Most Bangladeshis feel suffocated: Kuldip Nayar

Prothom Alo English | Update:

A veteran Indian journalist has criticised New Delhi for not putting enough pressure on Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina to allow democracy to prevail in the country in a real sense.

In an article, Kuldip Nayar has advocated that New Delhi should be generous and accommodate the demands of Bangladesh, describing it as the only friendly neighbouring country.

Dwelling on Sheikh Hasina's most recent visit to India, he pointed out that the popular response to her visit was missing despite signing of many deals.

"The visit was focused more on her and not on Bangladesh’s independent struggle," the journalist-writer noted in the article titled "Hasina misses the bus" published in an Indian newspaper, The Deccan Herald, on Thursday.

He explained that the remark by opposition leader Khaleda Zia of a total sellout (of the Bangladesh) to India points to the prime minister’s “dream of staying in power for life.”

Referring to the BNP's terming of the defence deal extreme betrayal of the people and the country, Kuldip Nayar said the party fears that the development will expose Bangladesh’s security system to New Delhi.

"We have already alienated Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. And China is taking advantage of this and trying to come closer to these very countries, including offering long-term soft loans," said the Indian journalist.

Terming Indian premier Narendra Modi's rule as democratic but one-man show, Kuldip Nayar said people in Bangladesh should not “cow down as people in India have before Modi”.

He regretted that Sheikh Hasina has "become authoritarian and brooks no dissent" and quoted Khaleda Zia as saying openly that if India had not been behind the prime minister, she would have been ousted long ago.

"Bangladesh has unfortunately a rule where most people feel suffocated," he added.

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