Congress President Sonia Gandhi in her video message on the occasion of Bangladesh's Golden Jubilee celebrations of Independence and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said she shares personal bonding with the family of Bangabandhu, and India has a special relationship with Bangladesh.
She said both countries face many challenges -- economic, political and environmental and has to protect and strengthen their "composite heritage" and their glorious traditions of "liberal pluralism".
"Most of all, both Bangladesh and India, which have been beacons for the celebrations of diversities, are being called upon today to protect and strengthen their composite heritage and their glorious traditions of liberal pluralism," Gandhi said.
The Congress leader said she is privileged to have been invited by on the occasion of the birth centenary of the father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and on the golden jubilee of Bangladesh's independence.
"Fifty years ago, the courageous people of Bangladesh scripted a whole new destiny for themselves transforming both the history and the geography of the sub-continent. Over the past five decades, Bangladesh's remarkable achievements in social development, community participation, economic growth and other areas have been very impressive and have received global recognition," she said.
"We, in India, have always had a special relationship with the people of Bangladesh. This has been in very large measure because of the role Indira Gandhi played in the historic events of 1971 and the deep bonds of mutual respect, admiration and deep friendship that 'Bangabandhu' and she established. 1971 was as much a transformative year for India as it was for Bangladesh," she added.
"On this joyous occasion and as someone, who lived through the transformative hours, days, weeks and months of 1971 by Indira Gandhi's side in her home along with my husband Rajiv Gandhi Ji, I am personally delighted to share the pride of Sheikh Hasina and millions of her countrymen and women," she said.