Katiyabaaz [Powerless]

from Multimedia Library Collection:
Environmental Film Profiles (videos)

Kakkar, Deepti, and Fahad Mustafa. Katiyabaaz [Powerless]. Ghaziabad: Globalistan Films, 2013. DCP/HDCAM, 82 min. https://youtu.be/VIcUMZwCc38.

Power cuts that last up to 15 hours are part of everyday life in Kanpur, India. Loha Singh is a Robin Hood figure who steals electricity and charges the rich to provide free connections in impoverished neighborhoods. In the face of day-long power cuts, the young electrician runs illegal connections from one neighborhood to another so that homes, factories and businesses can function normally. Meanwhile, Ritu Maheshwari, the first female chief of Kanpur Electricity Supply Company (KESCO), is working on a mission to eliminate “powerlessness”. Electricity theft accounts for nearly 30 percent of KESCO’s losses, aggravating the crisis, and Ritu has created a new task force to tackle this miscreancy. As the heat of the Indian summer grows, the electricity problem becomes a full-blown crisis. As people take to the streets in demonstrations that sometimes turn violent, a rising politician takes advantage of the people’s anger. This documentary portrays a modern dystopia of urban decay and desperation. Underlying the localized crisis in Kanpur is the rampant energy poverty in India, where a third of the population has no access to electricity and the rest fight to control the limited power supply. (Source: Adapted from the Official Website)

© 2013 Globalistan Films. Trailer used with permission.

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Further readings: 
  • Droege, Peter. 100% Renewable: Energy Autonomy in Action. London: Earthscan, 2009.
  • Scheer, Hermann. Energy Autonomy: The Economic, Social and Technological Case for Renewable Energy. London: Earthscan, 2007.
  • Sovacool, Benjamin K., and Pushkala Lakshmi Ratan. "Conceptualizing the Acceptance of Wind and Solar Electricity." Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 16, no. 7 (2012): 5268–79.
  • Wilhite, Harold. "A Socio-Cultural Analysis of Changing Household Electricity Consumption in India." In Tackling Long-Term Global Energy Problems, Environment & Policy 52, edited by D. Spreng, et al., 97–113. Cham: Springer International Publishing AG, 2011.