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Don't politicise water

india Updated: Feb 06, 2007 18:41 IST

The water disputes are due to the fact that we do not think in terms of being Indians but are guided by regional considerations. Punjab does not like to share water with Haryana and Rajasthan; Karnataka does not want to share water with Tamil Nadu; Haryana and UP do not want to share water with Delhi and so on.

This is the fault of our upbringing. We are never told to think on national basis in our childhood. We get glimpses of our parents fighting with their neighbours about sharing of space in the streets and throwing each other's waste before the other people's house. So, we develop an ego, which is that everybody is for himself.

This erodes the sense of national participation and we at the most think on regional basis or on religious basis. There is a talk of Hindu nationalism, Sikh nationalism and Muslim nationalism. Here, we fail to appreciate that all the Muslims do not live in one country, so how can there be Muslim nationalism. Even, Hindus and Sikhs now live in many countries.

So, instead of thinking about nationalism in terms of religion, why do not we think in terms of Indian nationalism?

Punjab does not want to share waters with Haryana and Rajasthan but may I ask the Punjab government whether Haryana and Rajasthan are not part of India? The same question can be asked posed to other state governments also. The previous government has started a project regarding inter-linking of rivers.

Why do not we take up this project in the right earnest forgetting our regional feelings? Of course, one way of resolving the issue could be as suggested by the Ministry of Water Resources that this subject be put under the list of subjects allocated to Central government.