Dhaka seeks clarification from New Delhi on ‘Akhand Bharat’ mural in new parliament building

The foreign ministry of Bangladesh has sought an explanation from India over the Greater India or ‘Akhand Bharat’ map that was recently installed in the new Parliament building in New Delhi.

The Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi has been instructed to contact India’s Ministry of External affairs to get India’s official explanation on this matter, Bangladesh junior minister for foreign affairs Md. Shahriar Alam told reporters in Dhaka.

“Anger is being expressed from various quarters over the map. There is no reason to doubt about the installation of the map. However, we have asked our mission in New Delhi to speak to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to find out what their official interpretation is,” Alam said.

The map includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Alam said India’s ministry of external affairs spokesperson said that this is a map of the Ashoka Empire, 300 years before the birth of Christ.There may be cultural similarities, but it has nothing to do with politics, he assured.

Several countries including Nepal and Pakistan have already reacted to this. In Bangladesh too, many have expressed their anger on social media and in the political arena.

Last week, Pakistan expressed “grave” concerns over the idea of Akhand Bharat being increasingly peddled by the ruling Indian dispensation.

Indian foreign ministry spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi,  had said in a weekly media briefing that the mural depicts the spread of the Ashokan Empire, and, “the idea of responsible and people-oriented governance that he adopted and propagate.”

This question was asked in the context of the Foreign Secretary’s briefing on the Nepalese Prime Minister’s visit.

Foreign Secretary categorically replied Nepalese Prime Minister did not raise it in the bilateral meeting.

Spokesperson Bagchi also said,”I don’t know if protests are still going on in this issue. I have not seen any official protest for Pakistan. Then he clarified that the mural in question depicts the spread of the Ashoka Empire and the idea of responsible and people oriented governance that he adored and propagated. That is what the mural and the plaque in front of of the mural says.”

The confusion was created by no less than parliament affairs minister, Prahlad Joshi, who tweeted that “intention is clear. We are now in Akahand Bharat”

The spokesperson replied: “I am certainly not going to comment on statements that other political leaders might have said.” – INDIA NEWS STREAM

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