Edited by Manasi Nene
Historically, music has been an important tool in social movements and protests. Especially in environmental movements, music has been used to mobilise communities, voice descent and demand change, all because it has the power to transcend differences in language, literacy, culture and geography.
A case in point is the Narmada Bachao Andolan, where, since 1985, local communities and environmentalists have protested against a number of dam projects across the Narmada River. Funded by the World Bank, the Sardar Sarovar Dam was a focal point of the Andolan.
We spoke to Nandini Oza, Archivist of the Oral Histories of the Narmada Struggle to learn more about the role of music, the kind of songs that were sung, and to understand how music shaped protests around the Andolan.