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PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina to launch Mujib-Bapu digital exhibit, pre-1965 rail link

The two leaders will jointly inaugurate a Bangabandhu-Bapu digital exhibition, a pre-1965 railway link, release a commemorative stamp on Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s birth centenary and a pact to form a India-Bangladesh CEOs forum with IT sector as a priority area.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: December 17, 2020 8:18:18 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Bangladeshi Counterpart Sheikh Hasina. (File)

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina meet through video-conferencing tomorrow, they will look to paper over the strain in ties over the CAA-NRC issue and move forward in the bilateral relationship.

The two leaders will jointly inaugurate a Bangabandhu-Bapu digital exhibition, a pre-1965 railway link, release a commemorative stamp on Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s birth centenary and a pact to form a India-Bangladesh CEOs forum with IT sector as a priority area.

Officials said that although Mahatma Gandhi and Mujibur Rahman lived in different times and faced different opponents, both leaders changed the destiny of their people for the better.

The Bangabandhu-Bapu digital exhibition will be displayed in New Delhi, and subsequently in different locations in Bangladesh, the United Nations and finally culminate in Kolkata in early 2022.

The exhibition is curated with 21 walls of information including the introduction wall, highlighting the theme of the exhibition, a meeting wall, based on the day the two leaders met in August 1947, and Ba-Bangamata wall celebrating the two women who stood by them.

There are over 100 points of digital engagement such as a holographic time machine that layers historical photos, with a timeline to provide a unique interface to the users to reference the time and lives of these leaders.

The Jallianwala Bagh and Genocide tunnel portray the pain, suffering, and agony endured by the people during these violent events. Bangladesh’s struggle for independence led to more than 3 million deaths and over 2 lakh women were raped.

There are other notable features such as a 360-degree view of some historic locations and a robotic signature of Bangabandhu and Bapu.

Both sides are also producing a biopic on Bangabandhu. These apart, joint seminars and visits of cultural delegations will also be organised. A proposal is under active consideration to establish Bangabandhu Chair at the Indian universities.

India and Bangladesh have been making efforts to enhance transport and connectivity.

Officials said that the leadership on both sides have been committed to reviving and operationalising the six pre-1965 rail links between India and Bangladesh. With the inauguration of the Haldibari-Chilahati rail link, five links are currently operational.

The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link was part of the broad gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri. However, the 1965 war effectively cut off all railway links. Haldibari-Chilahati route will enhance connectivity to Assam and West Bengal from Bangladesh.

Apart from the traditional sectors of the industry, both countries are also working in the new and emerging market segments. In this context, the forthcoming summit is expected to discuss cooperation in the areas of ICT and Artificial Intelligence.

India has already become the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world. Bangladesh’s start-up scene is also maturing. At the India-Bangladesh Virtual Summit, both sides will sign the Terms of Reference of the India-Bangladesh CEO’s Forum, which has identified services, including IT, as one of the priority sectors.

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