On Dams and The Damned

This was a portal…and a potent moment in my awakening. The Narmada River Dam came into my view. I interviewed one of the activists who was trying to stop it. It ended up being a private conversation because I never published it…but indigenous people were choosing to die in their drowned villages rather than be uprooted by what we are forced to call progress.

Mega-dams have always been disasters for the future. We’re seeing it now.

Everything put together falls apart.

It’s one of the things we, the modern steel, concrete and plastic society can’t seem to understand. But everything we assemble through the force of industry, subverting, suppressing or suffocating the path of nature, will eventually give into that subtle, persistent force that is the will of the manifested, natural and eventually irrepressible world.

It’s too late to fix the dams that will break. It’s too late to stop the first highway from being built. It’s too late to stop us from destroying our topsoil and rivers and oceans. It is actually and really, truly too late.

We will have to live with that, and to die with it, too. And to mourn our short-sightedness from here or the hereafter.

You might enjoy this, the video talk below, or it may make you feel angry… for making you feel anti-American, or at least un-American.

The good thing about being un-American though (rather than anti) is that it makes you more human…more in tune with the rest of the hungry world, more in tune with nature.

Because we live in a put together society. We didn’t emerge organically from the land, cliffs, mountains and valleys. We imprinted our facsimile suburbs onto them with the power and force of petrol powered diesel behemoths. We put it together for our convenience…it was too tempting not to… But everything put together falls apart.

She wasn’t wrong…except perhaps in her last line. Perhaps that was, for us, for now, incorrect….

What the great grandchildren of this generation will do with the poisonous remains of our industrial world, I suppose, is a question that troubles many of us.

Listen to Arundhati…and dream of possibilities.


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