ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Vanaspati-Cooked Up

a deliberate slight; nevertheless, the episode does seem to be symptomatic of the climate which at the moment is typical of Dacca. At the political level, India is still considered worth cultivating, if not as dispenser of assorted bounties, at least as a useful bargaining counter. How- ever, within the bureaucracy and among the population at large, considerable prejudice, rational as well as irrational, has welled up against this country. Much of this may be traced to the failure of the Bangladesh economy to take off, and the consequential urge to spot a scapegoat, Part of the prejudice certainly is traceable to reports of wide-scale smuggling of jute across the border. Bangladesh politicians have exhibited hard-headed commonsense in managing their country's external relations: The prospects of cheap yarn, textiles, sugar, edible oil, rice, wheat, and other consumer goods from Pakistan have been a major factor in the remoulding of popular emotions. The pampered middle class, with vivid memories of their cushy existence during the Ayub and Yahya regimes, has other private hopes too. ft has been easy, therefore, for motivated groups to emphasise the 'positive aspects' of a possible rapprochement with Pakistan, particularly amidst the developing disenchantment with India and the near- morbid anxiety about infiltration of Marwari finance capital.

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