Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Nation without a StateKarnataka > Karnataka bans Tamil TV Channels after Verdict on sharing Cauvery Waters

Tamils - a Nation without a State


an estimated 2.8 million Tamils live in Karnataka

Karnataka bans Tamil TV Channels
after Verdict on sharing Cauvery Waters
[see also Cauvery River Water Dispute and Karnataka Massacres
- Thanjai Nalankilli, 1998, Part 1,  and Part 2 ]

Impasse over Tamil Channels continues in Bangalore
Report by www.indiantelevision.com,
26 February 2007

BANGALORE: The impasse over the airing of Tamil channels continues here, the capital of the southern state of Karnataka, with seemingly no end in sight since the Kannada organizations are strongly against broadcast of the same.

MSOs had stopped telecast of Tamil channels after the verdict on sharing of Cauvery river waters that Karnataka finds unfavorable for it.

A source in the Karnataka State Cable TV Operators Association reveals that MSOs and cable operators are in favor of restarting airing Tamil Channels, but are facing stiff resistance from Kannada activists. "We fully support the people of Karnataka on this issue, as do the Tamil people based here in Karnataka. Entertainment should be kept away from issues that are politicized. Have Tamil channels on DTH been stopped? Have flights or trains between Tamil Nadu been stopped?" pleads a cable operator. "Cable is reachable and hence threatened," adds another.

The Tamil basket in Karnataka consists of around eight or nine channels, depending upon the MSO, area and the cable operator, from a possible bouquet of 11-12 channels. Of these, the Sun Group has five, Raj TV three, Jaya TV two, along with one each from DD and Vijay.

Currently 2-3 channels are being aired in Bangalore. Sun's KTV and Star's Vijay were available in some areas while some had DD's Tamil channel and other areas had Sun being aired since today, and yesterday. One Sun Tamil channel was switched on in monochrome in some areas....

The sharing of the Cauvery waters issue has plagued the southern states, with the major protagonists' being Karnataka and Tamil Nadu since the past few decades. The interim water sharing verdict in December 1991 saw riots break out in Bangalore and the state, with loss of life and property. Even the 5 February verdict saw protests and a 'bandh' recently.

The Karnataka government has yet to file an appeal against the 5 February verdict - they have 90 days to do so.

Meanwhile, the people of Bangalore, a significant percentage of whom are non-Kannadigas, with Tamils forming a big chunk, are impatient and want entertainment to be kept away from these kinds of issues and enjoy their TV fare.

Blackout continues, Karnataka cable ops plan rally
Report by www.indiantelevision.com
17 February 2007

BANGALORE: The blackout of Tamil channels by the cable TV trade in Karnataka continues following the Cauvery water verdict.

At the time of writing, a section of the cable operators was planning to voice their grievance to the authorities. The Karnataka State Cable Operators Association had planned a rally from Anil Kumble circle on MG road to the Governor’s residence on 20 February to hand over a memorandum against the verdict with the expectation of support from all the bodies involved in the cable TV distribution chain, including MSOs. A cable operator said that he expected participation from cable ops from the surrounding rural areas of Bangalore and from the interiors of Karnataka.

Sources from the various associations representing cable operators and broadband service providers say that the black out of the Tamil cable channels was a voluntary decision, later reinforced by ‘requests from Kannada activists’ groups.

A faction of the cable TV trade said that they were willing to restart the broadcast of Tamil channels saying that “it is the verdict that we are against, not the language, and we have given the longest support to the agitation against the verdict, but now we are willing to restart the Tamil feed.”

Certain sources reveal that the trade is apparently becoming nervous about any backlash from vested parties and is considering asking for police protection should they go for the latter option. A meeting is expected to be held on 19 or 20 February to decide on the course of action.

The Cauvery Tribunal verdict has already had its first victim in the form of union minister of state for information and broadcasting M H Ambareesh who put in his resignation from both the union ministry as well as Parliament in protest against it.

Fear driving many Tamil workers out of Bangalore
Memories of the 1991 violence still haunt

Bageshree S. and M.V. Chandrashekar

Bangalore: On a normal day it is hard to pick one's way through the Old Tharagupet area, which is a busy centre for wholesale trade in oil, grains, vegetables and other commodities. But the pace of work is now sluggish here and in areas around it, including New Tharagupet, City Market, Kalasipalyam Market, Sultanpet and Chickpet. Loaded lorries remain parked, with no workers to unload the goods. Pushcart vendors, old-paper sellers and roadside clothes sellers are also fewer in number.

This is because a significant number of Tamil daily wage workers from Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Thiruvannamalai and Hosur who work here have left Bangalore fearing violence after the announcement of the final order by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

Unlike what happened following the 1991 Cauvery interim order, Tamils have not been targeted after the verdict this time. In fact, there have been repeated assurances from the police and Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy that Tamils will be given adequate protection. But memories of the 1991 violence and fears about a recurrence still haunt unorganised sector workers who are the primary targets in any outbreak of violence.

This fear has seriously hit the construction industry too, where a large number of Tamils are employed. Mathew Mammen, executive director of Sobha Developers, says that the presence of Tamil workers has come down by 30 to 40 per cent in construction sites in Bangalore. Apart from those who do masonry work, some engineers and supervisors too have gone back to Tamil Nadu on leave, he says. Work on some construction sites has come to a standstill. "There has been no violence, but there is a lot of uncertainty. This is definitely hitting the industry hard," says Mr. Mammen.

Sheshadri C.S. of Mane Vinyas says he has had to bring work to a halt in half of the ongoing projects. "I fear more people will leave on Sunday," he adds.  In fact, Muthu from Thiruvannamalai, a headload worker at City Market, told The Hindu that he plans to leave for his hometown on Sunday and return "only after the situation is completely normal."

N.P. Swamy, president of the Karnataka State Construction Workers Central Union, says that more than resident Tamil labourers who have settled down and have their families here, it is the migrant labourers brought in by contractors for road laying, masonry and other work who are returning to Tamil Nadu. "But it is not comparable to the exodus of 1991," he adds.

His organisation has been holding community meetings in slum areas across Bangalore to give confidence to workers that they will not be harmed. "We should also note that land is today the most precious commodity, and the land mafia would want to drive people out of their homes to grab these those pieces of land," he says.


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