The Charm of India's integrity in the hands of Bangladesh!

Siliguri Corridor

According to the Independence of India Act, 1947, the two dominions of Pakistan and India, created after the break-up of British India on 14th and 15th August, respectively, later developed into republics in the constitutional process, but both remained geographically problematic.

The state of Pakistan is formed with a geographical distance of thousands of miles between the east and the west and the vast state of India in the middle. That is to say, Central India was a major obstacle to the necessary geographical isolation of the East with the West of Pakistan.

In the case of the state of India, apparently geographically uninterrupted, it has been hampered by the position of East Bengal as part of Pakistan in the middle of north-west India with north-east India, that is, today's independent Bangladesh.

Northeast India is connected to the mainland of India by a 200 km long and narrowest corridor with a width of only 16 km. The official name of the A-Corridor is 'Siliguri Corridor' and the unofficial name is 'Chicken Neck'.

The Siliguri Corridor is called the 'Chicken Neck' with Nepal to the north and Bangladesh to the south.
The Siliguri Corridor is part of West Bengal, through which Nepal in the north and Bangladesh in the south have to leave Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, Alipore Duar, and Cooch Behar districts of the state.

And beyond Bengal to the states of Arunachal, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, and Sikkim. That is, it is almost impossible for anyone from the north-west-south of India to enter those 7 states and independent Bhutan without using the land of greater Bengal.

India's problem is the independent and sovereign position of Bengal, the eastern part of Bengal, on the geopolitical map described above, which makes the country always terrified of a frightened chicken under the vixen-eye of China from the north.

And, this horror has become a nightmare for India. In the event of a war with China, this Siliguri corridor in India could be the cause of the death of the Indo-Empire as the target of a deadly arrow like the heel or ankle of the unfortunate hero of Greek mythology, Achilles.

In recent decades, US military bases and military exercises in the East and the South China Sea countries have been seen as encircling China, and the Chinese have increased their military presence in the South and East China Seas.

At the same time, in the hope that the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal could not be used against them, the country has been working with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Bangladesh to increase its naval strength.

China fears that in the Indian Ocean region, India may also join the US zone against China. Therefore, the Himalayan countries have made Nepal and Bhutan usable to make India militarily fragile on land.
To China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Burma are countries that have the advantage of water war and the land war against India. However, among these three countries, Bangladesh will be the most strategically advantageous country in China's war against India, as well as the geopolitical position of North Bengal adjacent to the Bay of Bengal in The Water War and the Siliguri Corridor in the land war.

If China attacks Bangladesh from south of the Siliguri corridor of India and Nepal in the north by pressing the ‘Chicken Neck’ from Tibet and Bhutan, it will become irresistible for India.
Despite having an estimated 160,000 to 200,000 troops in 9 divisions of the 3rd Corps, 4th Corps, and 33rd Corps of the Indian Armed Forces stationed in northeastern India, the Siliguri Corridor closed 5 districts and 6 states in West Bengal from mainland India. Will be isolated.

Realizing the geopolitical importance of Bangladesh, when China started lending billions of dollars to Bangladesh with the potential to become militarily and economically strong, Bangladesh and Sheikh Hasina also realized that reliance on India and adherence to India's subordinate alliance was not her only destiny.

Due to the similarity of more than 50 rivers with India, downstream riverine Bangladesh is dependent on the grace of upstream India. Despite repeated promises to get a fair share of water from the Teesta River, Bangladesh, frustrated by India's repeated breaches of promises, has finally been forced to seek China's help. And that's exactly what China wanted.

The Teesta River enters North Bengal of Bangladesh from Sikkim via North Bengal of India. Now, with the financial and technical support of China, Bangladesh has undertaken a project to bring the Teesta River into unprecedented new management for Bangladesh.

According to the Teesta River Management Project, embankments on both sides of the river will be narrowed to 1 km in width and the bottom will be deepened; Adequate reservoirs will be built on both sides to retain rainwater and release it into the river in winter and summer.

New townships and economic zones will be built using the land that will be recovered due to the reduction in river width. This will change the natural and social environment of North Bengal and increase economic activity.

Needless to say, as a model of development in North Bengal, China would also like to build its own economic and security ‘exclusive zone’ there. This means that from there, China will be able to keep a close eye on India and especially the Siliguri corridor. And, this issue can never be desirable in India.
What does India really want from Bangladesh?

"According to international relations and war theory, in the above-mentioned world situation, India may want five things from Bangladesh:

  1.  Adequate infrastructure for military and logistical navigation through Bangladesh to the China-border of Northeast India, 
  2.  Local economy complementing Indian peace and wartime economy, 
  3.  Transparent and cooperative Bangladesh Army with India 
  4.  India-friendly government, And 
  5.  The cultural environment of India-Friendship." - Wikipedia

It is now seen that, contrary to India's demands and power, a situation has arisen in Bangladesh where Indian troops are likely to cross the Sino-Indian border through Bangladesh to prevent a possible war. This is, in fact, a nightmare for India.

In fact, Jyoti Prasad Ghosh, Additional Chief Engineer, Bangladesh Water Development Board, told the international media that the journey of the Teesta project would start in December this year. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an emergency meeting with his External Affairs Minister Subramaniam Jayashankar and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and sent the latter to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on an urgent basis with a special message.

However, professional diplomat Shringla returned to Delhi at the end of his visit to Bangladesh and said that the talks had been fruitful and that he was "happy". But in reality, he will tell in time what he has done. However, he visited Bangladesh under the name 'Vaccine Diplomacy' in the context of the news that Bangladesh is getting priority for Indian vaccines.

According to a report published in an Indian newspaper on August 26, just nine days later, Bangladesh has not only given priority to Chinese vaccines but has also given China 100,000 free vaccines for a third trial.
From the above news, it is understood that the joy (laughter) of Bangladesh 'fruitful' Bangladesh-visitor Harsh Vardhan Shringla is actually just a special form of sadness (crying)! In fact, in diplomacy, it is sometimes the case that even after a fatal slap, one has to digest it silently and keep a smile on one's face. It is part of the training of professional diplomats. So, there is no reason to take Schringler's words literally.

However, I want to end with the context in which I started. As I said, Pakistan is as unrealistic as it was, but India is not as unrealistic as it used to be. In the end, it may not be possible for mainland India to hold the northeastern states through a corridor, with an independent Bangladesh with a large population.

India's natural tendency may be to ensure its geographical continuity by swallowing Bangladesh in the end. But the population of Bangladesh of about 160 million as well as the support of China and the location of another 8-10 crore Bengalis in the north-west of India and the realization of the Bengali consciousness Indian natural aspirations is an insurmountable obstacle like a Himalayan mountain.

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