On 13th February the Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad inaugurated the ‘friendship gate’ between India and Bangladesh. The gate has been built keeping in mind the Wagah-border. This border gate will have a beating retreat ceremony as well.
The Friendship Gate has been constructed between India and Bangladesh near the Integrated check post, Dawki 90 Km south of Shillong. During the inauguration, the governor spoke about how tourism would be promoted in the area. The Governor during his visit also met the Border Guard of Bangladesh’s Additional Director, Zahid Hasan. Sweets were distributed to both troops present there. BSF Meghalaya frontier IG P.K. Dubey said that soon there would people from both sides of the border who would enjoy the beating retreat ceremony at the check post. The ceremony will be performed by the BSF and BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh). During his visit, the governor also inaugurated the new BDF border outpost Umsyiem.
The agenda was to strengthen the ties between India and Bangladesh, which has been strained in the past. The Friendship Gate at Dawki is slated to be a popular tourist spot. And if all goes as planned it will become as popular as the Wagah border near Amritsar. The Indo-Bangla border also known as the ‘Maitri Dwar’ may spell new signs for the relationship between the two countries. It seems like a move to combine nationalism with tourism. Kilapara on the other side of the Indo-Bangladesh border is a war memorial which attracts tourist who pay homage to the martyrs in the Bangladesh War of Liberation in 1971. The Indo-Bangla friendship treaty was signed in 1972.
The Wagah border sees more than thousands of visitors every year and is overwhelmingly popular all over India, and the beating retreat ceremony at the site creates a highly-charged environment. Recently the visitor’s gallery has been modified to accommodate a larger audience.