An initiative launched in 1971 to back Bangladeshi nationalists in their liberation struggle is set to take flight again, this time on the wings of a powerful radio transmitter that will put forward India’s perspective on issues facing the subcontinent. After five months of preparation, All India Radio’s (AIR) Kolkata station is ready to launch Akashvani Maitree—a service in Bengali aimed primarily at Bangladeshis—as New Delhi looks to strengthen diplomatic ties with Dhaka.

Bangladesh has resorted to public diplomacy in its efforts to narrow down the decades-old “gap in understanding” with its neighbour Myanmar. The relations with the new democratic Myanmar are of strategic importance, as they are the gateway to China and ASEAN economies, besides spelling a potential supply of natural gas. 

The foreign ministry has brought a group of journalists from seven countries as part of its public diplomacy to project Bangladesh to the world. The 13 journalists from Sri Lanka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain, Australia, Qatar, India, and Egypt have come as part of the ‘Visit Bangladesh Programme’ of the government.

No denying that sports and games do great branding for a country. When Mabia Akter Simanta, a weightlifter from Bangladesh won the first gold for her country at the 2016th South Asian games and stood on the victory stand, tears rolled down her cheek. It was tears of joy and happiness. 

To tell a good story should not be a risk. To paint on canvas or shoot a picture should not land you in jail. A tweet, a blog, a film — non should cost you your life. Look around the world, though, and worry. Storytellers are in jail, exiled or dead. [...] The full spectrum of art and culture is under duress in many countries because words and images are powerful and when there is distress, repression follows. 

The latest spate of terrorist attacks in the Middle East and Bangladesh and the unfortunate, indiscriminate killings in Paris have highlighted how misinterpretation of culture, rituals and religious beliefs are affecting peace and stability all over the world. It has also drawn attention to the politicisation of faith and its consequent repercussions. [...] This process [of cultural diplomacy] is reducing the impact of differences in cultures becoming catalyst for conflict.

November 27, 2015

To showcase that bond through art-works, Art Beyond Borders is organising a group show titled- Integrated Art ‘India…..Bangladesh” which has 20 contemporary artists participating from Indian and Bangladesh participating in it. [...] “we aspire to bring all the eight SAARC nations on the same platform with art and cultural exchange and hope to fill the void left behind by sub continental politicking and diplomacy 

The image of our country is the lowest it’s been [...] Bangladesh is yet to become attractive to G-7 investors. Bangladesh’s potential as a liberal Muslim country is not discussed at the right tables in the Middle East.