breaking news
  • Jagdish Sewhani Addressing at public meeting in Varanasi, Bharat
  • Manifesto Manthan: Does Congress’ Poll Promises Institutionalise Legal Discrimination Against Hindus?
  • Judge approves $418 million damages for home sellers overcharged by Realtors
  • Welcome to Another ‘American Century.’ Set aside the election and hot wars. How the U.S. resolves its crisis of confidence is what’ll shape the world.
  • Taiwan: 9 Dead, Buildings Tilt, Bridges & Cars Shake In Island's Strongest Earthquake In 25 Yrs
  • Amit Shah to campaign in five TN LS constituencies on Thursday

View Details

The South Asian Insider

‘India Out’ campaigns simmer in Bangladesh amid election fallout

 (News Agency)- Amid allegations of Indian interference in national elections, there’s a call to boycott Indian goods in Bangladesh.
Last week, a supplier for the Indian consumer goods giant Marico faced a chilly reception in Dhaka’s Panthapath area. Grocery shops, usually eager to stock their shelves with its hair oil, cooking oil, body lotion and other products, refused to take new deliveries.“Sales of Parachute oil, a Marico bestseller, have plummeted to almost zero in recent weeks,” local shopkeeper Aman Ullah said. “Indian products just aren’t moving. We’re stuck with unsold stock and won’t be restocking.”
Another shop owner who requested anonymity revealed a deeper reason: “I don’t want to sell Indian products any more.” He cited YouTube videos advocating a boycott of Indian goods, which he wholeheartedly supported.
Simmering anti-India sentiment in Bangladesh has boiled over in the past decade, culminating in public displays such as celebrations in Dhaka last year after India’s loss in the Cricket World Cup final.
But after last month’s elections in Bangladesh, in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina secured a fourth term while the opposition boycotted the polls, a massive “India Out” campaign was launched, alleging Indian interference in Bangladesh politics.
The Bangladeshi diaspora and opposition groups have fuelled this anti-India movement and advocated boycotts of Indian products. This movement mirrors similar campaigns in the Maldives, where Mohamed Muizzu capitalized on anti-India sentiment to win the presidential election.
In Dhaka, the campaign was launched against the backdrop of India’s traditionally strong ties with Hasina’s government and its strained relationship with the opposition, leading many to believe India favoured the status quo.
Exiled Bangladeshi physician Pinaki Bhattacharya, who fled alleged government harassment in 2018, has emerged as the key figure in this burgeoning social media movement accusing India of interfering in Bangladesh’s recent elections to keep Hasina in power.
Through his more than two million followers across social media platforms, Bhattacharya launched the #BoycottIndia campaign in mid-January, urging them to join “this monumental endeavour”. His call, emphasizing love of homeland and determination to break free from perceived shackles, resonated with thousands.The anti-India movement has surged online, fuelled by user-generated content. Photos of crossed-out Indian products like Amul butter and Dabur honey are circulating alongside barcode identification tips to boycott these goods. A single post highlighting the 890 prefix used in barcodes for Indian products garnered more than 1,000 shares, showcasing the movement’s online reach.
Why did the campaign gain traction?
The Indian High Commission in Dhaka declined Al Jazeera’s request for a comment on this anti-India campaign.
At a Mumbai forum on January 30 with Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, attendees raised concerns about India’s foreign policy amid perceived shifts in regional dynamics, particularly the growing pull of major rival China on neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and the Maldives.Jaishankar downplayed concerns about foreign policy shortcomings but conceded the competitive reality. He pointed out that China’s geographical proximity naturally grants it influence over neighbouring countries like the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.