Subir Baumik is a writer, a veteran journalist, is now senior editor with Dhaka-based bdnews24.com
Saturday, September 21, 2013
US secretary of state Henry Kissinger had dismissed Bangladesh as a "perpetual economic basket case" almost immediately after it was born. Spite, more than anything else, may have influenced the remark as the birth of
was "raw chilly to wounds" sustained by the US in . Vietnam
Washington could only blame itself for supporting Yayha Khan's blood-thirsty military junta in one of the worst genocides in recent history — but unlike China that quickly got over the same hangover for Pakistan and developed relations with Bangladesh, regardless of the party in power, the US could never come to terms with the Awami League that had spearheaded the fight for the country's independence from Pakistan.
proved Kissinger wrong with a vengeance. In the last five years, its GDP has
grown at an average of 6.3% per year, in the midst of one of the worst global
downturns in recent times. It has achieved its 2015 UN Millennium Development
Goals two years in advance. In 2013, it had brought the number of poor to less
than 30% of its population — a target set for 2015 by the UN. In most indices
of human development, especially gender-related, Bangladesh Bangladesh
has surged miles (in some cases, yards) ahead of and other south Asian nations. India
India is unable to manage its spiralling current
sits on a comfortable current account surplus of $2.57 billion for the first
time in its independent history. Its revenue collection has risen threefold
over the last five years and its tax-GDP ratio has increased to 13.5% from
10.8% during the period. The Awami League, which has been in power since
January 2009, has good reasons to take credit for its management of the economy. Bangladesh
WAR CHEST SWELLS WITH PRIDE
The foreign currency reserves at the Bangladesh Bank have crossed the $16-billion mark, enough to meet import costs of five months. Export earnings have soared to over $27 billion from $10 billion in the last five years.
also witnessed a buoyant remittance flow with the amount nearly touching $15
With its expatriates largely from the working class, the tendency is to send a lot of money back home to buy assets for the future as they plan to return home rather than settle overseas. So, regardless of the political turmoil back home, most Bangladeshis abroad believe in a future for south
For the first time, foreign direct investment has topped the $1-billion mark. It was $1.3 billion in the 2012-13 fiscal year. Foreign aid flow has also increased substantially.
However, the agriculture sector has witnessed a decline and investment in the private sector has fallen too, as the State of
report published by the Planning Commission in September 2013 indicates. In fiscal year 2005-06, the
agriculture sector grew 4.9%. But that came down to 2.2% in the last fiscal
year primarily because fresh acreage could not be added to agriculture due to
lack of irrigation and other infrastructure. Economy
But due to successive bumper harvests, production has gone up and the food import bill has dropped by as much as 16%. Food prices have risen by only 2.8% this fiscal year. This has helped to boost forexreserves. The growth of the services sector has dropped to 5.7% from 6.4%, the report said. But that is attributed to lack of investment, primarily because of the disturbed political situation in the country.
DAVID BEATS GOLIATH, AGAIN
A year ago, the Bangladeshi Taka (BDT) was selling at 84 to a US dollar. It is now between 77 and 78. In the same period, the Indian rupee has fallen over 15%: from 47-48 to a dollar to 61-62. In fact, currency traders predict that another nosedive by the rupee and it would be nearly at par with the taka. That may not be good for Bangladesh that seeks to boost exports, but it does indicate the strength of the economy.
When Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina lost patience with the World Bank, withdrew the funding request to the global lender and decided to fund the $2.9-billion rail-road bridge on the mighty Padma river, she made a huge statement of national confidence. It is not easy for
once so dependent on foreign aid, to tell the World Bank to pack up. Bangladesh
Then Hasina refused offers from
and Malaysia to fund the
6.15-km bridge — the Malaysian terms were not attractive and Chinese entry
would have upset .
But Hasina reasoned that sovereign bonds offering interest a little higher than
bank deposits would easily fetch expatriate funds because the remittances were
flowing. Finance minister AM A Muhith has already placed taka 68 billion ($0.88
billion at current exchange rates), or about a third of the total cost of the
Padma project, in the current 2013-14 national budget. India
That is some statement of financial confidence.
, despite her political
turmoil and uncertainties over the next parliamentary polls, seems well on its
way to become a middle-income nation before the end of the decade. Bangladesh
First published in The Economic Times, 20 Sep, 2013
Subir Baumik is a writer, a veteran journalist, is now senior editor with Dhaka-based bdnews24.com
Monday, September 16, 2013
S. BINODKUMAR SINGH
In an attempt to derail Sheikh Hasina Wajed’s Awami League (AL)-led Government’s efforts to suppress Islamist extremism and terrorism within the country, Islamist militant formations have started reorganizing themselves, presenting a rising challenge to the regime and its enforcement apparatus. On September 3, 2013, Mukhlesur Rahman, Director General of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), disclosed, "We have information that the militants are trying to reorganize their groups under different banners. All the 13 anti-militant wings of RAB have been asked to remain vigilant across the country to collect advance information of their regrouping." Following this, intelligence operations were stepped up across the country, especially in remote areas, to collect advance information of regrouping of Islamist militants to frustrate their activities.
Significantly, on August 25, 2013, the Detective Branch (DB) of the Police stated that a new extremist formation, the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) has now emerged and was following in the footsteps of Islamist terrorists in other Muslim countries. The ABT plans to gain control of a part of the country (
Bangladesh) and conduct armed jihad(Islamic uprising) from
there to make
a Sharia-based Islamic
State. Mufti Jasimuddin Rahmani, the head of ABT, was arrested along with 30 of
his followers, on August 12, 2013, while they were allegedly holding a secret
meeting to plan to attack Police Stations and other state establishments in
order to create disorder, destabilize Bangladesh , and overthrow the
Government through jihad.
Again, Police arrested nine ABT extremists from different parts of Bangladesh Dhaka city on August 25, 2013, along with an instruction
manual on how to explode grenades and use rocket launchers, as well as some
books on jihad. Dhaka
Metropolitan Police Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam commented, “They were
planning to overthrow the Government through jihad.”
Senior Assistant Commissioner of the Detective Branch, Mohammad Touhidul Islam,
added, “They [ABT] are closely following al Qaeda in running their
ABT started their extremist activities under the banner of a Non Government Organisation (NGO), Research Centre for Unity and Development, way back in 2004. The group follows the ideals, policy and strategy of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Pakistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban
Another growing concern in
is the Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT, ‘Party of Liberation’). Colonel T.M. Jobaer,
Director of National Security Intelligence, described HuT as “currently the
biggest threat of all the Islamic outfits… the organization is strong because
it has a strong international agenda - it wants to establish a Khilafat (Islamic State) in many
Meanwhile, other terrorist formations that had been forced into dormancy over the past years, have also been trying to regain lost ground. According to a September 9, 2013, report, the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B), which had been paralyzed since the arrest of its ‘operations commander’ Mufti Abdul Hannan in Dhaka city on October 1, 2005, has, over the past five years, recruited around 10,000 cadres and supporters through cyber services such as the social network website Facebook. On August 14, 2013, Police arrested nine cadres of HuJI-B at Kademul Islam Qaumi Madrassah mosque in the Jhalakati District, while they were allegedly participating in a ‘training session’.
Disturbingly, the Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which was responsible for the countrywide serial bombings in 2005, and had been crippled when virtually its entire top leadership was executed in 2007, is presently trying to reorganize, albeit on a "very small scale". On August 16, 2013, RAB Legal and Media Wing Director A.T.M. Habibur Rahman observed, “With its whole network dismantled, the banned militant outfit has almost no strength left to carry out any subversive activity. Some JMB members were recently caught printing leaflets and posters, suggesting that they were active…” On June 20, 2013, a
Dhaka court sentenced 10 JMB
terrorists to death over a suicide bomb attack at the Gazipur Bar Association
office on November 29, 2005, in which eight people were killed, including four
lawyers, and another 80 were injured.
Other groups, including the Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) and Hizb-ut-Tawhid (HT), among others, continue to propagate appeals for jihad. In a recent incident, on August 22, 2013, Police arrested two female cadres of HT from the Kanaikhali area of Natore District while they were distributing books on jihad.
Further, Hefazat-e-Islam (HeI, 'Protectorate of Islam'), which came to prominence after it raised its 13-point demands on March 9, 2013, has expanded the space for all Islamist extremist formations to extend their subversion in the name of political activism.
Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, for instance, claimed that cadres of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) had joined the violent May 5, 2013, rally under the aegis of HeI. Alamgir stated, on May 5, 2013, “We have talked to the leaders of the HeI and they have confirmed that the people who attacked Police are not their activists.” On September 5, 2013, Police identified seven political parties – JeI, Islami Oikya Jote, Muslim League, Nezam-e-Islam (Latif), Nezam-e-Islami (Izharul Islam), Khelafat-e-Islam, and Khelafat-e-Mazlish – that participated in the rally and engaged in widespread violence, intimidation and disruption. At least 35 people were killed in their campaigns between May 5 and 14, 2013.
On August 26, 2013, at a ‘views-exchange meeting’ organized by the Islami Dalsamuha (an alliance of some 15 Islamic Parties), at the head office of one of the alliance partners, Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon (BKA, ‘Bangladesh Caliphate Movement’), in Dhaka city’s Lalbagh area, ended with a declaration that the alliance would act against the ruling Awami League (AL), which they considered an “anti-Islamic element”. Zafrullah Khan, ‘secretary general’ of BKA and a member secretary of Islami Dalsamuha declared, “Our first target is to oust the ruling
government and take steps so that the party cannot come to power in the next
general election.” BKA, an Islamist political party founded by Moulana
Mohammadullah alias Hafezzi Huzur, on July 30, 2008, had
demanded that women be made ineligible for the posts of head of Government or
Further, reviewing the role of Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI,
external intelligence agency) in Bangladesh,
State Minister for Law, Advocate Quamrul Islam, on May 8, 2013, claimed that
the mayhem on May 5, 2013, in Dhaka city was
backed by the ISI. Moreover, the clashes between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists
in the Rakhine State
in Myanmar, which resulted
in some 200 deaths and the displacement of over 22,000 people in 2012, have
provided a new opportunity to ISI-backed Islamist formations to consolidate
their hold in ,
and to make the Bangladesh-Myanmar Border their operational base. Bangladesh
Meanwhile, violence perpetrated by JeI-ICS cadres with the tacit support of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) continued unabated. According to partial data collected by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), the country has witnessed 206 Islamist related fatalities in total, including 116 civilians, 77 militants and 13 Security Forces (SFs) through 2013 (all data till September 15). By contrast, only three Islamist extremism-linked fatalities had been recorded in 2012, including one civilian and two terrorists; no fatalities were reported in 2011; and in 2010, six fatalities were recorded, including three civilians and three militants.
These worrying developments have the potential to undermine the Hasina Government’s work over the past years. Indeed, since it came to power on January 6, 2009, on the promise of taking drastic measures to tackle terrorism in its election manifesto, the regime has been able to rein in Islamist extremist groups in substantial measure. Despite tremendous and sustained opposition, the Government has pushed on with the War Crimes Trials, where a total of 13 persons, including 11 JeI and two BNP leaders, have been indicted thus far. 12 of these persons had been indicted till August 1, 2013, while the thirteenth, JeI central executive committee member Mir Quasem Ali, was indicted on September 5, 2013. Quasem Ali faces 14 charges, including murder, torture, abduction and confinement of people and complicity in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War of 1971. Out of 13 persons indicted, four have already been awarded death sentence, while another two have been given life imprisonment. Trials of the remaining seven are under process.
The SFs have arrested at least 2,861 extremists belonging to various Islamist groups in 2013, as against 1,832 such arrests in 2012; 578 in 2011; and 958 in 2010.
The achievements of the Sheikh Hasina Government in its counter-terrorism and de-radicalization programmes have been extraordinary, and they have established a measure of stability in a State that, just a few years ago, appeared to be going the
Nevertheless, these gains remain fragile. The hold of subversive and extremist
Islamist formations remains significant and is spread across the country, and
the possibility of a dangerous and disruptive revival has not been eliminated. Pakistan
First published in the South Asia Intelligence Review, Weekly Assessments & Briefings, Volume 12, No. 11, September 16, 2013
S. Binodkumar Singh is Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
Monday, September 09, 2013
|Photo: Relatives and colleagues search for near and dear ones in the death list|
Rafiqul Islam can’t recall how many people he pulled from the rubble of Rana Plaza, the eight-story factory complex that collapsed in April, killing more than 1,100 people. But he knows how many he cut out with a hacksaw blade — eight. He did so in spaces so cramped that at one point he became trapped himself.
Those 18 days as a volunteer rescue worker left their scars. Islam has suffered memory lapses and had a series of violent outbursts, and wound up losing his job. Now he wanders alone most days, not sure where to go — until the voices bring him back to the place where he saved so many people and lost himself.
“I hear them still, calling for me,” he says, staring into a mound of broken concrete, torn fabric and twisted iron.
Nearly five months after the deadliest incident in garment manufacturing history, the suffering is far from over for the victims, their relatives and the rescue workers. Many families have received only part of their promised financial compensation. And activists and health-care professionals decry a lack of psychological and financial support for scores of survivors and rescue workers stricken with invisible handicaps.
tragedy, people are so concerned with the physical impact, but they are
completely ignoring the psychological,” said Abdus Sabur, an adviser to the
Sajida Foundation, a leading Bangladeshi social development organization.
“Mental health is not taken seriously at all in this country.” Rana Plaza
According to the Solidarity Center, a nonprofit group affiliated with the AFL-CIO, the Bangladeshi government has paid settlements to dependents of 777 of the 1,131 confirmed dead in the disaster, in amounts ranging from $1,250 to $5,000. An additional 36 garment workers who lost limbs or were paralyzed have received between $15,000 and $18,750 each.
Smaller amounts have come from a British chain, Primark, which used a supplier in
and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, which
represents the $20 billion-a-year industry. A group of Western clothing brands are also discussing providing a lump-sum payment for the suffering experienced by the
victims of Rana Plaza . Rana Plaza
So far, none of the 4,000 families affected by the
received the full payments promised by the government or association, says the
Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies, a labor advocacy organization. Rana
Survivors are struggling to cope with not just physical and financial burdens but also with deep emotional wounds.
Visible and invisible signs
Razibul Rahman Kari, 20, a sewing machine operator, was luckier than most when the factory complex collapsed April 24 on the outskirts of
Pinned by a heavy slab, he eventually managed to dig himself out with the help
of a local man.
But spending hours in the dark amid muffled screams took its toll: The young man has fresh scars on his wrists from cutting himself with a knife while locked in his bedroom. Sometimes when his mother has tried to bring him food, she said, he has beaten her. Without his $70-a-month salary to support them, the family relies on handouts.
The Center for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed, a large private facility in Savar, has worked beyond its capacity to care for
’s injured. But
because of a dearth of trained mental health professionals, patients with
symptoms of acute psychological trauma receive “a minimum” of counseling before
they are discharged, said Hossain Mehedi, a doctor at the center. Rana
Other victims may refrain from seeking help because of the social stigma attached to mental problems, Sabur said.
Majeda Begum, 23, another garment factory employee, grapples with severe headaches, disorientation and a paralyzing fear of closed indoor spaces. She lives within walking distance of the rehabilitation center, which provides her with free medication — but that’s only if she manages to show up, and these days she tends to gets lost.
‘Am I gonna be psycho?’
As the government struggled to organize a relief operation at
after the disaster, many local residents rushed to the
factory ruins, playing a critical role in rescuing survivors. Rana Plaza
One of them, a young mechanic named Omar Faruque Babu, was celebrated in media reports for pulling more than 30 people from the wreckage. When the rescue effort ended, he was checked into a hospital, where he hanged himself in a bathroom.
A part-time teacher, Faizul Muhid, 27, spent three days and nights mining the rubble for the living, and then moved on to a local high school where victims’ bodies were left for relatives to claim.
As the corpses rotted in the heat, he did what no one else would do: searched the rows of remains for items — cellphones, nose rings, scraps of paper — that might help with identification. Late one night, he and another volunteer had to fight off a pack of dogs that had gotten hold of an open body bag with a corpse inside.
These days, he self-medicates with a cocktail of antidepressants that he buys with assistance from friends. “Am I gonna be psycho?” he asked one recent afternoon.
Muhid initially resisted psychological help. Now he thinks he could use it, but it’s expensive and scarce: There are no more than a dozen certified counseling psychologists in this country of more than 160 million people, according to several doctors and activists.
Sheikh Yusuf Harun, deputy commissioner for the district of Dhaka, said, “It’s true — no one is taking responsibility” for the mentally damaged. “They are not reported to us,” he said.
Once compensation packages are finalized, Harun said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is planning to address the matter. He offered no details on what kind of long-term support might be made available.
To fill the void in psychological services, several grass-roots organizations are working in hospitals with victims of
, forming support
groups that encourage patients to share their stories. Groups are also training
counselors to canvass neighborhoods and offer help. Rana
Though the outreach is generally well received, it remains “pretty ad hoc” and covers just a fraction of those affected, said Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi, who works at Naripokkho, a nonprofit group that helps garment workers.
No one has yet reached Islam, the rescue volunteer. A medal from a local workers’ rights organization sits on the nightstand of his tin shack, the only nod to his sacrifice.
After spending three weeks in a hospital facility, largely unattended to, he left to be with his wife before the birth of their fourth child, a son. He wants to support them, he said, but thoughts of the bodies he left behind still make him angry and restless.
When he’s not home, his wife usually knows where to find him.
First published in TheWashington Post, September 8, 2013
The story by Jason Motlagh was reported with a grant from the
on Crisis Reporting. Pulitzer Center
Saturday, September 07, 2013
The historic conflict between the Indian state of West Bengal and the nation of
Bangladesh has enacted a new chapter over
concerns that many Rohingya Muslims have been illegally crossing into West
Bengal from . Bangladesh
Officials with the Indian Border Security Force’s South Bengal Frontier (BSF) said they have arrested more than one hundred illegal Rohingya immigrants this year, and most of them likely came from
where they have faced a brutal campaign of repression from the authorities. Myanmar
“We increased our vigil on immigrants from
since the end of last year after some Rohingya Muslims were arrested… last
November,” Santosh Mehra, the BSF’s inspector general said, according to
Hindustan Times. Myanmar
“It was tough to interact with them as they neither speak nor understand Hindi, Bengali or English.”
Rohingya also do not speak Urdu or any other Indian language. The Rohingya language is related to the Chittagonian tongue, a dialect related to Bengali that is spoken in southeastern
but differs from standard Bengali. Bangladesh
“As we don't know their [Rohingya] language, we have to get experts from universities or other agencies to act as interpreters,” Mehra told the Times of India.
The stream of illegal Rohingya immigrants has dramatically increased this year. Mehra added that in 2011 only two Myanmar Rohingya nationals were arrested in
West Bengal in 2011, and just six last year.
A senior BSF official also told the Hindustan Times that the Bangladesh government has taken the initiative to expel Rohingya migrants back to Myanmar, where the overwhelmingly Buddhist majority does not want them.
authorities regard them as “illegal immigrants” from Bangladesh,
while Dhaka rejects them as undocumented
Mehra cited this catch-22 scenario by declaring that “we contact the
High Commission [in ]
after Bangladeshi migrants are held. [But] we cannot contact anyone after
Rohingyas are held since no country recognizes them.” India
He told the Times of India that “unlike illegal migrants from
, it is difficult to send
them back across the border … There are certain United Nations guidelines that
have to be followed.” Bangladesh
Mehta also rejects concerns by some Indian intelligence officers that the Rohingya migrants are linked to terrorist groups, perhaps supported by entities in Bangladesh itself of even in Pakistan.
Intelligence agencies in
believe that some Rohingyas have received arms training from Islamic militant
groups including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistani-based terror outfit, in
the Chittagong Hills district of Bangladesh. New Delhi
Indian officials suspect that LeT -- as well as militant organizations like Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Jaish-e-Mohammad -- are using the plight of the unwanted Rohingya Muslims migrants to stir up trouble between
and both of its neighbors,m Myanmar
and . India
An Indian intelligence told Times of India that
has assured India that it
will look into the matter of training camps in the . Chittagong
“We have specific information that LeT and Jamaat-ud-Dawah created an outfit known as Difa-e-Musalman Arakan [
he said. “This outfit was assigned to tie-up with Islamic organizations in Burma Myanmar and . There are several other
terror groups that are involved with the Rohingyas. While the Rohingyas are
receiving funds from Bangladesh Saudi Arabia,
weapons are apparently being sourced from .” Thailand
The Times reported that over the past year-and-a-half some 10,000 Rohingya Muslims have crossed into India, residing in West Bengal, but also in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Three-thousand of them alone are living in the capital city of
. They exist in
a kind of limbo, with no rights of residency and little hope of ever attaining
citizenship. New Delhi
But some Indians have taken up their cause.
Nawab Zafar Jung, a former vice-chancellor of
Jamia Milia Islamia
University, in , in tandem with leftist student
unions at Jawharlal Nehru University (JNU), are demanding the government grant
the Rohingya Muslims official refugee status. New Delhi
First published in International Business Times, September 06 2013
Palash Ghosh has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in
. New York
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
|Photo: India-Bangladesh border check post|
One again, the Indian government has in its attempt to introduce to parliament legislation that would enable a land swap deal with
to take place. That is a shame, for the bill—the India-Bangladesh Land Boundary
Agreement—has implications not only for foreign relations but also for larger
questions of human rights, the right to livelihood and even the larger contours
of what constitutes foreign policy in Bangladesh today. India
The bill in question called for
to exchange 111 of its enclaves in Bangladesh
in return for 51 Bangladesh
enclaves in .
Under the agreement India India
would give up claims for just over 17,000 acres of land which will be
transferred to .
In turn Bangladesh Bangladesh would
cede around 7,000 acres, which would then join Indian
The deal would not only end a historical thorn in the bilateral side, it would also open a new era in the relationship.
often suffers a “perception problem” in the eyes of its neighbors, which often
with suspicion because of its size, economy and military might. That in turn
encourages them to turn to India .
The land swap deal would go a long way to improving China ’s local image. India
A healthy relationship with
would have other economic benefits. Bangladesh India
could seek from
as a goodwill gesture transit rights to its northeast, bringing development to a
struggling region. A deal could also revive the moribund (SAGQ), comprising Bangladesh India’s north east, Bangladesh,
Nepal and . And a
deal would give a pre-election boost to a Bhutan Bangladesh
government that has generally been favorable to . India
A land swap agreement would also give citizenship rights to close to 52,000 people: 37,000 on the
side and close to 15,000 on the Indian side. These stateless people, often
victimized, would finally get rights and privileges as citizens, to the benefit
of Bangladesh ’s
human rights record. India
This deal could particularly benefit the North East and
. Resolving the land issues
would enable borders in these areas to be secured. Assam India
would be able to talk officially about the issue of migrating Bangladeshis, a
thorny problem for
for nearly three decades that will only grow with climate change. Assam
Despites these benefits, the legislation has faced numerous hurdles, particularly accusations that
selling off land to .
Not unexpectedly, ground zero for the opposition has been the . Any policy initiated by Bangladesh New Delhi towards Bangladesh
needs to take the sensibilities of into account. In addition to
the historical immigration issue, there is Assam Assam’s
proximity to Bangladesh and
the region’s own troubled history with ’s neighbor, extending back to
the 1970s. India
So the protests and marches against the alleged sell-out of
are not surprising, nor are
they completely groundless. There is a genuine feeling in Assam Northeast
India that the central government often takes it for granted.
Hence, there is a need to engage the people of on a more direct level to
talk about the benefits of the swap and any possible ramifications. Assam has a
vibrant civil society, which should be engaged on this issue. In short, it is
time for some public diplomacy. Assam
On a broader level, this is an opportunity for
to adopt a new model for the
21st century, one that recognizes the changing nature of diplomacy. As their
self-identity grows, India India’s
states and its people want a greater say in how frames its relations with its
neighbors. The land swap deal is an opportunity for India to adopt a new foreign policy
discourse that engages the states and the public, while giving the Northeast a
chance to participate in the rewriting of its own history. India