The Spirit of 1971

Source: The post is based on an article “The Spirit of 1971” published in The Hindu on 8th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – India and its neighborhood

Relevance: India and Bangladesh bilateral relations

News: The recent visit Bangladesh PM have seen positive outcomes and various agreements.

What are the agreements made?

The agreement includes – a) Water sharing agreement (first in 26 years), b) free trade agreement talks and c) infrastructure projects especially in the railways sector.

Kushiyara River: The water sharing agreement on the Kushiyara River is important for resolving water problems. It is one of the important issues of 54 trans-boundary rivers and for the 1st time Assam and other north-eastern States have been brought on board.

Feni Reiver: There has also been agreement on withdrawing 1.82 cusec water from the Feni River.

Teesta River: There has been still no agreement on Teesta, which is held up by the West Bengal government. The agreement will require more effort from the Central and the state government.

Special Economic Zones: Bangladesh’s PM has also mentioned of two dedicated Special Economic Zones for Indian companies in Mongla and Mirsarai in Bangladesh. It will help to attract FDIs inflows from India in Bangladesh.

The visit of PM of both the countries in the past has helped in better bilateral relations between the two countries in trade, connectivity and people-to-people ties.

The present ruling government in Bangladesh took steps like; shutting down terror training camps, and hand over more than 20 wanted criminals and terror suspects to India. It has been instrumental in improving the relations.

However, some of the developments linked to Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Rohingyas issue in India has been a cause of concern to Bangladesh.

Both India and Bangladesh need to revive what is referred to as the “Spirit of 1971”.

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