So when on the morning of March 26, 2021, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched down on Bangladesh, the nation had already woken up to a new dawn—that of the 50th anniversary of its Independence. And when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina warmly welcomed Mr Modi at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on that historic day with a floral bouquet as resplendent as the rich cultural heritage of the two nations, it was symbolic of the ever-strengthening bilateral ties between India and Bangladesh. In this issue, we’ve a summary of the visit and the joint statements that came out following the meeting between PM Modi and PM Hasina.
Prime Minister Modi also paid homage to Bangabandhu’s mausoleum at Tungipara, his birthplace about 170 km South-west of Dhaka. This is Mujib Borsho (running from March 17, 2020 to December 16, 2021), the birth centenary of Bangabandhu. The nation is celebrating his unparalleled daring—former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee had observed that “Bangabandhu is the bravest leader of all time” and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had said, “His extraordinary heroism has been a source of inspiration for the people of Asia and Africa.” The country is also fondly recalling his illimitable charisma, exceptional vision, tireless striving and, course, his larger-than-life stature—Fidel Castro, while Prime Minister of Cuba, had said, “I’ve not seen the Himalayas. But I’ve seen Sheikh Mujib. In personality and in courage, this man is the Himalayas.”