocation program has not proven to be successful in satisfactorily resettling them so far. It also shows the immense persuasive power of the nationalist discourse employed by politicians wishing to push the development agenda further, and suppress the voices of the locals. They 'otherize' this indigenous population, the Adivasi, admiring them for their unique culture and history as it adds to the diversity of India, but are willing to displace them and scatter their community for the dams.

Do watch this short video. It's very interesting. The full version of the documentary is available for payment. The issue of the Naramda Dam project is also discussed by Anudharti Roy in her article, The Greater Common Good (http://www.narmada.org/gcg/gcg.html).


  • Indigenous Rights