Former Indian State Minister for External Affairs MJ Akbar has said India and Bangladesh have the opportunity to cooperate in the making of the new world order.
“India and Bangladesh have the opportunity not only to work towards a new era of harmony and prosperity in Asia, but also to cooperate in the making of the new world order. They both have the right intentions, which is important,” he said while delivering his speech in a special lecture at a hotel in Dhaka on Friday evening.
“But more important is the fact that they are nation states propelled by the values that define modernity in the 21st century: belief in democracy, freedom of speech and faith as a fulcrum of plural societies, gender empowerment and the abolition of poverty – which surely must become a fundamental objective of the 21st century, and the nation state as the building block of global stability. These are great objectives, but nations become great nations only if they achieve the great objectives,” MJ Akbar, a journalist-turned-politician, further said.
He said India-Bangladesh relations have flourished based on shared values of democracy, pluralism, mutually beneficial economic dimension. "India and Bangladesh, together, can become the engine of social harmony and economic growth in the great arc of Asia between India and Indonesia. This is the vision which must drive us," he said.
Awami League Advisory Council member Amir Hossain Amu spoke at the programme as the guest of honour while Bhorer Kagoj Editor Shyamal Dutta conducted the session.
In their speeches, MJ Akbar and Amir Hossain Amu reviewed the Bangladesh-India relationship in terms of political and economic progress of the two neighbouring countries.
Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Vikram Kumar Doraiswami, Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader, former Foreign Secretary Shamsher Mubin Chowdhury, Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam, Public Service Commission Chairman Sohorab Hossain, former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Nojibur Rahman, Bangladesh Securities Exchange Commission Chairman Prof Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam and Ekattor Television Chief Editor Mozammel Babu joined the prorgamme.
“The genocide like March 25 is rare in the history of the world. We organised the Zahur Hossain Chowdhury Memorial Lecture reminiscing the 50 years of Indo-Bangla relationship. The programme also marks the 30-year journey of Bhorer Kagoj,” he said.
MJ Akbar lauded the leadership of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.
According to the former Indian state minister, Bangladesh and India are passing through the golden chapter of bilateral ties as the neighbouring nations marked 50 years of the establishment of relationship.
Political veteran Amir Hossain Amu said, “India had a special relationship with this Bengal (Now Bangladesh). The relationship became deeper from December 24, 1962. The country achieved independence with the help of India. The supportive role is still there. There’s stability (in political environment) with continuous support from a country like India,” Amu added.
Awami League presidium member Jahangir Kabir Nanak, party leaders Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Ashim Kumar Ukil, Pankaj Debnath, Asheq Ullah Rafiq, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Haq Inu, General Secretary Shirin Akhter, Jatiya Party Co-chairman Kazi Firoz Rashid, former Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain, former Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof Emeritus AK Azad Chowdhury, Social Science Faculty Dean Prof Sadeka Halim, Prof Mesbah Kamal of history department, former Ambassador and Secretary Muhammad Zamir, security analyst Major General (retd) Abdur Rashid, former Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman, writer MA Momen, former Supreme Court Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik, former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Chief Editor Abul Kalam Azad, Bonik Barta Editor Dewan Hanif Mahmud, Director General of Public Library Abubakar Siddique, Suchinta Foundation Executive Director Mohammad A Arafa and Southeast Bank Vice-President Saroj Kumar Das attended the event.