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Post-independence India-Bangladesh Bilateral Relations: A Socio-Economic and Political Perspective

Journal: International Journal of Application or Innovation in Engineering & Management (IJAIEM) (Vol.8, No. 8)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 001-008

Keywords : bilateral relations; security perception; liberation movement; border demarcation; char lands; chitmahals; illegal immigration; trade deficit.;

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India-Bangladesh bilateral relations are largely governed by the reciprocal perceptions of and expectations from each other. Indian government stood firmly behind the government of newly born Bangladesh. India-Bangladesh's relations have deteriorated in recent years as the goodwill generated from India's support for Bangladesh in its war of independence. The nature of political leadership had also played an important role in determining the relations between India and Bangladesh ever since the beginning of two nations. Except a brief spell of Mujib era (1971-75), Indo-Bangladesh relation has been one of distrust and suspicion. In addition to communal perspective, the psychology of being small also haunts the Bangladeshi entity. Bangladesh shares more than 90 per cent of its international border with India alone. She is surrounded by West Bengal in the West, Assam and Meghalaya in the North and Tripura and Mizoram in the East. It is this physical geography, which makes the Bangladeshis feel ‘India Locked' that in turn acts as a major determinant in economic relationship. Bangladesh also had to place high priority on disputes with India concerning territorial boundaries, utilization of Ganges water etc. Illegal immigration, exchange of enclaves, border demarcation and the border fencing issues between the two countries has not made satisfactory progress. The support of cross border terrorism and insurgency is another bone of contention. Since the partition, another controversial issue is the sociological components of the two neighbours. Among other south Asian nations Bangladesh owns the maximum socio-cultural similarity with India, like a significant number of Hindus in the plains and a good number of tribal's in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) come under this category, these people were recognized as anti- Bangladeshi or pro-Indian in their homeland, that becomes an important irritant for fair development of Indo-Bangladesh relations. It is natural for close neighbors to have problems. Intimacy is not always easy. Yet, there are many opportunities that could be exploited for the greater benefit of both countries. Both the governments need to recognize the opportunities to improve bilateral relations by initiating proper policy measures, mutual cooperation and above all political will. The governments and the private sector of both countries must work together to bring these measures into reality. There should be an environment for people-to-people contact between India and Bangladesh.

Last modified: 2019-09-09 19:29:27