I’ll begin with a cliché, warns SUNAAD RAGHURAM.
Much water has flowed down the Cauvery since the tribunal said what it did.
The people of Karnataka are angry, embarrassed, upset, slighted and insulted. Or so they say—those being those ‘in charge’ of formulating agitations.
Highways have been blocked. Train tracks have had more people sitting rather than trains running on them. Roads have been converted into kitchens to cook rice bath and mosranna. Spare automobile tyres have been burnt and a few vehicles too, with fully fitted tyres.
A bandh was called and it was ‘total’ according to newspaper headlines. Cities and towns and even villages came to a standstill with the landscape showing only downed shutters and sundry mongrels walking the streets in aimless abjectness.
Newspapers and television channels showed tens of hundreds of men and even some women ‘agitating’. Smiling self-consciously at the cameras, waving maniacally and breaking into a jig, as if they were celebrating a long over-due family wedding.
Half read if not completely illiterate, given to exaggerated emotions of the most unwanted kind, basically frustrated by the harshness of existence in a caste-divided, socially inequitable, completely manipulated society that it has largely become. Flushing out the detritus of a completely flawed karma, as it were. For whom, “tmc” could well be the abbreviated form of Tirumakudalu Motor Company and not anything even remotely to do with the quantum of water that flows through the sluice gates of dams.
Not for them the seriousness of the situation. Not for them the single minded approach of ensuring justness. Not for them the dawning of the gravity of the issue in question and how best it could be handled maturely. Not for them the all-important understanding of the ramifications and consequences of the tribunal’s order.
Politicos, goons, thugs, hoodlums, wastrels, derelicts, scums from the underbelly of existence, wannabe ‘leaders’ and self proclaimed do-gooders roam the streets chanting ‘we want justice’. The sight of these assemblages with absolutely no direction or ideology or even a legitimately thought-out purpose is enough to send you into depression; a kind of nausea inducing wretchedness.
A mirror to the times we live in. Where every issue can so easily be hyped and blown out of proportion and mayhem can be unleashed at the slightest opportunity. To derive political mileage; to settle old personal scores; to gain importance among peers; to hog sound bytes; to garner cheap publicity; to show that you have ‘arrived’.
As many as twelve two-wheelers were reduced to mangled pieces of wrecked metal in an orgy of dubious vehemence to espouse the Kannada and Cauvery cause near the railway workshop to the south of Mysore. An MLA’s name has been doing to rounds, the man avowedly behind the macabreness of it all. Inter-union rivalry, too.
Who on earth is going to make good the monetary loss to the owners of those vehicles? And how can anyone ever assuage the trauma they’d have faced emotionally, surely with most of the vehicles having been bought in strenuous domestic circumstances, invariably through a bank loan?
And how, just how, can the burning of these vehicles, for example, in an instant decision fuelled by obsessive politically motivated madness and arrogance, ever help in righting the so called wrong done by the Cauvery tribunal?
Not for an instant am I suggesting that agitations are wrong. But the whole point is how do we do it?
As I see the silhouetted Vinobha Bhave in T S Satyan’s famous picture and means being as important as ends, I realise that we all inhabit another planet now. In less than 50 years there has been such a huge transmogrification of beliefs and methods and thoughts.
What a shame!