Monday, April 10, 2006

Work beckons. I have been reading randomly over the last few days. And trying to figure out where it is that I may find something to do besides my research. I have become the one who wants to "make a difference" (shudder shudder faint). No, not really.

Indian Ocean were playing in Austin yesterday. The last I heard these guys live was in 2000 I think. At Chaos, IIM Ahmedabad. 1000 strong audience at least and we had front row view. This time, it was an all-seated fairly stoic audience (though they did generate some energy in the second half). So, considering that they have precisely four albums out, it was fairly easy to predict what they would play. I love all the songs nevertheless and they are fantastic live.

Heard Ma Rewa again and especially fitting given that Medha Patkar's indefinite fast entered its 13th day yesterday. 300 professors, countless activists, school-children and international organizations have been pressuring the government to take a stand on the lagging rehabilitation efforts. The arguments, of course, are complex. I do not have the ability to simplify the masses of data, analysis and discursive reasoning analyzing the Sardar Sarovar Project.

However, I do agree with critiques of the Sardar Sarovar Project that the dam seems to have become its own monster, a symbol of Indian modernity at the cost of the very bodies that are promised the fruits of modernization. After all, lives are considered differentially worthy of the modernization effort.

And from the likes of those "demanding" that work on the dam not be halted and the terms that they seem to be cohering the debate around (E.g. "Why can't NBA produce a list of the villages affected?", "Why aren't they going through the proper channels? Why must she fast?"), I know where my empathies lie.