I recently watched two hard hitting documentaries by Anand Patwardhan, screened by Konangal Film Society at Coimbatore – Fishing: In the sea of greed and A Narmada Diary. The latter was especially moving. The grit and grace of Medha Patkar, captured wonderfully in this film, may just about force even her harshest critics to reconsider their positions. In the days, when handy cameras may not have been available, it is quite incredible that many of those events could even be shot. The confrontation with the then Environment Minister, Kamal Nath, at his office, shows that no door can remain closed for a few determined fighters.
“We look forward to the day when people of Kutch and Saurashtra will say we don’t need that water if people are evicted by force – for that would be blood and not water,” says Medha in a fiery, teary speech. Recent history is showing no indications of such a day dawning in this consumerist world – the popular support for the Kudankulam plant in a power starved/hungry Tamilnadu is a case in point. But hope is immortal.
A Narmada Diary is on youtube. Recommendation: Watch it even if you don’t agree with the cause.