Why is India-Bangladesh ties a role model of ‘good neighbourhood’ diplomacy?
Bangladesh is surrounded on three sides by India, which is its next-door neighbor. In terms of politics, culture, trade, and business, Bangladesh and India have a long and fruitful diplomatic connection. Strategic, cordial, shared, and reciprocal ties exist between the two countries. After Bangladesh’s independence, India was one of the first countries to recognize it and established diplomatic relations with it. New Delhi extended goodwill gestures to Dhaka in order to strengthen friendship, mutual respect, and a commitment to peace, stability, and prosperity. For the past 51 years, the two countries’ friendship has flowed freely. Many people regard this long travel as a symbol of love for one other because of their shared values and culture.
Bangladesh is a great friend of India, and Bangladesh-India ties are an example for any neighboring country. The relationship between India and Bangladesh is now stronger. It serves as an example for interactions between two countries that are neighbors. The spirit of friendliness, understanding, and mutual respect that sprang out of Bangladesh’s liberation continues to pervade various areas of this relationship.
Despite the hurdles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, India and Bangladesh have maintained regular contact to strengthen bilateral ties.The golden jubilee of their multilateral bonding-50 years of Bangladesh’s birth and 50 years of Indo-Bangla ties-was commemorated in 2021 by both countries. Since the Liberation War of 1971 against Pakistan, the links have been smooth.
The two countries’ exchange of medications and medical equipment served as a model of “good neighbor” diplomacy.”The entire world has seen how the two neighbors assist and work together in times of adversity.”
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday (April 28, 2022) who emphasized the need of connection between the two countries and offered India’s landlocked northeastern provinces like Assam and Tripura her country’s largest harbor, Chittagong Port.
Mr Jaishankar, who came in Dhaka on Thursday for a brief official visit, presented Ms Hasina with an invitation to visit New Delhi on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This will help both strengthen their bilateral ties.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s offer will be beneficial to India’s northeastern provinces, especially Assam and Tripura. This is crucial since the need for multi-modal connection of mainland India to the northeast via Bangladesh has been felt for a long time. Efforts to expand capacity across waterways, highways, and railroads were carried out in close collaboration; trial runs and transshipments have also been effective in recent years.
On Backdrop of ongoing Ukraine-Russia War, India proved again that it’s the ‘Real Friend of Bangladesh’. The world is aware of India’s significant support to Bangladesh’s heroic liberation fight in 1971. It is true that Bangladesh’s independence from occupying west-Pakistan would have been impossible without India’s help. In times of distress, India has always stood with Bangladesh. Even though India had internal troubles during the Covid-19 time, it assisted Bangladesh by providing medical equipment.
Indian people stranded in war-torn Ukraine were rescued as part of Operation Ganga. Thousands of Indian citizens have been repatriated as a result of the scheme. In addition to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, the Indian government has rescued nationals from several more nations through this operation.
India has always supported Bangladesh. India assisted Bangladeshevacuated Bangladeshis during the Ukraine crisis. India has a long history of assisting Bangladesh. A friend in distress is a true friend. According to reports in the media, Operation Ganga rescued 9 Bangladeshi people from Ukraine. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for saving Bangladeshi citizens.
India was the first country to approach its trustworthy neighbor Bangladesh to deal with the coronavirus the day after the statewide lockdown was announced in 2020. Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, the Maldives, Seychelles, and Mauritius were among the first countries to receive humanitarian relief. India has always been the first to respond to any crisis in the area, offering assistance whenever possible.
Indian people stranded in war-torn Ukraine are being rescued as part of Operation Ganga. Thousands of Indian citizens have been repatriated as a result of the scheme. Notably, the Indian government in the year 2021, India and Bangladesh celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties, the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan, and the birth centennial of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina praised her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for providing over two million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine Covishield as a gift at the start of the year.
The vaccines helped Bangladesh launch its nationwide vaccination drive.Prime Minister Modi – in his first trip to a foreign country since the COVID-19 outbreak – visited Bangladesh in March and participated in the golden jubilee of its independence from Pakistan and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu.
During the visit, which coincided with the 50th year of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between India and Bangladesh, it was decided to commemorate December 6 as ‘Maitri Diwas’ (Friendship Day).
In March of last year, India offered Bangladesh 1.2 million free doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. Dhaka urged New Delhi to keep a steady supply of vaccines on hand to combat the pandemic.
On February 7, 2021, Bangladesh began mass COVID-19 immunizations using India’s Serum Institute Covishield vaccines. Bangladesh received 7 million doses, with India planning to give another 3.3 million. The vaccine export was delayed due to a second wave of COVID-19 in India. It impeded Bangladesh’s vaccination campaign.
According to the media reports, following the deteriorating COVID-19 scenario in India, Bangladesh supplied medications and medical equipment to India in April 2021. Approximately 10,000 vials of Remdesivir (made in Bangladesh by Beximco) anti-viral injections, oral anti-viral, 30,000 PPE kits, and thousands of zinc, calcium, vitamin C, and other essential tablets were included in the relief package. Bangladesh’s government dispatched a second shipment of COVID-19 aid in May 2021, which included antibiotics, paracetamol, protective equipment, and hand sanitizer.
2021was the year of the 50th anniversary of India-Bangladesh relations. Bangladesh is India’s most important trading partner in the South Asian region. Its GDP per capita has surpassed India’s, as has its placement in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership, Bangladesh has taken action against Indian militants seeking asylum in the country, and the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) concluded in 2015 settled the border conflict.
Conflict and quarrels between neighboring countries generate a lot of havoc in the world. It would be a significant contribution to peace if all countries could live in peace with their neighbors like as India-Bangladesh ties. India and Bangladesh have been engaging mutually without any conflict having despite some bilateral problems. It would be unnecessary to tell that India-Bangladesh’s relations is as the relations of wife and husband.
On December 6, 2021, India commemorated the newly established country of Bangladesh by celebrating Maitri Diwas. The day was observed in 18 different nations.
Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, bilateral trade increased as business relationships remained strong. India-Bangladesh’s ties are growing day by day.
However, the link between the two countries is written in blood and cannot be broken the relationship has grown stronger through time and will continue to do so in the future.
The Writer is Teacher and Social Worker