Cauvery row: Did Brand Bengaluru take a hit? What foreign media thought of our 'Black Monday'

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Bengaluru's 'Black Monday', as the city burned due to orchestrated vandalism, and the curfew on Tuesday brought the world's 'back-office' and India's technology capital to a halt, the elites of the city expressed fears that 'Brand Bengaluru' had taken a hit as the business operations of companies that cater to some of the world's biggest corporations were affected. But is that how the rest of the world saw it all?

Foreign media, in fact, seemed to take a much larger, more sympathetic view of the admittedly ugly violence over what's increasingly a global problem -- water wars.

Washington Post

The Washington Post's 'Indians are rioting over water. Is this a glimpse into the future?' portrayed the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu water dispute as part of the larger and global problem of water wars due to climate change and the protests and violence in Bengaluru as the effects of that phenomenon on human behaviour.

"Climate change experts say that India is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. Rainfall is expected to increase with greater variability, which could mean more droughts and floods...With rising temperatures comes an increased risk of violence, some experts say", the Post said.

It went on to quote a 2013 study by scholars at Princeton University and the University of California at Berkeley, published in the journal Science, which looked at 60 studies on climate change and found "strong causal evidence" linking climate events to human conflict across the world.

For each standard deviation in change in climate toward warmer temperatures or extreme rainfall, the authors showed, the frequency of interpersonal violence rose 4 percent and intergroup conflict rose 14 percent.

Human conflict could become a critical effect of climate change if global temperatures continue to rise as forecast, the study found, the Post quoted the authors of the study as saying.

Miami Herald

The Miami Herald reports on Bengaluru's 'Black Monday' described in detail the origins of the Cauvery river and its importance to both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and went on to report on when and how the violence began.

New York Times

The New York Times article 'Violence Erupts in Southern India Over Order to Share Water' highlighted the persistent drought and flood situations in India, ascribing them to unpredictable climate change.

"Water disputes over rivers are common in India, where droughts and weak monsoons weigh heavily on the majority of the country that still lives off agriculture. Experts say that the lack of a centralized plan for allocating scarce water resources contributes to the problem," the paper said, citing Nilanjan Ghosh of the Observer Research Foundation that "in drier years, it is important for the authorities to encourage farmers in the region to raise less water-intensive crops...It's an ego issue between the two states and the two leaderships."


The Wall Street Journal wondered 'Why Are People in India's Tech Hub Bangalore Protesting Over Water?' The article explained the Cauvery row's origins and pointed out that the intensity of protess this year showed that the seriousness of the water problem has been growing over the years.

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