What does his relationship with Bangladesh mean for India?

Posted on 6th Mar 2021 02:50 pm by rohit kumar

Since the onset of the Covid-19 epidemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not gone on any foreign trip yet. And now his first trip will be to Bangladesh.


Bangladesh is organizing several programs this year to mark the fifty years of its independence. The most important event in this is 'Mujib Dibas' i.e. 'Mujib Day'. It is being celebrated in honor of the creator of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujib ur Rehman.


Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is going to Bangladesh to join this event. This two-day visit of the Prime Minister is on March 25 and 26.


Earlier on 26 January this year, a contingent of the Bangladesh Army was also participating in the Republic Day Parade of India.


Bangladesh got independence in the year 1971. The Indian Army had an important role in this. At that time, Pakistan's army in Bangladesh surrendered before General Jagjit Singh Arora of the Indian Army, and only after that independent Bangladesh came into existence.


On 26 January, when the Bangladesh Army contingent was marching ahead on the Rajpath of New Delhi, the moment in the diplomatic circles, this moment was seen as a new beginning of relations between the two countries.


There have been many pending issues between the two countries which have been settled during the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The most prominent among these was the settlement of the issue of 'enclave' between the two countries.


But despite this, in the year 2019, relations between Bangladesh and India were seen when the Central Government passed the Citizenship Amendment Act.


Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina termed this law as 'unnecessary', after which several bilateral visits and meetings proposed between the two countries were canceled.


Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina refused to meet the High Commissioner of India present there for several months. The government of Bangladesh said that through the new law, India is trying to give the message that "9 percent of Hindu minorities living there are unsafe".


Apart from this, many times in the Corona era, such situations were created which caused tension in the relationship between the two countries.


In September last year, India banned the export of onions. Bangladesh annually imports about 3.5 lakh tonnes of onions from India. Then earlier this year, India told the Serum Institute that it could not export the coronavirus vaccine until everyone found it in India.


This angered Bangladesh because last year itself, it had signed an agreement with India for three crore vaccines. Later the Serum Institute stated that they will give the vaccine to Bangladesh as per the agreement.


Foreign and strategic affairs experts say that it was only during the Corona era that India started efforts to improve diplomatic relations with Bangladesh from behind the scenes.


Experts say that the result of this is that the External Affairs Minister of India, S. Jaishankar, who has reached Bangladesh, has said that the relationship between India and Bangladesh has not only strengthened from a strategic point of view but has gone even further.


Foreign Minister Jaishankar also said that Bangladesh has become an important ally of India, not only in South Asia but in the entire Indo-Pacific region.


Strategic and foreign affairs expert Manoj Joshi says, "Bangladesh is the closest to India because the two countries have the highest border. Government figures show that there is a 4,096 km border between Bangladesh and India."


He says "Relationships fluctuate, but India and Bangladesh remain important to each other. They say that ever since Bangladesh came into existence, relations with India have never been worryingly strained." Huh."


According to Joshi, "Bangladesh and India have been welcoming each other's leaders, and this time also when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go there, it will be so."


However, he believes that "there are many issues that both countries have not solved. Out of these, the sharing of the waters of the Teesta River is also very important."


He says, "But the Teesta river water sharing issue will not be resolved so soon because there are three stakeholders in this discussion - the Central Government, the West Bengal Government, and Bangladesh. The matters which were to be settled by negotiating with the Central Government and Bangladesh were settled The division of the enclave has gone like this. The Teesta will also be pending because now both countries are planting crops in all four seasons for which a lot of water is needed. "


In December last year, there was a 'virtual meeting' between the two countries in which there was a discussion on trade, traffic, and investment. But there was no discussion between India and Bangladesh on the Teesta issue. On this, the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal believes that if the Teesta water will be shared with Bangladesh, then a drought situation will arise in West Bengal.


Harsh V Pant, Professor of Foreign and Strategic Affairs at King's College London, which monitors Indo-Bangladesh relations, told the BBC that "it has become more important for India and Bangladesh now how they can provide economic supplies between the two countries" Can make the link stronger and wider. "


He says that in the case of Bangladesh, India has worked patiently on many such issues which could have got entangled in the diplomatic screw. He says, "That is why the relationship between the two countries never deteriorated. He cited the issue of the coastal border of Bangladesh, in which the International Court of Justice ruled in favor of Bangladesh and India respected that decision." "


Professor Pant says, "The most worrying issue for India is the spread of terrorist organizations in South Asia and southeast Asia. India does not want to increase the activities of these organizations in Bangladesh which threatens India. Especially in both countries, There have been signs of this in the areas along the border. But the Sheikh Hasina government has also made efforts to curb them to a large extent. "


Pant and other foreign affairs experts believe that a better and stronger relationship with Bangladesh is very important for both countries, which will enable both countries to become stronger. Experts feel that relations will improve with the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


Former diplomat Navtej Sarna says that "relations between India and Bangladesh have come to a stage where both countries can openly exchange views on any issue."


According to Sarna, "Bangladesh has never deteriorated relations with India and has always believed that India has a major contribution in its liberation."


He says, "It is the 50th anniversary of diplomatic and strategic relations between India and Bangladesh and it is also necessary for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to go there. His visit is important in every sense because after one year he is going to a country. Bangladesh and India have been taking part in each other's important events. And their 50th anniversary of independence is important for both India and Bangladesh. "

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