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The Medha Patkar Chat

MEDHA PATKAR, (Tue Oct 15 21:12:17 1996 IST):

B K Behram: Since it is liberalisation that has opened up our lands, water, forests and even living human communities to the attack by the industrial societies, affecting our culture and compelling us to change our structures--- economic, social and political: We are not for it. Nor are the common people who have been loosing their jobs when water fuel fodder, their self employment. With our resource matrix and our non consumerist culture which is enviornmentally based and sustainable, we do not see any reason to under estimate the strength of our resources and fall prey to the global markets and debt traps.

oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:12:57 1996 IST):


na (Tue Oct 15 21:13:03 1996 IST):

Medha, are you still there?

B K Behram (Tue Oct 15 21:13:05 1996 IST):

Sorry. Sorry. I don't mean to slug it out with NA.

na (Tue Oct 15 21:14:30 1996 IST):


oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:15:52 1996 IST):

Sorry, Medha 'liberalisation' or not, our lands, water, forests and even living human communities are up to attack. So, why not pick up whatever we can, grab what we can from big white chief, so to say? why just resist for the sake of resistance?

MEDHA PATKAR, (Tue Oct 15 21:16:13 1996 IST):

Narmada: Just on Narmada issue, there are atleast 50 full timers who are the local village activist as also the educated ones who have left their careers and join the movements. But there are 100s of others who have been very actively supporting Narmad, and also the National Alliance of People's Movements which has roots in many states in India. We have journalists, lawyers, fund raisers, students, literary persons, house wives and what not supporting us.

of the people, for the people, bAre the middle classes sensitive towards your cause, or have they been taken up with the liberalisation and its promises? (Tue Oct 15 21:16:15 1996 IST):

Are the middle classes sensitive towards your cause, or have they been taken up with the liberalisation and its promises?

na (Tue Oct 15 21:16:33 1996 IST):


na (Tue Oct 15 21:18:31 1996 IST):


ganesh (Tue Oct 15 21:18:56 1996 IST):

oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:19:09 1996 IST):


oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:20:09 1996 IST):


oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:21:29 1996 IST):

why is this so slow today? rediff bhaiya do something?

oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:22:03 1996 IST):

hello, anybody else around?

na (Tue Oct 15 21:22:45 1996 IST):

Medha, I've mailed you a copy of my first chapter. It'll also give you'll an idea of what I would like to work on when I come in March. I've been in touch with Gabriele also on this. Thomas had said he would be coming here but I haven't heard anything. How was Suresh khairnar's trip in the northeast?

MEDHA PATKAR, (Tue Oct 15 21:22:53 1996 IST):

Sudder: I hope you knew that while we are resisting things that fall out of the alternative development paradigm but not just activists but millions of common people pursue and would like to, but we also have been propogating the alternative. For example we want, people oriented development planning which would clearly lead to planninr process with maximum right to the village communities to their resource base, envoirmentally sustainable technology in every sector whether it is water management or power generation, and decentralised use and management of resources which only would ensure just distribution of benefits. In the sector of power one would therefore beigin with the presently non conventional sources of energy which are abudantant, cheaper with proper research and action, and decentralised. But it would also mean questioning our own life styles which is energy incentives not more than 15-20 per cent of this country and the world's poopulation at the cost of others.

oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:23:04 1996 IST):

is that it???

Indu (Tue Oct 15 21:23:34 1996 IST):

Do you want us to revert to Mohenjo Daro type of life, with ,our teeming millions? Why can't you agree to have some progress? What about those who thirst for water and crops? The dam will help to feed millions of hungry ones...just hanging on for the sake of your stupid obstinacy and a few hundred people?

na (Tue Oct 15 21:24:07 1996 IST):

Looks like they might have been cut off or something! Lakshmanji, are you'll around still?

SJaswant Srikantan (Tue Oct 15 21:24:54 1996 IST):

Namashkar, Ms Patkar. Good to speak to you. I want to know from you your vision of India's future. Where will we be ten years from now?

Rohan (Tue Oct 15 21:25:15 1996 IST):

Ms Patkar, your involvement in this movement must have resulted in a lot of personal sacrifice? In retrospect, do you think it has been worth it?

oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:25:18 1996 IST):


na (Tue Oct 15 21:26:24 1996 IST):

Why do we have to be rude and uncivil in this chat process? Can't you disagree with the guest without being abusive? Oh, this is for Indu.

oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:26:36 1996 IST):

Medha:Do you have a personal side to your life which you don't discuss?

MEDHA PATKAR, (Tue Oct 15 21:26:57 1996 IST):

unknown: There are many middle class people men, women, youth who realsie how suffocating, money and material oriented their lives have become. They support us for a new society with humane and just relations amongst humans and with nature.

sateesh (Tue Oct 15 21:27:42 1996 IST):

I think load has increased.I volunteer to withdraw. But friends tell Medha Patkar how much we hate these activists who wants to hinder progress of our country .

Bikash Sanyal (Tue Oct 15 21:27:52 1996 IST):

Good evening, Ma'am. Is your legacy Gandhian? Is it Marxist?

na (Tue Oct 15 21:28:05 1996 IST):


oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:28:18 1996 IST):

NA:This is, still, a free country. Being rude/uncivil is all part of the larger picture. Let people ask what they will....

Indu (Tue Oct 15 21:28:59 1996 IST):

Can you really provide for the 'downtrodden', that you make such a fuss?

MEDHA PATKAR, (Tue Oct 15 21:29:02 1996 IST):

Rohan: I do not judge the worth of a people's movement with my sacrifice. It is my duty towards the society and living beings. And there are so many others who collaborate, cooperate and appreciate the cause. So there is no repentance.

na (Tue Oct 15 21:29:28 1996 IST):


MEDHA PATKAR, (Tue Oct 15 21:30:16 1996 IST):

Indu: I do not claim I provide anything but my service and try to see that they themselves are empowered to judge what is right and wrong.

oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:31:06 1996 IST):


Indu (Tue Oct 15 21:31:14 1996 IST):

What makes you think that what you call 'sacrifice' is really what these people want of you? Aren't you sort of foisting yourself onto them?

na (Tue Oct 15 21:31:43 1996 IST):

oxymoron, The point is not to stifle debate or censorship. Obviously, anyone can ask what they want but that still doesn't mean one has to condone rudeness.

oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:32:10 1996 IST):

';[]:-) .

na (Tue Oct 15 21:32:31 1996 IST):


SJaswant Srikantan (Tue Oct 15 21:33:40 1996 IST):

Namashkar, Ms Patkar. Good to speak to you. I want to know from you your vision of India's future. Where will we be ten years from now?

na (Tue Oct 15 21:33:51 1996 IST):


Indu (Tue Oct 15 21:33:54 1996 IST):

na, if you want to play at chivalry etc, that age is long past dead....there is no harm in plain speak! If it offends MAma's little darling, cover your your eyes!

oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:33:59 1996 IST):

na:boss you've been abroad for too long. Things are changing in India and not being rude is taken to be 'weak'. regretful, maybe, in some sections of society, but very topical here. you shud see how rude we are in the media nowadays...and check out the various people visiting jails/courts as a direct result....

R Jairam (Tue Oct 15 21:34:52 1996 IST):

How do you assess the success of your movement? Is your movement limited to the Narmada Dam or will it encompass anything you consider "anti-people, anti-development"?

MEDHA PATKAR, (Tue Oct 15 21:35:16 1996 IST):

Indu: We are for a life that will be more prosperous than the present one but not in material terms. In terms of humanity, creativeness and justice. If we are talking about big dams, those are proved to be no solutions to the thirsty land and the people all over. They create green islands at huge costs - environmental, social and even economic. The decentralised land and water management is, on the other hand, proved to be the most modern, sustainable and economic way to solve drinking water problem and protect one crop at least.The water logging and deprivation of the real needy, drought-affected are the costs of the big dams which must be avoided. If you want specific data on Narmada, please look out for the appropriate reliable documents or approach us.

na (Tue Oct 15 21:35:36 1996 IST):


oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:36:17 1996 IST):

Medha:Do you want to field questions on your personal life here? Direct and embarrasing ones (rude to some....)?

Bikash Sanyal (Tue Oct 15 21:36:53 1996 IST):

All movements such as yours inevitably are dominated by the personality of its leader like yourself. Do you see that happening to the NBA too? Is it not driven by your personality? What about the others in the movement? How come we have not see them upfront?

Indu (Tue Oct 15 21:36:54 1996 IST):

Where will you be when the time for change has come and gone? Will you be there to nurse the starving and destitute........all because they listened to your so-called prattle?

MEDHA PATKAR, (Tue Oct 15 21:37:26 1996 IST):

Bikash: I feel that both Gandhi and Marx have offered us perspectives and tools to analyse our present problem. Gandhian approach to life, however is something which provides us more light than anything else. I'm not ideologically dogmatic and would prefer not to be branded.

oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:37:38 1996 IST):

';[]:-( .

na (Tue Oct 15 21:37:41 1996 IST):


SJaswant Srikantan (Tue Oct 15 21:38:23 1996 IST):

Where do you see the process of liberalisation head for? Do you think it will result in a more inequitable society and a situation where the poor are forced to violate the law to seek justice?

oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:38:50 1996 IST):


na (Tue Oct 15 21:39:15 1996 IST):


oxymoron. (Tue Oct 15 21:39:57 1996 IST):

looks like goodnight, please keep asking 'good' questions folks,thiose are the ones that get answers...