India-Bangladesh Relations


Official Name: People's Republic of Bangladesh

Major Events: 

  • Battle of Plassey 1757
  • Great Bengal Famine of 1770
  • Partition of Bengal on 1905
  • Formation of All India Muslim League in Dhaka on 1906
  • Reunification of Bengal 1912
  • Formation of East Pakistan 1947
  • Military rule by Pakistan Army 1958
  • Indo Pakistani war of 1965 and blockage of trade  
  • 1969 uprising in East Pakistan
  • 1970 election victory by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Military's refusal to accept the results
  • Bangladeshi Flag raised for first time March 23rd 1971
  • Genocide by Pakistan Army (Operation Searchlight)
  • Bangladesh Liberation war begins. Mukthi Bahinis vs Pakistan Army
  • 2 December 1971 Pakistan attacks India and India joins the war on Bangladeshi side
  • 16 December 1971 Pakistan surrenders
  • 4 December 1972 Constitution adopted
  • Rahman Assassinated and era of Military coups 1975-1991

India's Relations with Bangladesh

  • India's boundary with Bangladesh is its longest land boundary.
  • It is patrolled by the Border Security Force (BSF) which also patrols the western border with Pakistan. 
  • India's relations with Bangladesh has been a complex mixture of success and failures. 
  • Due to Indian assistance for liberation of Bangladesh, Sheik Mujibur Rahman have had quite a favourable view towards India.
  • However his untimely death and the successive military rules derailed the relationship, which the Pakistani government  capitalized on. The critics of Mujibur Rahman have used India as a scapegoat for their anger and frustrations towards him.
  • India has also accused Bangladesh of providing safe havens for Insurgents in the North Eastern States and also of large scale illegal migration into West Bengal and Assam. A major part of Assam accords and the consequent National Register of Citizens is aimed at curbing this migration.
  • The presence of a large number of exclaves and enclaves in the Indo Bangladeshi Border has also been a bone of contention.
  • However in the recent years, there have been significant improvements in the relations.
  • Bangladesh is a major player in India's Act East policy. 
  • 100th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2015 have solved the issues of enclaves and exclaves to a large degree. 
  • Bangladesh government have been helping India with tackling cross border terrorism. 
  • Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) initiative for better connectivity is in the works.
  • Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is another major avenue for cooperation. 

The remaining issues: 

  • The conduction of NRC and the fate of those deemed to be illegal immigrants is unclear and a cause for concern. 
  • The lukewarm response by Indian Government to the plight of Rohingyas was criticised by Bangladesh. 
  • The lack of clarity about the distribution of water from Teesta River is another point of conflict. 
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