ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Cauvery Dispute Voice of Sanity

The Cauvery River Dispute: Towards Conciliation by S Guhan; a Frontline Publication, Madras, 1993; pp viii + 78, Rs 50. THE long-standing dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on the sharing of the waters of the Cauvery has been a difficult and seemingly intractable one. Driven by the forces of party politics, the two state governments have generated or fostered strong chauvinistic sentiments among the general public, which tend to limit their (the governments')own negotiating freedom and flexibility. Popular frenzy led to tragic violence a year ago and introduced a new strain in the relationship between Tamils and Kannadigas, adding one more potentially divisive element in a country already torn by dissensions of various kinds. A fragile calm has been prevailing for some time, and fortunately it seems to have survived the strain imposed on it by the drama of the Tamil Nadu chief minister's brief fast and the attendant events. However, the situation is unstable and violence can easily erupt again. That must not be allowed to happen. The two governments must be persuaded to abandon their untenable extreme positions and to seek a fair and reasonable settlement. Goodwill between Tamils and Kannadigas must be restored and strengthened. This requires as a first step a campaign to rescue public opinion in the two states (and in Pondicherry and Kerala) from the miasma of error, confusion, prejudice and anger which has clouded it. It is necessary to promote a clear understanding of the evolution of the dispute and the points at issue, and of the lines on which a fair and reasonable settlement which will do justice to all the four basin states can be reached.

Back to Top