A delegation of the Bangladesh armed forces is in India to participate in the Republic Day function

As a mark of respect to India’s contribution in Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation war, a 122-strong tri-service armed forces contingent of Bangladesh will participate in the 72nd Republic Day parade.

The Indian Army, recalling the fight by millions of Indian soldiers alongside Bangladesh’s Muktijyodhhas or freedom fighters during the 1971 Liberation War, tweeted on Tuesday, “Together we Fought, Together we March.” The Bangla contingent reached New Delhi on Tuesday in the Indian Air Force’s special C-17 aircraft.

The march of Bangladesh soldiers in India’s Republic Day parade is a testimony to the indivisible bond that ties the two countries together. The marching together of armed forces on Republic Day, like they did during the 1971 War of Liberation, is symbolic of the enduring relations between the two countries.

Prime Minister Modi lit the ‘Swarnim Vijay Mashaal’ from the eternal flame of the National War Memorial in New Delhi, marking the beginning of the golden jubilee celebrations on December 16 to mark Vijay Diwas, the day on which Pakistan surrendered to India in 1971,

In fact, Prime Minister Modi is set to participate in the celebration of the 50th Independence Day of Bangladesh on 26 March this year on the invitation of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

In a virtual meeting on December 17, the two Prime Ministers signed a host of deals for better trade and connectivity.

In their December summit, Sheikh Hasina had told Prime Minister Modi that India is Bangladesh’s true friend and paid homage to the 3 million martyrs who laid their lives for the cause of the country.

PM Modi in turn called the strengthening of relations with Bangladesh as his top priority since day one of his government. The Indian Prime Minister also held Bangladesh to be important to India’s Neighbourhood First policy.

New Delhi’s Neighbourhood First policy accords primacy to neighbouring countries and aims at improving relations with them. Prime Minister Modi unveiled the policy by inviting heads of SAARC countries for his swearing-in ceremony in 2014. He followed it by hosting the leaders from BIMSTEC countries in 2019. Bangladesh is a member of both SAARC and BIMSTEC.

Owing to the restrictions of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Republic Day celebrations this year will be a low-key affair. However, the participation of the Bangladesh delegation would add colour to the Republic Day parade.