When River Titas was divided into two halves, dumping of earth in the middle of the river there was no Public Interest Litigation in Bangladesh. To facilitate transit of India which has killed and is still killing dozens of our rivers it is choked in the middle, creating two lakes.
Though boats can’t ply with life and goods along the river, communications have been snapped, life stalled, income of people on the banks of Titas dropped substantially to facilitate a water aggressor only, there was neither any suo moto nor any other public interest litigation. In the same way there was no PIL against Indian land swap deal with Bangladesh despite signing a protocol to that effect at the highest level between the two countries without amending the Constitution and enacting a law, a Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court said. The verdict, given while a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice AK Goel and Justice NK Singh disposed of a PIL filed by Sujata Changkakoti, a lawyer by profession, has evoked strong reactions from opposition parties and other groups who were opposed to the land deal signed by the Prime Ministers of the two countries last year, reports the Indian Express.
The protocol was signed to enable the exchange of 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in Indian territory. This would have led to bringing an end to disputes at 25 points along the 4,156-km boundary, on which India adversely possesses 1,165.49 acres of Bangladesh land, while Bangladesh possesses 1,880.81 acres on the Indian side.
“It was a deal which was signed not only without taking the people into confidence, but even by flouting the Constitution. We welcome the High Court verdict,” Durga Das Boro, general secretary of the Asom Gana Parishad, said here on Sunday. The state BJP unit too has hailed the verdict, with spokesperson Shantanu Bharali saying it had exposed an “unconstitutional” decision taken by the UPA government.
Before the Public Interest Litigation India’s top court on February 5, 2010, had halted mining by the Lafarge because of environmental concerns. Due to 17-month ban the biggest cement manufacturer incurred a huge loss as it could not mine limestone the East Khasi Hills in Meghalaya for its plant in Bangladesh. However Indian the court decision comes as good news for the cement plant in Chhatak. The supply of limestone from Meghalaya came to a halt in the first week of April 2010, and the company was unable to produce clinkers anymore. Lafarge’s $255-million cement plant holds close to a 10 percent share of Bangladesh’s cement market.
Seemingly Indian ruling party, bureaucracy, main opposition, political parties be it left or right, court, states and even the civil society synchronize work plans aiming at helping their country India. They have got a national integration council to patch up their integrity.
Indian finance minister Pranab Mukharjee, currently vying for Indian presidency, came to Bangladesh coinciding with that of the visit of US secretary of state Hillary Clinton in Dhaka, creating a new crescent –Dhaka-Delhi-District of Colombia. For long 64 years the US had been a trusted and strategic friend for successive Pakistani regimes, albeit not of Pak people. Now Washington DC terms the Islamic republic as a ‘failed state’. Over these years Pakistani regimes in utter disregard to its people’s opinion went on being sycophant and continued to get the facilities of the US capitalism which supported and subsidised the successive spineless govts and particularly the Pakistani army. The Pakistani armed forces received around 2000 billion dollar from the US which engaged it in ‘war on terror’, causing the former to lose 35000 Pakistani lives. All were aimed at Russia which invaded Afghanistan in 1980s. Finally it became a failed state being a friend and follower of the industrialized North. Now the US, which didn’t support our War of Independence in 1971 and engaged in food crusade against us in 1974 by suspending 2.2 million food grant and demanding an end to jute export to Cuba, has become Dhaka’s strategic friend to check the rise of China. Now the same country is branding Bangladesh as a trusted and strategic friend along with India. Pakistan received grants for its army and Bangladesh is planning to, once Islamabad’s army got trained by US army, bought US weapon most probably semi-old ones now Dhaka is hellbent on being strategic partner of the same warlord who has sided with New Delhi and trying to ‘modenize’ the army with the old stock of US weaponry. Here Bangladesh and Pakistan are on the same plane and Dhaka is toeing the like of Islamabad. So Bangladesh can await the same fate as Pakistan has now attained in a space of 64 years from May 2012.Those who have friends like the US, Israel and India need no foes.
When Rabindra diplomacy is adopted by Indian hegemony particularly by Bengali-speaking Pranab Mukharjee who is instrumental to exploit Bangladeshi generosity, Bangladeshi foreign minister Dr Dipu Moni is giving patient hearing to the deluge of Delhi assurances. Hilsha or mango diplomacy of Bangladeshi foreign minister is not working. Her Indian counterparts are hilariously devouring the tasty hilsha and mouthwatering mangoes but obviously without diplomacy. The same tricky Manmohan Singh using the same old ploy to convince our foreign minister that India will deliver on its promises given to Bangladesh though never stipulating time. The Indian leaders have got their series of excuses and Bangladesh govt is satiated with the assurances. The Mamata ploy was used not to ink Teesta deal, lack of majority is being used to deliver on other promises made to Dhaka. Though the tenure of the AL govt, comparatively more pro-Indian than BNP, is at the fag end the big neighbour is yet to deliver on its promises. But Bangladesh can’t decipher Indian diplomacy as is the case of Monmohan’s Dhaka visit. Bangladeshi leaders never have to be tricky in visiting India as the leaders of later country have to. That India will win in negotiations between Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Premier Manmohan Singh lies in the fixation of summit date on September 6-7. Flood water usually recedes, leading up to lean season. The rivers now lack sound and fury of overflowing. At the end of flooding season seasoned politician Manmohan is coming to lower riparian country. Bangladesh should have fixed the date in between January and March when rivers shrink due to withdrawal of waters in upstream. Dried out rivers could have tilt the negotiations in favour of the downstream country.
Indian premier is coming to Bangladesh is not a very big news but it is even big news as it is taking place in September when the country emerges from flood and dry season dawns.
Tactful Indian high-ups successfully outwitted their Bangladeshi counterparts to set the tour in September when negotiations will tilt heavily in favour of India—upper riparian country of Bangladesh. Over anything else, back at home they streamline all the stakeholders and seemingly assign who will protest politically, who will protest at the possible environment degradations, who will lodge Public Interest Litigation and who as common Indian take up arms against Bangladeshis as the Khasias did in Jaintapur frontier in Sylhet.