India need a clear fresh water policy
India’s Supreme Court verdict on Karnataka having to release 12,000 cusecs of water per day from the Cauvery River to the adjacent state of Tamil Nadu until September 20, was the immediate provocation for the violence in Bengaluru (‘Tech firms shut down amid violent clashes in Bengaluru’, Gulf News, September 14). The sharing of river water among these two states turned violent in the year 1991 and many lost their lives. The water dispute dates back a century and so far, the Indian government has no clear National Water Policy.
In India, access to water should be treated as a fundamental right for all citizens, and it should be conserved and protected. The government is slowly withdrawing from the supply of pure drinking water and multinational companies are taking up this role. Water is a resource that is a sensitive and emotional issue at this time of scarcity, and head of the states and the central government in India should discuss and find ways to resolve the matter amicably. I would say India should have a clear water policy to connect all rivers throughout the country so that all the states can share the water accordingly.
We have to protect our river beds, ponds and preserve rainwater, which is a natural resource. Planting more trees and protecting our environment is the solution. Tamil Nadu should take more steps to conserve rainwater. Agricultural universities should develop crops that require less water. This would be helpful for farmers. Unless water is protected and used with care, we will soon find more and more places facing water scarcity. This can lead to disputes between states and even countries. We should not let this turn into another reason for conflict.
From Mr Eappen Elias
Stop the violence!
Two Indian states, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, are boiling over the sharing of Cauvery River’s fresh water. Reports about violence further fanned the flames in both states, with angry protesters blaming one another for instigating the violence, even as they claimed theirs to be reactionary to the provocation from across the border. Even police patrol vehicles were set ablaze and personnel came under a rain of stones. The law and order situation there is very crucial. It is easy to kindle a fire, but difficult to extinguish it.
From Mr Sunny Joseph
Make politicians accountable!
This conflict epitomises the plight of the common man in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It is really unfortunate that the decades-old Cauvery water dispute has taken an ugly turn this year. Since the Apex Court had instructed the Karnataka government to release water for Tamil Nadu farmers, they should have enforced the court verdict. However, instead of dousing fire with water, they allowed fringe troublemakers to torch and destroy public property. I feel the Karnataka government should be made accountable for the loss of property and ensure the ruling party compensates for the losses. Only such punishment would teach a lesson to present day politicians — that riots cannot solve any problem and that it can only be solved through discussion, with the guidance of Supreme Court judges and central ministers.
From Mr N. Mahadevan
Nothing done right
What’s happening in Karnataka is extremely disappointing. Politicians who had nothing to do with the issue are taking advantage of the conflict, while politicians who really have to do something are silent on the issue.
From Mr Rishad A. R.
Brexit is not so simple
The June 2016 referendum technically and publicly expressing Briton’s desire to leave the European Union (EU) has not yet been set into motion officially (‘British businesses ‘lazy and fat’, pro-Brexit trade minister says’, Gulf News, September 10). The application of Article 50 only sets the deadline for completing the process. But Brexit is Brexit and the ball is in the UK’s court. Legal experts say this two-year time frame is not enough and the process may last for even up to a decade. A recently highlighted problem is the probable visa fee for British nationals travelling to the rest of the EU. It means the acceptability of the British passport will be reduced considerably in other powerful European countries.
The impact of Brexit will not just be felt by the UK. This divorce is going to cause much inconvenience for the rest of the EU, too.
The uncertainty of over 3 million EU citizens working, living and studying in the UK and the fate of around 2 million UK nationals working, living and studying in the rest of Europe is a matter of concern. Merely conducting a referendum is not the answer for all these complex questions. Imagine a situation where the UK overcomes all these problems and emerges a stronger nation within two years of triggering Article 50? Then, other EU members will also follow suit to keep their identity intact and that it will perhaps lead to the collapse of EU.
From Mr Girish R. Edathitta
All the wrong priorities
The definition of a leader of a country is that he or she is willing to give up his/her chair at anytime (‘Time for tough measures, but is Nawaz Sharif ready?’, Gulf News, September 12). Pakistan’s government has all the wrong priorities. The priorities of developing countries are to educate its masses and invest in its future generations. Building large infrastructure is normally at the middle level of prioritisation. Look at the current state of Pakistan’s government hospitals and schools, which are being run by charitable causes. Why would you want local doctors’ associations to donate a generator for a District Headquarters (DHQ) hospital in Jhelum, Pakistan? Surely, providing sufficient sources of energy to government hospitals is a basic need and a responsibility that should be met. The whole system is corrupt and this is exactly why I stand with opposition leader Imran Khan when he calls a spade a spade and does not wither in the Parliament, like the stooges of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
From Mr Manzoor Raza Ashraf
That’s what Khan has been saying! If you want to do something for the poor, improve the quality of education and hospitals. But Sharif only intends to make commissions, granting contracts to family businesses.
From Mr Zafar Malik
Sharif is sure-footed because he has the full support of the country’s political parties, which have extreme differences on political points of view, but are in an alliance to save themselves from corruption charges. They would never wish for the fall of Sharif, as he is a symbol for them, and the fall of his government means an end to corruption in all spheres.
Also, I feel he is sure-footed because he has the backing of several dubious people in the country, who do not hesitate to get violent, as was evident in the Lahore massacre. No law has dared to apprehend sure-footed Sharif. So the task for Khan is not easy.
From Mr Nasser Khan
Sharif is the most incompetent Prime Minister of Pakistan, in my opinion. He doesn’t even know his priorities. There is no project for education, healthcare, the economy or law and order. He can only focus on taking loans for roads and businesses. No productive work at all.
From Mr Tahir Malik
What good is the UN?
What has the United Nations (UN) done about these children in Gaza (‘UN says Gaza children still suffering from 2014 war’, Gulf News, September 12)? Condemning the hurt and pain that has been caused is not their only purpose. They need to do something more than that. A lot of people have suffered. If the UN can’t do anything about it, then who else will?
From Mr Lordson M. Destura
Not the police
What do you expect the UN to actually do, Mr Lordson M. Destura? The UN is a forum for member states to talk, debate and pass resolutions. It is the member countries who are doing nothing, not the UN. If the members voted for more aid, then the UN would distribute it. Remember, the UN has no military forces, it cannot force anyone to do anything. It is not the world police.
From Mr Michael Abbott
The scars remain…
Who wouldn’t still be suffering after 2014 in Gaza? Surely, many people there may have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Only God knows what other physical and mental health issues remain after their experiences. Time is ticking away, and those responsible, chose to close their eyes, ears and hearts despite having political power.
From Ms Rosella Larcom
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