Cauvery on the boil
Apropos of the article “Troubled waters” (FE, September 15), the ongoing row over the sharing of Cauvery water has shown that we are not as altruistic as we would like to believe and the violence has lent credence to the theory of “nature—red in tooth and claw”. As humans, we seem to have been programmed not to share resources with others when they are required for our own survival. The row has also exposed the hollowness of our pretensions to patriotism. We repeat ad nauseam that we are Indians first, but when it comes to sharing of river waters, we are Kannadigas and Tamils first. It is not just between states, it could well be between districts or between even villages. It is extremely sad that farmers of one state are pitted against farmers of another state. The upper riparian states tend to believe that the rivers primarily belong to them. The scale of violence unleashed in Bengaluru is evidence of the fragility of the inter-state relations. The overreaction to adjudication by the apex court has brought out human foolishness at its worst. The loss due to the damage and destruction of properties is inestimable. Competitive bandhs also impact on the country’s economy. Rail rokos have inconvenienced the common people. Nobody gives a thought to how school children in their formative years perceive the scenes of vehicles on fire. The Supreme Court has rightly pulled up Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over Cauvery protests. Still, the compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court and the avoidance of a constitutional crisis are a tribute to the resilience of our democracy.
G David Milton, Maruthancode
The 4G war
In market economics, the consumer is the king, and the company which fails to realise this basic fact is bound to suffer. Airtel, the first company to launch 4G services in India, has already filled its coffers with exorbitant data rates. Rather than fighting with Jio over interconnection charges, these companies must face the market competition head-on, and provide cheap and affordable services of their own. They can retain their customers, if they are willing to provide data services cheaper than Jio. Moreover, the recent abrupt slashing of data charges vindicates the claim that they were charging a lot more than they should be. Going to courts and denying inter-connectivity to Jio is only going to shrink their customer base. At the end of the day, they must stop cribbing and act maturely by laying out a market strategy of their own, which can include cheaper unlimited data packs, special schemes for students and defence personnel, free calling, zero SMS charges and more robust network coverage.
Gaurav Singhal, Rewari (Haryana)