Narmada Bachao Andolan nonviolent resistance against Narmada dam in india poster

Narmada Bachao Andolan poster

by Robin Hewlett Author and Justseeds Author

In 1989, Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save Narmada Movement), formed to protest the damming of the Narmada River, which displaced hundreds of thousands of people in India — mostly underprivileged castes and adivasi tribes. NBA staged hunger strikes, blockaded freeways and united thousands in mass procession to the dam site. As part of the struggle, many dam-affected people pledged to refuse to leave their homes and drown with their villages. The strength of NBA’s non-violent resistance compelled the World Bank to withdraw from the Narmada Dam project. Despite the movement’s considerable success, however, the Indian government continues to push for big dam development and NBA struggles to this day.

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Comments & Reviews


The movement gained wide media attention when celebrities started supporting the cause. However, the activists lately turned to violence to get their opinion across. Many activists attacked the people who took money from the government to relocate. The upheaval due to the Narmada Bachao Andolan has interrupted the process of construction several times.


I am speaking here on behalf of Narmada Bachao Andolan, that is save the Narmada Valley. NBA has been fighting against large dams in the Narmada Valley for over 16 years now. The World Bank has in fact aided and encouraged the Sardar Sarovar Project in the Narmada Valley where the struggle started and we are still suffering the sins of the Banks there.