Diluted thinking?

Chief Mininster HDK has called an all party meet on the Cauvery issue amid clear indications that the state will appeal against the (Tribunal) verdict.

Nearly 2000 km away from the scene of discontent, it appears to me that as a country and as a people, we are yet to come to grips with developing an ability to confront issues for what they are. Issues that need decisions based on facts and merits of the case. Instead they get mired in and drowned in a cacophony of slogans, compulsions, feelings, emotions and passions that get stoked by self-seeking politicians ultimately leading to, you guessed it right, fires!

Nevertheless, the CM calling for an all-party meet does have merits. A consensus is likely to emerge. On the other hand, it is likely to call into question his decision making capability and only weaken his position. Further, filing appeal after appeal with the Tribunal / Supreme Court is not going to hold water as well. More likely, its going to give the government and state a bad name, a la the NICE issue.

And there is the other dimension to this whole issue. Prestige. With Bangalore now featuring in the world media thanks to AERO 2007, the CM can nil afford to say something – anything – that will kindle hatred and result in mayhem. Neighbouring states might just capitalise on such an opportunity to shift the venue in future.

In my view this situation warrants clear thinking – the hindsight of experience, the foresight to rest this contentious and historical issue once and for all and a vision to share with citizens that the tribunal’s order has been arrived at given the constraints and by eminent/former jurists who have no vested interests.

Alas, all politicians are not statesmen. And just how many of the latter does our current polity boast of? Will the CM be upto the task? Or will the desire to be swayed by political compulsions and chavunistic/linguistic machinations get priority? History will laud his decision should he decide to accept the tribunal decision and focus on consult experts on better water management and optimization techniques. There are countries out there who have lesser water availability but turn semi-desert areas into green fields.

There is still hope, though. In all this churn, there is a sane but lonely voice out there. Respected author and actor Girish Karnad. One can only hope that, in the coming days, we see more and more such voices & mature public opinion that will help turn the tide in favour of clear thinking and rational decision making.

The nation and world is watching, Mr. CM!

7 Comments so far

  1. Rajesh (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

    Indeed Ravi, shot in the arm!!

    These cocophonies have abilities to masqurade and postpone priorities! all parties can unite when in need for their ‘agenda’s…who cares for framers.. most of the protestores i see on NDTV story have come ironing their clothes and representing ‘farmers’!! that is the most ironical fact!!

  2. tarlesubba (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

    While indeed there is a need for optimized utilization of available water, given that the prescriptions of this verdict will be binding on KA for the foreseeable future, it is important that the govt leave no LEGAL stone unturned in maximizing KA’s share. It is not a question of shame or pride.

    Ofcourse, as you say, the onus is now on the CM to lead the state with a reasoned approach and cede space to baser approaches. Rightly said.

  3. Whoever (unregistered) on February 8th, 2007 @ 12:20 am

    Good Post!
    But instead of TN always dependig on Karnataka for Cauvery water, even they need to think of ‘better water management and optimization techniques’ and not just twisting Centre’s hand+leg+neck to presurrise KA to release ‘more’ water. I don’t think it’s KA’s job to store water for TN

  4. Chitra (unregistered) on February 8th, 2007 @ 10:41 am

    Well written, Ravi! As always!

  5. Thejesh GN (unregistered) on February 8th, 2007 @ 6:03 pm

    [quote]filing appeal after appeal with the Tribunal / Supreme Court is not going to hold water as well. More likely, its going to give the government and state a bad name, a la the NICE issue.[/quote]
    I don’t agree that re-appealing would bring any bad name to Karnataka.CM and GOK should use all the possible legal ways to get more. Its known factor that its going to be difficult for GOK to fight with GOI in any matter, as Congress is in opposition in Karnataka.

    Otherwise this summer we will have dry days in “Greater Bangalore”. Bangalore’s water supply is mainly dependent on Cauvery since thippagonanahalli lake gets dried during summer. And the we don’t have enough underground water supply.

    Other savior could be river Hemavathi. But now considering the demands of Bangalore; people of tumkur may not agree to it. But if the plan of joining Hemavathi with Nethravathi ( water from Nethra to Hema) can solve some problems. And can quench the thirst of Tumkur and Bangalore.

    For me the future of Bangalore seems DRY

    Hence citizen of Bangalore too play major part in planning. Like harvesting the rain water, saving the lakes and trees (to increase water table), using the water judiciously.

  6. Ragu Menon (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

    A Good Post indeed, the DRY days are not only for Bangalore, almost all cities/villages will face water shortage in the coming years. The water management is not only a function of government, it is a duty of every citizen of India, luckily we are separated only by language. There is no other barriers for all states in India to unite. Instead of fighting ,its with us (people) of all states to decide what best can be done to avoid this problem and have a WATER RICH future for all of us and for the coming generations.


    Save water
    Save Forest
    Save Mother Earth

  7. Hari (unregistered) on February 13th, 2007 @ 10:13 am

    Hi Ravi,
    Great post. Great thoughts. Even if about 10% of our population think on this lines, we would turn out to be a superpower in the next twenty years.

    The USA is a superpower not so much because of their purchasing power or advancement in defence as is because of the proud feeling of being an American in every citizen of the country. I have never seen an American called himself a New Yorkian or a New Jersian or Alaskan.

    India can become a superpower only when we see this country as a single state. Lets please treat this constitutional division of states as merely a tool for better administration and not for diversification of the country. Some of the comments spoke of maximum share for Karnataka and KA being a water reservoir for Tamil Nadu. Just imagine if Tamil Nadu passes an order that not a single drop of water from Cauvery should enter TN at any point of time what will be the predicament of the farmers in close to Cauvery during monsoon in KA when Cauvery floods and not a single drop of the excess water is allowed to enter Tamil Nadu.

    Let us understand that no state in India is self-sufficient. We are very much inter-dependent and part of one family. All these disputes are like the Head of the family saying asking why should he earn for everybody and the mother saying why should she cook for everybody. Can a family run economically if everybody is required to cook their own food. Then what does economies of scale mean?

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