E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: While I was walking around the Vidhana Soudha, I saw the veteran politician of the State of the last 50 years.
Rajyosthava, Veerappan, Sarojini Mahishi report—you name it, he had seen it all. He looked like a Congressman. But from close quarters, he appeared more like a Janata Dalite. At hand-shaking distance, he resembled a BJP man.
In short, he would have been a kosambari, if he were a dish! A mixture of every dal; a man for all seasons. He knew every event that shook Karnataka like the back of his hand and could narrate any event adding spice to the spin.
I thought here was a chance to get his sound byte on Cauvery as it is generally perceived unanimously that there is a ‘Thunderous Silence’ from politicians on this subject.
“What do you think of the Cauvery Tribunal Report, Sir?”
He wanted to ‘Walk the Talk’ between Vikasa Soudha and Vidhana Soudha under the protection of the Police and BSF from the milling protesters outside.
We started the padayatra.
“It’s a voluminous report. I am told it’s more than 1,000 pages… We have to read it carefully.”
“Do you think Karnataka has been done in and its interest thrown to the winds?”
“While I may agree that Karnataka may have been done in, I am not sure its interest has been thrown to the winds, as you say.”
“What do you think the State should do now? It’s more than two weeks since the tribunal announced its verdict.”
“You know, it took 17+ years for the tribunal to give its verdict. We shouldn’t be in a tearing hurry to voice our opinion.”
I was getting impatient like the farmers in Mandya district who need water for their crops as also the residents of Bhagamandala who don’t get enough drinking water, despite Cauvery taking her birth on their lap every year!
“I am not asking for an opinion. What action should the State take?”
“Nothing should be done in a hurry. It might boomerang on us. We must consult our lawyers and appoint new lawyers, if we feel the present team did not present a watertight case. Then we must collect all facts and before that, we must study the report thoroughly, including fine prints, loopholes etc. I always maintain these loopholes are smaller than the loops they provide for belts and hence can easily escape our attention! We must collectively take a stand. Before that we must know what our present stand is so that we could gauge the shift.”
“You were one of the firebrand politicians of our State. You have, on many occasions, literally climbed bus-tops and rooftops, shouting for action on various issues that confronted the State. Why can’t you come out with it now? What should we do?”
“If we can put our Ministers and Opposition leaders together and have an all-party meeting along with farmers, irrigation experts lawyers and intellectuals, we will surely come out with a clear stand, with various options at our disposal. Then, keeping in mind the compulsions of coalition politics, we can announce our Stand with one voice.”
The senior Pro kept walking as he expounded his theory when I decided to stay back.
We had already done ten rounds of Vik/Vid Soudhas.
Then it struck me what “Political Will” is all about. It’s a jigsaw puzzle which will never fall in place. It will only fall on its face taking with it the public’s fate.