History Of India & Bangladesh

History Of India & Bangladesh

As a new waterway was added to the network between India and Bangladesh, let us look at the shared history of both the nations.

Crux of the Matter

History Of India-Bangladesh

  • Bengal was divided into 2 post-Indian-Independence:
    West Bengal: Remained part of India
    East Bengal: Under the control of Pakistan – named East Pakistan.
  • Liberation war started in East Pakistan in early 1971, and leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared independence from Pakistan.
  • Pakistan (West) launched airstrikes on Indian airbases as India announced support for Bangladesh.
  • In return, India attacked Pakistan and provided military support to Bangladesh; Pakistan surrendered and the nation of Bangladesh was stabilized.
  • Pranab Mukherjee, former Indian President who recently passed away, received the ‘Bangladesh Muktijuddho Sanmanona’ (Liberation War award) in 2013 by the Bangladesh Govt for his contribution to the 1971 liberation war.
  • 1975: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh, was assassinated, after which Bangladesh went under military rule. The period saw increase in hostility towards India as the country developed stronger ties with Pakistan.
  • 1979: Assam movement started against the increasing number of refugees from Bangladesh in Assam.
  • 1996: Sheikh Hasina Wajed, the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, became the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, after which relations with India improved.
  • The ‘Ganges Water Sharing Treaty’ was signed between both countries in the same year to alleviate problems concerning water in the former.
  • 2011: Tin Bigha Corridor was declared 24 hours open in an agreement between the 2 countries. It allowed free movement to people from the enclaves (regions of the country completely surrounded by the other country).
  • 2013: India started electricity supply to Bangladesh, initially supplying 500 MW.
  • 2015: 50,000 people living in enclaves were granted citizenship of either India or Bangladesh in an agreement.
  • 2018: India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline was inaugurated, which would supply 250,000 metric tonne diesel per year to the latter initially.
  • 2019: Bangladesh declared CAA & NRC internal matters of India. However, several cancelled visits from Bangladesh highlighted strain over the issue with India.
  • Concerns over the increasing influence of China have been expressed in recent times. While India and Bangladesh had a total trade worth $10.2 billion in 2019, China has become the largest investor in Bangladesh, recording a total investment of $38 billion (2019).
Curiopedia
  • The Teen Bigha Corridor is a strip of land belonging to India on the West Bengal – Bangladesh border. In September 2011, the corridor was leased to Bangladesh so the country could access its Dahagram–Angarpota enclave from the mainland. 
  • The India–Bangladesh enclaves, also known as the chiṭmahals were the enclaves along the Bangladesh–India border. According to a popular legend, the enclaves were used as stakes in card or chess games centuries ago between two regional kings, the Raja of Koch Bihar and the Maharaja of Rangpur. 
  • The Banga Sena is a separatist Hindu organization which advocates formation of a separate homeland for Bengali Hindus in Bangladesh. The group is led by Kalidas Baidya.

Waterway Ties Of India & Bangladesh

Waterway Ties Of India & Bangladesh

With the initiation of a waterway between India and Bangladesh, the countries witnessed another development in their relationship, starting from the role of the former in the formation of the latter.

Crux of the Matter

India-Bangladesh Waterway
The first inland waterway connecting India’s Sonamura (in Tripura) to Bangladesh was recently opened, with the network being added to the list of “Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) routes” on 20 May 2020. The transportation would be done through river Gomati of India which merges into river Meghna in Bangladesh, with a boat carrying 50 MT cement from Bangladesh arriving in India on 5 September on a trial run.

Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister of Tripura, recently predicted that exports from the state to Bangladesh would increase from ₹30 crores to ₹1,200 crores and imports would increase from ₹645 crores to ₹4,200 crores in the next 5 years. He also declared the waterways deal as important in boosting the ties between India and Bangladesh.

With the successful run, Indo-Bangla waterways will open up new avenues for economic development in both the countries where Tripura will play an important role.

Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister of Tripura

Railways And Fish
A railway line connecting Agartala (in Tripura) to Akhaura in Bangladesh was recently announced, which would be completed in 2021. The ‘track’ laying cost for the project would be borne by the Tripura State Government and the Central Govt of India.

Bangladesh recently also allowed the export of 1,450 tonnes of ‘Hilsa’ fish to India for the ‘Durga Puja’ festival, increasing from a supply of 500 tonnes of 2019.

Curiopedia
  • The Teen Bigha Corridor is a strip of land belonging to India on the West Bengal – Bangladesh border. In September 2011, the corridor was leased to Bangladesh so the country could access its Dahagram–Angarpota enclave from the mainland. 
  • The India–Bangladesh enclaves, also known as the chiṭmahals were the enclaves along the Bangladesh–India border. According to a popular legend, the enclaves were used as stakes in card or chess games centuries ago between two regional kings, the Raja of Koch Bihar and the Maharaja of Rangpur. 
  • The Banga Sena is a separatist Hindu organization which advocates formation of a separate homeland for Bengali Hindus in Bangladesh. The group is led by Kalidas Baidya.