Cauvery dispute: hope lost but votes gained3 min read

October 17, 2012 3 min read

Cauvery dispute: hope lost but votes gained3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Indians love to hate their politicians. The state of political affairs of the nation can be used as an icebreaker in any situation, as it is one topic that everybody will have an opinion on. Everything that happens in the governing of a country will in one way or the other find its critics who will stop at nothing when it comes to finding fault. Indians love to hate their politicians. These leaders, intentionally or otherwise, just keep giving reasons for the masses to hate them.

It is but old news to anyone who follows the news that the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have been fighting about their rights over River Cauvery. The recent decision made by the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) which directed Karnataka to give 9000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu was followed by a string of predictable reactions; farmers fasting, roads being blocked, protesters being arrested – basically chaos everywhere. And our leaders, our elected representatives, use this situation to score more points for their political party, putting in minimal effort in trying to rectify the situation.

Is threatening to resign from the legislative assembly going to be of any help to the farmers in the southern districts of Karnataka? Is walking out of an official meeting going to help the committee arrive at a decision? One can’t even say that these political leaders are educated, not even in the broadest sense. True politicians would stand and fight for the rights of their people. If they don’t do it, who will?

The ruling party in the state of Karnataka seems to have no interest in the matter whatsoever. The opposition, on the other hand, has been going all out, to show its support for the farmers – not that any of their actions are going to be of any help in the long run. I mean, how is standing by the protesters while they block the road going to help them win their fight? Political parties always focus on winning votes. Even at a time when their services are most needed, they play the emotional card to get in the good books of the people. And let’s face it, a large part of the population just isn’t educated enough to know that it’s being played into.

The conflict between the two states has been going on for quite some time. The treaty that was signed between the Madras Presidency and the Princely State of Mysore has both sides arguing about the fact that they do not receive an equal share of the water. The agreement that bears a seal from 1892, and another from 1924, has been the cause for many conflicts at the border of these two states. The lives and livelihoods of so many are at stake, and even thought there are various committees ‘looking into’ the matter, what is actually being done? This issue is no different from the conflict over the Mullaperiyar Dam (between Tamil Nadu and Kerala). The same pattern will follow – the decisions that are made by the governing bodies are always ignored, which cause appraisals among the parties who will be impacted directly. Eventually, the media will shift their focus to other issues, until another major decision is made.

On October 8, the CRA, which consists of experts who can analyze the situation well, had its decision overruled by the Prime Minister. Any bets as to who will be in the limelight in the follow up articles: the politicians or the people? The cycle continues…


Bhavya Balakrishnan is Reporter, The Manipal Journal and a student of Manipal Institute of Communication.

The views expressed in the blog are personal. 


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