M. Mizanur Rahman
We, the people of Bangladesh are accustomed to tolerate natural odds and ordeals in season or out of season and trying to survive on and often from the wrath of natural disasters visiting every year on our shores. This survival gives us strength to live against death. Almost three million people from Bangladesh sacrificed their lives for the independence of motherland and raised the standard of sovereign state. And that will remain unfurled for ages to come overcoming all sorts of hurdles whether natural or man-made.
Now we need peaceful co-existence with all our neighboring countries with dignity and honour. Especially we are in difficulty with our next-door neighbor India. Though the relation between India and Bangladesh is supposed to be absolutely friendly on accmmt of SAARC, yet we are amazed to observe some acts of India go contrary to all friendly commitments.
We have already experienced the adverse affects of Indian Farakka Barrage that, instead of saving the Kolkata port from silting, caused serious harm to Bangladesh. Since its completion of construction by 1970, it has been controlling its sluice gates in such a way that deprived Bangladesh from water of the International river Ganges flowing through the Indian Territory. As a result most of the south-western region of Bangladesh appears to have been barren and unfit for navigation. And due to dearth of water agricultural productions have since been seriously hampered. Not only that, this barrage caused depletion of underground water and brought salinity, droughts, and floods during specific seasons. Bangladesh incurs heavy loss. Its ecology has been seriously affected. Meanwhile, cultivation of fishery and nurturing of forestry have been diminished to a great extent creating unemployment for multitude of people in Bangladesh.
Now India is projecting to construct another Farakka-like Tipaimukh Dam on Barak River that would affect Bangladesh through our north-eastern region. The completion of this project means desertification of Bangladesh in full! The experts and environmentalists opine that with certainty. Bangladesh would lose its navigation business on its river links forever! Should Bangladesh be starved to death by Indian design? This serious question is echoed everywhere in Bangladesh.
Should not Bangladesh rise against it boldly? Does it not raise the question of life or death of Bangladesh? Should we people in Bangladesh tolerate such hypocrisy of Indian friendship?
But ours way must be peaceful to settle disputes amicably. We cannot indulge ourselves in confrontation as a democratic country. India as the largest democratic country should also abide by rules of friendship with the sense of sacrifice towards give and take policy. It should not grab the interests of its neighbourly friendly country in the jungle policy of "The wolf and the lamb". When we find our poor innocent farmers or cattle traders are shot by the B.S.F men of India at the border outpost or inside our territory we are simply pained as questioning, is that friendly act of our liberation war-time ally India? It is simply nonsense that the innocent persons are killed without any reason while there is no war or enemy incursion between India and Bangladesh. Should good sense not prevail in the mind of our most intimate neighbour India?