Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today in New Delhi announced the ‘Mujib Scholarship’ for the children of the Indian soldiers who were martyred in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The decision comes against the backdrop of several agreements which her government signed with India today.
What’s in store?
- Sheikh Hasina has announced the scholarship as a token of goodwill towards the Indian contribution to the Bangladesh war of liberation.
- Several Indian students can now avail of themselves scholarships to pursue higher education in the universities of Bangladesh.
- It will benefit around 200 families of the slain soldiers who fought against the oppression of Pakistan on its own people.
- Named after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, the founding father of Bangladesh whose daughter Sheikh Hasina is the current premier of the nation.
- Around 1,984 soldiers were martyred in the war, whose descendants will get incentives in Bangladesh as well.
- This is a sign of goodwill between India and Bangladesh, the latter being an Islamic State.
- The decision also contains political connotations as Indian cooperation is necessary for Hasina to fulfill her electoral promises in a nation that is due to go to polls next year.
- This also breaks the common perception that India and the BJP, the ruling party at the center is not on friendly terms with Islamic countries as well as the Muslim community.
- The relations between India & Bangladesh are on their greatest levels of bonhomie since the formation of the latter almost half a century ago.
- Prior to this, the Hasina government had also felicitated the Indian war veterans on various occasions.
- Both nations have signed a total of seven agreements spanning various segments from space, defense & media.
- They also include the historic Kushiyara water sharing agreement, a major win after the Ganga water agreement in 1996.
- Bangladesh also signed the border agreement with India in 2016, effectively ending all of the land disputes between them.
- Rivers, illegal migration, climate change, organized crime, and regional security are some of the major issues at hand which need resolution from both nations.
The scholarship is a good sign of the things that are yet to come in the bilateral relations between the two nations of the Indian subcontinent.
India & Bangladesh share a deep bond that spans across borders and includes the similarity in customs and traditions of its people, regardless of religion.
It will mark a new phase where Bangladesh comes out of the orbit of Pakistan and makes a mark on its own. The rise of China in the region has made it imperative that the nations come forward with immediate effect to resolve their difference and build for their people a better future.