‘Maitree Divas’ marks India-Bangladesh friendship


The first India-Bangladesh ‘Maitri Diwas’ celebrations continue to be organised not only in Delhi and Dhaka but also in 18 other cities all over the world, reposrts Asian Lite News

Braving day-long incessant rain, around 2,000 pro-liberation campaigners on Tuesday held rallies across Bangladesh, marking the “Maitree Divas” as a shining testament to the historic bond between Bangladesh and India.

Commemorating the official recognition by India on December 6, during the Liberation War in 1971, One Bangladesh, a platform led by university teachers and professionals, organised this event in a total of 23 districts with much enthusiasm and zeal.

Themed on “Friendship between Bangladesh and India based on shared sacrifices”, participants, including free thinkers, carried banners and posters and placards during the rally.

Photos of Pakistan’s historic surrender on December 16, 1971, historic news clippings of India’s recognition to Bangladesh, wreckage of Pakistani naval ships bombed by fearless commandos were also displayed at the rallies.

“India trained daring naval commandos of Bangladesh”, “India sheltered 10 million refugees”, “India trained and armed freedom fighters”, “Together India and Bangladesh crushed Pak army in 13 days”, “Over 18000 Indians deceased and injured during the liberation war”, reads some of the posters.

While most super-powers turned their back on us and the geopolitic situation was against us, India drummed up support for Bangladesh across the world. They sheltered our refugees, allied with us, and helped us drive out the occupation army, said one of the speakers at the event.

With much vigour, the participants staged rallies at the base of central Shaheed Minars and on University campuses in 23 districts including Rangamati, Rangpur, Kustia, Chittagong, Jamalpur, Pabna, Thakurgaon, Joypurhat, Sherpur, Sylhet and Chandpur among others. Floral wreaths were placed at the portrait of Bangabandhu at Dhanmondi 32 of Dhaka.

“We placed floral tributes to the founding Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as he led the struggle for our independence,” a person who took part in the event said.

Celebrations in Canada

Meanwhile, the High Commission of India in Ottawa, in association with the local High Commission of Bangladesh, celebrated ‘Maitree Diwas’ by organising an event at the prestigious Ottawa Art Gallery which was attended by the Canadian Members of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps in Ottawa, officials from the government of Canada, friends of India and Bangladesh and prominent Canadians of Indian and Bangladeshi heritage.

Welcoming the guests, the High Commissioner of Bangladesh, Khalilur Rahman spoke of the gratitude that Bangladesh and its people held for the role played by India in their freedom struggle and liberation. He also highlighted the multifaceted dimensions of the contemporary Bangladesh-India relationship.

Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria, in his address, traced the larger geopolitical context of the struggle and said that the people of India and Bangladesh shared deep ties of culture and people-to-people relationship and the contemporary partnership is focused on development partnership and growth.

A photographic exhibition capturing some important events from Bangladesh’s freedom struggle and the Liberation War of 1971, mounted jointly by the two High Commissions, was well appreciated by the guests. A film on the launch of ‘Raga Maitree’ and other videos showcasing the growth-oriented partnership between India and Bangladesh were also screened.

Bangkok celebrations

‘Maitri Diwas’ was also celebrated in Bangkok on Tuesday with the Embassy of India and Embassy of Bangladesh holding a joint reception at a prominent hotel in the capital of Thailand.

Chulamanee Chartsuwan, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand graced the occasion as chief guest. Ambassador of India to Thailand Suchitra Durai and Ambassador of Bangladesh to Thailand Mohammed Abdul Hye, along with 50 high level dignitaries representing the Thai parliament, diplomatic corps, businesses, community members, and media attended the reception.

The celebration included two cultural performances highlighting the cultural linkages between India and Bangladesh.

A photo exhibition showcasing 50 years of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh, shared cultural links, development projects, connectivity and Bangladesh Liberation War was also organised on the sidelines of the reception.

Meetings in Paris, London

The golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s Independence and 50th Anniversary of India-Bangladesh friendship was also celebrated in Paris with the Embassies of India and France jointly commemorating the ties forged in shared struggle, common values, heritage and partnership for security and prosperity in the new age.

In London, a gala reception was hosted by the High Commission of India and Bangladesh jointly to celebrate the occasion.

Paying homage to the martyrs of the Liberation War and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem recalled the invaluable support that the Indian government extended to Bangladesh in 1971.

“The value-based friendship between our peoples and our soils, the 54-common rivers, the love, affection and common emotions that connect our two nations and the messages of peace,  Ahimsa (or nonviolence) and humanity propagated by Fathers of our two Nations Mahatma Gandhi and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will take our Bangladesh-India maitree to even newer height in the decades to come,” said Tasneem.

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