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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Adavi Biddalu (2006)

Ramakanth (R Narayana Murthy) is an IAS officer. He is the project officer of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency, which looks after the welfare of Girijans and Adivasis. A person comes to the area and eyes the vast stretch of forest land and hatches a plan to grab it. The Adivasis used to cultivate land in the forest through Podu cultivation and they don't have any pattas for those lands. That land-grabber used to lend money to the tribals and gets the land mortgaged to him. He also collects most of the crop produce they raise in the form of interest. Though he is not a tribal, he made the officials to believe that he is also a tribal and gets elected as MLA.
In this backdrop, the government decides to construct Rampa dam, a multi-purpose project that could provide irrigation facility to lakhs of acres, besides supply drinking water. The government seeks a feasibility report from the ITDA PO. However Ramakanth makes it clear in his report that the construction of the dam would adversely affect thousands of tribal families as they can't get compensation in the absence of proper pattas for the land they are cultivating. Even those who possess the land pattas had mortgaged their land to money-lenders. In his report he clearly appeals to the government to first arrange land pattas to tribals and ensure return of the pattas that were mortgaged with the money lenders, before starting the dam construction. However, the local MLA uses all his political influence and gets the government nod for the construction of the dam.
In order to safeguard the tribal rights, Ramakanth himself joins the tribals and launches an agitation against the construction of the dam. He sets up Girijana Hakkula Sangham to wage war against the construction of the dam. However, the politicians decide to crush the movement at any cost and appoint a rude police officer as Officer on Special Duty called Gautam. With the police assistance, the politicians were able to complete the construction of the dam. But at the time of its inauguration, Ramakanth and his team blast the dam foiling all their attempts. Before they escape, the police corner them and hang Ramakanth in the forest itself in order to threaten the tribals from taking up such agitations in future. But, the tribals get united and kill Gautam, the land-grabber MLA and other political activists.
As per the World Water Forum resolution, those who suffer losses like land, houses and employment due to the construction of multi-purpose water projects should be the first beneficiaries after the construction of dams. However, the purpose is not being served in the present day scenario. As a result, the Adivasis, who were eking their livelihood on forests, were losing a lot due to the construction of these dams.
The rest of the film deals with whether he was able to thwart the construction of the dam. However, he gets killed by the police in the climax and the tribals take revenge for his death by killing the police officer, politicians and contractor.

Item Reviewed: Adavi Biddalu (2006) Rating: 5 Reviewed By: TeluguPeople Adda