Not Only in Ladakh, India Losing Ground in Bangladesh Too

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by Taj Hashmi 18 June 2020

We know things are not going well in regards to India’s relationship with China. On 5th/6th May, China captured around sixty square kilometre of Indian territory in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, which is strategically important to all the three countries in the region, China, India, and Pakistan. On 14th/15th June, around twenty Indian soldiers, including a colonel, were literally beaten to death by their Chinese counterparts, and China also lost five of their men at the Line of Actual Control. “They are the first casualties to be suffered by either Asian superpower along their 3,488km border since 1975”, reports The Telegraph of Britain on 16th June.

We also know that India is the only country in the world having bad to not-so-good relationship with all its immediate neighbours. Of late, even land-locked tiny Nepal (hitherto cowed into submission by India) has boldly challenged India’s hegemonic design. So far as the Bangladeshis – not their government – are concerned, the bulk of them have been intensely anti-Indian too, since weeks after the liberation of their country with direct Indian help and intervention in 1971.

Now, we have reasons to believe that India is not only losing ground to China (literally), but it is also losing its hegemony in Bangladesh. Interestingly, the country which till 2018 was virtually an Indian client state – which India had been bullying with impunity by virtually running its domestic and foreign policies – thanks to Chinese counter-offensive in the arena of diplomacy, it has virtually neutralised India’s growing influence in Bangladesh. So much so that, after China had played an important – if not the decisive role – in the unprecedented electoral victory of Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League in the December Elections (albeit much more farcical, and grossly rigged than the ones held in January 2014, under Indian supervision), India is forced to play the second fiddle to China in Bangladesh affairs.

Seemingly, gone are the days when the newly installed Modi Government could arm-twist the Hasina government to abandon certain mega projects, which China was supposed to undertake in Bangladesh, including the building of a deep-sea port at Sonadia. It is least likely that an Indian Prime Minister, External Affairs Minister, let alone a Secretary of External affairs à la Sujata Singh (who on the eve of the parliamentary elections in Bangladesh forced the political weather-cock Ershad to contest the polls to legitimize the fraudulently designed electoral process in 2014). Why should one assume soon the days of Indian hegemony in Bangladesh will be over? The answer lies in certain forays the Indian government has been indulging in the realm of propaganda warfare. Journalistic pieces – news or fake news reports, and articles by known or unknown writers, in known or even non-existing media outlets – are parts of the propaganda warfare between intra- and inter-state rivals. Thanks to the internet, there has been an exponential growth in fake or real news reports and propaganda literature in recent years.

Renowned BBC journalist and author Subir Bhaumik – the Editorial Director at Eastern Link in India – has been one of the most active warriors of the Indian government (widely believed in Bangladesh to be an employee of the RAW) in the realm of propaganda warfare, against Bangladesh. He is a hyperbolic, sensationalist writer, whose writings on Bangladesh is full of inaccuracies and blatant lies, which often demonise the country as one on the verge of becoming a dysfunctional state, and tarnish the image of the BNP as the promoter of Islamist militancy along with the Jamaat-e-Islami. Quite frequently, he loves to invent the bogey of Islamist terrorism in Bangladesh. Last but not least, his liking for the Awami League is obvious; and his portrayal of the party, its leaders, and even generals toeing the Awami line as “secular” and “pro-Liberation” tell us a thousand tales about his real intent, and who he has been working for during the last three decades or so! Recently, he has come up with a couple of stories about some impending troubles in Bangladesh, pinpointing the BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Tareque Zia as the most disruptive and destabilizing factors in Bangladesh, including a military takeover against the Hasina Regime and a recrudescence of Islamist terrorism in the country.

Bhaumik wrote an article around the 2014 Bangladesh national elections about the theory of the “string of pearls” to expose the strategy behind China’s endeavour to build deep seaports in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. At that time, China had built the Gwadar deep seaport in Baluchistan and the Hambantota deep seaport in Sri Lanka and was very deeply interested in building the proposed Sonadia deep seaport in Bangladesh. He wrote the piece when New Delhi was worried that a change of government in Bangladesh would give China the advantage to complete the missing string in its “string of pearl” strategy. That did not happen because the pro-Indian Awami League government returned to power, helped by the Manmohan Singh Government [“While India plays politics, Beijing woos Dhaka” [https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/while-india-plays-politics-beijing-woos-dhaka/articleshow/37123187.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst].

Interestingly, the Indian elections in May 2014 gave China the opportunity that it was looking for. The defeat of the Congress Party in the Indian elections made Sheikh Hasina nervous about the BJP government, apprehending Modi would not legitimise her government through the farcical polls in January 2014. And that Hasina would seek Chinese support to keep her regime afloat, as she did not want to go through the process of holding fresh election in Bangladesh, for the obvious reason!

 

Subir Bhumik was concerned with the Chinese initiatives that he felt was a Chinese plan to choke India like a necklace around its neck. In his 2018 piece (on 26th November) he also apprehended that China would win the hearts and minds of Bangladeshis by promising a mega $30 billion investment in the country, while India spent $7 billion on infrastructure projects in Bangladesh “much of it to facilitate connectivity to India’s own remote northeast”.

[https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/2174772/bangladesh-election-will-sheikh-hasinas-china-india-balancing-act]. So far, so good! However, as it appears from Bhaumik’s writings, India’s main concern has been growing Chinese influence in Bangladesh. Ironically, this is what is likely to happen in Bangladesh. India is going to lose out to China. India is not only losing ground in Ladakh, but is most likely to lose Bangladesh as its backyard to play badminton in accordance with the rules set by itself, only to its benefit.

While China has been flexing its muscle to contain India so that it does not pose any threat to China’s economic and strategic interests in Pakistan by breathing too close for comfort for China and Pakistan through Ladakh, this Spring, seemingly, India has ratchetted up its propaganda warfare against Bangladesh. First comes up an article, “Bangladesh army is becoming captive to one alma-mater again” on April 17, 2020 by one Nirmala Saha, who according to Subir Bhaumik does not exist, and the piece came out “in a strange website (www.worldnews.net)”. However, the article reveals that alumni of the Jhenaidah Cadet College in Bangladesh Army under the leadership of Lt Gen Mahfuzur Rahman, the Principal Staff Officer, are planning a military takeover against Hasina and her pro-Indian Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed. As Bhaumik has rightly pointed out what Nirmala Saha has suggested about General Rahman being close to both the CIA and Chinese intelligence, MSS as an absurd proposition. Nevertheless, what Bhaumik has written in two of his articles in quick succession on 10th and 14th June 2020 have broadly argued that anti-Awami League (one may read ‘anti-Indian”) elements in the Bangladesh Army have factionalised it. So much so that Aziz’s edging out his protégé Lt Gen Mahfuzur Rahman to become the next army chief has polarized the army, and that “Aziz has now seemingly fallen out with Defence Advisor Siddiqui (the brother-in-law of Hasina Wajed’s sister, Rehana)”. Bhaumik also tells us that “even the pro-Aziz faction is now divided” after Aziz has forced a Hasina loyalist Lt Gen Nazimuddin to go on leave prior to retirement (LPR). Bhaumik has also reproduced a letter by Nazimuddin to Hasina where he pleads his loyalty to the Awami League and seeks his reinstatement by the Prime Minister.

It is noteworthy that in his 14th June article Bhaumik mentions an unsigned note in circulation in social media, which defends Aziz as “a born and congenital believer of the ideology of our father of the nation [Mujib]”[ https://theeasternlink.com/why-bangladesh-army-chief-is-dragged-into-controversy/]. Last but not least, Bhaumik gives an unsolicited advice to Hasina, which smacks of his (and RAW’s not-so-hidden agenda to keep pro-Indian elements in important positions in Bangladesh, especially the armed forces). He writes:

Wajed [Hasina] needs to take firm control of the situation before the army rocks her boat…. At a time when the country is witnessing a silent Islamist revival evident in the emergence of the Jamaat-e-Islami breakaway, Amar Bangladesh Party, and its growing links with other pro-Pakistan Opposition leaders like the Bangladesh National Party’s Tareque Zia, professional stability in the army holds the key to future peace in Bangladesh. For India, a friendly but a professional army in Bangladesh committed to counter-terrorism and anti-radicalization is an imperative in maintaining the tranquillity in its own eastern and northeastern states … [https://www.telegraphindia.com/opinion/a-crack-in-the-hornets-nest-bangladesh-military-tussle/cid/1779697]

As one retired Bangladeshi diplomat has written this to the writer in a private communication,  

we believe:

Bhaumik’s article is another serious message from New Delhi to Sheikh Hasina to draw her back to its side; by telling her that there are serious rumblings in the armed forces where conspiracies are afloat aimed at disestablishing her government with the possibility of an armed coup. He has written about groups and given names that should not be available to a columnist/strategic affairs writer but only to someone with deep links to intelligence sources or fed by such sources. The underlying message in the article is not difficult to discern. It has been written to warn Sheikh Hasina that the army is in the conspiring mode in the same way it was before and after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Subhir Bhaumik has also flagged for Sheikh Hasina, no doubt on New Delhi’s behest, that it is time for her to beware of these rumblings and conspiracies that involve some very close to her like her Defence Adviser and take matters in her own hands. Subhir Bhaumik’s article has been written to remind her without spelling it for her that her father and her family were the victims of such rumblings and conspiracies in the armed forces so that she returns to India as her best friend to show her the way out.

In the above backdrop, it is evident that India is genuinely suffering from an acute Sinophobia, especially because the Trump Administration has more or less virtually withdrawn from the path of taking direct military action in regions, which it rightly or wrongly does not consider strategically that important for the United States. And, what was possibly unthinkable that China would be the first super power to legitimise the controversial 2014 elections in Bangladesh. And, Hasina in return, gave China whatever it wanted from Bangladesh, including the multi-billion-dollar contract to build a deep seaport at Sonadia. However, to the dismay of China, as pressured by Modi, Hasina scrapped the Sonadia project in 2015. China did not like why Bangladesh reneged on this promised project. And, at the end of the day, China succeeded in pulling Bangladesh out of the Indian orbit.

Modi’s failure to ensure Hasina another cakewalk in the 2018 elections – in November 2017, he rather asked her to hold free and fair elections in the country – made Hasina lean further toward Beijing. Hasina turned to China out of sheer desperation as she was not only apprehensive of losing the polls badly at the hands of the BNP, but she also feared that thousands of Awami League workers and leaders would fall victims to revenge killings by the opposition. China was too eager to embrace Hasina with all possible help. As heard through the grapevine in Dhaka, China also generously financed the ruling Awami League to win the polls with the help of the police, RAB, and the Election Commission. As one watched on the BBC TV, General Aziz’s troops just played sitting ducks to allow Awami hooligans to intimidate, physically assault, and bar BNP voters from voting on 30th December 2018. And, those who know, know it quite well that at most polling stations across the country the voting was virtually over on the night before the scheduled election day. Thus, the December elections are also popularly known as the “Midnight Elections”. What is noteworthy here, besides the grossly rigged elections, is that almost surreptitiously, Beijing replaced New Delhi in Dhaka, the way New Delhi had been once in Bangladesh’s politics between 2009 and 2018.

Since the December 2018 election, there were very little visible exchanges between Bangladesh and India. Going by the past, New Delhi had never failed to be excited whenever the Awami League won an election in Bangladesh. After its 2018 victory, except for a message from Narendra Modi, there was not even lukewarm enthusiasm in New Delhi that the Awami League had won such a “spectacular” victory. And China, as if by the back door, entered everywhere in Bangladesh.

Strangely, strategic and foreign policy experts in Bangladesh failed to see the way India left and China entered Bangladesh in matters of politics of the country. They continued to believe that India was too deeply embedded in Bangladesh with RAW having penetrated almost everywhere, as many would say, even in the office of the powerful DGFI where they were rumoured to have a whole floor to themselves. With such beliefs about Indian presence in Bangladesh, they ignored that there were few mega projects in Bangladesh in which the Chinese were not involved even when it was known unofficially by them that Chinese had loaned and invested over US$ 24 billion in Bangladesh. 

It was also strange that there was no apparent immediate concern in New Delhi as there was in 2014 to bring Bangladesh back from from China. Perhaps New Delhi was confident that it could use the stranglehold that its intelligence had established in the power corridors of Bangladesh to encourage and if necessary warn Shaikh Hasina to return to its fold. The way the Chatra League, Jubo League and many in the inner circles of the Awami League were publicly exposed last year could not have been the initiative of Sheikh Hasina because it is not the AL style to do such things against its own. There is every reason to believe that these leaders of the Chhatra League/Jubo League who were key factors in Awami League’s election “victory” in 2018 were exposed, embarrassed, humiliated, some expelled and jailed because of behind the scenes initiatives of RAW as warnings to Sheikh Hasina not to enter too deep into the Chinese sphere of influence.

New Delhi’s views have changed from concerns to alarms during the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic when China has started making huge overtures in Ladakh, crossing into India with 12,000 troops last month acquiring eventually 60 km of Indian territory. Nepal’s audacious challenge to India over territory and banning all Indian currencies over Rs 100 occurred as South Asia and the world saw China had completed a railway tunnel through the Himalayas to Nepal, a strategically earth-shattering development. With Pakistan on China’s side for decades and Sri Lanka allowing China strategic presence in its territory with the lease over the Hambantota deep seaport that it had built, China is strategically placed in South Asia as it has never been.

These developments in South Asia have no doubt shaken New Delhi. That has placed Bangladesh in renewed focus in New Delhi and has made it extremely important to New Delhi that Dhaka should be on its right side and not leaning as far towards China as it is now. New Delhi has watched with growing alarm Dhaka-Beijing relations deepen in recent months and weeks with Sheikh Hasina in denial of the signals India gave her government by exposing corruption around her administration. Most recently, President Xi Jinping called her, sent a planeload of assistance including doctors to help her fight the Pandemic and Dhaka-Beijing has entered into sister city agreement. 

In sum, as this paper demonstrates, India’s hyped up propaganda warfare against Bangladesh is actually an attempt to distance the ruling Awami League’s psyche from Beijing to New Delhi. One, however, believes, India has yet “lost” another country, Bangladesh, in South Asia, which has decided to go the Sri Lanka and Nepal way of doing business with their mighty neighbours. Seemingly, China is winning and India is losing out, fast! It is imperative for the Bangladeshis who believe in liberal democracy and freedom to keep both New Delhi and Beijing at a safe distance, and play the game of preserving the national identity and sovereignty of their country with utmost skill and dexterity. China is definitely a much better option for Bangladesh than India, as unlike the latter, the former is not known for playing the big brother vis-à-vis its smaller neighbours.

*The writer is a retired professor of security studies at the APCSS, Honolulu, Hawaii. His major publications include Global Jihad and America: The Hundred-Year War Beyond Iraq and Afghanistan (SAGE 2014). He holds a PhD in modern South Asian History, and is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.

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Dr. Taj Hashmi is a Research Associate at the York Centre for Asian Research at York University, Toronto, and Retired Professor of Security Studies at the APCSS, Honolulu, Hawaii. He was born in 1948 in Assam, India, and was raised in Bangladesh. He holds a Ph.D. in modern South Asian History from the University of Western Australia, and a Masters and BA (Hons) in Islamic History & Culture from Dhaka University. He did his post-doctoral research at the Centre for International Studies (CIS), Oxford, and Monash University (Australia). Since 1987, he is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (FRAS). He is a reviewer of manuscripts for several publishers, including Oxford, Sage, and Routledge. He has authored scores of academic papers, and more than a couple of hundred popular essays and newspaper articles/op-eds on various aspects of history, politics, society, politics, culture, Islam, terrorism, counter terrorism and security issues in South Asia, Middle East, the Asia-Pacific, and North America. He is a regular commentator on current world affairs on the BBC, Voice of America, and some other media outlets.- His major publications include Global Jihad and America (SAGE, 2014); Women and Islam in Bangladesh (Palgrave-Macmillan 2000); Islam, Muslims, and the Modern State (co-ed) (Palgrave-Macmillan, 1994); Pakistan as a Peasant Utopia (Westview Press, 1992); and Colonial Bengal (in Bengali) (Papyrus, Kolkata 1985). His Global Jihad has been translated into Hindi and Marathi. His Women and Islam was a best-seller in Asian Studies and was awarded the Justice Ibrahim Gold Medal by the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. He is working on his next book, A Historical Sociology of Bangladesh. His immediate past assignment was at Austin Peay State University at Clarksville, Tennessee, where he taught Criminal Justice & Security Studies (2011-2018). Prior to that, he was Professor of Security Studies at the US Department of Defense, College of Security Studies at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) in Honolulu, Hawaii (2007-2011). He started his teaching career in 1972 as a lecturer in History at Chittagong University, and after a year joined Dhaka University (Bangladesh) and taught Islamic History & Culture (1973-1981) before moving to Australia for his Ph.D. Afterwards he taught History (South Asia and Middle East) at the National University of Singapore (1989-1998) before joining Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) as Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences (1998-2002). Then he joined the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver (Canada) as a Visiting Professor in Asian Studies for two years (2003-2005), and worked as an adjunct professor of History for a year at Simon Fraser University in Canada (2005-2006). Tel: (1) 647 447 2609. Email: tjhashmi@gmail.com and hashmit@apsu.edu

77 COMMENTS

  1. putting aside the objectionable nature of that opinion, what kind of idiot would think it was a good idea to share it publicly, given that they were working in a reasonably high-profile position? it’s also incredibly callous to think that floyd’s criminal past (which was admittedly pretty serious) justified his murder – particularly given that it was murder via slow, agonising suffocation. go to this SITE for more INFO just copy and paste…………..
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  2. When he mentioned India only country in the world i know this article is worthless nothing more than propaganda.
    Is he forgetting china which have real issues with their neighbours

  3. China is a bully and Xi Jinping is an ambitious leader with an authoritarian agenda. China wants to change the world order; China wants the AIIB, which is rival to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to become the world’s leading infra lending institution. The AIIB loans come with high interest rates. The other lending institution promoted by China is the BRICS Bank. Founder investor in both these institutions is China and both banks are headquartered in China. These banks issue credit for infra development in developing countries and when these countries cannot afford the high interest on these loans, China takes ownership of a piece of the delinquent nations. Sri Lanka lost Hambantota to China and can lose a third of Columbo too. Pakistan has lost Gwadar to China for the next 44 years. Myanmar and Bangladesh have also signed loans with China. Nepal has also jumped on China’s wagon. Only India and perhaps Indonesia have held back, which has irritated China. Most of the projects undertaken by China are to advance China’s OBOR and MSR initiatives.

    Together with Pakistan and Nepal, China is pressuring India against developing infrastructure along the LAC and changing status quo in border states without the involvement of China. Did China involve India when it changed the status quo in Tibet? No, so it makes no sense that India will involve China or Pakistan in its internal matters.

    Numbers don’t matter; India is far more experienced in mountain warfare.

    • Dear your khayali pulav propoganda will get an answer very soon from India, after all truth can’t be dumped by few coward nations.

      • Unfortunately, India does not rectify itself after several rounds of Pitai (thrashing) by China. Even tiny Nepal browbeats India. Sri Lanka is defiant. Bangladesh is going that way. BD Government has NOT uttered a word in support of India over the latest round of Pitai in Ladakh. And Pakistan is as defiant as before! Things don’t look that rosy for India. Even some Indian defense and security analysts think China can defeat India without using guns, by destroying Indian satellites and jamming its entire communication network. India should refrain from trying to build road toward Pakistani Kashmir or near Kalapani in Nepal. Modi will be facing a very loud music, soon. Cow dung and urine won’t salvage India!

        • As revealed by Taj Harass-me, India is the only country in the world, having bad relation with all its neighbours; by that logic, Bangladesh definitely becomes the other such country as India is its only neighbour. After 1962, in fact its China who has been on the receiving end, with 300 casualties in 1975 and 35 deaths in the recent incident including a Colonel.
          India, also has been the nation which has not stepped on the soil of Bangladesh, after sacrificing its soldiers to liberate the country from the genocide unleashed by Pakistani Army; while most of the Western powers have never been satisfied with a regime change, with their armies staying back.
          Despite the Pakistani regime, having denied them their right to politics and life and language, they are tilting towards them in the name of common religion; probably the Pakistanis have subdued them enough to desire to be recolonised, if not by army then by idea.

        • Bangladesh now considering that Bangladesh separate from Pakistan due to Indian cannines . Now the Indian cannines come in front of every country.atlsat truth reveals.

        • Cow dung nd urine is better than mullahs tatti nd urine that islamic radical pakistanis eat nd drink. Pakistanis r regarded as the barking dog of Chinese against india while North Korea a barking dog against the US. Furthur this article once again confirms that apart from corona virus porkistanis r suffering from intellectual disability for a very long time

    • Yes absolute Jihadi . Pakistan is only famous for only one thing and it is cross border terrorism. Apart from terrorism what else have they achieved. Both their Nobel laureates have lived as fugitive, one because of being Ahmedi and another for being a women. Such a hate ful society

        • First he writes an utterly biased anti-India piece that reads more like propaganda of a Bangladeshi stooge on China’s payroll. Then he responds to comments with Hinduphobic and bigoted comments about cow dung and urine. If I had even an ounce of respect for this so-called "journalist/author" I have now lost it. Toilet paper written by a bigoted piece of scum.

    • Clean ur bloody ass. Better spot spitting venom on India.. u educated fools. Shut your mouth, clean..

      • Taj Hashmi pak or propak doesn’t it seems you are just an educated fool. It seems people are not liking ur contributions and u r in depression that you may loose ur contributor in this covid situation. To escape that you are writing these kind of shit. I have very good for ur future, I’m sure you like it.. try publishing ur articles on Pakistan atrocities, Male domination, women equality in Muslim countries, options to improve economic growth in Pakistan, men marrying infinite number of wifes, poverty and there is lot.. you better try publishing that and save ur freelance contributions.. and remember dont forget to clean ur ass ??

        • Making a mockery of yourself, you are. Opinionated piece, full of accusations, willfully distorting data, reads more like paid news.

        • I’m a Bangladeshi and just through browsing came across South Asia journal and this article by Taj Hashmi. Believe me, historically neither Pakistan nor Indians are our well wishers.Had not for foolish punjabis of Pakistan been unfair to us things would have been very different and for sure India’s fear would have been accelerated.We recognise India’s magnanimity to open the borders during 1971 and offering shelter to us.It was then a win-win situation for us Bangladeshi’s to fight back and for India to crack their biggest fearful enemy.

          But what we as Bangladeshi realise that we have been made stooges by these two nations.Yet we’re independent by belief and brevity. Our freedom fighters fought and gave lives in Bangladesh soil. where Indian Army had no contribution what so ever. It is only then when the war had began with India and Pakistan. However by then the Pakistani soldiers were badly beaten by our freedom fighters that led to our freedom.It is an undeniable fact that had not India gone to war with Pakistan, our independence possibly may have taken more than nine months. Nonetheless, again let me acknowledge that India stood beside us during that time. Sad to say that Indians keep reminding us time & again that they have fought with Pakistan & made us independent, however in reality they have only aided us in our own independence.

          Pardon a Bangladeshi to say that time the has come for you both nation’s people to give up the ego and religious animosity looking at us silently as we tend to grow our GDP above you both.

          As of today, the highest expatriate in Bangladesh are Indians and yet they have not been able to win the hearts of Bangladeshis.

          It reminds me of the adage "What you sow is what you reap".

          • It is unthinkable that 91000 professional army was beaten by relatively civilian freedom fighters and India’s role is just aid. If India did not do anything, then why Pakistan started war with India?

          • Here I disagree with Zulfiqar Sahub. Without Indian sanctuary, food, cl I thing and shelter, arms and training there would have been NO Mukti Bahini and NO Bangladesh, not even today in 2020. Our brave and patriotic Mukti Bahini only had rules with limited ammunition, sten guns and hand grenades, which were simply inadequate to fight against any army. Mukti Bahini had no air cover, tanks, machine guns, and almost no train. A good soldier needs at least a year-long training. Our Mukti Bahini did NOT liberate a single town before December 1971, and whatever they liberated was done by East Bengal Reginents four rebel battalions and Indian armed forces liberated Bangladesh. But why did they do it? As I mentioned before, for India’s own benefit, NOTHING ELSE, NOT OUT OF LOVE FOR EAST BENGALIS.

          • Mr. Taj Hasmi’s write up is an academic one and it is natural that it will be viewed diffrently by pro-Indian, pro-Pakistani, pro-Chinese, pro-Bangladeshi and even by ‘neutral’ readers. What surprised me is use of obnoxious words and name callings in opposing by educated people rather than giving solid logic and counter logic in decent manner. My opinion on few comments however, as below:

            1) On India’s Help during the Liberation of Bangladesh : In 1971, India surely helped Bangladesh but it was more for weakening of it’s arch-rival Pakistan by deviding it rather than for "huge love and affection" for the people of Bangladesh. It is good luck that aim of Bangladeshi to get seperated from Pakistan coincided with Indian aim.

            2) On India’s relation with it’s neighbours: Does’nt India always try to disturb and distabilize it’s all neighbours, small and big? Examples below:

            a) China : Sheltering and supporting Dalai Lama who desire for Independence of Tibet, that wad and is very much part of China.

            b) Sri Lanka : Training, assisting and sheltering Tamil Tigers who wanted a seperate homeland for Tamils within Sri Lanka. India had to back off and failed here because it feared Tamil state in Sri Lanka might inspire seperatist Tamil desire in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and surroundings too. Sri Lanka quickly exploited the situation and militarily defeated Yamil Tigers.

            c) Pakistan : Let’s not mention Kashmir. In other areas. India funds, instigates and assists disturbances in Baluchistan with which India has no border.

            d) Afganistan : Again, having no border with and far away, India also interferes in Afaganistan.

            e) Bangladesh : India instigated, funded, trained and used Shanti Bahini to get Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) seperated from Bangladesh. Bangladesh had to sign a treaty with it’s own people of CHT for peace (will India ever sign any such peace treaty with it’s own people in say, Kashmir, North Rastern seven sosters etc?). Does’nt India interfere in Bangladesh too?

            f) Nepal : Nelpal is the only officially declared Hindu country of the world and India is the largest Hindu country of the world. Isn’t it the relation between Nepal and India bad? If India can not maintain good relation with it’s neighbour of same religion, how is it going to maintain good relation with it’s neighbours having different religiond?

            g) Bhutan and Maldives: Does not India interfere here too?

            h) Sikkim : India already annexed this once independent country through bitrayal of puppet govt of Lendup Dorji.

            3) On Bangladeshid going to India: Economoc growth of Bangladesh is one of the highest in South Asia and definitely better than India and Pakistan so Bangladeshis do not need to go to these countrues for job. In reverse, almost half a million Indians work in Bangladesh legally and illegally and the remittence they send to India is 5th largest remittence that India gets ftom overseas. Bangladeshis actually go to India as toutist, for shopping and for medical treatment that gives India lots of money.

            4) On treating minorities: Whole world knows it!

  4. What a farcical article. Does he know Pakistan or China’s relationship with neighbours? Nepal has just invented a new Indian region in their own map at the insistence of China. No one in the world trusts China especially after COVID crisis and all its neighbours are wary of it for quite some time. The recent tussle is due to India building more infrastructure in border which China doesn’t lik

  5. Hi how ungrateful you are . After getting Independence with the help of India now you are joining hands with China . If India wouldn’t have lost their martyrs in that battle you would have never tasted freedom .

    • Hi Dil:

      India did NOT create Bangladesh for the people of Bangladesh out of any love! India created the country or disintegrated Pakistan for its own benefit: a) to weaken Pakistan and get rid off any headache in the eastern front and b) to create a colony and market in Bangladesh. so far India has been successful on both counts. But, Bangladeshis (more than 90% of them) hate India MOST intensely.

      • If they hate india then why do their poor immigrants keep coming to India? They go as far as Tamil Nadu, Kerala for sub standard earnings in daily jobs. India has been magnanimous in allowing Bangladeshi immigrants and even giving then aadhaar card and giving medical treatments to Pakistan.

        • You are think yourself superior yourself!! Many Indian I have seen and such propaganda Bangladeshis only go to India illegally …. Many Indians come and work in Bangladesh illegally. It takes about 32 thousand crore taka from Bangladesh every year as BD finance ministry report. Know a little more about Bangladesh.

  6. Who is the stupid writer ? Galwan valley is in eastern laddakh. How the hell Pakistan came into picture ? Galwan valley is strategic to Pakistan ??? Since pak was born in 1947 , it has never even seen galwan valley . They didn’t know till yet that a location called galwan valley is there in J&K. I can write better than this stupid senior secondary writer.

    • Chetan Tiwari: Galwan Valley is in Ladakh near Aksai Chin. And the place is very close to Pakistani occupied Kashmir. Ignorance is bliss!

  7. Are you living in a parallel universe?
    In the sentence "India is the only country in the world having bad to not-so-good relationship with all its immediate neighbours" India should be replaced by china.
    Because china is bullying all its neighbours. Through economic help asking Indian neighbours to quarrel with India.

    You china and chinese supporters are such a assholes. I wish you go to hell asap

  8. Thanks for your concern Mr. Journalist but we are concerned with saving our country from enemies like you who exist inside and across border. India will contd with a Nationwide NRC and all the illegal outsiders will be thrown back. India is not a garbage bin and we won’t allow idiots like you to dictate us

  9. This article is written with so much of negativity that I felt like puking on the face of the author. I don’t know how come this kind of misinformed people are allowed to write and publish.

  10. This article said that china has gud relation with their neighbour well,then what about china relation with tibet ,vietnam phillipines,tiawan,

  11. Thank you. Enjoyed reading your article.It would have been so much better for BNP if it could cosy up to China instead of AL Hasina…I wonder whether post Khaleda and Tarek , nationalist forces within BNP can strategically pivot itself and can align with China and displace AL from power. In the longer term, China may feel more comfortable with BNP because of its inherent anti Indian cultural and religious posture. China will certainly realise that rank and file CHAYTONA culture in AL can never truly become anti Indian no matter what China gives to Bangladesh. China’s longer term strategic interest will be served better by supporting majority of Bangladesh’s muslim anti Indian sentiment. China could start by appointing muslim ambassador in Dhaka and my helping modernise the liberal thinking madrassas and supporting Islamic cultural events and so on. It should further strengthen its support for BD army and student exchange programs via scholarships.and building and grooming longterm relationships with younger generation of Bangladeshi citizens. These initiatives will require innovative programs like building technology driven collaboration with Chinese IT companies and BD IT communities, software parks etc

  12. The Article written do not have any logic. India is a Democratic country and have never influenced there neighbouring countries with any kind of force.
    Where as China is a Dictator country and none of the Asian countries have guts to stop china doing business with them whether it’s in their favour or not.

    Even they can do any thing to nepal, Bangladesh, srilanka, bhutan if they do not serve china interest,it’s only India to face them.
    In short if India goes for Dictator ship just like china and North Korea, things will change over night.

  13. An article paid for by the Chinese. It just highlights the magnitude of Chinese efforts to penetrate the Bangladeshi minds. Unfortunately, they have lot of fissures within Bangladesh to exploit. India has to deal with care

  14. The author has highlighted important changing dynamics in the region caused by China’s one-sided win against India in the recent Ladakh conflict. Indeed, another recent article in an international journal has reported that India’s losses in Ladakh are much more than what have been reported. According to this article, China has under-reported these losses for three main reasons: (i) It does not want to embarrass India further; (ii) it also does not want the anger of masses to get worse than what it already is and something that may force India to go for a full-fledged war against China which neither country wants; and (iii) thirdly, force India to a final border solution at a time when India is at its weakest. All in all India’s secterian zingoism, its false Hindutva bravado and its out of proportion sabre-rattling that recklessly confronted China have only exposed its weaknesses and not strength which in turn is now encouraging its smaller neighbours to adjust relations and exert their soveriegnty. It is about time India realizes that its overly inflated chest and its loud beatings are dangerously delusional and thus deflatable.

  15. How the author came to know that an entire floor of DGFI office is occupied by RAW? Is not it safe to assume that as Subir Bhowmik has RAW connection, this author has ISI connection?

  16. I would love to meet the person who wrote this article. Seems he was made to sit infront of a firing squad to write anti india propaganda. Nevertheless, well tried but failed miserably.
    Wait till China is taught a lesson and Pakistan ceases to exist. For smaller fellows, would automatically fall in line.

  17. He is Pakistani man Chinese brokers
    Don’t lose india one inch he don’t know Indian army value and 25 crore younger back to

  18. This article can be easily identified as propaganda designed by the Chinese and its begging south asian Islamists. Nothing more than a shit to be ignored!

  19. Sooner or Later it was very obvious that one day Bangla Desh will realize indians designs but nobody expected thst it too will happens during the regime if AL specially under Hasina. Indians Hinutva truly believe on their supremacy on all but specially they r against Islam and Muslims. No Muslim country on earth can expect it if anyone expect this then he is living in fools paradise. Today in 21st century unforyunately the backward minds of Hindus still doing everything on the basis of Religion. Religion can me anyones personal thing and shud be regarded but todays rwalities goes much beyong dependence only on Religion. Unfortunately most of the world still prey of this which everyone shud come out.

    • Don’t pukeout your inherent hate on Hindus. What Islam created until now in the world since it’s inception is war and incessant struggle to other countries and religions, except Sufi sect. Seems you are brainwashed completely against Hindus. So, it seems you are from Paapistan

  20. Whaydo muslims so called writers always write with a anti India stand.
    Your entire article is bogus and concocted with a aim to defame India .

  21. Shut an up and mine your own business and so spreading false information with your Western narcissistic mindset you fools

  22. China had been testing the waters against India since long in different sectors of their Indian borders. At some points China played the back and forth. But now things are different. Amit Shah’s announcement in Parliament that India will liberate China Occupied Kashmir and abrogation of Article 370 creating a clear chunk of land Ladakh, gave China the ultimate opportunity to claim this area. China’s economic interests in CPEC forced China to claim entire Ladakh.
    India lived units cosy dreams and could not judge Chinese intentions.
    Modi and Indian government failed in diplomacy. This intrusion is going to give India jitters as Chinese forces will not go back from the area they have already occupied.

  23. The comments on this article reflect the fact that Indians are indeed drunk on cow’s pee like their uneducated and racist leader Modi is. 90 percent or more of the Bangladeshis are dissatisfied with India’s hegemonic dadagiri. But, as expected, they fail to understand the reasons for Bangladeshis’ dissatisfaction with India. They also fail to realize that the illegitimate Hasina regime does not represent these Bangladeshis and even her regime is left with no choice but to pivot to China because of India’s unneighborly behavior. Indians should do soul-searching as to why even the Hindu majority Nepal has pivoted to China let alone Maldives and other countries. No wonder China has got a chance to teach them a good lesson. Never expect the West to risk a world war by supporting a useless ally like India. So India will continue to be humiliated and Modi, the great agitator and pathological liar, will will continue to be lying and fooling the Indians.

  24. I congratulate Professor Taj Hashmi for writing this frank and honest analysis of the evoloving power relations in South Asia as a whole and India/China, in particular. While there may be some merit in thinking that Ladakh incident that has exposed somewhat India’s weaknesses may prompt its neighbours to redefine their unequal relations with India, a more important issue that India must ask itself, why it is loathed so much by its neighbours and why it has continuously looked for/sponsored corrupt self-seeking election-rigged authoritarian governments in the neigbouring countries that are hated by their own people, to force upon them inequitious relations. Indeed, India needs to take a good look at itself and must realize that flexing muscles without the required tissues that give the musles strength, would only expose its weaknesses, as it has in Ladakh. Secondly, in a globalized economy, the key to success and growth is coperation, both within and aross and not conflict. This truth is yet to sink in among the Hindutva ideology charged policy makers and sadly and judging from the comments made on the article – presumably they are either Indians or NRIs – it is also clear that the fog of Hindutva ego is blurring their vision to see the reality on the ground. Soon we discard reckless ambitions and false ego, better for all of us. After all, a thriving, proposperous and fair India is good for it and its neighbours too.

  25. Bangladesh will be the next Nepal to India for sure and as a Bangladeshi I’m glad with that.

    Thank you Sir for your analysis.

  26. Very good analysis. I have learned some new information. Not to be liked by our so-called friends.

  27. Well, the reactions from the Hindutva nationalists on Taj Hashmi’s article is nothing new. You do not have to agree with everything what Taj Hashmi said. But if you disagree or have better arguments to put forward, do so. Write counter arguments. Personal attacks and labeling someone as an agent of so and so, and name calling – do they make your point? Or they refute the original argument? No way. Instead of reacting in a civilized manner, what do you do? Your favorite line of attack is to label them as pro-Pakistani or ISI agents. Nothing new! Ha, ha, ha!

    The bottom line is these cow-**** drinkers think India is the best thing that had ever happened to the whole world. These Indians have a big empty ego. They like to believe that India is a superpower when half of the Indian population do not have access to toilets, more than half of the population live in abject poverty, and seventy years after independence India needs to figure out who is an Indian citizen and who is not.

    What can India be proud of? Delhi is the world capital of gang-rapes and there are festivals that celebrate raping the virgins en masse and having sex with corpses. Do your best friends in the West know that? India is a country with sub-human cultures, economic deprivation, discrimination, and all kinds of superstitions. In which country of the world, doctors get beaten and chased away when they appeal to people to get tested for COVID-19? Remember, “India walking home” in recent months? Do you hear the cries of the Dalits, and other minority groups? Apartheid is well and truly practiced in today’s India.

    Now come to the point. Let’s say, China is the evil guy here. Does India have good relationship with any of its neighbors? Sri Lanka? Nepal? Bhutan? How does India behave with its neighbors? Let me give you a very short list. On the Rohingya crisis, soon after almost a million Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh, Modi flew over to share a glass of champagne with Aung Sun Suki! India has not said a single word for Bangladesh on this issue, rather sided with Myanmar.

    Most of the rivers in Bangladesh are all drying up because India has built several dams diverting water away from Bangladesh. Do you know Farakka and other dams? Do you know Tista barrage? India is indeed a true friend. When Bangladesh needs water, they argue there is not enough water to share with Bangladesh. Then when the monsoon comes, they release all the dams. Just talk to the people in Bangladesh living on the Tista river right now. Indian BSF shoot Bangladeshis at the border like they are shooting birds. Why don’t we observe the same at the Pakistani border?
    Indian fishermen steal fish from the Bangladesh waters. Wild elephants are let loose to cross the borders and destroy crops in Bangladesh. When there was onion crisis in Bangladesh, India suddenly without any notice, bans onion export to Bangladesh. Then when they have the next onion crop, the Indian government created pressure on the Bangladesh government to import onions from India. How nice!

    We can’t make friends with people by disrespecting, bullying, abusing, or exploiting them. No wonder, India will have estranged relation with all its neighbors for a long, long time until it truly changes its behavior.

    • There are good and rational Indians but like India, its media and public discourse is now mainly dominated by the uneducated and racist shits. Followers of uneducated and racist shits are usually uneducated and racist shits devoid of any reasoning, rationality and common sense. Again these supporters are heavily drunk on cow’s urine like their leaders Modi and his like. And there are the paid agents of cow’s pee drinkers. So the drunks cannot realize what happens on the ground. Most of the Indians’ comments on this write-up reflect this fact.

      • @Alvi Paturi. Thanks for your comments. If India were led by sensible and visionary people, South Asia could be an economic power house. Alas, Indian leadership mostly believed in demonizing, belittling, and exploiting its neighbors. Only India’s intention can make South Asia a better place. As Tagore said, "Those whom you leave behind, they are pulling you back."

        The rational Indians should come out loud and clear. More of them should be in politics. Only peace and stability can improve the lives of more than a billion of people in South Asia. Bickering and fighting within neighbors not only will economically deprive the vast majority of the people in South Asia, but also fatten the arm sellers of the West. The sooner we realize this, the better for all of us.

  28. I am thankful to those who have defended my piece and thrashed the blind and ignorant fans of Hindutva Fascism in India, in polite language and with convincing arguments. "Patriotism" is really the last resort of the scoundrel!

    • @Taj Hashmi. Don’t be daunted by extremists’ slandering. Keep up your good work. The truth shall prevail.

  29. Mr. Taj Hasmi’s write up is an academic one and it is natural that it will be viewed diffrently by pro-Indian, pro-Pakistani, pro-Chinese, pro-Bangladeshi and even by ‘neutral’ readers. What surprised me is use of obnoxious words and name callings in opposing by educated people rather than giving solid logic and counter logic in decent manner. My opinion on few comments however, as below:

    1) On India’s Help during the Liberation of Bangladesh : In 1971, India surely helped Bangladesh but it was more for weakening of it’s arch-rival Pakistan by deviding it rather than for "huge love and affection" for the people of Bangladesh. It is good luck that aim of Bangladeshi to get seperated from Pakistan coincided with Indian aim.

    2) On India’s relation with it’s neighbours: Does’nt India always try to disturb and distabilize it’s all neighbours, small and big? Examples below:

    a) China : Sheltering and supporting Dalai Lama who desire for Independence of Tibet, that wad and is very much part of China.

    b) Sri Lanka : Training, assisting and sheltering Tamil Tigers who wanted a seperate homeland for Tamils within Sri Lanka. India had to back off and failed here because it feared Tamil state in Sri Lanka might inspire seperatist Tamil desire in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and surroundings too. Sri Lanka quickly exploited the situation and militarily defeated Yamil Tigers.

    c) Pakistan : Let’s not mention Kashmir. In other areas. India funds, instigates and assists disturbances in Baluchistan with which India has no border.

    d) Afganistan : Again, having no border with and far away, India also interferes in Afaganistan.

    e) Bangladesh : India instigated, funded, trained and used Shanti Bahini to get Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) seperated from Bangladesh. Bangladesh had to sign a treaty with it’s own people of CHT for peace (will India ever sign any such peace treaty with it’s own people in say, Kashmir, North Rastern seven sosters etc?). Does’nt India interfere in Bangladesh too?

    f) Nepal : Nelpal is the only officially declared Hindu country of the world and India is the largest Hindu country of the world. Isn’t it the relation between Nepal and India bad? If India can not maintain good relation with it’s neighbour of same religion, how is it going to maintain good relation with it’s neighbours having different religiond?

    g) Bhutan and Maldives: Does not India interfere here too?

    h) Sikkim : India already annexed this once independent country through bitrayal of puppet govt of Lendup Dorji.

    3) On Bangladeshid going to India: Economoc growth of Bangladesh is one of the highest in South Asia and definitely better than India and Pakistan so Bangladeshis do not need to go to these countrues for job. In reverse, almost half a million Indians work in Bangladesh legally and illegally and the remittence they send to India is 5th largest remittence that India gets ftom overseas. Bangladeshis actually go to India as toutist, for shopping and for medical treatment that gives India lots of money.

    4) On treating minorities: Whole world knows it!

  30. There are good and rational Indians but like India, its media and public discourse is now mainly dominated by the uneducated and racist shits. Followers of uneducated and racist shits are usually uneducated and racist shits devoid of any reasoning, rationality and common sense. Again these supporters are heavily drunk on cow’s urine like their leaders Modi and his like. And there are the paid agents of cow’s pee drinkers. So the drunks cannot realize what happen on the ground. Most of the Indians’ comments on this write-up reflect this fact.

  31. Although the ruling party of Bangladesh offered everything India wanted, Modi was never ever respectful to Bangladesh. It was an unbalanced relationship: the border killing continued, the threat to expel millions of people to Bangladesh continued, and so on. Being bothered by India’s attitude, Bangladesh now tries to shift her position to China. China has human rights issues, but China at least values her friends. Bangladesh should not promise any more to India, as it was already proven that the relationship with India is completely one-sided.

  32. A very interesting article.

    Nothing is more precious than independence and liberty.

    Good to see Bangladesh freeing itself from the chains of slavery, Indian dominance and direct rule after 49 years.

    May God Almighty give Bangladesh the ultimate freedom and give its people the endowment of self-awareness, independent will and creative imagination. Amen

  33. Excellent analysis with many insights. Unfortunately you dont see such analysis in Bangladeshi media as they are handcuffed by so called digital act by the ruling party pro Indian Awami League.
    Apart from the subject in this article, it is quite obvious that anti-indian sentiment is running at its peak in Bangladesh now. No matter what Indians think, the public anger against the ruling party and its submissive behaviot towards New Delhi is easy to see in the daily lives, especially in Dhaka.
    China is definitely playing a big role in BD politics, no doubt about it. But every body believes that its Hasina and her goons who are India’s friends (If India reallty think so!), not China’s.

  34. Professor Taj Hashmi’s article seems to have thrown a stone to the hornet’s nest. The Indian fools have now descended on him personally to discredit his analysis but in vain. The RSS trolls do not have any logic or proper argument against the author, but using abusing language.
    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) compiled and published data in 2015 indicating that from the period 1946-2012, India has been the recipient of the highest aid from the United States. The amount of economic aid, adjusted to inflation then, was reported to be USD 65.1 billion. India is still a poor country, a few billionaires do not make it a rich country. The Indian hegemonists and their half-educated blind supporters may feel ‘good’ by calling India a ‘superpower’ but it is still the country with the highest number of poor and destitute in the world. About 400 million of its citizens (30%) still live on less than $1.25 per day and 920 million (68.8%) on less than $2.00 per day. The Dalits (300 million), Muslims (201 million), Tribals (104 million) and OBCs (70%) are still highly discriminated and most of them have living standards similar to the people of sub-Saharan Africa. The RSS trolls should consider reality, improve the conditions of the ordinary citizens and adopt a less hostile attitude to the neighbouring countries. And talking about Bangladesh, please do not underestimate the progress the country has already made and the resolve of its people to protect the independence, sovereignty and national interests by all possible means against any adventure by India, China or any other power. Showng some respect to Bangladesh and authors like Taj Hashmi would not cost you anything but your vanity.

  35. Professor Taj Hashmi, I have seen hundreds of RSS trolls on the internet, I ignore them most of the time.

    I remember what George Bernard Shaw said, "Never Wrestle with a Pig. You Both Get Dirty and the Pig Likes It".

    Thanks

  36. Thought provoking article indeed! The name of Subir Bhaumik came out of the context in the article. What the Indian journalist Subir Baumik said or not said about Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina or Bangladesh-India relationship is immaterial.

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