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The Indian government recently resumed the construction of the Tipaimukh Dam on the Barak River just 1 km north of Bangladesh’s north-eastern border. The construction work was stalled in March 2007 in the wake of massive protests from within and outside India. Experts have argued that the Dam, when completed, would cause colossal disasters to Bangladesh and India, with the former being vastly affected: the Dam would virtually dry up the Surma and Kushiara, two important rivers for Bangladesh. Therefore, this controversial Dam project has generated immense public discontents leading to wider mass-movements in Bangladesh, India, and around the world. The movement has taken various forms, ranging from simple protests to a submission of a petition to the United Nations. Drawing on the “environmentalism of the poor” as a conceptual metaphor, the article examines this global movement to show how environmental resistance against the Tipaimukh Dam has transcended national borders and taken on a transnational form by examining such questions as: who is protesting, why, in what ways, and with what effects. In order to elucidate the impending social and ecological impacts, which would potentially disrupt communities in South Asia, the paper offers some pragmatic policy recommendations that also seek to augment social mobility in the region.

In: Bandung