Pending Issues in India Bangladesh relations

Synopsis: India Bangladesh relations are not achieving the full potential at present due to some minor issues.


Recently, the Indian PM visited Bangladesh to take part in their golden Jubilee celebrations of Independence. India also awarded Gandhi Peace Price 2020 to Bangladesh’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Both India and Bangladesh maintains a cordial relationship between them.

Significant events in the recent visit:

Apart from attending the Independence Day celebrations, PMs of both the countries utilized this as an opportunity to build bilateral relations. This includes events such as,

  1. Indian Prime Minister visited the Bangabandhu (Mujib) memorial at his hometown in Tungipara.
  2. Both, the Indian PM and his Bangladesh counterpart paid homage to the nation’s founders. Further, they paid homage to the millions massacred by the Pakistani military regime in 1971 and the people who died fighting Bangladesh freedom. This includes nearly 4,000 Indian soldiers
  3. Bangladesh PM mentioned India’s role in the creation of Bangladesh. Further, She also thanked India for its aid and protection to her when her family members (Including Mujib) were assassinated.
  4. Apart from that, the Indian PM wrote an editorial of the hope. In that, he outlined the Shonali Adhyaya (Golden Chapter) in South Asia if the Bangabandhu not get killed.
Recent Initiatives to boost India Bangladesh relations:

Both India Bangladesh took many proactive steps to improve relations. The recent steps include,

  1. Virtual meet during Pandemic: In 2020, both the countries involved in plans to improve the connectivity and infrastructure projects. Apart from that, they also signed MoUs on sports, education and disaster management.
  2. Created a sense of trust in the relationship: Bangladesh shut down anti-India terror camps operating in Bangladesh. Further, the Bangladesh government also hand over nearly two dozen criminals on India’s “most wanted” list. This improved the trust in the relationship.
  3. The signing of the Land Boundary Agreement in 2015: This is a historical foot in India Bangladesh relationship. India completely accepted the international tribunal verdict favoured Bangladesh. Further, India also went ahead and passed the Act for faster resolution of the boundary dispute. This resulted in the solving of the 40-year-old maritime dispute.
Present challenges in India Bangladesh relations:

India Bangladesh relations at present faces few challenges. This includes,

  1. Water sharing agreements are not yet signed. This includes the water-sharing arrangement between both the countries on the Teesta river and the other six rivers.
  2. The killing of Bangladeshi civilians on the Indian Border by Indian security forces also poses a challenge.
  3. There is still a misunderstanding about the sensitivities of people in India and Bangladesh. For example, During the recent visit of the Indian PM, he highlighted the need for Citizenship Amendment Act and also addressed the minority Matua Hindus. This was misunderstood by other sections of people in Bangladesh. This resulted in violent protests and the killing of at least 11 members in Bangladesh.

So the government of India and Bangladesh need to understand the sensitivities of relations. This is more important than the celebration of success. As it would improve a better India Bangladesh relations.

Source: The Hindu

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