The history of Indo-Bangla collaboration is remembered on Maitri Diwas

Shining BD Desk || Shining BD

Published: 12/6/2022 5:07:18 AM

The "Maitri Diwas" (friendship day) has been referred to by historical experts and young leaders from India and Bangladesh as a benchmark event to take the two countries' relationship to new heights in the future.

Both governments resolved to observe 6 December as Maitri Diwas during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh in March 2021.

West Bengal Rajya Sabha MP Jawhar Sircar, a witness of Bangladesh independence from India, termed ‘Maitri Diwas’ as a celebration of shared history of neighbouring countries. 

“India stood by the liberation forces in 1971 when mighty countries were opposed to the cause and even threatened this cooperation by sending their powerful navy close to our shores,” Sircar, former secretary at the government of India, told the Daily Sun.

Ten days before the liberation of Bangladesh, India recognised Bangladesh on December 6, 1971. India was one of the first countries to establish bilateral diplomatic ties with Bangladesh.

The former cultural secretary mentioned that Bangladesh and India had jointly celebrated Bishwa Kabi’s 150th Birth Anniversary in 2011 and it is only befitting that we now celebrate ‘Maitri Diwas’ jointly to celebrate the birth of a new sovereign independent nation.

“India salutes the indomitable spirit of the people of Bangladesh that won her freedom from a brutal force and took the country towards prosperity and world rankings,” Sircar added.

Maitri with Bangladesh has traversed towards a ‘Shonali Adhyaya’ or a ‘Golden Chapter’ of the two neighbouring countries with a shared history.

Valiant freedom fighter Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury Bir Bikrom termed ‘Maitri Diwas’ as a benchmark event in the history of Bangladesh that manifests cooperation of two neighbouring country which cooperate each others.

“India had supported us from many avenues, including providing shelter to millions of war-time refugee. From early December in 1971, the cooperation reached new heights. Then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi wrote to her Bangladesh counterpart Tajuddin Ahmad in the afternoon of December 6. India also made a proclamation of supporting Bangladesh independence in their parliament that day. The day is a red-letter day for the history of this subcontinent,” Chowdhury, also former foreign secretary of Bangladesh, told the Daily Sun.

He urged the young generation to learn the backend philosophy of ‘Maitri Diwas’ to go through the shared history of India and Bangladesh.

Ashim Kumar Paul, an academician in West Bengal, said Maitry Diwas is a part of emotions of the people in India who have a long history for friendly relationship with their counterparts in Bangladesh.

“We   hope that this association that would take the South Asian countries to new heights. The world congratulates the Republic of Bangladesh for its monumental and magnificent Padma Bridge, and the Indian citizen reiterate the same. India has been rewarded with presidency of G20 Leader's Summit, manifesting ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (in English, The World is one family). South Asian countries are in a spree in becoming global icons and a strategic association will keep the spirits high,” Paul, assistant professor at Satyajit Roy Film & Television Institute (SRFTI), told the Daily Sun.

Imran Fahad, a young entrepreneur in Bangladesh, believes that ‘Maitri Diwas’ plays a significant role in enhancing our bilateral relations.

“I believe in coming days the relations between India and Bangladesh will get stronger and that will create a huge impact amongst the youth community. I am looking forward to see more bilateral initiatives that will inspire the whole generations in coming days,” Imran, founder of Inspiring Bangladesh, told the Daily Sun.

USA-based News Week magazine run a story on India military cooperation for Bangladesh independence on December 6.

Shining BD