“Burning Tyres On Karnataka Highway In Cauvery Protests”, read one of the news headlines. And, I thought to myself, “How could one fight for something by disrespecting that same ‘thing’, at the same time?”. On one hand, people are trying to convince the government of the importance that every ‘cusec’ of water has in their lives, but on the other hand, the same set of people are totally oblivious to the fact that the items that they are burning so recklessly, and destroying voluntarily, had only existed after several gallons of water was exhausted in their production. Rubber tyres, wooden objects, paper and clothes are being burnt; glasses are being shattered; people are being hurt; but, all that one cares for is to ‘stop the flow of a natural resource from one piece of land to another piece of the same land’. Today, the fight is between Karnataka and Tamilnadu over Cauvery water. However, this is not the only fight for water. As I browsed through different news sources, I found some interesting details on “Inter-state River Water Disputes in India”. If you could think about it with a hope to bring in a positive change, the below list of persisting water disputes would definitely daunt your imagination:
- Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
- The Krishna water dispute between Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
- The Tungabhadra water dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
- The Aliyar and Bhivani river water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
- The Godavari river water dispute between Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Karnataka.
- The Narmada water dispute between Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
- The Mahi river dispute between Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
- The Ravi and Beas river water dispute between Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi.
- The Satluj-Yamuna Link canal dispute between Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
- The Yamuna river water dispute between Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.
- The Karmanasa river water dispute between Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
- The Barak river water dispute between Assam and Manipur.
Starting from country, state, religion, economic status, caste, gender, and of course opinions; somehow, we are turning into a set of divided individuals at every possible level. Countries are fighting for control over a piece of land; states are fighting for control over a water body; politics is flourishing in the name of religion; poor wants to get rich, but without working as hard as is needed; rich wants to develop better communities, but by ignoring the beggars; honour of men and women is put at stake in the name of caste, gender and opinions. What are we losing in all these fights? We are losing humanity. Aren’t we?!
While I was living in one of the shared apartments, there was a small incident that had happened. And, I’m sure many of us could relate to this incident closely. As I had walked into the common hall, I heard a disturbing sound. The sound of the gushing water had caught my attention. I saw a young lady brushing her teeth at the washbasin. The tap was left open and water was flowing out at its full speed. I kept quiet. I went inside my room and returned to the hall after a while. The same gushing sound was heard again. I stopped and waited for a while. I could see the young lady in the same position, with brush held into her mouth and undisturbed by the wastage of water right in front of her eyes. I was scared to interrupt her brash behaviour, however, I was growing restless within and felt an urge to talk to her. I gathered courage and asked her to close the tap. The reaction was quite close to what I had expected. She ignored my request and said instead, with threatening eyes, “I take more time to brush thoroughly”. I was in no mood to fight. I knew that if it doesn’t come from within ourself, no external force could make us change our mind. I distracted my thoughts and left for work, hoping someday she would realize that wasting water unnecessarily is not a cool thing to do.
Everywhere we see so much of destruction happening all the time. Every one of us is responsible for destroying something precious each day. But, when it comes to construction of something that is important for the mankind, our contribution is almost nil. It’s the government which is responsible for filling the potholes, cleaning the public garbage, improving the education quality, controlling the growing pollution of air, of water and of land, managing the traffic and the violence created by us, to name a few. We have always been helpless when something must be improved in our society. But, some of us have always volunteered to come forward as one (temporarily) to prove our (fake) power over an opposing community of people, or, an opposing idea. And, the oppositions have seldom been peaceful. It’s funny to see people finding fun in destroying their own neighborhood, their own environment, and their own people. Have we lost our mind? Man is a social animal. If we continue destroying our own society, all that would be left of us would be an animal instinct and nothing else.
What can we do as individuals? We don’t need to do great things with great effort to bring a positive change at a bigger scale. Simplicity should be the key. The most important thing that we might preferably choose to do right now is to become consciously aware of where we are heading to.
We have successfully ended the future of so many plant and animal species. If we do not change a few bad habits immediately, there might be no future left for mankind as well. We all know this. Don’t we? Yes, we do!!!
It’s high time we looked into our inner consciousness. Let us make an attempt to nurture our humane side actively. Let us make a conscious effort to overcome that feeling of selfishness. If only we could feel compassion for someone who might or might not be of any business value to us, it would be enough to trigger a chain of positive thoughts. It would be enough to make a positive effect in our immediate vicinity, which would ultimately percolate to the greater sections of our society. A small change within our minds today, could lead us to a beautiful world. Change is inevitable, but we are free to choose our own direction.
So, where are you headed to?