Sarees at the centre of Bangladesh Opposition’s ‘India Out’ campaign : The Tribune India

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Sarees at the centre of Bangladesh Opposition’s ‘India Out’ campaign

Why don’t BNP leaders burn their wives’ sarees, Hasina hits back

Sarees at the centre of Bangladesh Opposition’s ‘India Out’ campaign


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 31

After winning her third term, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is battling an “India Out” campaign launched by her detractors, which closely resembles a similar but successful effort in the Maldives that led to the ouster of an India-friendly government in Male.

In Bangladesh, the “India Out” campaign is currently centreed around sarees with Hasina accepting the gauntlet thrown by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) that always had an

anti-India tilt in its foreign policy. The tirade against sarees had originated from expatriate circles in Bangladesh settled in the US and the UK, and some suspected fake accounts.

The recent tiff between the ruling Awami League and the BNP broke out when the latter’s leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi publicly threw away a shawl around his shoulders, saying it was an affront to him to wear an Indian shawl from Kashmir.

Hasina hit back a couple of days ago when she said she wanted to know if the BNP leaders who were boycotting Indian products would take away the sarees of their wives and set them on fire. On the other hand, she alleged she had information that wives and daughters of several BNP leaders made frequent trips to India to buy sarees not only for themselves but also sell them to their friends. “The day you burn them in front of the (BNP) office, that day I will believe you are actually boycotting Indian goods,” said Hasina.

Hasina went on to inquire whether true boycotters of Indian products among BNP leaders were also eating their food without Indian spices, onions and tomatoes. On the defensive, Rizvi said, “BNP leaders don’t buy sarees from India that much.”

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