• South Sudan warring parties set for direct peace talks
  • Clashes kill 13 as Morsi backers rally in Egypt
  • Train under petrol bomb attack in Natore
  • 3 killed as 2 trucks collide in Sirajganj
  • Swechchhasebok Dal leader killed in Lalmonirhat
  • Tarique urges all to boycott, resist polls
  • Asia Cup to go ahead in Dhaka
  • Kerry on third day of Mideast shuttle
  • CEC anxious over escalating violence over poll
  • Guinness World Records endorses largest human flag
  • Stop arson in schools: Nahid
  • Clash at CEPZ leaves 15 injured
  • 'Battling Begums' bring Bangladesh to brink
  • Election materials torched in Gaibandha
  • 96 polling stations torched on election eve
  • Ban on city vehicles
  • Don’t go to polling stations: BNP to voters
  • BNP-Jamaat has no strength to foil Sunday’s polls, says Tofail
Print Friendly and PDF

Indian media urge its govt to rethink Bangladesh stand

Mubin S Khan

As a strong public perception persists that the ruling Awami League-led government is being backed by the Congress-led Indian government in its decision to go ahead with the ‘controversial’ 10th parliamentary elections on January 5, recent reports and editorials in leading Indian newspapers, as well as comments from leading Indian politicians, appear to indicate that Indian government may be under some pressure to reconsider its position. 
A number of leading Indian newspapers over the last few days have come out strongly critical of the upcoming polls in Bangladesh and warned the Indian government that its long-term interests would be negatively affected if it allows AL to go ahead with this election.
One newspaper further reported that the Indian government is likely to ask the AL-led government to prepare for ‘another election’ very soon.
Adding his voice to the issue, former Indian cabinet minister and president of the Janata Party Subramanian Swamy said the Indian government is ‘duty-bound’ to see that elections in Bangladesh are free and fair.
India’s highest circulating regional newspaper Anandabazar Patrika reported on Tuesday that the Indian government was in possession of a report that the law and order situation will worsen after the January 5 elections and therefore will be sending high-level envoy to Dhaka before the January 5 elections to ‘advise the Sheikh Hasina government to prepare for a participatory election very soon after tackling the militant Jamaat-e-Islami.’
Titled ‘Come to elections again after tackling militant Jamaat’, Anandabazar reported that Indian government was concerned both about pressure on the international diplomatic front because of a lack of credibility of the elections as well as the ‘law and order situation’ along its long frontiers with Bangladesh.
The report claimed the current AL-led government was considering a declaration of ‘state of emergency’ to tackle the threat from Jamaat.
On Tuesday, The Hindu, the third most widely-read English newspaper in India, in an editorial titled ‘Uncertainty in Bangladesh’, described the upcoming national elections as ‘moth-eaten’ in the absence of all major opposition parties.
The Hindu pointed out that while the AL-led government has aided New Delhi through cracking down on Islamism and safe haven for ‘militants from Northeastern states’, ‘anti-India’ feeling in Bangladesh is incredibly high as India had failed to reciprocate in equal measure. In that context, the paper writes, ‘New Delhi’s relations with a government that comes to power through a problematic process will only get more complicated.’
Meanwhile, the India’s second most widely-read English newspaper Hindustan Times, in an editorial on December 30, came out strongly critical of the upcoming elections saying, ‘January 5 will produce a sweeping but wholly illegitimate victory for the incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.’
The Hindustan Times goes on to be critical of the Indian government saying, ‘There is a sense that New Delhi is not unhappy with the idea of another Awami government being in power.’
Both papers appear to advocate that the current Indian government move away from its position of looking at short-term interests and use its influence to have an acceptable election in Bangladesh.  
Both editorials resonate with recent comments from opposition Indian politician Subramanian Swamy who in a statement, as reported by the Press Trust of India, expressed concern over the law and order situation in Bangladesh and said ‘Indian government is duty-bound to use its good offices, if necessary with the help of other countries, to see that the elections in Bangladesh are free and fair.’
Adding to the air of uncertainty surrounding India’s position on Bangladesh elections, Salman Khurshid, the external affairs minister of India, told The Hindu that there were differences in perception with respect to Bangladesh between India and the US, and that they were trying to close the gap.
‘Our understanding of the region and understanding of sentiments of the people in the region should be helpful in the positions they (US) want to take,’ he is reported to have said.
The recent reports and comments appear to be a departure, at least in tone, from what has been the Indian government’s position so far, as well as, what has been reported in the Indian media.
Indian foreign secretary Sujatha Singh during her visit to Dhaka on December 5 courted controversy saying that the upcoming elections should have ‘maximum’ number of parties, instead of advocating participatory elections.
The Times of India on the same day, quoting a government official, reported that India was concerned that all the confidence building measures between India and Bangladesh taken up during the regime of the AL-led government would be ‘futile if a new government comes to power in Bangladesh.’
Earlier on November 1, Times of India published an article by Dhaka-based Indian journalist Subir Bhaumik who, according to some observers, appeared to be advocating possible military intervention in Bangladesh.

Reader’s Comment

comments powered by Disqus

Petrobangla limits work to reassessment

Petrobangla has limited its activities to reassessment of the oil and gas reserves in the old fields instead of conducting two dimensional seismic surveys to identify fresh potentials for the resources, officials said. Full story

BNP urges president to intervene

BNP lawmakers, led by opposition chief whiff Zainul Abdedin Farooque, come out of Bangabhaban in the capital after meeting the president, Abdul Hamid, on Friday. — Sony Ramany
Lawmakers of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Friday urged president Abdul Hamid to intervene and use his good offices in freeing opposition leader Khaleda Zia from her reported confinement in her house at Gulshan. Full story

Indian media urge its govt to rethink Bangladesh stand

As a strong public perception persists that the ruling Awami League-led government is being backed by the Congress-led Indian government in its decision to go ahead with the ‘controversial’ 10th parliamentary elections on January 5, recent reports and... Full story

Cold wave likely at end of week

Intensity of cold may increase sharply as second spell of cold wave is likely to hit the country at the end of this week. Meteorologist of Bangladesh Meteorological Department Arif Hossain told the news agency that the country witnessed severe cold in the past few days due... Full story

Fishery owner killed

A fishery owner was hacked to death by miscreants at Byasdi village in Madhukhali upazila in Faridpur early Friday. The deceased was identified as Murshed Azam Chanchal Joaddar, 47, son of Abul Khair Joaddar of the village. Full story

Woman found dead

The police recovered the body of an unidentified woman from Char Sifli village in Bhola sadar upazila on Friday. Sub-inspector Murad of Bhola sadar police station said local people spotted the woman’s body in the morning and informed police. Full story

Dry weather likely

Weather may remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country till 6:00pm today. Light to moderate fog may occur over the country during midnight till morning, Met Office said. Full story

3 ‘pirates’ lynched in Noakhali

Three alleged pirates were killed in mob beating at Dakkhin Majlishpur under Hatiya upazila in Noakhali on Friday. The deceased were identified as Faruk Commander, 35, Kalu and Nuruddin. Faruk died on the spot... Full story

Female labour migration for overseas jobs on rise

The overseas employment of female workers has significantly increased although Bangladesh witnessed a negative growth of remittance inflow and drastic fall of labour migration in 2013, according to Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training. Full story

Teenage boy commits suicide

A teenage boy on Friday committed suicide by jumping into the water from a bridge at Hatirjheel in the capital Dhaka, but his lover survived luckily. Police and family members said that Ehsanul Haq... Full story

KSA gives 2 months for legalisation

In a major relief to undocumented expatriates, Saudi authorities have granted a two-month grace period for thousands of expatriates who could not correct their legal status during the seven-month amnesty period to complete the rectification procedures at their Passport Department. Full story

Robbery at city shop

Owners of a sanitary fitting shop in the city’s Hatirpool area on Friday alleged that identified miscreants looted their shop. They had opened the shop after 20 days and found that all products were... Full story

NY Times journalist barred from visiting Khaleda

The police stopped the South Asia bureau chief of the New York Times, Ellen Barry, visiting the leader of the opposition in the parliament, Khaleda Zia, also the BNP chairperson, in her house at Gulshan on Friday. Full story

Jatiyatabadi Muktijoddha Projanma slates PM’s Jan 2 address

Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Muktijoddha Prajanma protested at prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s address to the nation and said she deprived the youth of their right to franchise. A release, signed by president of the organisation... Full story

First task of next govt to root out anarchists: Mahmud

The forest and environment minister, Hasan Mahmud, on Friday said that the first task of the next government would be to curb the countrywide anarchy and root out the anarchists in a couple of weeks after Sunday’s polls. Full story

Journalists want talks on 11th JS

Over 3,000 journalists on Friday urged the government to take initiative for holding the 11th parliamentary elections after completion of the 10th polls. They also requested the main opposition BNP to stop vandalism... Full story

2 ruling party men killed

Miscreants killed two ruling Awami League men on Thursday night and Friday morning in Comilla and Lalmonirhat. New Age correspondent in Comilla reported that a local leader of Awami League was... Full story

Health directorate entangled with HC

Over 1600 writ petitions against health directorate are pending with the High Court causing delay in appointment, transfer and promotion of doctors and staff, said health directorate high officials. Health services directorate general... Full story

Party same, symbols different

The Election Commission has allowed candidates of the same political party contesting in the 10th parliamentary polls slated for January 5 to run with different election symbols. Ten top leaders of three political parties including left... Full story

Ershad still enigmatic

The role of Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad in Sunday’s election remains enigmatic as his close lieutenants are issuing conflicting statements about the latest position of their leader now in the combined military hospital for ‘treatment.’ Full story

Muhith hints at holding another election after 10th JS polls

Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Friday said holding another fair election with participation of all political parties might be possible anytime after the 10th parliamentary election scheduled for January 5. Full story

66th anniv of BCL today

The 66th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), which led successfully various democratic movements, would be observed with extensive programmes tomorrow. On January 4 in 1948, BCL was floated... Full story

1100 soldiers to join UN mission in S Sudan

Apart from the stipulated forces working at different peacekeeping missions under the United Nation, about 1100 additional Bangladeshi soldiers have been included in the missions on an emergency basis. The government took the decision... Full story

DLA calls on people to boycott ‘farcical’ election

Left leaders on Friday at a discussion meeting in the capital called upon the people to boycott the tomorrow’s 10th national elections, terming it ‘farical’. Democratic Left Alliance, a combine of the... Full story
  • Online Poll

    Do you think that the government has successfully brought back normalcy in public life after the January 5 elections?

    • Yes
    • No
    • No comment
    Ajax Loader