• Sunday, July 21, 2024

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh’s Hasina mocks opponents over ‘Boycott India’: ‘Burn your wives’ Indian saris first’

The leader, who considers India to be a great friend, alleged while the opponent leaders were promoting ‘Boycott Indian products’ campaign, their wives were using saris made in the neighbouring country.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) shakes hand with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit at the Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on September 9, 2023. (Photo by Evan Vucci / POOL / AFP) (Photo by EVAN VUCCI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

BANGLADESHI prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who is known to be friendly towards neighbour India, has lashed out at her opposition over fanning anti-Indian sentiments and made ‘sari’, a popular women’s dress in South Asia, her tool.

Opponents of Hasina, who in January became the prime minister for the record fifth term in a controversial election which the opposition refused to participate in, have tried to project her as “pro-India” and even claimed that New Delhi helped her win the mandate this year. They started a campaign soon after, appealing to the people of Bangladesh, to boycott Indian products.

The 76-year-old leader, who is the daughter of the founding father of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, broke her silence over the matter after months and particularly targeted the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the principal opposition party in the country.

The Awami League leader, who has hailed India as a “great friend” on numerous occasions, took a dig at the leaders of the BNP last week asking how many Indian saris do their wives have in their collection.

Read: Indian goods face boycott in Bangladesh

Criticisng the BNP leaders who have backed the campaign to boycott Indian products

Hasina, who came to power after a landslide victory in the January elections, which the BNP boycotted, used the ‘humble sari’ to school the BNP leaders who had been backing a “boycott Indian products” campaign on social media.

Sheikh Hasina has hailed India as a “great friend” in various instances.

Read: Rohingya women in Bangladeshi camps ‘inspiring’: photojournalist

“How many Indian saris do their (BNP leader’s) wives have?” Hasina asked last week at her party office in Dhaka, the national capital.

Those present on the occasion were amused when the prime minister challenged the opponents to burn the Indian saris that their wives have with themselves.

“When they burn their wives’ Indian saris in front of their party office, only then will it be proven that they are truly committed to boycotting Indian products,” Hasina said.

Hasina, who has a soft corner for saris and also gifts them to Indian leaders, also accused the BNP leaders and their wives of buying saris from India, a major hub of the garment, and selling them in Bangladesh.

“When the BNP was in power, I had seen wives of their leaders flying to India, in groups, to buy Indian saris. They would sell the saris in Bangladesh,” she alleged.

Besides saris, Hasina also mentioned Indian spices while taking a dig at the opponents. She said Bangladesh imports spices, onion, garlic and many other items from India and asked the opponent leaders to cook their food without Indian spices and eat it too.

Indian onions reach Bangladesh

On Monday (1), Bangladesh received 1,650 tons of onions in the first consignment from India. They will be sold by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh in places such as Dhaka, Gazipur and Chattogram.

Dhaka is importing 50,000 metric tons of onion from India ahead of the Eid festival. While New Delhi has halted exports of the vegetable, it has decided to exempt nations such as Bangladesh and the UAE. The price of the commodity witnessed a steep rise in Bangladeshi markets after India decided to stop exporting it ahead of its general elections.

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