Fear, Safety and Livelihood: The Biopolitics of Mullaperiyar

By |January 16th, 2012|ലേഖനങ്ങള്‍|0 Comments

T. T. Sreekumar January 15, 2013 Kafila.org The Mullaperiyar Dam controversy  embodies a concrete and complex example of the imperial matrix of biopolitical legacy that post-colonial societies continually encounter even after decades of political independence.  More than a century ago, the British colonial Government administering Madras Presidency, which included parts of Tamil Nadu State, directed the erstwhile princely state of Travancore (which forms the southern districts of Kerala) to sign an agreement to divert water from the Periyar river in Travancore to the relatively arid zones adjoining the Western Ghats within the presidency, and to lease out a large tract of its territory for the construction of a Dam for a time span of 999 years.  In the post-independence period, two supplemental agreements to the original Lease Deed of 1886 have been signed between the Madras government and the Government of Kerala regarding fishing rights and generation of hydroelectric power, the former in favour of Kerala and latter favouring Tamil Nadu. The supplementary agreements negotiated and enhanced the annual lease rent and the rate of pay for the electrical energy generated. […]