India-Bangladesh Connectivity: Implications for India’s North East Development

By Rajendra Prasad Patel

Connectivity is cornerstone to move forward greater bilateral cooperation and enhance trade, investment, people to people contracts and economic opportunities for India and Bangladesh. Both countries have all ingredient of transport connectivity as historical, cultural and political administrative familiarity and geographical proximity and both have been growing at 6 percent annually over the last two decades. But despite having these ingredients, India and Bangladesh are facing serious connectivity challenges both physical and non-physical that have limited the pace of economic growth and development and poor transportation infrastructure and connectivity impediments have limited the North Eastern Region of India and Bangladesh’s opportunities to find markets for their products within and outside the region. This article discusses the rationale for connectivity between India and Bangladesh.

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Extremist Upsurge in Bangladesh Politics

By Rajendra Prasad Patel

Bangladesh is the third largest Muslim populated country in the world and is known for its strongly secular and syncretic culture, robust socioeconomic growth, booming trade and worker remittances, and among the most success- ful rural credit networks in the world. But the country is facing severe chal- lenges from violent Islamist groups because the role of Islam in Bangladeshi politics is high contested, and it has been a focal point, and polarized political climate and institutional repression of Islamic parties have enhanced radicalization dynamics and country has become an emerging breeding ground for violent extremism. Over the past years, 30 people belonging to minority communities, mainly Hindu have been murdered by machete wielding radi- cals. They had also not spared Muslim secular writers, publishers, and bloggers for raising their voices against extremist ideology. These murders accompa- nied the startling news of ISIS recruiters arrested in Dhaka. Bangladesh has a long history of political and electoral violence that have shaped its political culture, protest, boycott and intense oppositional politics are defining a fea- ture of Bangladesh‘s authoritarian and democratic era. The two political events are closely interconnected for the recent rise of violent extremism in Bangladesh, first, the elimination of the caretaker government and secondly, implementation of the war crime tribunal. And that has led to political con- flict between the Awami League (AL), and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has resulted in high level of violence and brutal state response. This paper will analyze the major causes of the rise of extremist groups and democratic governance, and inclusive politics can help mitigate the risk of rising extrem- ism in Bangladesh.

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