Remarks by the Acting High Commissioner at the Republic Day reception চলমান ঘটনাবলী

গণতন্ত্র দিবসের অভ্যর্থনা অনুষ্ঠানে ভারপ্রাপ্ত হাই কমিশনারের বক্তব্য


High Commission of India


Remarks by the Acting High Commissioner at the Republic Day reception

[26 January 2019]

His Excellency, AKM Mozammel Haq, MP, Hon’ble Minister of Liberation War Affairs of Bangladesh and our Chief Guest;

Hon’ble Speaker of the Jatiyo Sansad and High Constitutional Personalities;

Hon’ble Ministers of the Government of Bangladesh and Advisors to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh;

Members of Parliament;

Political leaders;

Representatives of the Bangladesh Armed Forces;

Representatives of the Civil Services;

Excellencies and members of the diplomatic corps


Cultural and academic personalities;

Media persons;

Distinguished members of Indian community,

Ladies and Gentlemen 

Namaskar, Shuvo Sandhya, Good evening! 

   It is my great pleasure to welcome you all this evening to celebrate the 70th Republic Day of India. Main aap sabko Gantantra Diwas ki Haardik Badhai deta hoon. I thank the Hon’ble Chief Guest for gracing the occasion with his august presence. Hon’ble Minister is someone whose guidance and support to us has always been very timely and forthcoming in our common endeavor of keeping the spirit of Liberation war alive.

2. This morning, in New Delhi, the Republic Day was celebrated with the traditional ceremonial fan-fare. Hon’ble President of South Africa was the Chief Guest at our Republic Day ceremonial function in New Delhi today. 

3. As many of you may be aware, 26th January is celebrated as the Republic Day of India as on this day in 1950 the people of India gave themselves a Constitution and founded the Republic of India. This was the culmination of a long struggle of our founding fathers against colonial rule and the desire to establish a democratic country grounded on the values of liberty, equality, fraternity, social justice and secularism. These values continue to inspire the efforts of our Government as it strives to promote the well-being of its people. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

4. Foreign policy occupies a central pillar of our Government’s efforts to promote the well-being of its countrymen. And in doing this, our government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also believes in ‘Development for All’ i.e ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’. This is also the basis of our “Neighbourhood First Policy”. Some of you would also remember what our Foreign Minister said during her visit to Bangladesh in October, 2017 “Neighbourhood First but within Neighbourhood, Bangladesh first”. This has been the guiding beacon for the development of our bilateral relations with Bangladesh.

5. It is with great satisfaction that we can today say that India-Bangladesh relations are at their best than ever before. Today, our relations are multifaceted and cover cooperation in a wide spectrum covering traditional areas like security and border management; trade, commerce and investment; connectivity; energy and power etc to new frontiers like space; IT, cyber security, blue economy, renewable energy etc. Significant work has also been done in enhancing cooperation in the areas of environment, social development, community welfare and improvement of infrastructure at the borders. India remains committed to continuing its role as a reliable development partner of Bangladesh and in its vision of becoming a middle income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041.


6. The year 2018 was as eventful as the past few years in terms of bilateral engagements between India and Bangladesh. I can tell you that there never was a dull moment!! We were honoured to receive the Hon’ble President of Bangladesh for the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in March. Our Prime Ministers met 3 times in person during the year continuing the tradition of high-level exchanges and meetings. The visit of Hon’ble PM of Bangladesh to Santiniketan for the inauguration of the Rabindra Bhaban and to Asansol for receiving D.Litt from Kazi Nazrul University was very well-received by the government and people of India. The two Prime Ministers jointly inaugurated, via video conferencing, construction works of 5 big infrastructure projects under Government of India’s Lines of Credit/grant financing. 

6. We also had a number of Ministerial visits from both sides that further gave a fillip to bilateral relations in the respective fields. Visits from India included those of our Home Minister, Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Minister and Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Chemicals.  From Bangladesh, we were happy to welcome the Foreign Minister, Ministers of Culture, Civil Aviation and Tourism, Planning Minister, Industries. In 2018, 25 MoUs/agreements for cooperation in various sectors were signed between India and Bangladesh. It may be mentioned more than 90 agreements have been signed between our two countries in the last 4 years.  

7. While significant gains have been made in most of the areas of cooperation, our emphasis on facilitating people-to-people contacts continued. A number of initiatives were launched by us to make cross-border movement of people easier and faster. To make your visit to India smooth and hassle free, a state-of-the-art visa application centre(possibly the largest in the world) was inaugurated at the Jamuna Future Park in Dhaka. You will be happy to know that in 2018, the High Commission of India and our Assistant High Commissions together issued 14.4 lakh visas. We have also recently opened 6 new visa centres in Thakurgaon, Bogura, Satkhira, Cumilla, Noakhali and Brahmanbaria. With this, we have visa centres in 15 cities of Bangladesh now.

8. One of the areas where both countries take pride is the joint cultural heritage that we share. The writer of the national anthems of both our countries is Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. The national poet of Bangladesh Kazi Nazrul is equally revered in India. We already have a University named after him in Asansol (my own home-town) which conferred the D.Litt degree on Hon’ble PM of Bangladesh last year and also the airport at Durgapur. Not only are the cultural exchanges between both Bengals vibrant and robust, the exchanges between Bangladesh and different parts of India have also increased. The Government of India also conferred the prestigious “Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony 2015” to ‘Chhayanaut’ in recognition of its outstanding contribution to cultural harmony.  

Ladies and gentlemen, 

9. I just wanted to give you a flavour of where this extremely important India-Bangladesh relationship stands today and what we have specifically achieved in the last one year. We look forward to working closely with the new Government led by Hon’ble PM Sheikh Hasina.

10. I thank you once again for joining us in our celebrations tonight. I thank the Hon’bleMinister of Liberation Affairs profoundly, for taking time out from his busy schedule and gracing this occasion. 

I wish you a pleasant and enjoyable evening.

Sokolke suvechha janiye amar boktobbo shesh korchi

Bharat Bangladesh Bondhutvo Chirojibi hok!!

Jai Hind