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‘We both want stability, peace’

by Istiak Ahmed Shimul

Both India and Bangladesh want to see stability, love, and peace instead of instability, terror and unrest in the world, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday.

Both the countries want to see the world progressing through their own development and progress, Modi said while addressing the Matua community in Orakandi of Gopalganj’s Kashiani.

Bangladesh is presenting a strong example of development and change in front of the world and India is Bangladesh’s partner in development, the Indian PM continued.  

The Orakandi visit, which political analysis say was more to woo the Matua community living in India, marked a busy second day of the Indian PM’s two-day state visit to be part of the twin celebrations of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.

Modi was flown to Orakandi around 12:30pm after visiting the “Mausoleum of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman” in Tungipara.

“This marked the first-ever visit by any foreign head of state or head of government to pay homage at Bangabandhu Mausoleum Complex,” said the Indian PMO office.

Modi planted a Bakul tree sapling to commemorate this historic event. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina accompanied her Indian counterpart.

After paying homage to Bangabandhu by placing a wreath at his mausoleum, Modi stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memory of Bangabandhu, the architect of Bangladesh’s independence.

Sheikh Hasina along with her sister Sheikh Rehana also showed the Indian PM various parts of the mausoleum.

Modi also signed the visitors’ book there.

“The life of Bangabandhu epitomized the freedom struggle of the people of Bangladesh for their rights, for the preservation of their inclusive culture and their identity.” — Modi wrote in the visitor book.

“His indomitable spirit and fortitude inspired millions, who emerged victorious despite challenging circumstances,” Modi also mentioned.

During his visit to Orakandi, Modi said the two countries have proven their capabilities during the coronavirus pandemic and today, both are facing this pandemic strongly and also fighting it together.

India is working with consideration that it is its duty that “Made-in-India” vaccines reaches the citizens of Bangladesh, he added.

Modi offered prayers at Harichandra Thakurbari Temple in Orakandi.

The Indian PM started his day by visiting Jessoreshwari Kali Temple at Ishwaripur village of Shyamnagar in Satkhira and offed puja there.

Jayanta Chattapadhya and Krishna Chattapadhya from the Sebayat family of the temple welcomed him there around 10:15am.

At Jessoreshwari Kali Temple, Modi was welcomed with beats of traditional drum and blowing of conches, reports our correspondent from Satkhira.

He entered the temple and offered prayers along with the Sabayet (caretaker) of the temple, Jyoti Chattopadhyay told The Daily Star.

Inside the temple, Modi, who was wearing a mask, sat on the floor while the priest Dilip Mukharjee recited from holy books.

During the prayers, Modi offered golden crown, red saree, fruits and sweets to Goddess Kali.

According to news agency ANI, after offering prayers at the temple, Modi said, “I got the opportunity to visit this Shaktipeeth to pay obeisance to Maa Kali. I prayed to her to free the human race from Covid-19.”

“When Maa Kali mela (festival) is held here, large number of devotees come from across the border. Therefore, a community hall is needed which should be multi-purpose so that when people come here during Kali puja, it is useful to them for social, religious and educational events.”

“Most importantly, it should act as a shelter for all at the time of disasters like cyclone. The government of India will do the construction work. I express gratitude to Bangladesh Government that they have wished us well for this,” Modi said.

The Indian PM left Dhaka last night. 

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