The Cost Of Living


The Cost Of Living

Question #1
With the 3600(A. Roy 16) hydroelectric dams either going up or already built in India, there will undoubtedly be over 33,000,000 people displaced by the big dam’s reservoirs (16), most of which are Adivasi or Dalits (18), natives of India. Without a proper resettlement program in place, many are left with no place to go. Much of the land that’s needed for the reservoirs was confiscated, scammed away, or bullied into being sold by the government. And what land the government did buy, not everyone received the money they were supposed to. The resettlement programs that are in place, are best described by Roy “ I can warrant that the quality of their accommodation is worse than in any concentration of the Third Reich”(20). From what I gather from Roy, these resettlement sites sound pretty inhumane and I’m really surprised actions like that of the Indian government aren’t under fire of the U.N. Granted this doesn’t seem to be the most publicized nor well documented ongoing incident.
As for the Nuclear weapon problem that faces India, Roy didn’t seem to address it in great detail. And if she did, I read right through it. With lack of proper storage facilities and the threat of contaminating India’s extraordinarily expensive drinking water. It might be wise decision for the Indian government to either discontinue their nuclear weapons program or properly address these issues.
Question #2
I guess I really have no other choice but to agree with Roy’s opinions. Maybe if we were given some type of written response from the Indian government or anything from a different viewpoint. Anyone that has read this book, without any outside information, would have to have something against the Adivasi or seen something in the book that probably 99% percent of the people that have read it missed to disagree with Roy on the problems in India.
The only people profiting from the dams are in the government, part of World Bank, Jai Prakash Associates, and anyone with enough money that needs the water. Moreover, it doesn’t appear that any of the rural citizens of India will be sharing in any of the profits or even get water for quite some time.
Question #3
The “cautious” equation Roy calculates on pg. 17 that estimates 33,000,000 people have been displaced by big dams is a huge strong point in Roy’s argument. To add insult to injury, the people that are even lucky enough to get resettled, are put in tin shacks on inhospitable land, a far cry from what there used to. Before the dams, the displaced were self-sufficient and doing all right for the lifestyle they led. All of the evidence Roy offers about the Indian government points to a total disregard for human life or a great degree of incompetence. Either way, something drastic must happen before anything is really going to change. To be honest, I failed to recognize any weaknesses in Roy’s arguments. I’m not trying to say there aren’t any, but I didn’t find any.
Question #4
I chose to label as coming Roy from a social conflict perspective. I basically did this through the process of elimination. She is definitely not a structural-functionalist. She was certainly not trying to be objective, in the loosest sense of the word, while writing this book. “This is another of the state’s tested strategies. It kills you with committees.”, she sounds pretty involved in that sentence while describing one of the committees suppose to conduct an independent review. Her equations, monetary reports, and percentages give her a little symbolic interaction flavor, but she definitely is more into the way her people are being treated


The cost of living by andretti roy

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