INDIA’S RELATIONSHIP WITH BANGLADESH
Bangladesh and India are part of the Indian Subcontinent and have had a long common cultural, economic and political history. The cultures of the two countries are similar; in particular Bangladesh and India's states West Bengal and Tripura are all Bengali-speaking. However, since the partition of India in 1947, Bangladesh (formerly East Bengal and East Pakistan) became a part of Pakistan. Following the bloody Liberation War of 1971, Bangladesh gained its independence and established relations with India. The political relationship between India and Bangladesh has passed through cycles of hiccups. The relationship typically becomes favorable for Bangladesh during periods of Awami League government. Relations have improved significantly, after Bangladesh's clampdown on anti-Indian terrorist groups on its soil, such as the United Liberation Front of Assam, Bangladesh's Prime Minister's Sheikh Hasina's state visit to India in January 2010, and continued dialogue over the controversial Farakka Barrage.
Areas of agreement
1. India played a central role in the independence of Bangladesh. About 250,000 Indian soldiers fought for, and 20,000 losing their lives for the cause of an independent Bangladesh. Before the war, India sheltered over 10 million refugees, Hindus and Muslims, who were fleeing the atrocities of the occupying West Pakistan Army. India and its ally Bhutan were the first countries to recognize Bangladesh as an independent nation. 2. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s first foreign visit as Prime Minister and the Founding Father of the newly born nation was to India and it was then decided Indo-Bangladesh relations would be guided by principles of democracy, socialism, nonalignment and opposition to colonialism and racism. Indira Gandhi too visited Bangladesh in 1972 and assured that India would never interfere in the internal affairs of the country. 3. In 1972, both the countries signed a ‘Treaty of...
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