Events : Economic, Development & Social Issues

Talk on "The Excluded: Case of Selective Democracy and a Dam in Making" by Dr. R. Uma Maheshwari

Held on Monday, 11th June, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Bangalore Bangalore International Centre had arranged a Talk on “The Excluded: Case of Selective Democracy and a Dam in Making” by Dr. R. Uma. Maheshwari, Independent Journalist and Historian, on Monday 11th June 2012 at 6:30 pm. The talk was moderated by Mrs. Sreelakshmi Gururaja, Former UNICEF Representative.
Dr. Uma Maheshwari started her informative talk by showing few images to get the audience a feel of the people who were excluded (like fisherman on the river, tribal community etc), place of exclusion and the river Godavari where the Indira Sagar Polavaram Dam is being constructed. The images were part of her journey from 2006-2010representing the developments in the context of Polavaram Dam.

In a searing indictment of the developmental path chosen by most of the states, as exemplified by the decision taken by the policy-makers in Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Uma Maheshwari showed how the interests of the dalits and the marginalized were totally brushed aside while conceiving the Polavaram Dam project. When completed, the project will submerge around 300 villages in 3 districts, out of which 274 villages are tribal villages, affecting 1.5 lakh acres of cultivable land and lives of over 2.37 lakh people. Admittedly it would lead to developments in other areas; however, the relevant issue would be development for whom and at what cost. As she pointed out, the tribals and dalits continue to remain excluded and marginalized from the fruits of development which are often at their cost. She posed this disturbing issue and left it for the audience to think and ponder.