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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Bangladesh Diary

Bangladesh’s development story surprised me. The figures given by our embassy were impressive; a growth rate of 6.9 per cent and, what is more, a population replacement of only 1.2...

Bangladesh Diary
Bangladesh Diary
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Buzz on the Field

After many years, I was in Dhaka again, at the opening ceremony of the South Asian Games. India is a major participant with about 400 sportspersons and a dominating sporting presence. The Banga Bandhu Stadium in the heart of the city reminded me of Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium. It’s an elegant, intimate setting in the heart of the capital. The late afternoon opening ceremony in the cool winter was an enjoyable experience. The Bangladesh Olympic Committee had organised an inexpensive and near-perfect event. Almost 10,000 young people along with men from the forces in colourful costumes held an impressive display of dances and calisthenics accompanied by Tagore, Nazrul Islam and other songs of the land. This was followed by a water display with laser lights. Finally, there was a burst of fireworks, complex and pleasing.

The games were an occasion for the subcontinent to meet in friendship and healthy competition. While the athletes nervously got ready for their events, I had the opportunity to meet ministers and managers from our neighbourhood. The Nepalese sports minister and his officials remembered me as the former chief election commissioner of India. We happily discussed the woes of all election commissions and the constant struggle for fair elections in a democracy. The Pakistan sports minister and his colleagues were warm and friendly. Neighbours we always will be, so it is best to work out the means to a friendly and harmonious coexistence. We talked of the recent ipl controversy and the Hockey World Cup in Delhi, where the gods have decided the opening match will be between India and Pakistan. I am excited the world cup will take place...

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