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Why are India and Bangladesh Economic and Political Relations Strengthening

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India’s Relations with its Neighbours in South Asia has mostly been strained despite sharing a common history and culture.While China and Pakistan remains India’s topmost concerns with 4 wars being fought with these 2 countries in the last 65 years,the other smaller neighbours have not always been too friendly.However things seem to be improving with Bangladesh which is completely encircled by India on 3 sides.Bangladesh has viewed Big Brother India with suspicion despite India playing a crucial role in Bangladesh’s Liberation from Pakistan during 1971.However the Bonhomie since 1971 was lost as subsequent military rulers and the BNP ruled coalition viewed India as an adversary.However the coming back to power of Shiekh Hasina led AWP has put India and Bangladesh on a new level.The  reasons behind India-Bangladesh closeness are due to

1) Friendly Bangladeshi Government – India’s relation with Sheikh Hasina led AWP has been much closer than the Opposition.This is because Mujibur Rehman who played an important role in the creation of Bangladesh had worked closely with India during its Independence War.

2) Economic Imperative – Bangladesh and India can contribute greatly to each others economic progress due to complementary strengths.India’s rapidly growing economy could do with the abundant gas reserves in Bangladesh and transit facilities for its land locked North Easter States.The strategic port of Chittagong could provide a sea route for NE state trade.Bangladesh could really use Indian Capital and Technology which is appropriate to Bangladesh’s level of development

3) China Bogey – India and Bangladesh are both threatened by the Chinese Plan to Build Massive Dams to divert Rivers flowing into the Gangetic Plains.This would be devastating to the downstream riparian countries.India also needs an ally to thwart China’s “String of Pearls” Strategy for the Indian Ocean.China is building roads,port and military bases around India in Pakistan,Myanmar,Sri Lanka etc.Relations between India and China have become progressively worse in recent days.

4)Security Concerns – India faces terrorist problems in the NE states who take harbor in Bangladesh.The recent closeness has led to security cooperation between the two leading to arrests of a number of ULFA militants.Bangladesh also faces extremist Islamic threats and could do with help of Indian Intelligence.


India and Bangladesh are natural allies despite some extremist elements trying to create animosity between the 2 countries with a common history and language.Note India and Bangladesh Border is quite porous with free movement of people across the 2 countries.Bangla is the common language spoken by the huge number of Bengali in India and the Bangladeshi people.Both are at almost the same level of development with similar problems like income disparity and extreme poverty.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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