1. Brainstorm on India, its history, religion, climate, etc.
2. Web quest:
a. Find the Narmada River on the map of India.
b. Narmada is one of the sacred rivers of India. What powers is it believed to have?
c. Who is Ganesh? What does the ritual of immersing the statue of Ganesh in a river or sea symbolize?
d. Who are the indigenous people of India? How many are there left?
e. What is monsoon? What consequences does it have on India’s water supplies?
f. Who was Nehru? What was his view of dams?
g. What is satyagraha? And who devised it originally?
h. What is caste in India?
A: Study questions
1. Who are Adivasis?
2. Describe the lives of Luharia and Bulgi Sonkaria, as well as the other villagers of Jalsindhi.
3. What is the significance of the Narmada River to Adivasis and Hindus?
4. According to the government, what are the benefits of the Sardar Sarovar dam?
5. Describe the situation in Kavetta resettlement site.
6. How many families have been resettled so far?
7. What would the consequences of the resettlement be for the Jalsindhi villagers?
Scenes 3, 4 & 5:
8. Who is Medha Patkar? What does she advocate for?
9. What role did the World Bank play in building of the Sardar Sarovar dam?
10. What is the NBA and how successful was it so far?
11. Compare the description of nature with the description of the city in Drowned Out.
Scenes 6 & 7
12. How is the Sardar Sarovar dam presented in the government’s promotional video?
13. What are the consequences of the Sardar Sarovar dam so far? And what will they be in the future?
A: Interpretation of the film
1. Comment on Luharia’s statement: “The rich are killing the poor. They say they are doing it for the progress of the people.”
2. Comment on the government’s promotional video “The End of Thirst”. (scene 6)
3. Comment on the means (pictures, sound, characters, point of view) the film uses to convey its message? Give examples to support your point.
1. Debate the pros and cons of the Sardar Sarovar dam.
2. Is the film unbiased? Discuss.
C: Role play
Make a documentary on the Narmada Valley crisis. Divide the class into four groups:
• Indian authority
• World Bank
• The media
Imagine: “The media group” have been asked to make a short (20 min.) documentary on the situation in the Narmada Valley. It’s 1992 and the World Bank has just decided to withdraw from the project. In groups you discuss and prepare your arguments to support your position. After 30 min. preparation you do the role play which you could videotape for further discussion in the class.
D: Suggested writing
Imagine that you are travelling in India, and have recently been to the Narmada valley where you have talked to some of the dispossessed villagers. Write a blog* about your experiences there.
*Blog – a web log, easy-to-use web site, where you can quickly post thoughts, interact with people, and more.
To read more about blogs, click here:
IV. VOCABULARY IN USE
This exercise can be used as part of homework or in class.
View exercise A, B and C as pdf
V. GRAMMAR POINTS
View exercise A as pdf
VI. EXTENSION ACTIVITIES
A: Interactive quiz
Take an interactive quiz on the web to follow up on the issues discussed in
B: Listening / reading comprehension:
Listen or read the transcript of the
interview with Arundhati Roy
Study questions for the listening / reading comprehension
1. What is Arundhati Roy’s attitude to huge dams in India?
2. What does she think of the government’s role in it?
3. How many people have been displaced because of the Sardar Sarovar dam? Why are there some problems with the accurate numbers?
4. According to Roy, how should water management in India be solved?
5. “It's not just that the dam is going up, but it's the failure of non-violence that bothers me.”
6. Would Arundhati Roy be satisfied if compensations given to the displaced people were adequate?
7. “I'm not an actress or a football star that's endorsing a cause. I'm a player.”
8. Has she got a romanticized notion of village life? Why? Or why not?