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Speech- 20th Triennial Conference of Bangladesh Awami League at Dhaka Back

October 22, 2016

My speech at 20th Triennial Conference of Bangladesh Awami League at Dhaka on 22nd October 2016

Respected President of the National Council of the largest political party of Bangladesh, Awami League and honourable Prime Minister, daughter of Bangabandgu Jan Netri Shekh Hasina Ji, distinguished office bearers and leaders of the Awami Party, delegates and my friends from Bangladesh,

At the outset, let me express my sincere sense of gratitude towards the Party for having extended an invite to us and given this opportunity to participate in this conference. Madam Hasina Ji is often referred to as Jan Netri and not politicians deserve this kind of description. You are a true Jan Netri, Mam. Looking at the sea of humanity gathered over here, I can really say that Jan Netri is a befitting description for you. And I must tell all of you that when we have leader of her kind of exceptional qualities, her leadership doesn't remain confined to one country. She is one of the emerging leaders of South Asia as well.  

I am here, representing the people of India and particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party. With me is our other Member of Parliament Roopa Ganguli Ji and Biplab Deb, a young leader from Tripura. We are here carrying the message of our Party President Amitbhai Shah and Prime Minister NARENDRABHAI MODI. Our Party has sent its heartiest compliments to the Awami Party for this historic occasion.

When it comes to Bangladesh, for me it is like going down the memory lane. When the Bangladesh liberation war was fought, I was a school going kid. We were all very excited about the liberation was so very heroically fought by the Mukti Bahini. I used to present a report of the happenings on the war front every morning during my school's prayer assembly. Also, I was so enamoured by the struggle that I used to compile all newspaper clippings and paste them in a scrapbook. That time I might have collected hundreds of pictures of Bangabandhu. Therefore, I must say that Bangbandhu Shekh Mujubar Rehman is not a source of inspiration just for the people of Bangladesh. He was and continues to be a source of inspiration for all those who stand for the values of freedom, liberty and justice. It would not be an exaggeration to say that in this subcontinent, Shekh Mujibur Rehman will be remembered as the first leader of the later half of last century who relentlessly fought against the Tyranny of Terrorism. When the challenge of terrorism is staring at us, he will continue to inspire all those fighting with this menace.

India and Bangladesh are not just friends as we have very close and historic civilisational ties. Our Prime Minister MODI attaches great importance to our relations with Bangladesh. He has resolutely worked to find out lasting and mutually beneficial solutions for several vexed issues between the two countries. His efforts have seen the Land Boundary Agreement being taken to its logical end amicably. Both the countries also share 54 common rivers and the treaties of sharing waters of Ganga and other rivers is based on principles of equity, fairness and no harm to either side.

President Mam, we all understand that when we share water, along with also share the flow of civilisational values.

It is on both sides of the common border that we have, their are people who share the dream of Amar Shonar Bangla. Mam, I think Ravindranath Tagore must be the only Nobel Laureate who is shared by two countries. All this binds us.

India is especially thankful to your country as you have very recently but very unequivocally and boldly made it clear that your Govt will not allow the land of Bangladesh to be used by perpetrators of terrorist activities of any kind. Your resolve is very reassuring for all those who have joined hands against terror. Besides our struggle against terror, there are other two important things that bind us together. Firstly, our common democratic traditions. Both of us have a glorious history of Spiritual Democracy and our Political Democracy also emanates from these traditions. Secondly, in both the countries, ruling dispensations are trying to work for Politics of Performance. Both our countries desire a Democracy that Delivers. Democracy of Development is again our shared aspiration.

Lastly, while I come to the Ned of my speech, I can't help remembering Gurudeo Ravindranath Tagore. He had famously called for Chitto Jeth Bhoy Shoonya, Uchch Jeth Matha.... a place where the mind is without  fear and the head is held high... a place that we together aspire for. Let's together try to convert the universe into such a place. Let's join hands to make this dream a reality.

Thank you very much.