As I started typing this, I saw images of 50 odd buses, belonging to KPN and SRS Travels, both while based in Tamil Nadu, having buses registered in Karnataka [that’s right, paying taxes to Karnataka] on fire in Kengeri and Shanthinagar. I see Volvo buses on fire. That’s right. Expensive buses, on fire. That’s not all. I see numerous trucks damaged and on fire today. None of this is untrue. My family members have reported them, first hand, having seen it happening in front of them. Tamil Nadu registered trucks, buses, cars are being torched. Elsewhere at work, a relative of someone I know had his TN-registered car vandalised. His phone has been switched off, and his whereabouts unknown to us.
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Meanwhile, 400km North of the state capital, in the city of Hubli, trucks with TN registration are being attacked by mobs. This is in Hubli, a city that culturally has more in common with the neighbouring state capital of Mumbai, that it does with its own state capital. While Hubli and Belgaum [or Hubbali and Belgavi if you prefer] are culturally similar to Mumbai, they are integrally a part of Karnataka.
However, the point is that the state is burning. Especially its capital. Not Hubli, not Mysore, not Mandya, but Bangalore.
What started this? The Kaveri river. Or, as someone like to call it, the Cauveri.
On 5th September, the Supreme Court directed the Karnataka government to release 15000 cusecs of water from the Krishnarajasagara Dam to Tamil Nadu for the next ten days, and also directed Tamil Nadu to release water appropriately to the Union Territory of Puducherry. What happened next? A bandh was declared on Friday by Vatal Nagaraj and activists of the Kannada Rakshana Vedike.
Now, interesting to note here, is that ever since the last week of July, Karnataka has been in a turmoil. 25-26-27 July witnessed a bus strike in Karnataka. 29 got wasted because of incessant drizzle, while on 30th, a Bandh was declared by the pro-Kannada activists after the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal rejected Karnatakas’s plea for 7.56 thousand million cubic feet of water from the Mahadayi or Mandovi River. Following this, Karnataka witnessed bandhs when trade Unions went on strike in the first week of September and today, mob violence.
Katnataka filed a special appeal with the Supreme Court. The verdict for this came out on 12th September at 10.30am. The SC directed the Karnataka government to release 12,000 cusecs instead of the earlier 15,000 cusecs.
Now, let us put all of this aside. What caused this?
The media? Yes. The media. The media ran various stories of Tamil youth allegedly beating up Kannadigas in Tamil Nadu. Nothing wrong in doing that. But… But but but. They chose to upload a whole damn video along with it. This video went viral and is what started the problems in the first place. The next day, I received a video of goons in Tamil Nadu hacking a woman to death, claiming that it was done because she was Kannadiga. I did what I had to do as a citizen. I forwarded the video to the Whatsapp number of the Bangalore City Police and they later issued a notice that the video was an old video and had *absolutely nothing, nothing whatsover* to do with the current scenario.
My question is. Why are these anti-social elements *still* in Existence in our society?
When India has been sharing Indus water with Pakistan and Ganga/Brahmaputra water with Bangladesh without issues, why are river related issues in India so bad?
Someone, please answer my question. Buses are on fire, trucks are on fire. Do these so called activists and protestors realise that someone’s livelihood depends on those buses? How does burning buses solve a water crisis? This isn’t my question, but the question from KPN travels.
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