India's Neighbourhood Policy: Perceptions from Bangladesh

Smruti S. Pattanaik is Research Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • January 2011

    Security has been a major driving force of India's neighbourhood policy. India's sympathies with democratic forces and its aversion to extra-regional presence are all geared to optimise its security interest, which is ensconced in its principal belief of a stable neighbourhood while engaging in a mutually beneficial relationship. Within this broad framework, this paper attempts to study Bangladesh's reaction to these parameters of India's neighbourhood policy. The paper argues that some Bangladeshi perceptions are shaped by regimes and vested interests, who perceived India as the ideological 'other'. While engaging across the political spectrum, India therefore needs to pursue policies that connect it with the people of Bangladesh and are beyond partisan politics determined by regime interests.

    Relationship with foreign countries is a very intricate and very difficult business dealing with the psychology of human beings, the psychology of nations, involving consideration of their background and culture, language and so on. (Jawaharlal Nehru)

    India seeks to build a new future with Bangladesh. The time has come to chart a new path. We are ready to pursue a bold Vision for our relations, based on mutual respect and benefit. (Manmohan Singh, January 2010)