Foreign Policy Watch: India-Bangladesh

India-Bangladesh Relations


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Paper 2- India-Bangladesh relations

The article highlights the need for Indian leaders to respect the sentiments of Bangladesh by avoiding adverse comments during elections and recognition of Bangladesh’s importance for India.

 Diplomacy with Bangladesh

  • Long-standing bilateral problems: As a neighbour nearly surrounded on all territorial sides by India, there are the inevitable bilateral problems of long duration.
  • Such problems include a perennially favourable balance of trade for India, drought and flood in the 54 transboundary rivers flowing from India to Bangladesh, and the smuggling of goods and vulnerable human beings across the approximately 4,100 kilometre land border.
  • Cultural ties with India: There are several sections who regard their Bengali roots and traditions as being of equal validity as their religious affiliation, and treasure the linguistic and cultural ties with adjacent India.
  • India’s expectations: For India’s attentions and support, India’s expectations are that a neighbour will keep India’s concerns in mind when devising and pursuing its policies.

Steps taken to consolidate the bilateral ties

  • Bangladesh has successfully dealt with Muslim fundamentalist terrorists.
  • Bangladesh has also controlled the Northeast militant movements sheltering in Bangladesh.
  • This has facilitated the pacification of India’s Northeast.
  • Bangladesh facilitated a considerable degree of connectivity between India and its Northeast by land, river and the use of Bangladeshi ports.
  • Indian investments in Bangladesh have been encouraged.
  • There are at least 100,000 Indian nationals now living and working in that country.
  • For economic integration along with free movement of commerce and capital, the movement of persons on the lines of Nepal and Bhutan will have to be considered.

Consider the question “To a certain degree both India and Bangladesh depend on each other for security and stability. In light of this, take an overview of the consolidation of the bilateral ties between the two countries and discuss the issues that need to be addressed between the two countries.”


Responsible individuals on both sides of the border, whether in government or the Opposition, must be actively discouraged from words and actions detrimental to the consolidation of the existing cordiality.

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