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Digital Spectacles: Tampon of Dams & Wars


“ek samay tha jab jahan highway banta tha wahan sehar banne lage, aur ab wo smay aa gaya hai, jahan optical fibre rahega wahan shehar banenge” | There was a time when city were built where roads passed, now today the time has come where, it will come up where the optical fibre passes through. – PM Modi at FB headquarter in USA.

There are spectacles and some associated memories. But the power of collective does sediment in our being.

It is also the collective which is shown and transmitted across, an image, a video, a satire or words. The people who control these transmission creates memories of their way of belonging and in the same way hatred. The hatred which breeds violence.

The imagination of mob justice, wars and dams all have their own residual images, with violence at its centre, for food, water and power. From power of watt to power over land to daily life of eating habits.

You never know who is getting upset to remain in power. It can be a lynching mob in Dadri or North-east, an upper caste neighbourhood who controls the menu, or ranbir sena, or corporates who have bought state and media in different layers. But the power must be shown and shall remain.

The classic example is of the refugee crisis in Europe.Europe gets upset when it is about itself. And so does their racist media which triggers the world reactions. While it remained silent during the poverty and inequality which it breeded along with NATO forces in north africa, causing displacement.

In India, there are deaths after deaths in this malnourished, displaced land of economic refuge, with no media outcry. The econocide leading and paving way to farmer’s suicide and digital growth. If only every bytes of free wi-fi signals can be quantified into drops of blood!! It is not digital death yet. Of media it is, on the road to Digital India, with the charismatic air of royalty of the trips of Prime Minister away from the work of its cabinet minister.

Wars are waged not with another country here, but its own citizen. And one of them is through constructing Big Dams.

The displaced idea of big dams are similar to wars. Millions are displaced. Historically, dams have seen violence equivalent to forced regime change by aerial bombing which leads to chaos in the ground like in Yemen, Gaza and Syria for the sake of democratic government. Both of them do not have responsibility to protect civilians but use external forces. The original sin remains : External force to change the course of the state and the river. The river could be brutal like Teesta flowing through Sikkim or a state like Assad’s. It is about power.

The power over fertility of acres of land into digital economic growth for the bears can be also witnessed in the rapid urbanisation of Gujrat leading to protests of landlords like Patidars.

Even in social movements against dams one could find landlords like Patidars and Bhumihars owning more than 20 acres of land. They are fighting against the capital interest of big dams and also for their own social interest, where they have power over dalits and adivasis in their village. Land holdings, caste structure remains with one power over another.

Big dams and wars are not the answer to provide power to citizens, neither social movements if they do not question status quo. Recent experiences of enforced political decisions in building a dam or regime change to democratise for greater good has only backfired.

All displaced are grained in food and blood colored water. Be it Syria or fertile lands of Narmada valley or drought prone Marathwada.

Like fertility of ova is regulated naturally by the mensturation cycle, of the earth is by the flow of river. The blood has flown. Of citizens to claim their rights to be one. The tampon of dam and war cannot soak more. The red fertility. It is beyond digital spectacles of growth.

(While Europe is becoming graveyard for the GMOs, Indian government has cleared 60 GM field trials. Hopefully, the tampon cotton is not heavily pesticide grown Bt.)


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