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The Editorial Analysis- The Spirit of 1971

India- Bangladesh Relations: Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations- India and its neighbourhood- relations.

The Editorial Analysis- The Spirit of 1971_3.1


India- Bangladesh Relations in News

  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ongoing state visit to India and meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi have resulted in many positive outcomes.


Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina state visit to India – Key Outcomes

  • Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s ongoing state visit to India have resulted in positive outcomes and seven agreements.
  • These seven agreements include-
    • Conclusion of the first water sharing agreement in 26 years,
    • Launch of free trade agreement talks, and infrastructure projects particularly in the railways sector.
    • Agreement on the withdrawal of 1.82 cusecs from the Feni in the interim period.


Importance of Kushiyara agreement on Water Sharing

  • The water sharing agreement on the Kushiyara is a particularly hopeful sign on resolving water management, and a very contentious issue, of 54 trans-boundary rivers.
  • Kushiyara agreement is the first time the Centre has been able to bring on board Assam and other north-eastern States, for the agreement since the 1996 Ganga water treaty.



Background of India- Bangladesh Relations

  • Hasina’s visit, which follows her previous state visit in 2017, and Mr. Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in 2021, have set India-Bangladesh ties on a firmer footing, and on course for closer engagement in trade, connectivity and people-to-people ties.
  • However, the positive trend in ties goes further back, to Ms. Hasina’s advent to power in 2009, her unilateral moves to shut down terror training camps, and to hand over more than 20 wanted criminals and terror suspects to India.


Associated Concerns in India- Bangladesh Relations

  • Issue of Teesta Agreement: The Teesta agreement, of 2011, held up by West Bengal, remains elusive, a point Ms. Hasina made several times.
    • Teesta river agreement will require more efforts by the Modi government, and flexibility from the Mamata Banerjee-led State government, if the deal is to be sealed soon.
    • This is especially important when Bangladesh PM is due to hold elections at the end of next year, after three terms in office.
  • Low Indian Investment: Investment by Indian industry constitutes a small fraction of Bangladesh’s FDI inflows.
  • Rohingya Issue: Many insincere comments were made by ruling party leaders on-
    • deporting Rohingya refugees,
    • comparing undocumented migrants to “termites”, and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and
    • More recent references to annexing Bangladesh for “Akhand Bharat”.



  • While cross-border sensitivities in South Asia often run high over such political rhetoric, it is necessary that New Delhi and Dhaka remain focused on their future cooperation, built on their past partnership, and what is referred to as the “Spirit of 1971”.


Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route

Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route

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