Mullaperiyar begins to bristle again. And this time, Jayalaitha has crossed all permissible limits offered by the freedom of expression. Equating Kerala building a dam across Mullaperiyar to China building one on Brahmaputra, amounts to a seditious speech.
Take a look at what she has to say:
Chennai, Oct 18 (IANS) Equating Kerala’s demand for a new dam at Mullaperiyar with China’s attempts to build one on the Brahmaputra within its territory, AIADMK general secretary J.Jayalalitha Sunday said if the Indian government could oppose the Chinese project, then Tamil Nadu too had the right to object to Kerala’s project. (Emphasis mine)
What are the implications of this statement?
Kerala and Tamil Nadu are like India and China. Are they two countries? Implied in this statement is a subversion of the federal nature of the Indian Republic. If this does not amount to sedition, what does?
She goes on:
Noting that India is objecting to China building a dam on the Brahmaputra on the plea that it would affect the ecology of several states here, she said: ‘When one nation can object to the actions of another in the matter of river water sharing, does not Tamil Nadu have valid grounds to push its case through vis-a-vis a neighbouring state?’
This elaboration strengthens my argument. Are two states in a federal republic equivalent to nations with independent political status?
And the danger in this metaphor lies in equating of Kerala to China, and thereby, Tamil Nadu to India. It does make matters a little dicey that Kerala has a Communist Government, which is constantly accused by all political parties of having ideological leaning towards China, as the latter is the only surviving large and powerful Communist country.
And then comes her trump card:
‘Are not both Kerala and Tamil Nadu states of the Indian Union? Do the Prime Minister and the Union Minister of State for Forests and Environment have different yardsticks while dealing with identical issues concerning the Indian nation and Tamil Nadu state?’ she asked, according to a statement released here.
She is clearly playing on the emotions of the people with, no doubt, the future of her party in mind. AIDMK, at the moment, is cooling its heels in the opposition benches of Tamil Nadu.
Without batting an eyelid she proclaims loudly that:
The construction of a new dam across the Mullaiperiyar in Kerala would practically result in cutting off the main source of water for five districts of Tamil Nadu.
Kerala leaders have been crying themselves hoarse that Tamil Nadu requirement for water will be met. Besides, the rivers of India are not the exclusive property of any state. They belong to the nation, and the sharing pattern of the waters is always done with intervention of the Centre’s machinery for the purpose. She continues:
She said Kerala is going ahead with surveying lands for construction of a new dam, which would be against the interests of the people of Tamil Nadu.
She knows this statement (which I have highlighted above) is a blatant lie. But politicians are so crafty that they look around for issues that appeal to the parochial sentiments of the public, and then politicize it till it becomes a huge emotional inferno which consumes sanity, logic, common sense and patriotism.
And then she lays the foundation for an unrest and “disaffection” between the States of a federal union:
‘90 per cent of this survey work is complete. The balance will be completed in hardly two months. The minister concerned in Kerala has also said on record that the construction of the new dam will be completed in less than a year after the sanction is given,’ Jayalalitha said.
The final salvo is sent in the direction of the opposition:
She demanded the DMK should pull out of the central government immediately on the issue of the new dam in Kerala.
The continued presence of the opposition in the Centre is interpreted as an anti Tamil Nadu position. This will provoke Karunanidhi to react, in order to ward off Jayalaitha’s blows with the Mullaperiyar stick.
The result is bound to be trouble between two states, created out of sheer selfishness of politicians. Fortunately, Kerala and Tamil nadu are two states which co exist as perfect neighbours. Let us not allow these unscrupulous politicians create bad blood between these two states.
The people of both Tamil Nadu and Kerala should be educated about the new dam that’s being planned. The Centre or some people’s organization should step in to convince the people of Tamil Nadu that 1. The building a new dam is to ensure the safety of millions of people whose lives will be lost in case of a mishap 2. The water availability for Tamil Nadu from Periyar will not be reduced by the new dam.
In the meanwhile, it is worthwhile to examine if Jayalaitha can have sedition charges slapped on her for the threat her rhetoric poses to the federal fabric of the country. Does freedom of speech give license to regional politicians to tear the country apart?
What a shame we have such selfish, self seeking, deceitful, crooked , ruthless and unconscientious politicians in the country.
May their tribe NOT increase!