Though the PM’s visit to India has been fruitful so far, the Teesta issue is yet to be resolved.
Time and time again, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee has stood in the way of Bangladesh getting its rightful share of the waters of Teesta.
Bilateral ties between Bangladesh and India cannot improve so long as Teesta looms in the background.
The West Bengal chief minister must understand that monopolising the waters to meet her state’s selfish needs is inhumane and unreasonable.
This is despite the fact that the Joint River Commission had already come up with a fair solution to the Teesta water-sharing dispute, detailing how much water each country should receive.
What is worse is that this is not unprecedented. India has water-sharing treaties with China and Pakistan, so it bears asking: Why not then with Bangladesh?
Prime Minister Modi has shown Bangladesh great support in this regard, and has repeatedly brought it up as an issue that both the countries can solve together.
Then why must the West Bengal chief minister stand in the way?
Bangladesh has as much of a claim on the waters of Teesta as any other nation through which the river flows, and it is high time that the chief minister took this into account.
Water-sharing is crucial in cementing the long history of friendship that both these countries share and would go a long way in ensuring that future conflicts don’t arise from the inevitable problems this will lead to.
Chief Minister Bannerjee must understand that Bangladesh will no longer stand by idly while the waters which give it life are restricted from entering its lands.
Rivers like the Teesta are the lifeblood of this nation. It’s about time Bangladeshis were returned what is rightfully theirs.