RAJINI IN DILEMMA
Tamil Nadu saw stray incidents of violence and a black out of Kannada channels on the issue and not just the Central Government, even Tamil cinema's superstar Rajinikanth is in a tight spot.
A Kannadiga owned hotel in the heart of Chennai had to bear the brunt of lawyers who were protesting against Karnataka on the Hogenakkal issue.
The hotel was a mute victim perhaps as a small water dispute is being made into a Kannada versus Tamil battle - a battle which will now black out Kannada TV channels in Tamil Nadu.
"They are depriving Tamils in Karnataka of Tamil channels and so why should we let them be seen here. This is our way of showing our protest," Kayal Elavarasan, President, TN Cable TV Owners Association, says.
Caught in the cross fire between the two southern states is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Karnataka Congress sent SM Krishna to meet the PM and Tamil Nadu sent Union Minister TR Balu.
"Till an elected government comes and takes certain stand this Hogenakkal Project should not be allowed to go through," Krishna says.
Even Tamil Nadu's superstar has a Hogenakkal headache. Born in Karnataka and superstar in Tamil Nadu, Rajinikanth will now have to respond to Tamil cinema's call for an anti-Karnataka hunger strike on April 4.
"Even those artists who are Kannadiga by birth or by language will have to participate in the hunger strike otherwise we will not co operate with them," Sarath Kumar, President of the Artists Association, says.
In 2002, Rajini became the target of attack after he refused to participate in the Tamil film industry's rally on the Cauvery issue.
He then went on a much-publicised fast asking for a peaceful settlement and interlinking rivers.
Now as the Hogenakkal erupts he and the rest of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are forced to face the heat as politics on both sides turns a water dispute into a battle for linguistic pride.
Rajini's Political Tsunami