On the first day of his two-day tour of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed an event organised on the occasion of Bangladesh National Day. Paying tributes to soldiers who fought Bangladesh's war for independence, PM Modi recalled his association with the neighbouring nation's struggle for liberation from Pakistan.
PM Modi pointed out that one of his first protests was for Bangladesh's independence.
"I would like to remind brothers and sisters in Bangladesh with pride, being involved in the struggle for independence of Bangladesh was one of the first movements of my life. I must have been 20-22 years old when I and my colleagues did Satyagraha for Bangladesh's freedom," PM Modi said in Dhaka.
He even went on to recall the atrocities meted out to Bangladeshi citizens by the Pakistan army.
"The pictures of atrocities that the Pakistan army inflicted on the people here used to distract us. For many days those pictures didn't let us sleep," PM Modi said.
Wearing white kurta, pyjama and a 'Mujib Jacket' on the occasion which was organised to mark the 50th year of Bangladesh's liberation from Pakistan and the centenary year of its founder Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, PM Sheikh Hasina's father, PM Modi said the relationship between New Delhi and Dhaka is a solid one which won't 'fall prey to any kind of diplomacy'.
"Today in Bangladesh, the blood of those who fought for their liberation and the blood of Indian soldiers are flowing together. This blood will form such a relationship that will not break down under any type of pressure and will not fall prey to any kind of diplomacy," he said in a veiled attack on China.
During the event, PM Modi handed over the Gandhi Peace Prize 2020, conferred by India upon Bangladesh's 'Father of the Nation' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to his daughter Sheikh Rehana and the younger sister of premier Sheikh Hasina.
The Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award instituted by the government of India since 1995, the 125th birth anniversary commemoration year of Mahatma Gandhi.