13 June, 2021

A Poetic Licence

Although Arundhati Roy denies any neo-Luddite impulse or pre-industrial, anti-development dreams, this is what seems to drive her argument, says columnist B.G. Verghese, now with the Centre for Policy Research, in a rebuttal to  The Greater Common Go

A Poetic Licence


  1. Once the dam is 110 m high, irrigation and power benefits would flow. And that could expose the hollowness of the NBA's claims. 
  2. Arundhati asserts traditional crops are being replaced by water guzzlers like cane. But the planned irrigation delta won't permit its farming and the existing factories are outside the SSP command 
  3. The NBA: Conjuring up two problems for every solution Why's the NBA playing an obstructive and not a catalytic role on the Narmada project? Is it because facts may soon contradict their prejudices? Are the poor a constituency some can't afford to lose? Arundhati's idealisation of the tribal lifestyle reeks of glorification of the noble savage. This is what she ordains for them: grubbing for roots, deprived, impoverished, and 'protected '  by the NBA. Does Arundhati know 60% of the water she drinks in Delhi comes from the Bhakra system; even sceptics who thought the Rajasthan canal would never reach the far end of the desert have been...

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