The immediate prequel to Indian PM Manmohon Singh's visit to Bangladesh is dripping with expectations, albeit tempered with cautious optimism. There have been goodwill visits from Indian prime ministers to Bangladesh in the past, outstanding being that of the historic one paid by Indira Gandhi to just-born Bangladesh.
Manmohon's trip is poised to be momentous given the sheer volume of business to be transacted between India and Bangladesh. They are to sign some accords in pursuit of some decisions contained in the joint communiqué issued following Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi more than one and a half years ago.
What's important, they are close to solving the thorny enclave issues, spokes-of-a-wheel kind of vestigial remnant of a blasé, perfunctory dotting on the Radcliff map of partitioned Bengal. Legally binding treaties are required, because 'India failed twice to implement' the earlier ones.
Conflict rages over drawing of maritime baselines among India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. To our dismay, 'India and Myanmar have announced their offshore blocks for exploration and extraction of oil and gas in the deep sea.' Pragmatists are of the view that maritime border disputes should be resolved through bilateral negotiations on an equitable give-and-take basis.
Economic statecraft needs to be placed above the business of domestic politics to compete effectively by 'playing to our strength'.
External debt and its servicing are balanced. Inexplicably, in spite of reasonable credit worthiness, the government shows preference for unfavourable loans such as suppliers' credit, laments an economist.
An informed discussion has been offered on the issue of indigenousness. It is not a question of according privilege to any community but of recognising its participatory rights.
Health as a basic human right is prey to culpable negligence it's inaccessible, unaffordable and substandard. The photographic illustrations speak louder than words.
The horrific collision disaster in Manikganj killing five including iconic Tareque Masud and Mishuk Munier triggered a number of highly thoughtful reactive pieces. 'Forgiving roads' reflecting a shift in thinking on road crash prevention sounds like a brilliant idea. The case made out of roads having “built-in mechanisms that will deter accidents in spite of human error, and if accidents do occur, the road environment will minimise the possibility of death,” merits considerations.
The essence of the works of Tareque Masud -- Muktir Gaan, Matir Moina -- and his thinking on cinematic content and multi-culturalism has been presented on a convincing intellectual format. We can't agree more with Tareque's assertion that popular culture is a safeguard against extremism.