Modi to take 1.2 million vaccine to Bangladesh as India seeks to boost bilateral ties

4 months ago 31
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NEW DELHI: India is pulling out all stops as Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Dhaka on Friday for the Mujib anniversary celebrations.
In keeping with the occasion — 50 years of diplomatic relations — Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty has been asked to compose a new Hindustani classical raga for the occasion, ‘Raga Moitree’ which will be performed by him tomorrow in songs in Sanskrit, Hindi and Bengali. The raga will be included in the curriculum of students on both sides of the border henceforth.
“I look forward to my participation at the National Day celebrations tomorrow, which will also commemorate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” Modi said in his departure statement.
“My visit will not only be an occasion to convey appreciation for Bangladesh’s remarkable economic and developmental strides under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visionary leadership, but also to commit India’s abiding support for these achievements. I will also express India’s support and solidarity for Bangladesh's fight against Covid-19.” Modi will be taking 1.2 million vaccine doses to Bangladesh.
Speaking to news agencies, Vikram K. Doraiswami, Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh said, Modi’s visit is “intended to signal that we've travelled together for 50 yrs & we need to look ahead for another 50, which would be about more joint ventures, trade and investment.”
Beyond the connectivity, trade, infrastructure and security relations that have been built between India and Bangladesh, the strong cultural connect forms part of the bilateral agenda.
India will announce an increase in scholarships for students from Bangladesh. There will be 100 scholarships earmarked for high quality students who get admitted into India’s top institutes. As part of the summit, India will announce chairs on neighbouring countries in Indian universities. The first would be a chair in Bangladesh studies in Delhi University.
Given that Pandit Ravi Shankar had been instrumental in organising the first Concert for Bangladesh back in 1971, his daughter Anoushka Shankar has been tasked with the initiative to do the second concert, a blend of the old and the new.
The Modi-Hasina summit tomorrow will include restricted and delegation level talks between the two leaders. Among the announcements at the summit would be a startup conclave, and MoUs on trade and disaster management among others.
India and Bangladesh may announce the start of a passenger train between Chilahati-Haldibari, the freight service was announced recently.
Modi said in his statement, “I also look forward to offering prayers to Goddess Kali at the ancient Jashoreshwari Kali Temple, one of the 51 Shaktipeeths in the Puranic tradition. I am particularly looking forward to my interaction with representatives of the Matua community at Orakandi, from where Sri SriHarichandra Thakur ji disseminated his pious message.”
Modi has invested quite heavily in the Bangladesh relationship. In the current season of poll campaigns in Bengal and Assam, the BJP leadership has also stayed away from insulting Bangladeshis. In fact, it is the Hefazat-ul-Islam extremist group in Bangladesh that has threatened to disrupt Modi’s visit.

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