Why didn't India ask Bangladesh for the return of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in 1971 after it helped liberate Bangladesh from the Pakistanis?

Futurist

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Why didn't India ask Bangladesh for the return of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in 1971 after it helped liberate Bangladesh from the Pakistanis? In case you don't know, the Chittagong Hill Tracts are a Buddhist-majority territory that was given to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1947 by Sir Cyril Radcliffe--who drew the line dividing India and Pakistan in both the Punjab and Bengal in 1947. He apparently give the Chittagong Hill Tracts to East Pakistan because he felt that their economy was interconnected with that of the nearby port of Chittagong--which was Muslim-majority and thus went to East Pakistan. The residents of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the Indian leadership were both highly displeased by this award, but they were unable to actually do anything meaningful about this--in India's case, probably because it was preoccupied with Hyderabad, Junagadh, and Kashmir. Anyway, in 1971, there was a golden opportunity for India to reassert its claim to the Chittagong Hill Tracts since Bangladesh was heavily indebted to India for its independence and since by the principle of national self-determination, the people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts wanted to become a part of India (and probably still do even today). However, India never actually did this and thus this territory remained under Bangladeshi rule after 1971.

My question here is this--why exactly did India not demand the Chittagong Hill Tracts in 1971? Was it because asking for this territory could create a question mark in regards to the rest of the territorial settlement of 1947-1949 in South Asia? Was it because India was afraid of the bad reputation that it would get as a result of doing this due to this making India appear like an imperialist power (even if India's actions could have been justified on national self-determination grounds)? Was it because India didn't want to ruin its relations with Bangladesh over a small amount of territory? Or was there some other reason for this?

Any thoughts on this?

Also, for reference, here are a couple of maps:





This territory is one of the few non-Bengali and non-Muslim territories in Bangladesh today.
 

Aupmanyav

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Jun 2014
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Was it because asking for this territory could create a question mark in regards to the rest of the territorial settlement of 1947-1949 in South Asia? Was it because India was afraid of the bad reputation that it would get as a result of doing this due to this making India appear like an imperialist power (even if India's actions could have been justified on national self-determination grounds)? Was it because India didn't want to ruin its relations with Bangladesh over a small amount of territory?
You said it. India has always tried to act like a loving elder brother. It did not ask anything from Bangladesh, it gave Kachchatheevu to Sri Lanka and it accepted the birthplace of Buddha as Kapilvastu, though Piparahwa in Uttar Pradesh had an equal claim to be Buddha's birth place.

"The 19th-century search for the historical site of Kapilavastu followed the accounts left by Faxian and later by Xuanzang, who were Chinese Buddhist monks who made early pilgrimages to the site. Some archaeologists have identified present-day Tilaurakot, Nepal, while some others have identified present-day Piprahwa, India as the location for the historical site of Kapilavastu, the seat of governance of the Shakya state that would have covered the region. Both sites contain archaeological ruins." - Wikipedia (Kapilavastu)

Piprahwa inscription:
"Sukiti-bhatinaṃ sabhaginikanam sa-puta-dalanam iyaṃ salila-nidhane Budhasa bhagavate sakiyanam"
"This relic-shrine of divine Buddha (is the donation) of the Sakya-Sukiti brothers, associated with their sisters, sons, and wives, (Georg Buhler)

"This is a deposit of relics of the brethen of Sukiti, kinsmen of Buddha the Blessed One, with their sisters, their children and wives." (Thomas Rhys Davis)

"This receptacle of relics of the blessed Buddha of the Śākyas (is the pious gift) of the brothers of Sukīrti, jointly with their sisters, with their sons and their wives." (Auguste Barth)

Kachchatheevu, Relics from Piparahwa, Siddharthanagar, Uttar Pradesh.
(It is not the islands but the waters around it which are economically important - fishing. Change in boundary means that Indian fishermen would not be able to exploit that area)

 
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Devdas

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Although, the partition ended up as a disaster for Chakmas of Chittagong Hill Track. Chittagong Hill track was awarded to Pakistan under Radcliffe Award and its was obvious for India to respect the territories directly ruled by British India to its successor states India and Pakistan.
 
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Futurist

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Although, the partition ended up as a disaster for Chakmas of Chittagong Hill Track. Chittagong Hill track was awarded to Pakistan under Radcliffe Award and its was obvious for India to respect the territories directly ruled by British India to its successor states India and Pakistan.
Yeah, I mean, if India would have questioned the Radcliffe Line in regards to the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Pakistan might have begun questioning the Radcliffe Line in regards to Punjab.
 

Futurist

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As a side note, though, I wonder if Bangladesh actually needs the port of Chittagong as much as India's northeast needs it. One might wonder whether giving both Chittagong and the Chittagong Hill Tracts to India so that India's northeast would have had a close, viable port would have actually been a viable alternative to how the Radcliffe Line was drawn in real life.
 
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Aupmanyav

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I have to check that. Sheikh Hasina visited India a few days ago (Oct. 3-6) and a major transportation agreement was signed between India and Bangladesh giving access from Assam to Kolkata through Bangladesh and a rail link also. There was a treaty on Teesta water also giving a share of the water to Bangladesh*. Things are changing.
* Not included. I do not think Mamta Bannerjee has any real problem with that. It is stuck because of the rivalry between her and Prime Minister Modi, the West Bengal politics.

The Joint Statement:
"Notably, the statement highlighted the priority areas for strengthening cooperation between India and Bangladesh. The areas are border security and management, win-win business partnership; boosting connectivity on land, on the water, in the skies; harnessing defence cooperation; consolidating development cooperation; cross-border energy cooperation; cultural cooperation through celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary (2019), birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (2020) and 50 years of Bangladesh War of Liberation ( 2021).

The immediate outcome of the visit was signing of the 7 pacts in areas including transport, connectivity, capacity building and culture. The pacts are - MoU for providing a Coastal Surveillance System; Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on the use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports for Movement of goods to and from India; MoU on withdrawal of 1.82 cusecs of water from Feni River by India for drinking water supply scheme for Sabroom town, Tripura, India; Agreement concerning Implementation of the Lines of Credit (LoCs) committed by India to Bangladesh; MoU between the University of Hyderabad and University of Dhaka; Renewal of Cultural Exchange Programme and a MoU on Co-operation in Youth Affair. Besides, 3 projects were inaugurated. The projects are- import of Bulk LPG from Bangladesh; inauguration of Vivekananda Bhaban (student’s hostel) at Ramakrishna Mission, Dhaka; inauguration of Bangladesh-India Professional Skill Development Institute (BIPSDI) at the Institution of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh (IDEB), Khulna."
 
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Devdas

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As a side note, though, I wonder if Bangladesh actually needs the port of Chittagong as much as India's northeast needs it. One might wonder whether giving both Chittagong and the Chittagong Hill Tracts to India so that India's northeast would have had a close, viable port would have actually been a viable alternative to how the Radcliffe Line was drawn in real life.
Chittagong Port and Chittagong hill track are two different territory, the Bengalis dominated Chittagong while Chittagong Hill Track was dominated by Chakma who are Buddhists, Chakmas are East Asian racially, speak Indo-Aryan language and Buddhists by faith. After partition, their land was flooded by Bengali immigrants, leading to more violence displacing many Chakmas into India, partition ended up a disaster for them. They were made the part of Pakistan against their wish.
 
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Futurist

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Chittagong Port and Chittagong hill track are two different territory, the Bengalis dominated Chittagong while Chittagong Hill Track was dominated by Chakma who are Buddhists, Chakmas are East Asian racially, speak Indo-Aryan language and Buddhists by faith. After partition, their land was flooded by Bengali immigrants, leading to more violence displacing many Chakmas into India, partition ended up a disaster for them. They were made the part of Pakistan against their wish.
Yes, I'm well-aware of all of this. That said, though, adding Chittagong Port to India would have only increased India's Muslim population by, what, 1%? Even less than that?