Saturday, July 23, 2011

Indo-Bangladesh Relations: The other face of a friend Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to visit Bangladesh in Septem-ber 2011. Foreign Minister S M Krishna visited Bangladesh on July 6, 2011 which was overshadowed by PM Singh’s remarks made at the meeting with Indian editors in the first week of July in New Delhi in which he said that 25% of Bangladeshi popula-tion was anti-India and in the clutches of the ISI. These prickly remarks irked many in Bangladesh. During Mr Krishna’s visit the environment was further vitiated. Besides this when Bangladesh media raised the question about “killing of unarmed Bangla-deshi nationals by India’s trigger-happy Border Security Force (BSF).” According to Odhikar, a human rights organisation in Bangladesh, between January 1 and May10, 2011, 12 young unarmed Bangladeshi nationals were killed by the BSF.

Indo-Bangladesh relations have never been cordial. In Bangladesh, India is viewed as a bully, throwing its weight around and threatening the sovereignty of its smaller neighbors. There are several issues between the two countries, which are the cause of grave concern for Bangladesh. These include water issue, land issue, fencing of border, Indian support to Chakma community, smuggling from India etc. India is continuously interfering into the internal affairs of Bangladesh. She is supporting the Chakma refugees of Bangladesh in order to create unrest in that country. Her expansionist designs envision a subservient Bangladesh towing the Indian line without question. For this purpose India is supporting many separatist groups for covert and overt operations.

Human Rights Congress of Bangladeshi Minorities (HRCBM), a Hindu organiza-tion is creating communal violence in Bangladesh. It is facilitating the settlement of Hindus in border districts of the country in order to facilitate Indian annexation of border territory of Bangladesh. This organization is portraying Bangladesh as a Talibanized society, propagating that Islam is the root cause of all ills, damaging relations between UN and Bangladesh, creating social unrest in Bangladesh and encouraging the boycott of Bangladeshi products.

Most important issue that mars bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh is water. Bangladesh, which shares 54 rivers with India as lower riparian, has serious differences with New Delhi regarding water sharing. Indian also prepared a master plan to deprive Bangladesh of its rightful share of water to build a big river-linking-project that includes diversion of water from Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, this has become yet another source of antagonism between the two countries who have not been able to sort out their differences over a whole range of issues that continue to fuel political tension which, in turn, does not allow the resolution of differences over water.

Indian intelligence agencies have flooded Bangladesh with fake paper money to ruin its economy. These smugglers cum agents freely bring fake paper currency to Bangladesh because it is not only profitable but also easy and less risky. The smugglers get 40% to 50% commission from Indians for spreading fake currency in Bangladesh. Presence of fake currency has created a serious problem in normal transaction of money in the region, as people are suspicious of the authenticity of money that they receive even from the banks. The law enforcing agencies of Bangladesh have arrested more than a hundred agents of Indian intelligence agencies and recovered fake currency.

The unique geographic location of Bangladesh which limits approach to the troubled North East region of India from the mainland constitutes a significant security weak point for India for the fact that the region shares border with China and that various insurgent groups are active within the region who are fighting against the Indian government for self determination. In light of their experience in Indo-China war in 1962, the Indian defense planners consider the strategic chicken neck to be inadequate and see Bangladesh to be the safest and the shortest route to transport military logistics to North East region in case of a military conflict between India and China in the future. A strategic corridor through Bangladesh is also seen as important to conduct sustained military campaign against the insurgent groups in North East.

To make Bangladesh totally dependent on and subservient to India, Indian expansionists ruined Bangladesh’s education, culture, social value, economy, agriculture, industries. India designs to imbalance Bangladesh to such degree that it becomes dys-functional and failed State totally dependent on India for survival. India has sunk its claws deep into Bangladeshi policy. Many Bangladeshi policymakers, politicians, intellectuals, bureaucrats, business magnets, etc., who directly and indirectly control the state crafts of Bangladesh have either become India’s pawns to grab their self-interest, who give priority to their immediate gains instead of national interest and sovereignty. It should be the foremost responsibility of India to adopt a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of neighbouring peace-loving countries. If only India realizes the importance of peace in the region, problems of neighbouring countries bordering In-dia would solve automatically. Perhaps, the Indian government realizes this responsibility and let peace prevail in the region by adopting a policy of non-interference.