When Sheikh Hasina was hiding her identity in Delhi… it was not without reason that she had very close relations with the Gandhi family

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read

New Delhi : Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina has come to Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new government in India. In Delhi, Sheikh Hasina met Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi on Monday. This meeting of the Bangladeshi PM has nothing to do with politics. If you see the pictures of this meeting, you will easily understand this. The way Sheikh Hasina and Sonia Gandhi hugged each other during the meeting and the glow on the faces of both the women clearly showed how special this relationship is. When Sheikh Hasina hugged Rahul and Priyanka, it seemed as if she was meeting her family and children after a long time. In fact, the relationship between the Gandhi family and Sheikh Hasina's family is more than 5 decades old.

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Indira Gandhi provided security

Everyone knows how important was the role of Indira Gandhi in the independence of Bangladesh. When Bangladesh President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated in a military coup, India played an important role in keeping Sheikh Hasina's family safe. Sheikh Hasina has been mentioning this in her interviews from time to time. At the time when Sheikh Hasina's father was assassinated, she had gone to Germany with her sister to meet her husband. Her husband was a nuclear scientist. He was doing PhD in Germany at that time. According to Sheikh Hasina, 'At that time Indira Gandhi immediately sent information that she wanted to give us security and shelter. After this, she came to Delhi with her husband M Wajed and two children Sajib and Saima Putul. Sheikh Hasina stayed in Delhi for more than 5 years. Because of this, her relationship with the Gandhi family is very special.

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She is living in Pandara Road after changing her identity.

Hasina first lived at 56 Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar-3 and later at Pandara Park, hiding her identity until 1981. According to Sheikh Hasina, the first two-three years of her exile in India were “tough”. Especially for her two children – a son and a daughter, who were young then. According to Hasina, the children would cry and request to be taken to their grandparents, especially their maternal uncle. Indira Gandhi had also arranged a job for her husband here. Extremely tight security was put in place around their house. Sheikh Hasina had said that we decided to come back here (Delhi) because we had it in our mind that if we went to Delhi, we would be able to go back to our country from Delhi. And then we would know how many family members are still alive.

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Returned to Bangladesh in 1981

In fact, when there was a military coup in Bangladesh, her father, the great politician Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was killed in that massacre. On 15 August 1975, 18 members of her family, including her uncle and 10-year-old younger brother, were killed by senior army officers. After this, there was a huge political upheaval in Bangladesh and the country remained under military rule for many years. Hasina was banned from coming to Bangladesh. Later in February 1981, she was elected the leader of her party Awami League. After this, she returned to Bangladesh in May 1981.

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