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By Behindwoods News Bureau.
April 04, 2008

The tenor of the stars, directors, producers and artists who spoke at the daylong fast protesting against Karnataka's objections to the planned drinking water project in Hogenekkal (on the border between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) was one of anger. Nearly every star who voiced his or her opinion spoke with great emotion and anger. To place the issue in


context, here is a brief background to what led to the daylong fast. The Rs.13.3 billion Hogenekkal Water Supply and Fluorosis Mitigation Project, funded by the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC), is expected to benefit about three million people in Dharmapuri, about 350 km from here, and Krishnagiri districts of Tamil Nadu. Karnataka, which is headed for assembly polls next month, is opposed to the project and says its share of the Cauvery waters will be affected.

Rajini: Karnataka needs to be given a kick

At the daylong fast protesting attacks on Tamil movie theatres in Karnataka over the Hogenakkal issue, Rajinikanth spoke angrily. It was long ago decided by the Central government that Hogenakkal belonged to Tamilnadu, and yet Karnataka seems to pretend otherwise. “Should we or should we not give Karnataka a good kick for not letting us draw water from our own land?!” bellowed the Superstar.. Law and order itself seems to be in chaos in Karnataka, felt the Superstar. “I unequivocally condemn Karnataka for this reprehensible act of denying us what is rightfully ours," Rajnikanth said. He sternly warned politicians in Karnataka not to use this issue to gain political ground. The film icon warned Karnataka politicians against using the issue for narrow political gains during the ensuing assembly elections.

Kamal Haasan: Karnataka’s responses and tactics are Primitive

As soon as Kamal arrived in Chennai, he headed straight to the place of fast and protest from the airport. Reaching the gathering at two in the afternoon, Kamal said it felt to him as though the whole Hogenakkal issue was being settled in primitive ways. Long ago, he reminded everyone, when our ancestors lived by the river, they fought over river water because there were no boundaries. Today we have boundaries and yet in Karnataka they don’t seem to really respect it.

Sarath Kumar: Rajini will give 1 crore, we will give 10 crores

Wherever Tamils are in danger, said Sarath Kumar, or are being harassed, we need to intervene. He also reminded everyone that Rajinikanth had once again said he would donate a crore towards planning a project that would find ways to bring water from all the rivers. Now, the Tamil Actors Association was willing to give 10 crores towards the same project, to find a viable solution to sharing these waters.

Vijaykanth: Our own waters are being denied to us

"Our constitution and legal tomes,” pointed out Vijaykanth, “have clearly said that no one on earth can stop an ordinary man's access to drinking water. And it is not as though we are stealing Karnataka's share of the water. The sad truth is that we are being threatened against using our water within our borders.”

Sathyaraj: Tamils are being victimized everywhere

It happened in Mumbai, Malaysia and now for the longest time in Sri Lanka, said Sathyaraj. He was referring to the way Tamils were being targeted as a minority group. Now it is happening in Tamil Nadu. This must stop at once

Tamil Film Fraternity’s resolution:

At the end of the protest and fast, the Tamil cinema fraternity took a joint resolution, assuring Karunanidhi that even if some of them belonged to opposition parties, over this issue at least they –the film fraternity - will stand firm in their support in the Chief Minister’s "fight to achieve justice for the people of Tamilnadu.”

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