Cauvery Protests in Chennai During CSK’s IPL Match Were Shameful

The Cauvery protesters set a disgusting precedent ahead of the Chennai Super Kings’ home game on 10 April.

Updated12 Apr 2018, 06:15 AM IST
Q Rant
3 min read

Dear 'knowledgeable' people of Chennai, you were anything but that as your team Chennai Super Kings returned home after a two-year suspension.

Fans had been waiting for this day for a long time. The moment that the yellow jerseys would fill the stands of Chepauk, the moment that 'Thala' Dhoni would lead the players into the den, the moment that chants would be heard till Marina.

Well, the fans did get these moments eventually, BUT...

As tension mounted over the Cauvery-water sharing dispute, the Chepauk stadium turned into a virtual fortress – with fringe groups not just protesting against the match being held but also against the players. Vehicles near the stadium were vandalised, yellow jerseys were burned, women were harassed and stands remained empty till almost play time.

Not an ideal homecoming? More like a disgusting precedent.

And throwing shoes at players when the game was in progress? Really? Last time I checked, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, and Ravindra Jadeja was not a minister who failed the state.

Earlier this week, members of the film fraternity joined the mounting protests, where superstar Rajinikanth himself said it was an "embarrassment" to hold Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Chennai at a time when people were protesting the Cauvery issue. He said players should wear black bands as a mark of support. ICYMI, earlier this month, the actor roped in the CSK players for a promotional video for his upcoming film ‘Kaala’.

Agreed, you are protesting for a cause. Agreed, that it is your right to fight for the Cauvery Management Board to be set up. Agreed, the voice of the actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth is important for the fight. Agreed, you can ask CSK players to lend their support. Agreed, you’re not angry with CSK or the players.

BUT – What more can the players do other than lending support?

It was on 16 February that the Supreme Court raised the share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu's share while compensating it by allowing extraction of groundwater from the river basin.

The court had granted six weeks to the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its judgement. The six-week period ended on 29 March.

The problem is not the protest, but where and how the protest is taking place. Here is what Dhoni and Co, and the thousands of CSK fans cannot do – but your ELECTED representatives can. They can check:
  • What steps has the AIADMK taken since 16 February to set up the board?
  • Why are your elected representatives doing about it? Why are they silent?
  • Why is the Centre not responding to the appeals made?
  • Oh, and will Rajinikanth postpone the release of highly anticipated ‘Kaala’ till the management board is set up? Or will other big actors do the same?

The rage against the incompetence of our elected representatives should not be directed against a harmless cricket tournament.

Don't let politicians conveniently go after the game of cricket in order to hide their own incompetencies.

This is a state that has prided itself over the peaceful Jallikattu protests in 2017. This is a state that has prided itself over how safe women feel in Tamil Nadu. But there you were, threatening women of ripping off their jerseys.

Let CSK fans wear their jerseys with pride

Let the whistles thunder across. Let the flags fly high.

Let the game go on.

But also, make the politicians pay the price – in a peaceful manner, of course.

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

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Published: 11 Apr 2018, 06:02 PM IST

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