oppn parties India's Relations With Bangladesh Are Best, Must Remain That Way

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India's Relations With Bangladesh Are Best, Must Remain That Way

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2021-03-30 05:18:25

It is reassuring that the recent warmth in Indo-Bangladesh ties continues. Prime Minister Modi's visit to the neighbouring country on the occasion of the 50th year of its liberation from Pakistan (which coincided with the 100th birth anniversary of its tallest leader, Sk. Mujibur Rehman) was filled with signals that both countries were willing to go the extra mile to accommodate each other. Modi also presented the Gandhi Peace Prize, posthumously, to Mujibur Rehman.

Although India's relations with Bangladesh have always been cordial, except for a period when Khaleda Zia was ruling and she pandered to the fundamentalist Islamic organizations to create problems for India, there have been attempts by China and Pakistan to create differences. But the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sk. Hasina Wazed has repeatedly spurned these efforts and aligned her country’s geopolitical concerns with those of India's. That Bangladesh has prospered under her has also helped. Bangladesh has a better per capita income than India and is ahead in several social indicators. India has a lot to learn from the Bangladeshi experience.

There are several irritants, mainly the accord over sharing the Teesta waters, but these are not being solved due to political compulsions on the Indian side. It is hoped that a fair and just solution will be worked out over that by involving the concerned state governments, mainly West Bengal, as it would be a win-win situation for both countries. Further, with Bangladesh prospering, it is doubtful whether fresh illegal immigrants are entering India. Hence, the bogey of illegal immigrants must not be raised just to win votes. Also, the BJP must ensure that its overdrive on NRC and CAA does not antagonize Bangladesh. It seems that for now, the neighbour has accepted India's position that it is an internal matter. But BJP motor mouths must be reined in and prevented from making statements that can inflame passions in Bangladesh.

Pic courtesy: zeenews.com