Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is reported to have said that if Chi blocks the tributaries of the Brahmaputra, we should counter this move by boycotting Chinese goods in Assam. Unfortutely, whenever people in Assam talk about any Chinese move to dam any of the tributaries of the Brahmaputra or the Brahmaputra itself in Chi, there are instantaneous reactions without sufficient information about the quantum of water flowing down the great river. There is no use denying that the Brahmaputra has been our river of sorrow many years because of the havoc and devastation it unleashes during the monsoon months. Yet, no one seems to have given much thought to the possibility that a slightly reduced flow of water down the Brahmaputra could actually be beneficial because this might save us from the terrible devastation that the river inflicts every year. In fact, there has been a statement by the Chinese authorities that the plans to dam the river would not in any way affect the flow of water to Assam. There may well be more than just a grain of truth in this statement. In any case, the very suggestion that a boycott of Chinese goods by the people of Assam could make Chi give up its plans to dam the Brahmaputra at its source is puerile to say the least. UG Brahma, former Rajya Sabha MP from Kokrajhar has said that the call to boycott Chinese goods in Assam is an absurd idea and has suggested that the need of the hour is a water treaty with Chi. We are not convinced that even this is a very bright idea, given Chi’s penchant for violating borders and agreements. If anything, the situation is worse just now, given Chi’s decision to support Pakistan against the interests of India on the issue of terrorists and terrorism.
Water Treaty vs. Boycott