01 October, 2020

Levee A Revolt

Karnataka can gladly focus on the pluses

Srikanth Kolari
Levee A Revolt

"The judgement is good. It is satisfactory for all parties...the tribunal has done enormous work."
Fali S. Nariman, senior counsel for Karnataka before the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, on the February 5, 2007, water-sharing award

So, how fair is Karnataka's grumble against the final and unanimous award of the tribunal? Is it mere rhetoric—a result of a subnationalistic perch that the political class in the state has come to occupy over the decades, climbing down from which will be incorrect? Cauvery may be a river that flows in the south of the state, but it has become central to pan-Kannada identity. Anything to do with sharing its yield, however legitimate, is confronted with plain unreason. Everybody—from litterateurs to lawyers—feels duty-bound to "save" Karnataka by rejecting the award.

All the same, the verdict does pose the state with hard realities. That's why chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has been sober in his response. Any questioning of the legal validity of the award or even a...


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