Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami on Saturday hoped that the traditional spirit of happiness, friendship, peace and harmony will only grow in a Bangladesh that remains true to the remarkable founding vision and values of its Liberation War.
"It is with the hope that in the years ahead, Indian and Bangladeshi people will continue to fully celebrate every festival that makes our subcontinent the world's most diverse region," he said.
The High Commissioner made the remarks at the Janmashtami festival in Dhakeshwari temple organized by Mahanagar Sarbojoneen Puja Committee.
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tazul Islam spoke at the event as the chief guest.
Doraiswami said there can be no progress for either one of them individually and they need each other's cooperation to ensure a "peaceful, stable, secure" neighbourhood, and an interconnected sub-region.
"We in India are committed to this goal, for the equal progress of all of our countries. This is why we are invested in creating a broad based, people-centric development partnership aimed at all people and communities," he said.
Referring to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's repeated remarks "Dharmo Jar Jar - Utsob Sabar," the high commissioner said this is the spirit that inspired the Liberation War of 1971 and the magnificent, inclusive and progressive 1972 Constitution of Bangladesh.
He said all Indian governments have given highest priority to this friendship. "We will always hope that this is reciprocated by all groups and parties here as well."
Regardless of that, the envoy said, all of his predecessors have worked single-mindedly to seek friendship with the people of Bangladesh, throughout its history, and with all shades of Bangladeshi opinion.
The High Commissioner said the bond between India and Bangladesh was indeed forged in unique circumstances of tragedy, sacrifice and great humanitarian distress, and shared struggle in the face of a brutal and genocidal oppressor.
"But the bond that has sustained us since 1971 builds upon that foundation and goes much further. Today, we are both independent, equal, sovereign nations with millennia-old bonds of common history, language, culture and heritage, as well as shared values of harmonious co-existence, and respect for diversity and inclusion," he said.
Doraiswami mentioned that "Ours are nations that are inspired by truly pluralist values. We both understand that national progress can only be achieved through fairness, compassion and through equal opportunity for all."
He said the Bangladesh-India partnership is based on mutual respect and shared prosperity of people.
Every effort on both sides to deepen the partnership is based solely on the understanding that it will benefit the people of both countries, Doraiswami said.
As a nation that shares every possible commonality, plus nearly 4100 kms of border, India is, was and will always be a friend to all of Bangladesh, he said.
"The future of our friendship is with the people first and foremost. And yes, it is based on the values and goals that you set for yourself in the first years of your independence," Doraiswami said.