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Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India

It is a matter of satisfaction for India that at a time when India is not able to make much impact in the neighboring countries, At that time Bangladesh has reiterated its stand of friendship.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed’s official visit to India, ignoring the hostile environment in her country, will be called a bold move by her. Sheikh Hasina must have been aware that after this visit, her opponents in the country may get a new issue of attacking her. The outcome of the yatra has turned this apprehension into reality. A notable aspect of India-Bangladesh relations has been the slowly spreading anti-India sentiment in Bangladesh since the assassination of Sheikh Mujib in 1975. Clearly vested interests have fueled this sentiment by religious fundamentalist elements. Therefore, Bangladesh governments have often been in a position to answer what Bangladesh has achieved in their relations and contacts with the Indian government. Otherwise, the prime ministers are being accused of succumbing to India. The recent communal atmosphere in India has given further impetus to the campaign of those elements.

This time during Sheikh Hasina’s visit, there was a lot of noise in Bangladesh on the issue of water sharing of Teesta river. Although Sheikh Hasina was successful in signing an agreement to get 153 cusecs more water of the Kushiyara river to Bangladesh in New Delhi, the Teesta issue remains where it is. So fundamentalist groups including Bangladesh’s Jamaat-e-Islami have fired the bullet as to why Sheikh Hasina went to India. They have also been accused of kneeling before the Government of India. Here, the way Sheikh Hasina said about China in New Delhi, it is clear that it is not according to the expectations of India. Whatever the benefit to both the countries from the remaining agreements, it does not make much difference in molding public perceptions. Nevertheless, it is certainly a matter of satisfaction for India that at a time when India is not able to exert much influence in the neighboring countries, the Government of Bangladesh has reiterated its stand of minimum friendship. Despite this, the Indian government must keep a close watch on the increasing penetration of China there.

Shubham Bangwal

Shubham Bangwal is a Senior Journalist at You can follow him on Twitter @sb_0fficial
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