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Thursday, November 1, 2018

நாடெங்குமே செழிக்க நன்மையெல்லாம் சிறக்க ! ~ river spills on streets !!!

On a day when madness is spilling on the roads ~ it is perhaps better not to write anything judgmental .. yet something of an intro on Cauvery !!!

It was year 1972 – a great film about the sage Agastyar (Agathiyar), son of Pulasthya, son of Brahma.  According to mythology, the river Cauvery flowed from the kamandalam of Sage Agathiya.  The title song of the film ‘Agathiyar’ was ‘Nadanthai Vaazhi Kaveri’ – glorifying the river Cauvery as one who makes all the land fertile and pervading goodness in all her path……  a beautiful song sung by ‘Seerkazhi Govindarajan’ the famous singer who was also the hero in the film.  The background music was by Kunnakudi  Vaidhyanathan.

நடந்தாய் வாழி காவேரி,  நடந்தாய் வாழி காவேரி ;
நாடெங்குமே செழிக்க நன்மையெல்லாம் சிறக்க

Sad … people are fighting – buses are burnt, private properties are targetted, set on fire .. all in the name of Cauvery, a river hailed as more sacred than Ganges itself in the Divyaprabandham.

Yesterday, in  partial relief for the Karnataka government, the Supreme Court modified its earlier order asking for the release of 15,000 cusecs Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu and directed the state government to release 12,000 cusecs on a daily basis till 20 September. Supreme Court also rejected Karnataka's demand to keep in abeyance its 5 September order for releasing water to Tamil Nadu.  Referring to the content of Karnataka's fresh plea, the bench said, "If we are allowed to say then we must say that the tone and tenor of the application is absolutely disturbing and to say the least, totally depreciable... that apart the application for modification contain certain averment which follow the tenor or similar language which cannot be conceived of in a court of law seeking modification of an order." "Agitation, spontaneity or galvanised riot or any kind of catalyst component can never form the foundation for seeking modification of an order... "An order of this court has to be complied by all the concerned and it is the obligation of the executive to ensure that the orders are complied in letter and spirit.

On the streets there are agitators ~ sad, they are not alone, they are led by politicians, most of whom have never thought of saving water ! there are Cine actors, journalists – all and sundry of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka joining  the Cauvery battle, supporting the causes of their respective states. In both the states, they add to the cacophony of politicians, and bureaucrats who pander to them. So there, we have the awesome troika in both the states: Lying politicians, kowtowing officials,  jingoistic journalists, ignorant zealous common man.  It is written that -  when the rains don’t come, madness does.

Along with rains, truth becomes scarce when the monsoon fails. And the farmer suffers nightmares, when he's told he wouldn’t get enough water his crop. uman misery in both states,  starts the fire. The awesome troika fans the flames in each state. Farmers and all people of Karnataka know "some" of the water, must flow down the river to Tamil Nadu ~ counterparts in Tamil Nadu know Karnataka would release "some" water. The fight is on the quantity and the timing !!

The Cauvery dispute started in the year 1892, between the Madras Presidency (under the British Raj) and the Princely state of Mysore when they had to come to terms with dividing the river water between the two states. Since that day, Cauvery water has been a bone of contention between the two states. In the year 1910, both states started planning the construction of dams on the river. The issue was presided upon by the British who also decided which state would receive what share of the water. In 1924, an arbitration  agreement was signed between the two states that gave both — the Madras presidency and the Mysore state — rights to use the surplus waters of the Cauvery. Madras had objected to the construction of the Krishnasagar dam and hence the agreement gave them the liberty to build the Mettur dam. However the agreement also put restrictions on the extent of area irrigated by Madras and Mysore using the river water.

Firstpost states that the 765-km-long river cuts across two Indian states, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It originates at Talacauvery in Kodagu district in Karnataka, flows mainly through Karanataka and Tamil Nadu, a lot of its basin area is covered by Kerala and the Karaikal area of Puducherry. 

According to the 1892 and the 1924 agreements the river water is distributed as follows:
75 percent with Tamil Nadu and Puducherry; 23 percent to Karnataka; remaining to go to Kerala.  Much water has flown under the bridge since – the problem became actue with the re-organisation of states post Indian independence. Before that, most matters were settled through arbitration and agreements.

Now it has spilled on to streets ~ and sad is the state of affairs.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

13th Sept. 2016.

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