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Friday, April 23, 2021

It’s time to chart a bold ambition for partnership between India, Bangladesh: PM Modi

In an opinion piece titled 'Imagining a different South Asia with Bangabandhu', Modi promised that India will remain Bangladesh's partner as they jointly march towards the golden future for which Bangabandhu, and millions of patriotic Bangladeshis, and indeed thousands of Indians, gave their all.

By: PTI | Dhaka |
Updated: March 26, 2021 1:54:32 pm
Narendra ModiPrime Minister Narendra Modi with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina (AP Photo/File)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975 deprived the region of the destiny that could and should have been “ours to share” as he asserted that it was time to once again chart a bold ambition for partnership between India and Bangladesh.

In an opinion piece titled ‘Imagining a different South Asia with Bangabandhu’ published in The Daily Star newspaper on Friday, Prime Minister Modi promised that India will remain Bangladesh’s partner as they jointly march towards the golden future for which Bangabandhu, and millions of patriotic Bangladeshis, and indeed thousands of Indians, gave their all.

“The assassination of the Father of Bangladesh deprived the region of the destiny that could and should have been ours to share,” Modi said.

“As we look back on Bangabandhu’s life and struggle, I ask myself, what could our subcontinent have looked like, had this modern-day giant not been assassinated?” wrote Modi, who is visiting Bangladesh on his first trip to a foreign country since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Modi said the Bangabandhu’s killers wanted to reverse the gains of Bangladesh’s independence, for which he had led a heroic struggle.

“They also wanted to strike a mortal blow to Bangabandhu’s dream of building a cooperative, peaceful and harmonious subcontinent,” he said.

Despite unflinching commitment to his cause, and despite all the persecutions he suffered, Bangabandhu retained a generosity of spirit that is a mark of true greatness, Modi said, adding that the Bangladeshi leader’s progressive belief in fairness, equality and inclusiveness is captured in the words he wrote in the 1950s, “I know at least this much: no one should be murdered because he holds views different from mine.”

“In him, we saw a tall leader whose vision went beyond the narrow confines of physical borders and social divisions. That is why we join our Bangladeshi sisters and brothers in celebrating Bangabandhu’s memory in this very special Mujib Borsho,” Modi wrote.

Modi said that with Bangabandhu at the helm, Bangladesh and the region would have evolved along a very different trajectory.

“A sovereign, self-confident Bangladesh, at peace with its neighbours, bearing friendship to all and malice towards none, was rising fast from the ashes of a painful war. If this had continued, perhaps India and Bangladesh could have achieved many decades ago some of the accomplishments that we were able to reach only recently,” Modi said.

Citing the example of the 2015 Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh, Modi said that had Bangabandhu been at the helm longer, this achievement may have come much earlier.

“With the spirit of the Liberation War energising us, and with Bangabandhu as the guiding star, this region, at least the Bay of Bengal area, might have been in a different reality now,” he said.

Modi said that he firmly believes that the two countries are once again striving towards a destiny that the Liberation of Bangladesh had once augured for the region.

“It is time to once again chart a bold ambition for our partnership, as Bangabandhu would have done. With the spirit and enterprise of our people as our Bhagya Vidhata, the dispenser of our shared destiny, such a future is closer than ever,” he added.

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