TiIRUCHY: The ongoing water sharing dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, that dates back to a century and years more, is nothing new as unrest prevails every time whenever the water sharing dispute touches the pinnacle.
But the dispute now has taken a whole new dimension with the conflict between the two Southern riparian states spilling over to the virtual medium. The netizens of the two states are in virtual war by confronting each other with memes that are being spread online.
A day after Supreme Court (SC), hearing the appeal from Tamil Nadu government seeking 50 TMC of Cauvery, had ordered the Karnataka government to discharge 15,000 cusecs water to the distressed farmers of the former state for 10 straight days, tense situation continues to prevail in the inter-State border.
The directive from SC asking Karnataka government to discharge water for delta farmers in Tamil Nadu has upset many.
As soon as the memes in social media, including Facebook and Twitter, came up, mass forwards also began via Whatsapp. The memes primarily targetted Tamil Nadu government. The retaliatory posts also started coming in from Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to Express, a 24-year-old youth from Tamil Nadu residing in Bengaluru said, “These memes are blatantly abusing Tamil Nadu people for seeking Cauvery water, since Monday night. All these memes are spreading a feeling of hatred among Kannadigas against the people of Tamil Nadu. Majority of us working in major IT firms at Bengaluru. Such memes should be taken down else it would further worsen the mutual relationship between the two states.”
Netizens also added that several memes created by pro Kannada pages such as Troll Haiklu are being exaggerated in the comments section, and thus leading to provocative arguments, heated exchange, and on extreme cases leading to abusive exchanges.
“Such memes and anti Tamil Nadu posts would create a sense of wrong perception on Tamil Nadu people among the Kannadigas which would only aggravate the tense situation during the Cauvery dispute.” the IT employer added.
The memes spread by a section of Facebook pages from Karnataka includes a beggar in traffic symbolised as Tamil Nadu seeking money (symbolized as Cauvery water) from a commuter on car who was symbolised as Karnataka.
Meanwhile, reacting to the anti Tamil Nadu memes from pro Karnataka pages, a section of meme makers in the state went on to counter argue the memes and posts targeting Tamilians for seeking Cauvery water.
Several memes claiming that Karnataka is dependent on Tamil Nadu for electricity generated from Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) were circulated in retaliation to the anti Tamil Nadu posts in social media pages.
“Unlike the offensive memes rolled out by the Karnataka Facebook pages, we will go for diplomatic memes to highlight the rights of Tamil Nadu in river Cauvery.” said a meme maker from Tamil Nadu under the conditions of anonymity.