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Q. Violence over Cauvery dispute: Comment on recent violence in Karnataka and Tamilnadu on Cauvery river water dispute.
Sep 15, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently Karnataka and Tamilnadu have witnessed heavy violence over Supreme Court order on Cauvery river water sharing. Curfew was imposed on various parts of Bengaluru for more than 36 hours due to large scale violence throughout the city. The issue has taken emotive form due to various due to various factors.

Reasons behind violence-

  • Many observers claims that the Cauvery water dispute has turned out to be less about water and irrigation and more about linguistic chauvinism and regional identity.
  • Many of the acts of violence have been perpetuated in the two States by chauvinistic, fringe organisations that have little to do with the farming community or its interests.
  • Similarly political parties, regional language media houses, television channels, have portrayed the issue as one that pits the people of one State against that of the other.
  • Even governments in both states as well as centre are planning to take conciliatory step toward defusing the crisis.
  • The above reasons played major role in turning Cauvery issues as emotional issues and which lead to subsequent violence in both states.

Analysis-

  • Supreme Court has delivered verdict keeping in the view of distress situation in both states in a season of deficit rainfall.
  • The court order was to make the States share their distress and not to magically fulfil the needs of farmers on both sides.
  • Hence any state feels that its interests are neglected, can approach Supreme Court with detailed report.
  • Cauvery is an inter-State dispute, but it should not be the reason to turn the issue into a raging controversy that draws the peoples of the two States into confrontation.
  • That Tamil-speaking people settled in Karnataka for generations are made to feel insecure, and business establishments run by entrepreneurs tracing their familial ties to Karnataka are targeted in Tamil Nadu are indications of how the water dispute goes beyond the interests of the people and becomes mixed up with the emotive issue of linguistic identity.
  • Hence while dealing with such issues governments across the board should not give chauvinistic elements any opportunity to inflame passions.

Suggestion-

  • As stipulated by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, the technicalities of river water sharing should be left to the Cauvery Management Board, which is to monitor the water flows with the help of the Cauvery Regulation Committee and the respective State authorities.
  • To contain chauvinist elements, the governments of the two States as well as at the Centre need to send out a strong signal to the marauding mobsters that violence, in whatever name, will be put down strongly by the security forces.
  • Finally the issue of water-sharing should be left in the hands of technical experts, and not politicians who are hostage to the emotions of a parochial fringe.

Conclusion-

Recent violence in both states has created tense situations in both states. Many opportunistic political parties and chauvinist elements have inflamed the situation further. Cauvery river water sharing has been turned as emotive issue, hence both governments and central governments must address these issues more sensibly. People who spread violence must be booked and kept behind bars.


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