Chennai/Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi/Ivory Tower: When we look at the raging issue of Mullaiperiyar dam, the one thing that readily strikes us is why should Kerala name a river after Periyar, a tall Tamil leader, hailing from Karnataka.
Needless to say, the Mullaiperiyar dam imbroglio is a complex one to understand which you have to comprehend the varying views of the various parties involved.
So here are they for your easy assimilation. (Don’t thank us we, as a component of the media, are only carrying our duty of being totally irresponsible).
The stand of Kerala: 1.The existence of Mullaiperiyar dam makes the entire zone earthquake-prone.
2, It obviously flows from the previous fact that the existing Mullaiperiyar dam is situated in an earthquake-prone zone.
3. Dams in general are bad and leads to mass destruction.
4. It obviously flows from the previous fact: The need of the hour is a dam.
5. As a simple summation of all the points, it can be said: The new dam, in the seismic zone, will put an end to all the earthquakes and tremors.
In a bid to drive home these points and send out a stinging message to Tamil Nadu, a few districts in Kerala recently observed a hartal. Don’t ask how a hartal in Kerala, which technically affects the Keralites, can be a stinging message to Tamilnadu. For, in Kerala, it is not uncommon to find a spontaneous bandh in strident protest against the US strikes in Iraq.
The stand of Tamil Nadu: Man-made structures are highly susceptible, and a natural disaster like earthquake can be quite devastating. NO. Wait. This is Tamil Nadu’s stand at Koodankulam. Mullaiperiyar, of course, is vastly different. Especially the part about tremors and earthquakes. The fears about them are always exaggerated, especially if the same are expressed in Malayalam.
As far as Tamil Nadu is concerned a just and equitable deal was struck with Kerala several years back. And it reads: “the river is theirs, the water is ours. The dam is in their land, the control of the same is ours”.
It still beats the heck out of reasonable Tamilians as to what the illogical Keralites are complaining about.
The stand of the Supreme Court: After both Tamil Nadu and Kerala found the Mullaiperiyar issue totally intractable and impossible of resolution between themselves, the matter ended in the Supreme Court. And for its part, the Apex Court, sticking to codes and conventions, and what is strictly laid down in the statute books, gave a clear-cut verdict: ‘Please solve it yourselves’.
Yes, the Supreme Court pointed out the amicable solution to the fracas between Kerala and Tamil Nadu can only be amicably arrived at by Tamil Nadu and Kerala..
Too bad, this didn’t occur to the frenzied people in both the camps.
The stand of the Centre: Quite some time back itself the Central government realised that it can’t remain an impartial observer to an essentially emotive problem. So it took the principled stand of not being an observer at all.
When delegations from Tamil Nadu and Kerala recently met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he reportedly told then that he would talk to the Union Water Resources Minister, whom we googled to find out to be Pawan Kumar Bhansal.
So what is Pawan Kumar Bhansal’s stated position on the much-discussed, headline-grabbing problem that has almost pushed Kerala and Tamil Nadu into a war of sorts? Again we googled, and the last reported news on him was precise and proper. He had condemned in no uncertain terms —- the thing that seems to be the cause of all the tension in the Mullaiperiyar muddle — the attack on Sharad Pawar.
The stand of the environmentalists: Their views too are unequivocal: The film Dam999 was cheesy and badly made.
The stand of Crank’s News: We in Crank’s News, intellectually nuanced and always occupying the higher moral ground, feel that before they settle the vexed Mullaiperiyar issue, it’s incumbent on Tamil Nadu and Kerala, not to speak of the UPA government at the Centre, to resolve an even bigger matter that has given the people of both the States literally many sleepless nights.
Kerala or Tamil Nadu, who can claim right over this?
And we, of course, are talking about Shakeela.
And if Shakeela doesn’t impel Manmohan Singh into some action, we are afraid nothing ever can.
(Disclaimer: This is the only incisive report on the Mullaiperiyar dam in which you will not see the word without which it is impossible for modern media to report the issue. The word we are referring to is: ‘Damn’.)