People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 04

January 22, 2012



A New Horizon in Indo-Bangla Friendship Opened Up


Haripada Das



THE emotional bond of the people of the two neighbouring countries, particularly the people of Tripura and those of Bangladesh submerged all diplomatic and official decorum and opened up a new horizon in India-Bangladesh friendship through the two-day visit of Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of People’s Republic of Bangladesh coinciding with the visit of Dr Hamid Ansari, vice president of India and the union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal to Agartala, the capital city of Tripura  on January 11-12, 2012. Bangladesh prime minister was accompanied by her cabinet colleague Dr Dipumani, external affairs minister, her younger sister Rehana Siddiqi, deputy minister of hills development Dipankar Talukdar, member of parliament and Bangladesh Workers Party president Rahsed Khan Menon, and a large batch of officials.


Expressing deepest love, highest gratitude and respect for the people of  India and particularly the people of Tripura for their great contribution, for helping the destiny, i.e. emerging of a new sovereign country, ‘Bangladesh’ to come true, and for providing shelter and food for lakhs of uprooted tormented people of Bangladesh during the stormy days of Bangladesh  liberation war for about two years, Sheikh Hasina said, poverty is our common problem. It is true in case of Bhutan and Nepal also. So it should be fought out collectively with mutual cooperation between the neighbouring countries. There might have been some problems with flora and fauna, border, trade and transport etc. but all should be sorted out through discussions. She was addressing a grand civic reception presided over by the governor of Tripura  Dr D Y Patil, at Assam Rifles Ground organised by the Agartala Municipal Council on  January 12 afternoon.


Her first ever visit to Tripura also marked the state hosting of a prime minister of a foreign country for the first time. The Assam Rifles ground which is capable of accommodating about one lakh people was full to the brim on the day of reception. Many were waiting for hours to take a glimpse of their beloved leader of the neighbouring Bangladesh which was created through common battle of the people of both the countries. The moment Sheikh Hasina and her colleagues appeared on the dais, the people gave a roaring applause waving the flags of both the countries in their hands. The roadside along which the convoy of Sheikh Hasina passed by, was overcrowded by the people for having a look at their charismatic leader.


“The warmth of love, affection and respect I received from the people of Tripura will be ever remembered by me and my countrymen,” said passionate Hasina. Referring to the broad avenues for exchange of trade and commerce between Bangladesh and India, Hasina said, while work on Agartala-Akhaura rail connection would start soon, we have decided to open up our Chittagong and Mongla ports for transportation of essential goods for India, Nepal and Bhutan. We have decided to open up another Land Custom Post between Subroom in Indian side and Ramgarh under Bangladesh. There is a decision to open four border markets for marketing goods of both the states. We have already allowed lifting of heavy machines for Palatana Power Plant through Ashuganj river port. We may buy the entire excess power to be generated at Palatana power plant. If all decisions get materialised, then Tripura would be the main gate for vast commercial activities resulting in socio-economic upliftment of the poor communities of both the countries. She proposed a joint venture of India and Bangladesh for more power plants based on gas available in Tripura.


Paying deep respects for the martyrdom of Sheikh Mujibar Rahaman, father of the nation, also father of the present prime minister of Bangladesh, martyrdom of thousands of Mukti Bahini Members, army jawans and civilians of both countries, chief minister Manik Sarkar in his address to the mammoth civic reception said, this is a historic event that we could felicitate Sheikh Hasina, leader of a country which is a birthplace of many of us.  We live beneath the same sky, share same flora and fauna, breath the same air and belong to the same language and culture. This historic tie between the two countries reached a new height with Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Delhi and signing of several deals in January last year and prime minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dacca afterwards. Our friendship should be more strengthened, Manik Sarkar asserted and alerted that there are elements in both the countries who don’t want this friendship to last longer. We should alienate them from the people, he suggested.  Manik Sarkar thanked Hasina for allowing the passage of heavy machines of Palatana Power Plant through Bangladesh. Subject to the consent of the central government, he informed, we have no objection to supply 100 MW electricity to Bangladesh from Palatana. He suggested liberal attitude of both the countries towards the industrialists who intend to invest capital in the other sides of these two neighbouring countries. 


Bangladesh foreign minister Dr Dipumani expressed her gratification for the love, affection and hospitality of the people of Tripura for them and informed the soil of Tripura is drenched with the blood of many Mukti Bahini fighters. So Tripura is like a pilgrim place to us. The deals which were already signed and agreed upon, would help both the countries to march ahead and further strengthen the ties, she hoped.


At the outset, the guest prime minister was awarded a written felicitation by the chairperson of Agartala Municipal Council Dr Prafullajit Sinha on behalf of the people of Agartala city.


Tripura  University Confers D. Lit Award to Hasina


On the occasion of the ninth convocation at Bir Bikram Centenary Bhavan of the Tripura University on January 12, 2012, vice president of India Dr Hamid Ansari handed over the D. Lit Award to the guest prime minister amid high cheer of the thousands of audiences present at the convocation. The written felicitation in honor of Sheikh Hasina was read out by Amiya Bagchi, chancellor of the university. Apart from the two high dignitaries, prime minister of Bangladesh  Sheikh Hasina and vice president of India Dr Hamid Ansari, the convocation was attended by the union minister for human development Kapil Sibal, Bangladesh  foreign minister Dr Dipumani, governor of the state Dr D Y Patil, chief minister  Manik Sarkar, chancellor and vice chancellor of the Tripura  University Dr Amiya Bagchi and Dr Arunoday Saha, professors, lecturers, staff, students of the university and thousands of people. Before getting into the convocation, Sheikh Hasina unveiled the marble statue of Rabindranath Tagore as a mark of the 150th birth anniversary of the great poet. She also inaugurated a new open manch (dias) at the university complex.  


Receiving D. Lit award, Bangladesh prime minister said, “the honour you conferred on me, will inspire me to work for the interest of common people. Expressing gratitude for being awarded with highest university honour, Sheikh Hasina said, “I don’t know whether I do match for the honour I just received. But I think this is an honour for the people of our country and I feel really proud to receive this honour from a place which was a rear front of our liberation struggle. But for the active cooperation and sacrifice of the people of India and especially of Tripura, Bangladesh would have not attained freedom,” she said. Dipping into the history, she said, “My father Mujibar Rahaman being entangled in a forged case in the name ‘Agartala Conspiracy case’ was destined to be hanged by the Pakistani rulers. The peoples upsurge saved his live at that time. Passionately referring to the dastardly killing of her entire family including her father at the hands of the anti-democratic forces, Sheikh Hasina said, “Father’s martyrdom inspired me to fight for democracy.  This battle is still going on,” she said. Expecting Indo-Bangladesh friendship to reach a new height and the soulful ties between Tripura and Bangladesh to get more strengthened, Hasina concluded with recitation of Rabindranath Tagore’s line “Sakal Pawar Madhye Pelam Aasal Upadheya, Jaa Habe Akshay Patheya” (Among all gains, there is a most pleasant one which would be eternal viaticum in my journey).


Indian vice president Dr Hamid Ansari said, the ‘Vision-2020’ policy adopted by the North East Council laid stress on the all round development of the states of this region. ‘Look East’ policy is a pioneer for transforming it into reality. This would be possible only through expansion and exchange of trade among neighbouring countries.


Chief minister Manik Sarkar termed Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Tripura as a historic event, and said, we are passing through an era of globalisation which makes the individuals self-centered. To contain this trend, we should lay importance on preaching humanism, democratic values alongwith the literary education.


The chief guest and human development minister of India Kapil Sibal emphasised on the joint endeavour to uplift the condition of the poor which is common for both the countries. The development may gain a new pace if we increase trade and commerce among India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, he hoped. 


Bangladesh foreign minister Dr Dipumani, governor Dr D Y Patil, chancellor of the Tripura University Dr Amiya Bagchi and vice chancellor Dr Arunoday Saha also addressed the convocation. The toppers in different streams were awarded gold medals in this convocation.


Tripura Police Receives President’s Colour


For commendable performance, patriotic heroism particularly for the achievement in combating the extremist menace which was a dreaded feature of the state about a decade back, Dr Hamid Ansari handed over the President’s Colour to Sanjoy Sinha, director general of police, at a grand ceremony in the presence of governor and lady governor, chief minister and finance minister of the state, three former directors general of police, high police officials and thousands of common people at Arundhatinagar Police Parade ground on January 11, 2012. President’s Colour is an exceptional award conferred by the president of the country as a mark of extraordinary performance of the police. Before Tripura, only three states in the country, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Tamilnadu were awarded with such honour. Congratulating the Tripura Police force, in a brief address Dr Ansari said, that the president and the entire country felt proud of the excellent achievement the Tripura police registered in combating the extremist onslaught, maintaining ethnic amity, communal harmony and managing law and order. At the same time, this honour boosted up the family members of the police personnel and the people of the state who are striving for progress and development. The police being the element of our society, and as they are assigned with the noble duty of providing service to the civilians, there should be a close relation and collective initiative of the two, Dr Ansari emphasised.