The Cauvery “agitation” is 30 days old today. For exactly a month now, Sun TV has been invisible in most houses in Mysore and Bangalore, thanks to the linguistic flame burning brightly in the heart of the cable operator. Tamil movies have been off cinema screens in both cities. The “ban” has been lifted in some areas, but as was evident in an assault by the increasingly (and disturbingly) aggressive Karnataka Rakshana Vedike on a theatre that tried to screen a Tamil move today, an unwritten ban persists.
Do only Tamils watch Sun TV and Tamil cinema in Karnataka? Is the blockade a legitimate form of protest? Who decides this and on what ground/s? Why is the deprival of entertainment seen as a way of driving home the perceived injustice concerning water to the State? If trains/buses/cars can go to and come from Tamil Nadu freely, why can’t the airwaves?
Since the ban is far from voluntary in the viewer’s eyes, and since all TV viewers are at the knifepoint of the cable operator, is the inability of the State Government and the Police to get the ban lifted an indication of the breakdown of law and order? Are Kannadigas following the footsteps of Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, which banned NDTV for a while, and has since failed to pave the way for Fanaa and Parzania to be screened?