53 years of harmony: India’s world record in granting visas to Bangladeshis

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have built a new history of bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh. Both countries have undertaken a number of successful programs for the development of their countrymen. India granted a record number of visas last year in compliance with Bangladesh’s long-standing demand. Appropriate infrastructure for issuing more visas is being developed in Bangladesh. The top leadership of both countries understood that we complement each other. Development is not possible without neighbors. Therefore, Bangladesh Bridges Minister and Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader rightly said, “Bangladesh cannot move forward if we stop communication with India.” India is also determined to advance friendship with Bangladesh. Prannoy Verma, the Indian High Commissioner appointed in Dhaka, said that India is determined to build better relations with neighboring Bangladesh. He said that last year, India has set a new record by giving visas to one and a half crore Bangladeshis.

India and Bangladesh are always trying to develop relations between each other. Both countries are bound by kinship ties since the liberation war. The anti-independence forces wanted to destroy Bangladesh by killing Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation of Bangladesh. Even later, that power led Bangladesh in the wrong direction. But Bangladesh today is on the highway of development under the leadership of Bangabandhu’s privileged daughter, leader Sheikh Hasina. Bangabandhu’s dream of building a golden Bengal is about to succeed. For some time, due to the influence of anti-independence groups in the internal politics of the country, the relationship with Delhi has deteriorated somewhat, but since the Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to power, India has stood by Bangladesh in its perils. Dhaka received a lot of help from Delhi even during the Corona epidemic. Apart from people-to-people contact, both countries are now giving importance to economic development. Bilateral trade is also increasing. The two countries are also making sincere efforts for the sake of more economic development.

More recently, India gifted 20 more rail engines to Bangladesh. Bangladesh Railway has adopted this diesel-powered broad gauge line engine to improve the country’s rail traffic. Despite India’s domestic demand, Delhi Railways did not hesitate to deliver the engine at Dhaka’s request. Last May, Bangladesh Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan and India’s Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnab mentioned the good relations between the two countries. The Indian Railway Minister assured that India will support the development of railway infrastructure in Bangladesh in the coming days as well. The Railway Minister of Bangladesh thanked the Government of India and the Indian people for this. In Bangladesh, the demand for trains is increasing in line with the number of passengers on the railways. So India has come forward to help Bangladesh. Earlier also in 2020, India gave 10 locomotive diesel engines as a gift. Railway official Asim Kumar Halder was present on behalf of Bangladesh during the handing over of the engine. He also highly praised Indian Railway Engines.

India and Bangladesh are really good friends. Therefore, both countries are interested in advancing the relationship for the sake of their own countrymen. There is no lack of sincerity on the part of Delhi and Dhaka to solve all the problems through discussion. So many bilateral problems have been solved by the hands of Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina. As terrorism has reduced on the border, the border guards of both the countries have a very good relationship today. BSF and BGB are solving all problems through regular meetings.

India is the closest neighbor of Bangladesh. Not only a neighbor, India has always stood by Bangladesh’s development since the liberation war of 1971. The relationship between the two countries has risen to the level of real friendship tested in the context of different situations at different times. Therefore, Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has rightly said that Bangladesh will not be able to advance even a step if communication with India is stopped. Recently, at the virtual inauguration of the Basarhat-Hiako-Ramgarh road development project, this Awami League leader also explained how important it is to strengthen this friendship for the development of the two countries. He also said how much India needs Bangladesh for the country’s economic development. He said, “If the neighboring country India invests more in Bangladesh, we will not have to go far to find investors.” He also reminded that it was possible to end the border problem of the two countries through the discussion along with the financial development. Obaidul Quader said, “Due to Bangladesh’s friendly relationship with India, the border problem between the two countries has been resolved through discussion.” He said that this relationship should be taken further.

According to Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka, Prannoy Verma, the golden era of bilateral relations is going on today due to the sincere efforts of the Prime Ministers of the two countries. Human to human contact has increased. In this context, he said, last year, a new record was created by granting Indian visas to one and a half crore Bangladeshis. No country in the world gives so many visas to citizens of other countries. According to him, the visa procedure has been made so easy because India considers Bangladesh as its friend. He said that work is going on to establish more visa centers. According to the Indian Ambassador, many problems have been resolved due to the sincere efforts of the Prime Ministers of the two countries. Dhaka and Delhi will be able to reach agreement on many issues through discussions in the coming days. Recently, the Indian ambassador also participated in the meeting of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Gulshan. He said that the relationship between the two countries is improving even in the economic field. Today, the economy of both countries is standing on a solid foundation. Bilateral trade volume has doubled in the last five years. The Indian ambassador also said that with the sincere efforts of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Modi, Indian investors are coming to Bangladesh.

The top leaders of both countries want economic development through bilateral relations for the sake of the common people of their own countries. Therefore, besides increasing the trade fleet, India is also taking initiative in setting up industries. Efforts are also underway to make various Indian companies more interested in investing in Bangladesh. Both the countries are also keen to use the good bilateral relations for economic growth.

There are many positive and negative discussions about the strong relationship between Bangladesh and India. As a result of all the research and analysis on the relationship between these two countries, three things have come forward. And that is – trust, faith and tradition.

The words trust and faith are complementary in any relationship. A positive relationship is impossible where there is no trust and confidence. This relationship of trust between India and Bangladesh has been going on for a long time. The anti-British movement started from this Bangladesh and the anti-British movement continued all over India from Calcutta in the then undivided Bengal. And for this reason, since then, the people of these two regions have shared many things, including British exploitation, oppression, and agitation.

In this bond of friendship of trust, faith and tradition, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave mangoes as a gift to Indian President Draupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to the Chief Ministers of the states of the northeastern region known as the Seven Sisters of India. This ‘Mango Diplomacy’ carries considerable importance from the diplomatic arena. ‘Mango’ is a specific seasonal fruit. This sending of mangoes bears the symbol that the two countries always want to share all the joys and sorrows between them. Diplomatic analysts hope that the two countries will hold each other’s hands to set a new record of development.

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