In a video address to mark birth centenary celebrations of Bangladesh’s father of the nation – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Indian PM Narendra Modi pointed out the growing trust between India and Bangladesh while obliquely referring to Pakistan as a repressive and a cruel regime.
Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday praised Bangladesh during his video address to mark birth anniversary celebrations of Bangladesh’s father of the nation Sheikh Maribor Redman on Tuesday. In his message, Modi lauded Bangladesh for their rapid economic growth, improvement in social indicators and for their progress in fields like skill, education, health, women empowerment and microfinance.
Modi was to travel to Bangladesh on Tuesday but the visit was cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak. In his speech, PM Modi made no reference to recent irritants in India-Bangladesh ties, including Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hessian’s questioning of the necessity of Citizenship Amendment Act and widespread protests against violence in Delhi and instead praised Bangladesh for its progress.
“In the past five to six years, India and Bangladesh have scripted a golden chapter of bilateral ties… It is because of increasing trust … that we have been able to amicably resolve complex issues like land boundary and maritime boundary.” Bangladesh is now India’s biggest trading partner in South Asia and “electricity generated in India is lighting up laths of houses and factories in Bangladesh”, he said.
Pm Modi praised Bangabandhu (Rahman) as one of the greatest personalities of the last century and a champion of justice, equality and dignity and in an indirect but an apparent reference to Pakistan called it an oppressive and cruel regime.
“The life of Bangabandhu gives a great message to the world of the 21st century. We all are well aware of how a repressive and cruel regime, disregarding all democratic values, unleashed a reign of injustice on ‘Bangla Bhumi’…,” he said.
Modi added, “We are all witnessing how state-policy of backing terror destroys the civil society and a nation. The world is also watching where the supporters of terror and violence are currently placed and in what condition they are, while Bangladesh is scaling new heights.”
Indo-Bangladesh relations have developed significantly under the leadership of Modi and Hasina. Bangladesh not only plays a crucial role in providing a secured eastern sector, but it also plays an exemplary role in India’s “neighbourhood first” policy.
For Hasina too, Modi is the best bet as India remains the biggest backer in her fight against Islamic fundamentalists and extremists in her country. Therefore, neither side wants to jeopardise the stable, good relations they enjoy.