It saddens us to bring this story to you tonight on Insight. This is because it is about a dispute that pits Indians versus Indians. It is a dispute where one state, Karnataka, is adamantly against releasing Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu. This despite the Supreme Court asking the state to do so for a period of 10 days. The pretext is that Karnataka doesn't have the water in its reservoirs to share. The chief minister Siddaramiah asks how he can spare water when farmers and citizenry don't have a drop to drink.
But Tamil Nadu's political parties don't believe this. They think that narrow political compulsions, namely the fiery reactions from the opposition, have stilled the Karnataka CM Siddaramiah's hand. The commonly believed assumption is that Karnataka's CM doesn't want to upset powerful farmers lobby because he has incurred their wrath over a spate of suicides.
The delay on Karnataka's part is threatening to result in the outbreak of tit-for-tat violent protests in Tamil Nadu. The parched state desperately needs the water for subsistence and survival. As usual, the politics of parties take precedence over the economics of agonising farmers. While this is the sad part one needs to ask: can one Indian deny another life?