India – Bangladesh Relations

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India’s links with Bangladesh are civilizational, cultural, social and economic. There is much that unites the two countries – a shared history and common heritage, linguistic and cultural passion for music, literature and the arts. With Bangladesh, India shares not only a common history of struggle for freedom and liberation but also enduring feelings of both fraternal as well as familial ties.

Though India played the great role in emergence of Independent Bangladesh, was one of the first country to recognize Bangladesh as separate state. However, there are several main issues such as illegal migration, insurgency, border, water disputes, and dispute over issue of Moore Island etc. These have been major issues which are impacted on these two countries relations.

The Liberation War of 1971, Bangladesh gained its independence and established relations with India. The political relationship between India and Bangladesh has passed through cycles of hiccups. Relations have improved significantly since Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s state visit to India, which sought to revive Indo-Bangladesh relations in the emerging Asian economic order.

Deaths of Bangladeshi citizens in the Indo-Bangladesh border became one of the embarrassments between the two nation’s bilateral relations in recent years. The so-called ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy by the India’s Border Security Forces (BSF) that according to Human Rights Watch killed nearly 1,000 Bangladeshis between 2001 and 2011 has remained at the core of the talks between Bangladeshi and Indian officials visiting each other.

The Bangladeshi deaths caused by BSF shootings at the border became subject to a so-called cyber war between the hackers of the two countries that took the websites of BSF, National Informatics Centre and Trinamool Congress as victims. The government of Bangladesh was found to comment on the issue condemning the cyber-attacks on Indian websites.

The two countries signed a major accord on border demarcation to end the 4-decade old disputes over boundaries.This came to be known as the tin bigha corridor. India also granted 24-hour access to Bangladeshi citizens in the Tin Bigha Corridor.

From November 2013, Wagah Border like ceremony is being organised at Petrapole (in West Bengal, India) – Benapole (Bangladesh) border checkpoint.The ceremony which includes parades, march-past and lowering of the national flag of both the countries is now a daily routine, at sundown, on the eastern border. The relations between the countries are definitely moving in positive direction.

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