Signifying upswing in Delhi-Dhaka relations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lavished praise on ‘Jatir Pita’ Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary through a video link that was aired live at a function organised by the Sheikh Hasina’s government in Dhaka.Bangladesh is not only India’s biggest trading partner in South Asia but also development partner.In his opening remarks, Mr Modi thanked his Bangladeshi counterpart for personally inviting him to the March 17 event and said that he is pleased to be part of the celebration through a video link although he could not attend the program physically due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Modi described him as one of the last century’s greatest personalities who was a “leader of courage, man of conviction, sage of peace, champion of justice, equality and dignity, a hand of defiance against brutality, and a shield against coercion.” His entire life is a tremendous inspiration for all, Modi said.“These qualities of him gave new energy to lakhs of youth in those times, to face all the challenges for the liberation of Bangladesh. Today, it gives me great happiness, when I see people of Bangladesh dedicating themselves day and night towards making their dear nation, `Shonar Bangla’, as was dreamt by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” he said.
Bangladesh Liberation War
Mr Modi said that Bangabandhu gives a great message to the world of the 21st Century for his courage and devotion in bringing Bangladesh out of the phase of devastation and genocide and making it into a positive and progressive society. “We all are well aware, how a repressive and cruel regime, disregarding all democratic values, unleashed a reign of injustice on `Bangla Bhumi,” he said. However, “his ideas and efforts were not liked by certain people and they snatched him from us.”
“We are all witnessing that how making terror and violence weapons of politics and diplomacy destroy society and a nation. The world is also watching where the supporters of terror and violence are currently placed and in what state they are, while Bangladesh is scaling new heights,” Mr Modi said.
Setting new Benchmarks
Mr Modi said that Bangladesh is setting new benchmarks today with unprecedented progress in many fields like skill, education, health, women empowerment, and microfinance. “In the last 5-6 years, India and Bangladesh have scripted a golden chapter of bilateral ties and given new dimension and direction to our partnership. It is because of increasing trust between the two countries that we have been able to amicably resolve complex issues like land and maritime boundary,” he said.
“Today, Bangladesh is not only India’s biggest trading partner in South Asia but also development partner. Electricity generated in India is lighting up lakhs of houses and factories in Bangladesh. A new dimension has been added to our relations through the Friendship Pipeline. Be it road, rail, air, waterway or internet, our cooperation in several sectors is connecting people of our two countries even more,” he added.
Shared Ideals and Values
PM Modi said: “Legacy and inspiration of Bangabandhu have made our heritage more comprehensive. India has always been attached to his ideals and values. Deep-rooted relations between India and Bangladesh have been laid on the foundation of this shared heritage.”The two countries’ shared heritage, their deep-rooted bond, and the path shown by Bangabandhu are the strong foundation of partnership, progress, and prosperity of the two countries in this decade as well, he said.
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