Oct 5, 2012

Portmortem [279/365]

It is foretold in the future, all wars will be fought over water and food.
In the past week, Karnataka was ordered to share its water to its 'parched' neighbor. 'nuff said

Many years ago, when relatives used to visit us two topics that we always discussed about was Veerappan and Cauvery. Ofcourse, we all know how Veerappan was hunted so that is no longer as interesting a topic as it was. But we still discuss how Karnataka and Tamil Nadu  squabble about the Cauvery.

A couple of days ago, when the SC ordered the State to release water to its neighbor, I began thinking aloud.

After all these years, we are still dependent on Cauvery? Could the government not learn from similar judgements on sharing rivers?
A State that is known for its IT disaster recovery and backup systems still does not have desalination plants and airtight water conservation plans. Knowing how the demand would increase, I wonder why no one thought of an alternative. But yes, there was the Cauvery Report that did recommend alternative sources of drinking water for Karnataka that would reduce its dependence on Cauvery. But in the great tradition of how the politicians function that report was promptly trashed. Cauvery after all is a wonderful issue that the politicians could use at will to ruffle the people and they were not going to loose that leverage.

So do we really treasure a natural resource like the Cauvery if it is this important?
Apparently no, if you consider how we abuse water resources in and around major towns and cities. In Bangalore alone, we have a million bore-wells that have drained our groundwater table such that you won't find a drop of water even at 4000 ft. Overflowing overhead water tanks, faulty water pipes, leaky taps, water tankers that spill many liters of water en-route and homeowners who wash their vehicles using drinking water are a common sight. I find our protests against releasing water very hypocritical and a convenient excuse for our stupidity.

What better way to celebrate our stupidity than to declare an all out bandh across the State.
So, for the second time in three weeks, we have another reason to stay home and catch up on our sleep. So what if the bandh was declared on a Saturday? So what if this bandh meant lost productivity? So what if this bandh meant someone could not get to the hospital on time and died on the way? So what if this bandh meant someone on their way got stuck and missed out on an important opportunity or meeting? So what if there was no Cable TV the whole day?
These are not the things the politicians care about, you see. To them you and I are just pawns. We are dispensable. We are disposable. We are just the people. They are not worried if you will support them because they will buy your votes just in time for the elections anyway. And we will vote the same scumbags back to power. 



Tamil Nadu is not a saint either. They have played their water-cards well. Be it the Mullaperiyar Dam or this, they have stoked violence at will. For two states that are neither landlocked nor parched fighting over a river is silly.

Tomorrow as the bandh begins, our politicians will play their cards well. This bandh will see every political party and every nincompoop politician worth his khadhi and safari suit supporting it. Why won't they? This issue is a wonderful tool. One that will distract the people from the real issues- like garbage segregation and recycling, or even the political paralysis in the State. This issue will blind the people long enough for the politicians to regroup and strategise on policy blunders they have committed. This issue will put the people in a Catch-22 situation. You either support it and get the benefits or protest against the way our politicians are playing us and forever be condemned as unpatriotic and burned alive.

All eyes will be on tomorrow.
And in the meanwhile, I hear the BJP is planning a nation-wide bandh next Friday. Yay!
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