Bridging Bosnia and Bengal is a mission for Dr Subasic
Clad in a navy blue suit over a pale blue formal shirt, brown leather shoes, and looking through a pair of rimless thick-glassed spectacles, Dr Sabit Subasic – Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to India, smiles as he sits down on a beige sofa on the lounge of Taj Bengal Kolkata on a Thursday evening. It had been a very busy day – Dr Subasic visited Sister Nivedita University in the morning where he interacted with the administrative heads, faculty members, and students. Then he paid a visit to the corporate office of Techno India Group where he received a traditional welcome, and he can't stop gushing about the red tilak on his forehead and the authentic Hilsa meal he enjoyed eating with his hands.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Techno India Group and Sister Nivedita University and Sarajevo School of Science and Technology to initiate exchange programs between the two universities. He says this is just the beginning, as he looks forward to Techno India Group spreading its wings not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina but all over south-eastern Europe.
Dr Subasic looks visibly overwhelmed as he recalls meeting Satyam Roychowdhury, Managing Director of Techno India Group and Chancellor of Sister Nivedita University – "I first met Mr Roychowdhury in New Delhi when he came to my office at the embassy, and I felt an instant chemistry developing between us. We discussed the growth prospects of education, and he accepted my proposal to visit Bosnia. I'm glad I could join him and could arrange a fruitful trip for him in my country. His team has had positive discussions with the rectors of quite a few reputed state and private universities, and they will soon get into joint ventures to work for exchange programs. I've grown so fond of this man over the past few months. It was his first visit to Bosnia but it was a pleasant surprise that he already knew so much about the country."
It's been four and a half years in India since the third day of March 2014, and Dr Sabit Subasic has fallen in love with the country and its youth. "I had two other opportunities four years ago. I had to choose from the three countries. I refuted all prejudices and chose India," recalls Dr Subasic as he goes on to confess that everything about India, from cuisine to culture, has a unique charm.
"Today, if I'm given an opportunity to choose from ten countries, I'll still choose to stay in India," his voice beams with confidence.
Dr. Sabit Subasic had visited Srinagar in November 2017 to attend an interaction meeting organised by Kashmir Youth Entrepreneur Federation, which marked the first ever visit to Kashmir by any Bosnian authority. Refusing to surrender to frequent dispute and unrest, the ambassador says there is great scope for exchange of trade, commerce and tourism between the Kashmir and Bosnia. "War should not ruin such an important state. I fell in love with the natural beauty there, and I feel Kashmir is your Switzerland."
He stresses on the development of sports in India, and he strongly believes sportspersons can become efficient ambassadors of a nation.
"India will become the youngest country in the world by 2020 with 29 years being its average age, which indicates there are talented young people in every sector. There is a saying (he quotes it in fluent Latin) which means you cannot have a healthy spirit if your body is not healthy.' He talks about ace tennis player Novak Djokovic who hails from Serbia – a neighbouring country of Bosnia, saying that the youth icon is a better promoter of his country than all the classical diplomats put together.