There have been 2 ‘bandhs’ and a curfew like situation in Bangalore (happening right now) within the last 2 weeks. Section 144 has been imposed in the city owing to some degree of violence directed at the people of Tamil Nadu and cars with Tamil Nadu registrations. (The cars didn’t even say anything to you, it’s just very expensive metal, let it be?)
All this is happening for a natural resource dear to us, water.
For those of you unaware of what’s happening in Bangalore, I’ll explain. (Dushyant from Sarabhai versus Sarabhai). Tamil Nadu needs water since they don’t have a lot of it, and Karnataka is Tamil Nadu’s neighbour. Similar to the Hindi film/movie scene wherein people ask their neighbours for sugar or groceries when they run out of it, Tamil Nadu asked Karnataka for help. Even though the river flows through both states, the rules of sharing the water in a fixed proportion haven’t worked out well in the past. Karnataka is really possessive about its water, they don’t want to share. (Basically, Karnataka didn’t study a lot of moral science in school.)
A valid argument from Karnataka’s side is that river Cauvery’s water is the only source and they might not have a lot of surpluses left. Additionally, Tamil Nadu would have to spend a considerable amount of money in order to purify the water from its alternate source.
Last week, the political leaders, obliging to the Supreme Court’s order, agreed to share (so sweet, aren’t they?) This angered some people of Karnataka, who have never wasted a drop of water, never, and have been relentless in their efforts to save it since the problem arose. So naturally, they raised their voice.
Protestors are taking over certain parts of the city by pelting stones at people who weren’t even involved in the decision-making mechanism. There are better ways to protest and raise your voice, obviously. I won’t go there since most attack and acts of violence manage to affect people who were not involved in it.
The Nirbhaya rape case led to so many marches and silent protests across the country. The irony between that case and what’s happening today in Bangalore is that in the Nirbhaya case (and many others), protestors and people hungry for justice were pulled down, hit, tear gassed. Today in Bangalore, protestors are the bosses, instilling fear among the civilians, and they are succeeding. Something similar and more intense was seen during the Jat agitation in Haryana earlier this year, as well.
Vehicles are being burnt, slogans are being shouted, offices, shops are being shut down. Day to day movements are being hampered, people are advised to stay home and I am unable to order any food.