Friday, February 24, 2012

Mamata Banerjee's sensitivity expected

She should see the broader picture.


During her recent talks with prime minister Manmohan Singh of India in Delhi, chief minister of the country's Pashchimbangla State, Mamata Banerjee, is learnt to have expressed her concern about what she termed excess water flowing to Bangladesh due to leakages in the Farakka Barrage.

Though it is an internal problem of India, we cannot help discern her diversionary emphasis away from the Teesta water sharing issue, which is a matter of prime concern for us. For lack of agreement on Teesta water sharing, Bangladesh continues to suffer from the sharp decline in water flow due to diversion of water by India. 

She couldn't have been oblivious of the Indian press reports that due to her last minute stance on the Teesta water sharing formula, which Indian prime minister had given shape to, that it fell through. The incident caused avoidable embarrassment to both the governments of India and Bangladesh. 

We wonder by deflecting from an issue of fundamental importance to Bangladesh's ecology and economy, what gain she is supposed to be deriving from impeding resolution of an important water sharing issue? 

By throwing a spanner in the works of the efforts to clinch the Teesta water deal, she is actually denying Paschimbangla, the Indian state closest to Bangladesh, the benefits she could draw from a higher level of Indo-Bangladesh relationship. We urge her to look at the broader picture of a greater and enduring cooperation between the two countries. 

The sooner Pashchimbangla chief minister Mamata Banerjee is able to see reason, the better for Indo-Bangla relations and also for the ties between Pashchimbangla and Bangladesh.

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