Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said Prime Minister Narendra Modi considers ‘Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is our national hero too’. He said India is looking forward to his visit to Dhaka to join the inauguration of the yearlong celebrations of Mujib Year on March 17.
“This is both because of the priority the Prime Minister attaches to this relationship, and even more so, because Bangabandhu is just so iconic – as a globally-recognized statesman and iconic symbol of liberation for Bangladesh and for our subcontinent,” he said on Monday.
“For us in India, there is a special resonance to his name. He is as revered and as remembered in India, as he is here in Bangladesh,” Shringla said while talking on Bangladesh-India relations at a seminar in Dhaka.
“And so let me wish you on the centenary of this great Son of Bangladesh: a man of letters, a man of action, courage and conviction, and most of all, a true hero, for he liberated from oppression the spirit of a people and brought forth a nation,” he said. The Indian foreign secretary said his country is honoured to be part of the celebrations, including through the joint production of a special feature film on the life of Bangabandhu.
Shringla served in Dhaka as High Commissioner between 2015 and 2018. He said for him visiting Dhaka is like returning home. “Distance often helps with perspective. In the year I have been away from Shonar Bangla I have had the opportunity to focus on the fundamentals of our partnership. And I can emphasise with great conviction that this is a relationship that is truly of the highest priority to India,” he said.
“We are joined by history, culture, and shared sacrifice just as much as we are joined by shared waters, the same cherished soil and by our fraternal ties,” he said. Shringla said, “Baanglar maati [soil] and Baanglar jol [water] enrich and nurture both of us; they sustain our societies and they sustain our souls. It is inevitable that our partnership builds upon the deepest commonalities. And it is inconceivable to even contemplate anything else.”
“Often, we tend to lose sight of these larger realities, especially in the noise and clamour of the immediate, and in the minutiae of the moment,” he added. “But for those of us who are in the business of policy-making, there is little doubt about the abiding reality that we in India will always seek the closest possible ties with Bangladesh.”