Bengaluru: Two days after her tweet that Bengaluru’s name should be changed to Bandhaluru (after the latest bandh, or strike, in the city), Biocon Ltd chairman and managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has written about how her innocuous statement was distorted and misinterpreted and used to hurl abuse at her.
On Friday, Shaw took to Twitter to say how she was working in Delhi on that day and in jest suggested that Bengaluru be renamed Bandhaluru on account of the frequency of bandhs in the city. In the last four weeks, three such protests have brought the city and parts of the state to a standstill.
Her tweets came at a time when the entire state, led by farmers and pro-Karnataka groups, were protesting against the Supreme Court’s directive to the state to release Cauvery river waters to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
Twitter users did not take the comments from Shaw, who serves on several administrative boards of the state government, lightly. A backlash forced her to delete her tweets within hours of them being uploaded.
“The last two days of outrage expressed against my innocuous tweet on Bangalore bandh has hurt me and pained me to the core. My tweet has been distorted and misinterpreted and used to hurl abuse and shame me, which is most unfair. I am shocked to see such negative vile being hurled at me from different quarters,” Shaw said in an open letter, titled Proud to be a Kannadiga.
Adding that bandhs are not a solution, she said that the longstanding Cauvery water dispute needs to be settled through “non-emotional, evidence-based amicable discussions” between the two state governments.
Justifying the protest by farmers, she said that the manner in which it was being done is not appropriate. “The bandhs and violent protests not only hamper the common man and the daily wage earner but also impacts the overall productivity. One day of bandh leads to an economic loss of several thousand crores which impacts the health of the state and its people,” she said.
The Karnataka government has already filed an application for modification of the 5 September order, which directed the state to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water every day for the next 10 days to Tamil Nadu.