Saturday, Nov 26, 2022
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Balancing The Wheel

With polls pending, Khaleda Zia in jail and Hasina pampering Islamists, Bangladesh is on edge

Balancing The Wheel Photograph by Getty Images

Bangladesh, in recent decades, has been ruled by two women. The first one, Khaleda Zia, led a regime that was corr­upt, anti-­Indian and governed with the fundamentalist Isla­mic group Jam­­aat-e-Islami, before she lost power. Sheikh Hasina, who came in next, was not very different. But despite allegations of corruption and a growing autocratic way cropping up aga­inst her, it was her avo­wed commitment to secula­rism that made the Awami League lea­der India’s preferred choice as an ally.

For New Delhi, backing Hasina meant safeguarding the interest of Hindus, while taking care of India’s security priority in keeping the eastern flank stable.

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