Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a visit to Bangladesh, congratulated the country on Friday for its 50th year of Independence and said one of the first protests of his political career was for the freedom of the neighbouring nation.
"The freedom struggle of Bangladesh was a significant moment in my journey too... My colleagues and I had done a satyagraha in India... I was in my early twenties. I even had the opportunity to go to jail during this satyagraha for Bangladesh's struggle for freedom," he said.
Wearing a "Mujib Jacket" as tribute to Bangladesh's Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, PM Modi attended the National Day ceremony with the country's President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the National Parade Ground in Dhaka.
"This is one of the most memorable days of my life. I am grateful that Bangladesh has included me in this event," he said, as he honoured the contribution of the Indian Army in Bangladesh's 1971 freedom war.
"We will never ever forget the sacrifice the soldiers of this great nation have made and also those by Indians who stood beside the soldiers of Bangladesh... we have not forgotten their bravery and courage.... we will never forget it," PM Modi added.
PM Modi said both India and Bangladesh have the power of democracy and vision for the future, and it is necessary for the region the two countries progress together. "That is why Indian and Bangladeshi governments are making meaningful efforts in this direction," he said.
Earlier, the Prime Minister held talks with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in the Dhaka. PM Modi is in the neighbouring country on a two-day visit which began Friday. The visit has also triggered protests in some parts of the country. Four people were killed in clashes in Chittagong during a protest by a group.
PM Modi met with several community leaders, including representatives of minorities in Bangladesh, 'mukhtijoddhas' or freedom fighters, friends of India and youth icons, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
Two distinguished artists from West Bengal were invited by Dhaka to perform for the celebration of 50th year of the independence of Bangladesh.
Marking the 50-year-old diplomatic ties with India, the Bangladesh government invited New Delhi to take part in the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of its independence.
Bangladesh is also celebrating the birth centenary of Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.