Karnataka Bandh: To support or not to support? Many voices heard

karnataka | Wednesday, January 24th, 2018
Pratiba Raman
Highlights
  • Will two bandhs in just 10 days serve the purpose?
  • Apart from inconveniencing people and loss to the state exchequer, will the bandh have any effect on Goa and Karnataka?
  • With Kannada faction leaders and political leaders expressing different opinions about the bandh and changing their stance often too, one is not sure if the bandh on January 25 sends out a strong message o Goa on Mahadayi river issue.
  • Here is what the Karnataka leaders and so-called pro-Kannada organisations have to say!

Unlike Cauvery issue, where the entire Karnataka, irrespective of party affiliation or any other factor had come together, there is an underlying divide and rule policy in terms of Mahadayi issue.

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This bandh is declared by Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj, and various departments like the Film Chamber, BMTC, KSRTC and even private taxi services are mulling whether to support or not. The small scale vendors though are already ready with the decision of not lending support. Moreover, what can be accomplished by two bandhs in a span of just 10 days? The public will be inconvenienced for sure, and the state exchequer too will suffer a huge loss. Is ego the main reason why the different factions with different ideas are hell-bent on conducting the bandh on the dates decided respectively by them?

But two factions of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike led by Narayana Gowda and Praveen Shetty, respectively had earlier lashed out at Vatal Nagaraj and said, "We were not informed. So we will not support." BJP is always busy blaming the Congress and the latter is busy trying to clarify that Karnataka CM has nothing to do with the bandh.

However, among all these opinions, perhaps former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's opinion is the most sane one. "Repeated bandhs will only cause Karnataka, a huge loss and there is no use. Tackle the issue technically and legally and not by conducting bandhs," he said. Vatal Nagaraj accused Yeddyurappa of playing a drama of letters with Goa CM Manohar Parrikar and said, we cannot act, we will show our concern in action. Result: Bandh! Yeddyurappa said that this issue was the result of sins of Congress ruling for over 30 years. The bandh is the strategy of Congress and not a concern for getting water. A protest should be held in front of CM SIddaramaiah's house, instead people were provoked to stage one in front of BJP office with regard to Mahadayi issue.

Praveen Shetty's faction of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike yesterday said, nobody consulted us before taking the decision of holding bandh, so we will not support it. Narayana Gowda of another faction of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike too had similar views. These Kannada organisations realised soon enough that they don't need an invitation like it is some sort of grand wedding? Or looks like the necessary egos have been taken care of. Both factions of KRV were quick to join hands and support the bandh.

The cause is grave and action needs to be taken, yes.

One fails to understand if this bandh will successfully pressurise PM Modi to intervene and let Goa divert 7.56 TMC water from Mahadayi river to Karnataka. But what is clear is that the attitude of different factions, ego and the attention seeking condition are likely to at least lower the chances of a strong protest. However, Praveen Shetty, Kannada activist has an answer to this too claiming that all activists will come together for this issue concerning Karnataka.

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