chapter  4
26 Pages

The Long March for Livelihoods: Struggle Against the Narmada Dam in India

WithSubodh Wagle

Mass movements for environmental justice in developing countries are always concerned with the livelihoods of people and communities in rural areas. This chapter examines one of the most celebrated environmental justice movements in developing countries—the protest against what is popularly known as the Narmada Dam, in India. The Narmada struggle and other similar straggles for environmental justice have now joined hands to evolve a nationwide campaign around the political agenda. In May 1988, the grassroots organizations involved in the Narmada struggle and working in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh decided to shift focus of their agenda from demanding a comprehensive resettlement and rehabilitation policy to adopting a stance of complete opposition to the dam. By their heroic struggle, the grassroots movements have pulled away the disguise of alleged development that the Narmada project purports to offer and exposed to the entire world its true character, namely that it fails the test of environmental justice.