What India is supposed to gain by being anti-Bangladesh?

Above is a question that I have asked myself numerous times, but have failed to come up with a reasonable response. Before asking readers for their help, I want to draw a comparison between India and Bangladesh to see where these two countries stand in their respective positions:


                                            India                                                 Bangladesh

Landmass:                   3,287,590 sq. km.                              144,000 sq. km.


Population:              1,065,070,607                                141,340,476 (July 2004 estimate).


Natural Resources: Coal (fourth-largest reserve         Natural gas, arable land and timber.         

                               in the world), iron ore,                  

                               manganese, mica, bauxite,

                               titanium ore, chromites, natural

                               gas, diamond, petroleum,

                               limestone, arable land.


GDP:                      $3.022 trillion (2003 estimate).            $258.8 billion (2003 estimate).


Industries:              Textiles, chemicals, food processing,   Cotton textile, jute, garments,

                              steel, transportation equipment,            tea, cement, chemical, fertilizer,

                              cement, mining, petroleum,                  light engineering & sugar

                              machinery, software.


Oil Reserve:          4.33 billion barrels (Jan 200 estimate).       N/A


Oil Production:   732,400 barrels/daily (2001 estimate).    3,581 bbls/day (2001 estimate).


Exports:                 $57.24 billions (2003 estimate).           $6.713 billions (2003 estimate).


Military Power:     172,153,371 (2004 estimate).                22,807,339 (2003 estimate).

(Fit for service).


In my understanding, most of India �s industries are fed by locally available raw materials. On the other hand, most of Bangladesh �s industries are dependent on imported raw materials.  

India and Bangladesh share a long and porous border. Since Bangladesh needs to support itself through import, India has become one of its largest exporters. While a good number of commercial transactions between these two countries take place officially, many are not. To avoid tax and levies, a lot of merchandises from India also enter Bangladesh through illegal channels.  

As I understand, Bangladesh �s economy is dependent, to a great extent, on imports from India today. Should India put a stop on the export of its bovine animals, poultry, fish, spices, sarees and other essential goods, Bangladesh would find itself in a very difficult situation. Without import from India , would Bangladeshi people not only miss the daily doses of their protein (beef being its major source), they would also have a great difficulty in observing their Eid-ul-adha due to the shortage of sacrificial animals in their country.  

In the arena of entertainment, many Bangladeshis look to India for its availability. They not only enjoy watching Indian movies on VCRs, they are also fond of India �s cable channel television stations. I believe Zee-TV is one of the favorite channels of the Bangladesh people. They watch Indian movies at the cost of their local productions.  

Bangladesh has become a market of the Indian goods. With the passage of time, Bangladesh is likely to become more dependent on India to meet its needs. This is what is best for the Indian economy; it does not need to physically occupy Bangladesh in order to achieve its economic goals.  

Since India and Bangladesh are not compatible with each other in any way, I wonder what the former is supposed to gain by being against the latter. Can any reader help me understand the equation between these two countries? And also, what India , or for that matter, any other country of the world, expects to gain by maligning Bangladesh directly, or through its agents?  

August 11, 2004


Mohammad Asghar writes from USA. 

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