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Voices of Brahmaputra

Voices of Brahmaputra

By Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Guwahati
Welcome to the Voices of Brahmaputra, a podcast where we bring diverse stories from the basin, depicting the local communities’ association with the river from the perspectives of history, society, politics, economics, culture, spirituality. It is hosted by "Science communication for water diplomacy in the Brahmaputra", supported by the DGIS UNESCO‐IHE Programmatic Cooperation (DUPC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands.
Concept: Anamika Barua, IITG; Emanuele Fantini, IHE Delft
Script: Natasha Hazarika, IITG
Production coordination: Arundhati Deka, IITG
Sound editing: Diksha Verma, IITG
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Multimedia story grantees: Reporting from the ground
In September 2020, IIT Guwahati with support from the Third Pole, invited journalists based in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, and India to support in-depth stories on the ecology and the socio-economic conditions of the transboundary Brahmaputra River basin, with a focus on vulnerable communities and regional cooperation, aimed at helping policymakers and the communities to make better decisions. A year later, during this conversation three of the grantees will be sharing their experiences from the past year, the lessons they have learnt in the process, and the insights they have drawn for future studies. Guests: Ashima Sharma, Journalist from India Minket Lepcha, Journalist from India Tahsina Sadeque, Journalist from Bangladesh Music: Brahmaputra Amantran Abhiyan by Simona Sarma Coordinating team: Natasha Hazarika, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Arundhati Deka, Research Associate, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Diksha Verma, Student, Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Aryan Rathod, Student, Computer Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India
18:01
January 10, 2022
Young Professionals of the Brahmaputra Basin
It is not often that there is a platform successfully bringing together emerging professionals working on the various aspects of a particular river basin, let alone the Brahmaputra basin, which is already under-researched. Therefore, this session on "Young Professionals of the Brahmaputra Basin" attempts to bring young professionals working on diverse research initiatives to talk about the river and what inspired them to engage with the river. And to provide with hope that the purpose of disentangling the river is being pursued by the younger generation and the possibility of peaceful co-habitation with the river might just be realized, maybe somewhere in the near future! Guests: Xiawei Liao, Water Specialist, World Bank Beijing office Arundhati Deka, Research Associate, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Guwahati Salma Begum, PhD Scholar, International Centre of Urbanism, KU Leuven Swagata Das, PhD Scholar, International Centre of Urbanism, KU Leuven Music: Dhowe Dhowe by Angaraag Papon Mahanta Coordinating team: Natasha Hazarika, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Arundhati Deka, Research Associate, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Diksha Verma, Student, Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Aryan Rathod, Student, Computer Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India
34:23
December 03, 2021
Women Professionals of the Brahmaputra Basin
It is observed that in the last two decades or so the discourse around women and water has found some footing in the development of policies, mainstream media, and as well as in academia. However, a quick scan of the coverage of the issues of water management and women will tell us that globally the focus is primarily on the women responsible for the provision and management of water at the household and community levels. Moreover, the policies and programs designed to facilitate water-women interactions are mainly focused on the poor and rural women for their role in effective management of the resource. Women’s participation in water issues is therefore seen as an extension of their domestic roles. As such, very little attention has been given to the women working as water professionals in the varied subsectors of water management, starting from planning to implementation. This session on the "Women Professionals of the Brahmaputra Basin" is therefore an endeavour to acknowledge the women water professionals, their challenges, and opportunities of working in the sector as a whole. Guests: Bushra Nishat, Environmental Specialist for the South Asian Region Environment Unit, World Bank Mandakini Surie, International Development Practitioner and Consultant, South Asia Music: Nodi Mathu Boi by Angaraag Papon Mahanta; O Jibon Re by Pratima Pandey Barua Host: Anamika Barua, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Coordinating team: Natasha Hazarika, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Arundhati Deka, Research Associate, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Diksha Verma, Student, Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Aryan Rathod, Student, Computer Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India
36:08
November 17, 2021
Culture and Music of the Brahmaputra Basin
The Yarlung Tsangpo-Brahmaputra-Jamuna river basin is a perfect example of cultural assimilation. It is a transboundary water body that flows across four countries. The river banks of the basin are home to diverse indigenous groups and other communities, each with their own rich cultural heritage. The culture developed on the banks of the Brahmaputra is itself a rendezvous of hundreds of tribes and communities, that can be traced back to centuries of peaceful co-existence. Therefore, what appears as heterogeneity and multiculturalism, has a strong sense of oneness identified by the deep relationship with the river. This session “Culture and Music of the Brahmaputra Basin” is an ode to this oneness that binds us to the river and to one another. Guests: Sanjoy Hazarika, Director, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, and Founder and Managing Trustee, Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (CNES) Shamnaz Ahmed Rumi, Consortium Coordinator, SuBaSh consortium in Bangladesh Music: Bihu Naam(Pak Pak) by Angaraag Papon Mahanta; Amay Bhasaili Re Amay Dubaili Re by Manabendra Mukherjee; Joi Joi Nobojato Bangladesh by Bhupen Hazarika; O Nadire, Ekti Katha by Hemanta Mukherjee Host: Anamika Barua, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Coordinating team: Natasha Hazarika, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Arundhati Deka, Research Associate, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Diksha Verma, Student, Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Aryan Rathod, Student, Computer Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India
32:38
November 02, 2021
Politics around the Brahmaputra Basin
Water security is equated with prosperity and overall development, hence, the approach to water, especially amongst regions of differentiated accessibility, has always been that of contestation. The Brahmaputra river that originates in China, with its tributaries in Bhutan, runs downstream through India and Bangladesh, which has raised serious concerns for regional stability. On one hand, China and India are actively engaged in harnessing the potential of the river, while on the other hand, Bangladesh faces human security pressure likely to be magnified by practices on the upstream. In fact, a pioneering 2012 Intelligence Community Assessment by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, entitled Global Water Security, identified the Brahmaputra basin as having “inadequate” river basin management capacity. It forecasted that the basin will see ongoing discord among riparian nations concerning river development projects through 2040. This session “Politics around the Brahmaputra basin” is, therefore, an endeavour to understand the politics and power asymmetry around the Brahmaputra, in an attempt to also improve the quality of water diplomacy in the basin. Guests: Selina Ho, Assistant Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore Sumit Vij, Postdoctoral Researcher at Faculty of Sciences, Vrije University, Amsterdam & Public Administration and Policy Group, Wageningen University Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Lawyer at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and Chief Executive at Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association Music: Kato Jowanar Mrityu Halo by Bhupen Hazarika; Boitha Maro Boitha Maro Re by Pratima Pandey Host: Anamika Barua, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Coordinating team: Natasha Hazarika, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Arundhati Deka, Research Associate, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Diksha Verma, Student, Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Aryan Rathod, Student, Computer Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India
29:49
October 20, 2021
Science of the Brahmaputra
The Brahmaputra, or more precisely, the Yarlung Tsangpo-Brahmaputra-Jamuna river basin, carries a volume of water greater than the combined flow of the 20 largest rivers in Europe, a greater volume than any river barring the Amazon and the Congo. Moreover, owing to the immense potential of the river, there is a race to exploit the river’s capacity to produce energy, to establish the competitive claims of prior use, to build dams, diversions, and barrages to harvest the river’s power. This session “Science of the Brahmaputra” is, therefore, an endeavour to understand how science can help in understanding the river better to be able to address its many challenges. Guests: Lei Xie, Professor, Institute of Governance, Shandong University, China Mohammad Rezaur Rahman, Professor, Institute of Water and Flood Management, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh Arup Kumar Sharma, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India Music: Bistirno Parore (Assamese and Bengali versions) by Bhupen Hazarika; Nila Nodir by Archana Mahanta Host: Anamika Barua, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Coordinating team: Natasha Hazarika, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Arundhati Deka, Research Associate, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Diksha Verma, Student, Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Aryan Rathod, Student, Computer Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India
31:29
October 05, 2021
History of the Brahmaputra Basin: River without Boundaries
Brahmaputra originates in the Himalayan mountain range in Tibet. It is a transboundary water body that flows across four countries. It is known as Yarlung Tsangpo in China, Siang, Brahmaputra in India, and Jamuna in Bangladesh. While from Bhutan tributaries flow to join the river. These four countries sharing the basin are in various stages of development with it's nation's population dependent on the river for it's resources, it is often seen as a source of socio-economic development. As such, much of the narrative around the river is about contestation; but there are also stories of hope, friendship, and symbiotic relationships between people and the river; which we would like to bring to light through this podcast. In this session on "History of the Brahmaputra Basin: River without Boundaries", we will endeavour to look at the river basin as a whole, beyond the administrative boundaries, and the way the relationship between the river and the riverine communities has evolved for centuries. Guests: Ainun Nishat, Professor Emeritus, Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research, BRAC University in Bangladesh Arup Jyoti Saikia, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India Music: Mahabahu Brahmaputra and Aji Brahmaputra Hol Bahniman by Bhupen Hazarika Host: Anamika Barua, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Coordinating team: Natasha Hazarika, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Arundhati Deka, Research Associate, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Diksha Verma, Student, Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India Aryan Rathod, Student, Computer Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India
35:14
September 07, 2021