National Integration Scores A Victory Over Parochial Politics

Kaveri River Water Sharing

National Integration Scores A Victory Over Parochial Politics

“After a gap of eight years, the Mettur Dam will be opened on June 12 - the customary date”, informed a mid-May news item. The announcement brought cheer to farmers in the Delta who had to forgo Kuruvai crop for eight years. “This cultivation could be the Deepavali which we missed in the previous eight years”, exclaimed ‘Cauvery’ V Dhanabalan, a farmer leader from Kilvelur.

This “eight years” is a misnomer. Close to a century, divisive politics thwarted amicable sharing of Kaveri water among the riparian states. Year 2020 put an end to that un-national scenario, even as Kaveri water roared past the Mettur dam’s shutters on June 12. 

If that is un-national, what is national, or natural? It is commonsense that when one part of Bharat suffers in a calamity, the other parts rush relief to save lives of compatriots since Bharat is one country. Does this not apply to river water, any apolitical citizen would ask. Yes, it applies, more so because for millennia, crores of Hindus living in all parts of Bharat view river as goddess. Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Narmada, etc., and Kaveri in particular, are not only utilized but worshiped in this land. So, quarreling over river water sharing is an affront to the religio-cultural belief system of the Hindu. Therefore, proper sharing of Kaveri water this year is nothing short of genuine celebration of Mother Kaveri. Or, better, can we view this as a symbolic victory of national integration over parochial politics?

It was expected that media would go to town with this rare and happy turn. But it did not happen. The why of it must be analysed.


Punjab had a bountiful harvest of wheat in the 1950’s. It was a glut. On the other hand, Orissa was face to face with starvation deaths. But Punjab decided to destroy excess wheat by dumping it into Sutlej. The saddest man in Bharat that day was Shri Guruji Golwalkar of RSS. He reminded the country thus: “when one part of Bharat suffers in terms of food scarcity, the other part rushes relief to save lives of compatriots since Bharat is one country and the several states are Bharat Mata’s limbs; today we sadly miss that spirit”.

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