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Cauvery Dispute: Supreme(court) Mistake

Karnataka has seen one of the worst monsoons this year. Most districts are reeling in draught situation. Rains have been especially bad in cauvery river catchment areea like Bhagamandala, etc. This has resulted in all dams built across cauvery and its tributaries having very little water. And of course, Tamilnadu has pressed karnataka to release water to save the "standing crop" in the cauvery delta region. The especially poor water situation in Karnataka has resulted in farmers in Karnataka taking strong exception to release of water from the various dams to Tamilnadu.

The only basis for Tamilnadu's demand for water is the Tribunals "Interim Order". More than ten years after setting up of the tribunal, the only outcome has been the highly contentious "Interim Award", which has gone severely against the interest of Karnataka farmers. The people in the Tribunal, in their infinite wisdom, stipulated a quota of water to be released every week, irrespective of the situation in Karnataka. That the tribunal acted grossly in favour of Tamilnadu, for reasons known best to the illustrious people involved in the tribunal is a well known fact.

Karnataka has been releasing more water than the yearly total whenever the rains have been good. However, if any shortfall is seen in the weekly quota, Tamilnadu politicians, especially Jayalalitha raises a shrill, hysterical demand for water. Readers will remember that she even went on hunger strike once for this. The Tribunal was founded on the premise that once the tribunal is founded, the concerned states (Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala and Poddicherry) can not go to courts for redressal, and the decision of the tribunal was binding. However, this does not seem to prevent Tamilnadu from seeking supreme court's help. And surprising thing is the supreme court decided an arbitrary amount of water to be released on a day to day basis. How they arrived at this figure WITHOUT studying the ground situation in Karnataka - no one knows.

Anyway, now Karnataka is facing a contempt of court case. It is interesting to note that Tamilnadu has taken belligerent attitude in the whole episode. Their attitude of "you die, it is OK, let me prosper" has become too disgusting. The next few days decide what will happen to the contempt of court case against Karnataka. The film actors of Tamilnadu have asked The power grid to stop supplying power to Karnataka. In turn several associations have said they will boycott Tamil movies in Karnataka if power to Karnataka is disrupted. The Karnataka bundh called by various associations was quite successful. This has resulted in several politicians floating a regional party for Karnataka - whch we desperately need. Only now we are seeing a national level party really doing their best to protect interests of farmers. However, for long term prosperity of people of Karnataka, a regional party is needed. See how Chandrababu Naidu holds the central government to ransom and gets everything done for Andhra Pradesh.

The truth is that the Indian federal system is not mature and it is possible for some states (like Tamilnadu) to get everything and sharing nothing. I believe that if this injustice to Karnataka continues, that federal system will be questioned. Anyone who knows the injustice done to Karnataka over the past 100 years will gladly agree that Karnataka needs to come out of the Indian federation. The very basic thing expected in a federal system fair treatment of all states. The Indian government has failed to deliver that for more than fifty years now. We sincerely hope the Indian federation works now to solve this long standing problem.

Tailpiece: Tamilnadu has increased the area under cauvery irrigation to 28 lakh acres. Karnataka has been limited by all sorts of conditions and restrictions to 6.8 lakh acres. This was filed by Karnataka govt yesterday before the supreme court.

The Tamilnadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha has been more vicious than ever before since she wants to score political points over her arch rival Mr. Karunananidhi who agreed to the tribunal's orders when he was Chief Minister. She looted her state for several decades and now back in power to permanently ruin them. She is a very manipulative politician. Now, every Film actor in Tamil Nadu wants to prove how patriotic they are towards their state. Nothing wrong with that, but they don't understand the ramifications. We hope this time around Tamilnadu will be taught a lesson or two, so that they behave to live with their neighbours.

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