‘In A State Already Tense About Water, The Growing Fires Burn Like A Sad Irony’

Posted on September 13, 2016 in Society

By Armaan Yadav:

It is going to be a long recapitulation if we go all the way back to the late 1800s and trace our way to where we are now, which is rather confusing still. So without delving too much into the contextual past, it is my intention to exercise my audacity to talk about the controversial “burning” topic; quite literally so.

Farmers have been struggling to grow rice for the last two seasons, and are hence hell bent on owning a natural resource such as water from the river Cauvery. On the Supreme Court’s orders, the State of Karnataka is to release less water to neighbour Tamil Nadu, but for an extended period of five days. This however, forces Karnataka to release more water over time. The same agitation has caused a divide between the people of these two states, irrationally holding regular citizens accountable for administrative actions they had little power over.

Earlier yesterday (Sept 12), Section 144 was imposed in the city of Bangalore following the violent chaos of burning buses and stone pelting targeted majorly at Tamilians living in the city. However, propagators of nuisance hardly ever stop with the targets and resorted to mindless stone pelting in all directions throughout Bangalore.

An A2B (Adayar Ananda Bhavan) outlet was vandalised and destroyed completely less than a kilometre from where I stay in HSR Layout, while a friend’s office saw local goons come in to shut operations shouting threats. Universities were forced to enter a state of lock-down to ensure isolation and hence the safety of students who were either late in leaving for home, or had nowhere to go during the crisis. Good Samaritans all over the city responded by taking in people, both Tamilians and Kannadigas, to the comforts of their home while some helped in arranging travel, when the public transport system went down.

Bangalore witnessed the burning of 30+ busses and countless rubber tyres on the street, as well as overturning and destruction of Tamil Nadu registered vehicles. So far, there has been one reported death due to police firing in an attempt to control the madness. It was also reported that a man was stopped and beaten at a toll booth after failing to speak Kannada, while a video went viral of a Kannadiga man being tortured and forced to say that Cauvery belongs to Tamil Nadu. Another friend reported that the last time this issue was alight, his school was set on fire for giving shelter to Tamilians and their vehicles.

In a state that is already tense about water, the growing fires burn like a stupid, sad irony. The situation, though experiencing a temporary cool down, is expected to flare up again today and it is strongly advised that you stay indoors. Regardless of your stance on the matter, it is advised that you do not perpetrate hate or troll messages on social media, because that is only fuelling the fires we don’t have the water to stop. With a reported loss estimating up to Rs. 100 Crores in just four days and amounting to the imbecility, it is safe to say that the episode is far from over and that individual efforts in boycotting violence can probably bring about some collective sanity.