Mama, "I want more!", What the heck?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Gorgeous Hogenakkal falls is hitting the headlines for quite some time and the river Cauvery is in lime light again. The dispute is not new, its been there from 1807 (yes, you read it right, from 201 years). The colonial government in Madras Presidency raised its voice against the irrigation projects undertaken by erstwhile princely state of Mysore fearing that the projects could affect the delta agriculture. Since then, lot of things have changed, demagogues, governments, laws etc, but the very nature of the dispute has never changed. Every time a state planned for a project on river Cauvery, the other state shown the apprehension of loosing its' share of water. The bottom line is, 'If he use more, I will get less and vice-versa' Its like two kids fighting for better share of the cake and asking mother Cauvery, mama, "I want more!", what the heck?

In Hogenakkal, it is business as usual. Aarmugam, a boatman, says, "It is all political sir. I have my lunch with the boatmen from Karnataka every day. We do not have a problem. I really don't know why these people are making such a big issue out of the water problem. There was never a problem regarding water over here. Yes I know about a land dispute. But that has been going on for many years now and we have even stopped bothering about it", Rediff reported.

There is no clear cut line of control between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in the vicinity of Hogenakkal and hence both the states are fighting for the prized share of Hogenakkal, "an extremely popular tourist destination, attracts at least 1,500 visitors per day. This translates into a revenue of Rs 12 lakh per day for the Tamil Nadu government[...]" Karnataka says, "Hogenakkal is mine!", But Tamil Nadu says, "No, its mine!" Mother Cauvery seems to be having tough time with her two notorious kids!

I found two articles very interesting
on this issue, they can be found here and here.

What I understand from this dispute is that,
no matter how intellectual and sophisticated we are, our basic struggle for food, water and shelter will never end. Infamous wars in the history have been fought over land and water. The result was violence, bloodshed, and of course the destruction of peace and harmony. Earlier, patriots fought for freedom and peace, now chauvinists are taking the center stage to destroy the very foundation of peace and freedom. Some pusillanimous people in both the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have started their vociferous fight over Cauvery waters yet again and of course creating a huge tension in the region.

Canada and United States of America share the Niagara falls and they were able to resolve the issue peacefully, borders over Niagara are still being respected and hopefully, will always be. Why can't the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu get to the negotiation table and resolve the issue? Or in worst case why can't they take the matter to judiciary? Why some local chauvinists and vested interests are allowed to influence the Cauvery water dispute? These are some questions which definitely need coherent answers from both the parties (Karnataka and TN). Nevertheless, chauvinists should not be allowed for the veneration of pseudo patriotism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rightly said. The political parties on either sides will not let the dust settle down for shear political reasons. It is becomes so obvious from the timing of this problem as well as the truce. The media should also be held responsible for their heavy build up on this soap opera. But for me as long as the people of either states dont get attracted to these pranks and dont develop grudge against each other, i dont give any damn to these political dramas. People should only reminisce about the great culture and respect that these wonderful states share.

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This work by Manjunath Singe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License. The views and opinions expressed in this work are strictly those of the author and do not represent his employer's views in anyway.