By protocol profile, Bangladesh has send the lowest level dignitary to attend Narendra Modi’s swearing in ceremony, which was attended by most SAARC state leaders including PM Nawaz Shariff of Pakistan. Relationship between the two countries was not that much fine on the issue of crossing of Bangladeshi people into India.
Now, a year later, everything changed, so drastically that one has to advice other South Asian countries to emulate the India-Bangla relationship to develop collective harmony and prosperity in the region.
What changed the mood was PM Narendra Modi’s two day visit to Bangladesh. The two countries have settled their border issues with India exchanging more land and water to its smaller neighbor. This extension of a bigger concession is rare warmth that one can see in South Asian bilateral engagements over the last two-three decades. Not to forget that the US $ 2 billion aid that India provided to Dhaka, has more value.
In Bangladesh, where the language is the one in which India’s national anthem is written; public perception has reversed in ninety degree and political leaders including the opposition spoke about the two countries marching shoulder to shoulder towards prosperity. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushama Swaraj described that India should not be considered as an ‘arrogant big brother’ rather ‘a caring elder brother’.
Both countries have agreed to improve their economic engagement also as the Indian energy firm Reliance Power has signed an agreement to establish a $3 bn power project in Bangladesh.
The visit by Modi is a great occasion for both countries to rewrite the history of cooperation in South Asia. Modi himself in his usual exuberance has tweeted “the entire mood of our neighborhood has changed dramatically because of our message of shared prosperity being implemented on the ground”.