While images and visuals of angry protests in the three districts of north Karnataka are being reported by the media, politicians and governments are being flayed on social media.
The day after the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal rejected Karnataka’s interim plea to direct Goa to release 7.5tmc to the state, protests broke out almost all across the state. The intensity of the protests was stronger in Dharwad, Gadag, and Belagavi districts which are believed to directly benefit from the Mahadayi drinking water project.
Coming at the end of a drought year, the rejection of Karnataka’s plea has evoked a strong reaction from the public. While many took to the streets to register their disagreement with the verdict, in Dharwad district, protesters went on a rampage, setting fire to several government offices, burning furniture, and vehicles on the road.
On social media there was a lot of anger over verdict, with small measures of pettiness and mudslinging also found their way into the opinions expressed.
There was much agreement that all the political parties had used the issue to gain votes, and disappeared when they got them.
The same slogans are also being heard on the streets. But there is special anger with the BJP leaders from the district as they are perceived to have influence at the centre, yet did nothing. Prahlad Joshi is Dharwad MP and HN Ananth Kumar, is a minister in the central government. Although he has been elected from Bengaluru, he hails from Dharwad.
Some of the anger also took on regional sentiments as many people felt that nobody cared about the water scarcity and the suffering of people in the northern districts.