Not only in Ladakh, India losing ground in Bangladesh too (Part-I)


DM Monitoring

We know things are not going well in regards to India’s relationship with China. On 5th/6th May, China captured around sixty square kilometre of Indian territory in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, which is strategically important to all the three countries in the region, China, India, and Pakistan.
On 14th/15th June, around twenty Indian soldiers, including a colonel, were literally beaten to death by their Chinese counterparts, and China also lost five of their men at the Line of Actual Control. “They are the first casualties to be suffered by either Asian superpower along their 3,488km border since 1975”, reports The Telegraph of Britain on 16th June. We also know that India is the only country in the world having bad to not-so-good relationship with all its immediate neighbours. Of late, even land-locked tiny Nepal (hitherto cowed into submission by India) has boldly challenged India’s hegemonic design.
So far as the Bangladeshis – not their government – are concerned, the bulk of them have been intensely anti-Indian too, since weeks after the liberation of their country with direct Indian help and intervention in 1971. Now, we have reasons to believe that India is not only losing ground to China (literally), but it is also losing its hegemony in Bangladesh. Interestingly, the country which till 2018 was virtually an Indian client state – which India had been bullying with impunity by virtually running its domestic and foreign policies – thanks to Chinese counter-offensive in the arena of diplomacy, it has virtually neutralised India’s growing influence in Bangladesh.
So much so that, after China had played an important – if not the decisive role – in the unprecedented electoral victory of Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League in the December Elections (albeit much more farcical, and grossly rigged than the ones held in January 2014, under Indian supervision), India is forced to play the second fiddle to China in Bangladesh affairs.
Seemingly, gone are the days when the newly installed Modi Government could arm-twist the Hasina government to abandon certain mega projects, which China was supposed to undertake in Bangladesh, including the building of a deep-sea port at Sonadia.
It is least likely that an Indian Prime Minister, External Affairs Minister, let alone a Secretary of External affairs à la Sujata Singh (who on the eve of the parliamentary elections in Bangladesh forced the political weather-cock Ershad to contest the polls to legitimize the fraudulently designed electoral process in 2014).
Why should one assume soon the days of Indian hegemony in Bangladesh will be over? The answer lies in certain forays the Indian government has been indulging in the realm of propaganda warfare. Journalistic pieces news or fake news reports, and articles by known or unknown writers, in known or even non-existing media outlets are parts of the propaganda warfare between intra- and inter-state rivals. Thanks to the internet, there has been an exponential growth in fake or real news reports and propaganda literature in recent years.
To be Continued…