Karnataka Government achieved yet another milestone on August 9, when the statue of Tamil poet-Saint Thiruvalluvar was unveiled by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at Bengaluru.
Thus a breakthrough and the beginnng of a new era in the often fractious relationship between the two neighbours took place.
It is a significant development as both the states reaffirmed their commitment to resolve all disputes, mainly Cauvery water dispute, through dialogue. The unveiling of the statue took 18 long years. The idea of statue was conceived much before 1991. During R Gundu Rao’s regime, idea to unveil the statue on the Ulsoor Lake periphery was not implemented for the lack of political will. In 1991, during Bangarappa’s regime, the bronze statue was planned but was not unveiled because of a controversy. In 2001, the efforts of then CM SM Krishna to unveil it did not yield any results. Finally, CM BS Yeddyurappa turned the plan into a reality and successfully established the cordial relationship between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
In exchange for the Karnataka Government’s peace process, Government of Tamil Nadu is all set to unveil the statue of popular Kannada poet and Saint Sarvagna in Chennai on August 13 to express their concern towards their neighbouring State. It is a significant move as the CMs of both the states are chanting the brotherhood mantra. Referring to CM BS Yeddyurappa, Karunanidhi said: Enakku 86 vayadu, avarukku 67 vayadu (I’m 86 years old, he’s 67 years old). He further said, “He is my Thambi (Younger brother)… no parties, no states, it is a meeting of ‘hearts and minds’, we are all Indians. This is a fine example of cooperation between states in India.” CM BS Yeddyurappa termed the unveiling as one of his life’s “most fulfilling” moments and replied that : “Let us live together. We are Indians first, Kannadigas and Tamilians next. I will come over there and you please come here, we will discuss and solve the interstate problems amicabaly.” Many ministers and higher officials from both government of Karnataka and government Tamil Nadu graced the occasion. Thousands of Kannada and Tamil speaking crowd including members of Tamil Sangam were seen cheering the words of both CMs.
Cauvery water dispute marred the image of both the states as people of Karnataka believe that Tamil Nadu puts a united efforts cutting across party line and indulge in pressure politics at the Centre and demands more water from Karnataka. Infact Karnataka is helpless at many times but has to release water from KRS, Kabini, Harangi and Hemavathi reservoir to Tamil Nadu, due to tribunal order, despite own men losing their crop due to lack of water, especially when rains does a vanishing act.
Another prominent issue prevailing right now is about a Tamil speaking person who approached the court against awarding Kannada language a classical status. However Tamil Nadu CM Karunanidhi promised to look into the matter and assured to take steps to withdraw the case. Meanwhile. The Bengaluru bundh called by various Kannada organisations, against the unveiling of the statue of Saint Thiruvalluvar showed poor response and business establishments functioned normally.