India: A good friend of Myanmar Honouring the Indian 75th Republic Day

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Written by - Tun Mon Thet

Sharing a long land border of over 1,600 kilometers and some maritime boundaries, Myanmar and India share deep-rooted relations in culture, traditions, religions, and social things dating back to the colonial era.
The two countries have passed ups and downs and fluctuation patterns in relations with different momentums over seven decades during the successive administrations in Myanmar.
Since gaining their independence, the two sovereign countries signed the first-ever Treaty of Friendship in 1951 sharing views on issues; respecting the sovereignty of each other; maintaining the everlasting peace and unalterable friendship; and conducting international politics.
The umbilically cordial relations continued even since the bygone ages to the civilian government ruling in 2011-20, and up to the constituted government State Administration Council. After the adoption of India’s Look East policy, the bilateral tie was bolstered more than ever before as Myanmar is regarded as a crucial land bridge on India’s path to the strengthening of ties with Southeast Asia economically and strategically relations. In fact, Myanmar is the only Southeast Asian country that territorially connects with India.
When Myanmar decided to relax its isolationist stance on foreign policy in the late 1990s and joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) in 1997, India supported the country in guaranteeing the international image and legitimacy.
No matter how many scholars and practitioners claimed that both countries act and respond to each other at different times in different ways based on their needs, India and Myanmar truly maintain cooperation in the international arena in successive reigns.
Indian community in Myanmar has already settled since the British rule in the 19th Century. The Indian descendants in Myanmar largely occupy in different walks of life ranging from civil services, business sectors, and traditional and cultural communities. According to the updated figures, there are approximately 2% of Burmese Hindus, a total of over 2 million people of Indian descendants living in coexistence in Myanmar.
As Indian cultures and practices are deeply associated with Myanmar traditions, Myanmar people show a liking to Indian foods, cuisines, clothes, and dressing accessories since goods, textiles, and commodities are brought mainly through the border trade routes by the Indian and Myanmar merchants. In addition, Indian movies are one of the popular entertainments and edutainments among the Myanmar people.
Among the four major religions within the country, Hinduism is considered the fourth-largest religion. Buddhist Myanmar people also value and respect the Hindu temples.
Myanmar, situated beside one of the Asian giants, India, values and respects the neighbouring countries that have deep-rooted and long-lasting culturally, ethnically, and traditionally linked.

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