ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Impact of Bangla Desh

The Impact of Bangla Desh Sisir Gupta THE two international aspects of the impact of the emergence of Bangla Desh on which it may be worthwhile to speculate are: (a) the possible effects of the restructuring of the subcontinent on intra-regional relations in South Asia and (b) the likely changes in great power attitudes and policies towards this region. Obviously, the effects of the structural changes in the subcontinent will be of utmost significance for the pattern of inter-state relations in South Asia. Even the worst pessimists will assume that India's relations with Bangla Desh will be much friendlier than what obtained between India and Pakistan. Even if the two countries decide to ignore the dictates of geography and of their economic needs and to refrain from having a special relationship with each other, Bangla Desh cannot possibly ever develop the kind of obsession with India that Pakistan had displayed in the past. Its nationalism is bound to be modern and self-contained; unlike Pakistan it will not base its claim to nationhood on the fantasy of In do-Islamic identity nor will it have to refer to India in negative terms every time that it wants to establish a rationale for its separate existence. Therefore, the worst that could happen between India and Bangla Desh is that each would have, in relation to the other, the normal problems of conducting relations with a noigh- MUTUAL GOODWILL But there are many reasons why one could legitimately hope that India and Bangla Desh will achieve a high level of co-operation and friendliness in their relations. In the first place the history of the freedom struggle of the people of Bangla Desh will be the most dominant feature of the frame of reference of the foreign policy makers in Dacca. So great has been the Indian contribution to the achievement of their freedom that the people of Bangla Desh are likely to view this country and its leadership as their genuine friends. This immense fund of goodwill for India cannot be easily exhausted and New Delhi will have to show a very high capacity to mishandle this relationship to be hated in Dacca.

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