A South Bangalore Student On What He Saw While Trying To Reach Home During The Protests

Posted on September 13, 2016 in Society

By Madhav Mittal

School being shut early is a dream for every kid, but not while your city burns and is in turmoil. The Cauvery issue has been pertinent in recent times and has caused a lot of volatility but never this much.

Yesterday was beyond what anyone could’ve imagined. Multiple riots, multiple burning of buses, vegetables, tires and almost anything hoodlums could get their hands on. The shock waves of this aggression were felt all over Karnataka as well as Tamil Nadu.

I’m a Bangalorean living in South Bangalore. Around 2:10 pm, our college – Christ Junior College was fine, until an announcement was made for us to leave, call our parents and get home as fast as possible.

The chaos that ensued was disturbing, children of 16 and 17 running around looking for someone to go home with and I’m sure this was the state in most colleges. After leaving is when the fear set in, we didn’t see much as not a lot happened around the dairy circle, but hearing stories from friends about what was happening in other areas or why they couldn’t access their areas was terrifying.

I changed three buses to get home in about an hours time. That not being an option and auto drivers charging around 400 for a ride, I did not have much of a choice besides tagging along with a friend.

On our way back, we witnessed it first hand, the abysmal state that Bangalore was in, cars were being checked for their licensing plates and buses being stopped for the same.

I saw burning tires being put out with the water that these two states are fighting for, oh the irony! And this isn’t the only thing that surprises me.

It shocks me how something linking two states can tear them apart and how the lifeline of states’ can strike at the hearts of the people in such negative ways. It baffles me how starting fires and wasting the water can seem to help in the acquisition of more water.

If we as Indian citizens are fighting for something, that too at the risk of straining relations with other states, isn’t it important that we first learn to respect it?

Water which could be used for development is being used as a reason to destroy, to assault, to burn. Agreed, we should cry tears of Cauvery water, but shouldn’t that be shown in a peaceful manner?

Another aspect of this situation is the extremely aggressive media views on it. The media on a national level as well as the state level shows how bad the situation is but doesn’t say anything about how to solve it.

It shows videos of Kannadigas and Tamilians fighting but not a single situation where a Kannadiga or Tamilian harboured someone under attack.

It disgusts me that society would rather watch someone beat up than see their situation resolved. It’s a sad state and even worse to see the media take advantage of it.

In all honesty I can imagine that the two states are fed up with the issue and want resolution to it, but with the display of this frustration, we prove ourselves unworthy for what we fight.

It is this paradoxical state that angers me, that frustrates me, that baffles me. This isn’t an eye-opening piece, but I hope it’s able to tell all of you reading that it is the time you did open them, to come out of that anger, see where we went wrong, and try resolving it.