Why Bangladesh matters to India: An Indian Perspective

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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to visit to India on September 5 for a four-day official visit. On the occasion of this visit, this article focuses on how and why Bangladesh matters to India and investigates how media, epistemic community, think tanks Bangladesh-India relations.

Kanti Bajpai, a prominent International Relations scholar wrote at the Times of India on 17 September 2011 on the importance of Bangladesh to India’s well-being. In his article, Bajpai argued that “We in India have failed to appreciate just how important Bangladesh is to our well-being”. Bajpai identified four reasons, which make Bangladesh important, related with India’s security, trade and development. Bajpai concluded that “Bangladesh matters if only we could see”.

Joyeeta Bhattacharjee, another scholar on India-Bangladesh relations and India’s neighbourhood policy, in her article, “Transformation of India-Bangladesh Relations and the Challenges Ahead” argued that “Bangladesh is an important country in India’s neighbourhood.” She further noted that “for a long time,….the relationship was mired with a feeling of mistrust and suspicion. A transformation in the bilateral relationship was witnessed after the Awami League formed a government in 2009. The friendship between the two countries increased substantially.” In her work, Joyeeta reiterated that “India considers Bangladesh as a major partner in the neighbourhood”.

 

– Md. Shariful Islam is an Assistant Professor at Department of International Relations, University of Rajshahi and Research Fellow at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA), Bangladesh.

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