This is a blog for entries on politics, economics, current affairs, religion, history, philosophy and travel. I mostly muse on events concerning India.
Friday, November 01, 2013
A Statue to shame us all
Dams are built at a terrible cost. Thousands of poor people lose land,
livelihood and their way of life, for a compensation. Eminent Domain by
which we authorize the state to take over private land, to serve the
greater common good of the country, must be used with great caution and
The dams built across Narmada have been especially
painful. Thousands of people in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra lost
their villages to irrigate Gujarat. Hundreds of activists are protesting
the callous way in which compensation was distributed and still hasn't
reached some. I have been vary of Narmada Bachao Andolan but have never
been unsympathetic to people's demands for just compensation.
Now, some people are building a statue of Sardar Patel on the bank of
Sardar Sarovar Dam. I mean, a dam already named after Sardar Patel. Why
the State is involved in such a statue building exercise is beyond me.
How do we tolerate 2500 crore rupees being spent to build a freaking
statue when thousands are still protesting to get compensation for
terrible personal sacrifices? And why do we remain mute spectators to
one man's misuse of the statue to further his political ambition?
Its quite depressing.
ps: I took the above photo while visiting Bhakra dam which is
celebrating 50 years this October. I'm sure our statue builders will
also begrudge this portrait of our then Prime Minster who was
instrumental in building that dam.