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Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri La ...

South Asia
. It is the eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 163 million people, in an area of , making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Bangladesh shares land borders with
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
to the west, north, and east,
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
to the southeast, and the
Bay of Bengal The Bay of Bengal is the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to th ...

Bay of Bengal
to the south. It is narrowly separated from
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...

Nepal
and
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Ch ...

Bhutan
by the
Siliguri Corridor The Siliguri Corridor is a narrow stretch of land (about wide) located around the city of Siliguri in West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali language, Bengali: ''Paschim Banga'' ) is a States and union territories of India, state in the ...
, and from
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
by
Sikkim Sikkim (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in northeastern India. It borders the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north and northeast, Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and West Bengal in the south. Sikkim is also ...

Sikkim
, in the north, respectively.
Dhaka Dhaka ( or ; bn, ঢাকা, Ḍhākā, ), formerly known as Dacca, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upperca ...

Dhaka
, the capital and
largest city The United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, ...
, is the nation's economic, political, and cultural hub.
Chittagong Chittagong ( ; bn, চাটগাঁও, Cāṭgāon), officially Chattogram ( bn, চট্টগ্রাম), is a major coastal city and financial centre A financial centre, financial center, or financial hub is a location with a c ...
, the largest seaport, is the second-largest city. Bangladesh forms the larger and eastern part of the
Bengal Bengal (; Bengali language, Bengali: ', ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, predominantly covering present-day Bang ...

Bengal
region. According to the ancient Indian texts, ''
Rāmāyana
Rāmāyana
'' and ''
Mahābhārata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit literature, Sanskrit Indian epic poetry, epics of ancient India, the other being the ''Ramayana, Rāmāyaṇa''. It narrates the struggle betwe ...

Mahābhārata
'', the
Vanga Kingdom Vanga was an ancient kingdom and geopolitical division within the Ganges delta in the Indian subcontinent. The kingdom is one of the namesakes of the Bengal region. It was located in southern Bengal, with the core region including present-day s ...
, one of the namesakes of the Bengal region, was a strong naval power. In the ancient and classical periods of the Indian subcontinent, the territory was home to many principalities, including the Pundra,
Gangaridai Gangaridai ( gr, Γανγαρίδαι; Latin: ''Gangaridae'') is a term used by the ancient writers to describe a or a geographical region of the ancient . Some of these writers state that withdrew from the Indian subcontinent because of the ...
,
Gauda
Gauda
,
Samatata Samatata ( bn, সমতট) was an ancient geopolitical division of Bengal Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in South Asia, specifically in t ...
, and
Harikela Ancient Political Divisions Harikela was a kingdom in ancient Bengal encompassing much of the eastern regions of the Indian Subcontinent and Arakan. There are numerous references to the kingdom in historical texts as well as archeological artifact ...
. It was also a Mauryan province under the reign of
Ashoka Ashoka (; Brāhmi: 𑀅𑀲𑁄𑀓, ''Asoka'', IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit ...

Ashoka
. The principalities were notable for their overseas trade, contacts with the Roman world, the export of fine
muslin Muslin () is a cotton fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crochetin ...
and silk to the Middle East, and spreading of philosophy and art to
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
. The
Gupta Empire The Gupta Empire was an Outline of ancient India, ancient Indian empire which existed from the early 4th century CE to late 6th century CE. At its zenith, from approximately 319 to 467 CE, it covered much of the Indian subcontinent. This period ...

Gupta Empire
,
Pala Empire The Pala Empire (r. 750-1161 CE) was an imperial power during the Post-classical history, post-classical period in the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. It is named after its ruling dynasty, whose rulers bore names ...
, the Chandra dynasty, and the
Sena dynasty The Sena Empire was a Hindu dynasty during the early medieval period on the Indian subcontinent, that ruled from Bengal through the 11th and 12th centuries. The empire at its peak covered much of the north-eastern region of the Indian subcont ...
were the last pre-Islamic Bengali middle kingdoms.
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
was introduced during the Pala Empire, through trade with the
Abbāsid Caliphate
Abbāsid Caliphate
, but following the
Ghurid The Ghurid dynasty (also spelled Ghorids; fa, سلسله غوریان; self-designation: , ''Shansabānī''), was a Persianate A Persianate society is a society that is based on or strongly influenced by the Persian language Persian (), ...
conquests led by
Bakhtiyar Khalji Ikhtiyār al-Dīn Muḥammad Bakhtiyār Khaljī ( fa, اختيار الدين محمد بختيار خلجی), popularly known as Bakhtiyar Khalji ( bn, বখতিয়ার খলজী, Bokhtiyar Kholjī), was a Turko-Afghan military genera ...
, the establishment of the
Delhi Sultanate The Delhi Sultanate was an Islamic empire based in Delhi that stretched over large parts of the Indian subcontinent for 320 years (1206–1526).
and preaching of Shah Jalāl in the north-east, it spread across the entire region. In 1576, the wealthy
Bengal Sultanate The Sultanate of Bengal ( bn, শাহী বাঙ্গালা, fa, شاهی بنگاله ''Shāhī Bangālah''), also known as the Bengal Sultanate or simply Bengal ( fa, بنگاله ''Bangālah'', bn, বাংলা, Bangla), was an e ...

Bengal Sultanate
was absorbed into the
Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire, Mogul or Moghul Empire, was an Early modern period, early modern empire in South Asia. Quote: "Although the first two Timurid emperors and many of their noblemen were recent migrants to the subcontinent, the dynasty and the ...
, but its rule was briefly interrupted by the
Suri Empire The Sur Empire was an Afghan Afghan ( Pashto/Persian language, Persian: ) refers to someone or something from Afghanistan, in particular a citizen of that country. The pre-nation state, historical ethnonym Afghan (ethnonym), Afghan was used ...
.
Mughal Bengal The Bengal Subah (also known as Mughal Bengal) was the largest subdivision of the Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire, Mogul or Moghul Empire, was an Early modern period, early modern empire in South Asia. Quote: "Although the first two Timu ...

Mughal Bengal
, worth 12% of world GDP (late 17th century), waved the
Proto-industrialization Proto-industrialization is the regional development, alongside commercial agriculture Intensive agriculture, also known as intensive farming (as opposed to extensive farming) and industrial agriculture, is a type of agriculture Agricult ...
, showed signs of a possible
Industrial revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
,Shombit Sengupta
Bengals plunder gifted the British Industrial Revolution
'' The Financial Express'', 8 February 2010
established relations with the
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...

Dutch
and
English East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Co ...
, and became also the basis of the
Anglo-Mughal War The Anglo-Mughal War, also known as Child's War, was the first Anglo-Indian war on the Indian subcontinent. The English East India Company had been given a monopoly and numerous fortified bases on western and south-eastern coast of the Mughal ...
. Following the death of Emperor
Aurangzeb Alamgir Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad (3 November 16183 March 1707), commonly known by the sobriquet (Persian language, Persian: "Ornament of the Throne") or by his regnal title (Persian: "Conqueror of the World"), was the sixth Mughal emperor, who ruled ov ...

Aurangzeb Alamgir
and Governor
Shaista KhanShaista ( fa, شایسته, bn, শায়েস্তা, ur, شائستہ) is a given name of Persian origin. Notable people with this name include: * Shaista Aziz, English journalist * Shaista Khan, Mughal subahdar of Bengal * Shaista Lod ...
in the early 1700s, the region became a semi-independent state under the
Nawabs of Bengal Nawab ( ar, نواب; bn, নবাব/নওয়াব; hi, नवाब; Punjabi Panjābī (pʌnˈdʒɑːbi) (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (پنجابی) Punjabi or Panjabi most often refers to: * Something of, from, or related to Punjab ...
.
Siraj Ud-Daulah Mirza Muhammad Siraj-ud-Daulah ( bn, মির্জা মুহম্মদ সিরাজউদ্দৌলা; fa, , 1733 – 2 July 1757), commonly known as Siraj-ud-Daulah or Siraj ud-Daula, was the last independent Nawab of Bengal ...

Siraj Ud-Daulah
, the last of the Nawabs of Bengal, was defeated by the
British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
at the
Battle of Plassey A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...
in 1757 and the whole region fell under Company rule by 1793. After the decline of the British
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British Empire in India The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively ...
, the borders of modern Bangladesh were established with the partition of Bengal in August 1947 at the time of
partition of India The partition of India was the division of British India The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in the Indian subcont ...

partition of India
, when the region became
East Pakistan East Pakistan was a Pakistani province established in 1955 by the One Unit Policy, renaming the province as such from East Bengal , common_name = East Bengal , status = Province of the Dominion of Pakistan , p1 ...
as a part of the newly formed
Dominion of Pakistan The Federation of Pakistan, also called the Dominion of Pakistan, was an independent federal dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. "Dominion status" ...
. Later the rise of a pro-democracy movement thrived on
Bengali nationalism Bengali nationalism () is a form of nationalism that focuses on Bengalis Bengalis or Bangalis ( bn, বাঙালি ), also rendered as the Bengali people, are an Indo-Aryan peoples, Indo-Aryan ethnolinguistic group native to the Be ...
and self-determination, leading to the
Liberation War Wars of national liberation or national liberation revolutions are conflicts fought by nations to gain independence. The term is used in conjunction with wars against foreign powers (or at least those perceived as foreign) to establish separat ...
and eventually resulted in the emergence of Bangladesh as a sovereign and independent nation in 1971. The
Bengalis Bengalis or Bangalis ( bn, বাঙালি ), also rendered as the Bengali people, are an native to the region in . The population is divided between the independent country and the Indian states of , and 's . Most of them speak , a ...
make up 98% of the total population of Bangladesh. The large
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
population of Bangladesh makes it the . The constitution declares Bangladesh a
secular state A secular state is an idea pertaining to secularity Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin ''Saeculum'', "worldly" or "of a generation"), is the state of being unrelated or neutral in regards to religion and irreligion. Anythin ...
, while establishing Islam as a
state religion A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether ...
. As a
middle power In international relations The field of international relations dates from the time of the Ancient Greece, Greek historian Thucydides. International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scienti ...
in
world politics ''World Politics'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a ...
, Bangladesh is a
unitary Unitary may refer to: * Unitary construction, in automotive design a common term for unibody (unitary body/chassis) construction * Lethal Unitary Chemical Agents and Munitions (Unitary), as chemical weapons opposite of Binary * Unitarianism, in Chr ...
parliamentary democracy A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive derives its democratic legitimacy fr ...
and
constitutional republic A republic ( la, res publica, links=yes, meaning "public affair") is a List of forms of government, form of government in which "power is held by the people and their elected representatives". In republics, the country is considered a "public m ...
following the
Westminster system The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ...
of governance. The country is divided into eight administrative divisions and . Although the country continues to face the challenges of the Rohingya refugee crisis,
corruption Corruption is a form of dishonesty Dishonesty is to act without honesty. It is used to describe a lack of probity, cheating, lying, or deliberately withholding information, or being deliberately deceptive or a lack in integrity, knavishness, ...
, and the adverse
effects of climate change The effects of climate change span the physical environment A biophysical environment is a biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is ...
, Bangladesh is one of the
emerging and growth-leading economies Emerging and growth-leading economies (EAGLEs) are a grouping of key emerging markets developed by BBVA Research. The EAGLE economies are expected to lead global growth in the next 10 years, and to provide important opportunities for investo ...
of the world, and is also one of the
Next Eleven Terence James O'Neill, Baron O'Neill of Gatley (born 17 March 1957) is a British economist An economist is a practitioner in the social sciences, social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theor ...

Next Eleven
countries, having Asia's fastest real GDP growth rate. The Bangladeshi economy is the 39th-largest in the world by nominal GDP, and the 29th-largest by PPP.


Etymology

The exact origin of the word ''Bangla'' is unknown, though it is believed to come from "Vanga", an ancient kingdom and geopolitical division on the Ganges delta in the Indian subcontinent. It was located in southern Bengal, with the core region including present-day southwestern Bangladesh and southern West Bengal (India). In Abrahamic tradition, it is said to have come from "Bung/Bang", a son of Hind (the son of Hām, who was a son of
Noah In the traditions of Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of -originated s that claim descent from the of the ancient and the worship of t ...
) who colonised the area for the first time. The suffix ''"al"'' came to be added to it from the fact that the ancient
raja ''Raja'' (; from sa, राजन्, '), is a royal title used for Indian s. The title is equivalent to or princely ruler in the and . The title has a long history in the and , being attested from the , where a ' is a , see for examp ...

raja
s of this land raised mounds of earth 10 feet high and 20 in breadth in lowlands at the foot of the hills which were called "al". From this suffix added to the Bung, the name Bengal arose and gained currency". Support for this view is found in Ghulam Husain Salim's ''
Riyaz-us-Salatin Riyaz-us-Salatin is the first historic book on the Muslim rule in Bengal that was published in Bengal in 1788. It was written by Ghulam Husain Salim Zaidpuri. Content The books starts with the arrival of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji, a Turko-A ...
''.RIYAZU-S-SALĀTĪN: A History of Bengal
, Ghulam Husain Salim, The Asiatic Society, Calcutta, 1902.
Other theories point to a
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
proto-Dravidian Proto-Dravidian is the linguistic reconstruction of the common ancestor of the Dravidian languages. It is thought to have differentiated into Proto-North Dravidian, Proto-Central Dravidian, and Proto-South Dravidian, although the date of diversi ...
tribe, the
Austric The Austric languages are a proposed language family that includes the Austronesian languages The Austronesian languages (, , , ) are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
word "Bonga" (Sun god), and the Iron Age
Vanga Kingdom Vanga was an ancient kingdom and geopolitical division within the Ganges delta in the Indian subcontinent. The kingdom is one of the namesakes of the Bengal region. It was located in southern Bengal, with the core region including present-day s ...
. The Indo-Aryan suffix ''Desh'' is derived from the Sanskrit word ''deśha'', which means "land" or "country". Hence, the name ''Bangladesh'' means "Land of Bengal" or "Country of Bengal". The term ''Bangla'' denotes both the
Bengal Bengal (; Bengali language, Bengali: ', ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, predominantly covering present-day Bang ...

Bengal
region and the
Bengali language Bengali (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Euro ...
. The earliest known usage of the term is the Nesari plate in 805 AD. The term ''Vangaladesa'' is found in 11th-century South Indian records. The term gained official status during the
Sultanate of Bengal This article includes a list of successive Muslim state An Islamic state is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associati ...

Sultanate of Bengal
in the 14th century.
Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah ( bn, শামসুদ্দীন ইলিয়াস শাহ, fa, شمس الدین الیاس شاه) was the founder of the Bengal Sultanate. He established the Ilyas Shahi dynasty, an Indian people, Indo-Turkic ...
proclaimed himself as the first "Shah of Bangala" in 1342. The word ''Bangla'' became the most common name for the region during the Islamic period. The Portuguese people, Portuguese referred to the region as ''Portuguese settlement in Chittagong, Bengala'' in the 16th century. The term ''Bangladesh'' was often written as two words, ''Bangla Desh'', in the past. Starting in the 1950s, Bengali nationalists used the term in political rallies in
East Pakistan East Pakistan was a Pakistani province established in 1955 by the One Unit Policy, renaming the province as such from East Bengal , common_name = East Bengal , status = Province of the Dominion of Pakistan , p1 ...
.


History


Early and medieval periods

Stone Age tools found in Bangladesh indicate human habitation for over 20,000 years, and remnants of Copper Age settlements date back 4,000 years. Ancient Bengal was settled by Austroasiatics, Tibeto-Burmans, Dravidian people, Dravidians and Rigvedic tribes, Indo-Aryans in consecutive waves of migration. Archaeological evidence confirms that by the second millennium BCE, rice-cultivating communities inhabited the region. By the 11th century people lived in systemically-aligned housing, buried their dead, and manufactured copper ornaments and black and red pottery. The Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers were natural arteries for communication and transportation, and estuaries on the Bay of Bengal permitted maritime trade. The early Iron Age saw the development of metal weaponry, coinage, agriculture and irrigation. Major urban settlements formed during the late Iron Age, in the mid-first millennium BCE, when the Northern Black Polished Ware culture developed. In 1879, Alexander Cunningham identified Mahasthangarh as the capital of the Pundra Kingdom mentioned in the ''Rigveda''. The oldest inscription in Bangladesh was found in Mahasthangarh and dates from the 3rd century BCE. It is written in the Brahmi script. Greco-Roman world, Greek and Roman records of the ancient
Gangaridai Gangaridai ( gr, Γανγαρίδαι; Latin: ''Gangaridae'') is a term used by the ancient writers to describe a or a geographical region of the ancient . Some of these writers state that withdrew from the Indian subcontinent because of the ...
Kingdom, which (according to legend) deterred the invasion of Alexander the Great, are linked to the fort city in Wari-Bateshwar ruins, Wari-Bateshwar. The site is also identified with the prosperous trading center of Souanagoura listed on Ptolemy's world map. Roman geographers noted a large seaport in southeastern Bengal, corresponding to the present-day Chittagong District, Chittagong region. Ancient Buddhist and Hindu states which ruled Bangladesh included the Vanga Kingdom, Vanga,
Samatata Samatata ( bn, সমতট) was an ancient geopolitical division of Bengal Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in South Asia, specifically in t ...
and Pundra kingdoms, the Mauryan and
Gupta Empire The Gupta Empire was an Outline of ancient India, ancient Indian empire which existed from the early 4th century CE to late 6th century CE. At its zenith, from approximately 319 to 467 CE, it covered much of the Indian subcontinent. This period ...

Gupta Empire
s, the Varman dynasty, Shashanka's kingdom, the Khadga dynasty, Khadga and Candra dynasty, Candra dynasties, the
Pala Empire The Pala Empire (r. 750-1161 CE) was an imperial power during the Post-classical history, post-classical period in the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. It is named after its ruling dynasty, whose rulers bore names ...
, the
Sena dynasty The Sena Empire was a Hindu dynasty during the early medieval period on the Indian subcontinent, that ruled from Bengal through the 11th and 12th centuries. The empire at its peak covered much of the north-eastern region of the Indian subcont ...
, the
Harikela Ancient Political Divisions Harikela was a kingdom in ancient Bengal encompassing much of the eastern regions of the Indian Subcontinent and Arakan. There are numerous references to the kingdom in historical texts as well as archeological artifact ...
kingdom and the Deva dynasty. These states had well-developed currencies, banking, shipping, architecture, and art, and the ancient universities of Bikrampur and Mainamati hosted scholars and students from other parts of Asia. Xuanzang of China was a noted scholar who resided at the Somapura Mahavihara (the largest monastery in ancient India), and Atisa travelled from Bengal to Tibet to preach Buddhism. The earliest form of the
Bengali language Bengali (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Euro ...
began to emerge during the eighth century. Early Muslim explorers and missionaries arrived in Bengal late in the first millennium CE. The Islamic conquest of Bengal began with the 1204
Ghurid The Ghurid dynasty (also spelled Ghorids; fa, سلسله غوریان; self-designation: , ''Shansabānī''), was a Persianate A Persianate society is a society that is based on or strongly influenced by the Persian language Persian (), ...
expeditions led by Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji. Bengal was then ruled by the
Delhi Sultanate The Delhi Sultanate was an Islamic empire based in Delhi that stretched over large parts of the Indian subcontinent for 320 years (1206–1526).
for a century by governors from the Mamluk dynasty (Delhi), Mamluk, Balban, and Tughluq dynasty, Tughluq dynasties.


Bengal Sultanate

Subsequently, the independent
Bengal Sultanate The Sultanate of Bengal ( bn, শাহী বাঙ্গালা, fa, شاهی بنگاله ''Shāhī Bangālah''), also known as the Bengal Sultanate or simply Bengal ( fa, بنگاله ''Bangālah'', bn, বাংলা, Bangla), was an e ...

Bengal Sultanate
was established by the rebel governors in 1352. During their rule Bengal was transformed into a cosmopolitan Islamic superpower and became a major trading nation in the world, often referred by the Europeans as the richest country to trade with.Nanda, J. N (2005). The sultanate's ruling houses included the Ilyas Shahi dynasty, Ilyas Shahi, Ganesha dynasty, Ganesha, Hussain Shahi dynasty, Hussain Shahi, Suri dynasty, Suri and Karrani dynasty, Karrani dynasties, and the era saw the introduction of a distinct mosque architecture and the History of the taka, tangka currency. The Arakan region was brought under Bengali hegemony. The Bengal Sultanate was visited by explorers Ibn Battuta, Admiral Zheng He, and Niccolo De Conti. The Greater Khorasan, Khorasanis referred to the land as an "inferno full of gifts", due to its unbearable climate but abundance of wealth. During the late 16th century, the Baro-Bhuyan (a confederation of Muslim and Hindu aristocrats) ruled eastern Bengal; its leader was the Mansad-e-Ala, a title held by Isa Khan and his son Musa Khan. The Khan dynasty is considered local heroes for resisting North Indian invasions with their river navies.


Mughal Rule

The
Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire, Mogul or Moghul Empire, was an Early modern period, early modern empire in South Asia. Quote: "Although the first two Timurid emperors and many of their noblemen were recent migrants to the subcontinent, the dynasty and the ...
controlled Bengal by the 17th century. During the reign of Emperor Akbar, the Bengali agrarian calendar was reformed to facilitate tax collection. The Mughals established Dhaka as a fort city and commercial metropolis, and it was the capital of Bengal Subah for 75 years. In 1666, the Mughals expelled the Kingdom of Mrauk U, Arakanese from Chittagong. Mughal Bengal attracted foreign traders for its muslin and silk goods, and the Armenians in Bangladesh, Armenians were a notable merchant community. A Portuguese settlement in Chittagong flourished in the southeast, and a Dutch settlement in Rajshahi existed in the north. Bengal accounted for 40% of overall
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...

Dutch
imports from Asia; including more than 50% of textiles and around 80% of silks.Om Prakash (historian), Om Prakash,
Empire, Mughal
, ''History of World Trade Since 1450'', edited by John J. McCusker, vol. 1, Macmillan Reference USA, 2006, pp. 237–240, ''World History in Context''. Retrieved 3 August 2017
The Bengal Subah, described as the ''Paradise of the Nations'', was the empire's wealthiest province, and a major global exporter,John F. Richards (1995)
''The Mughal Empire'', page 202
Cambridge University Press
a notable center of worldwide industries such as
muslin Muslin () is a cotton fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crochetin ...
, cotton textiles, silk, and shipbuilding in Bangladesh, shipbuilding. Its citizens also enjoyed one of the world's most superior Standard of living, living standards. During the 18th century, the
Nawabs of Bengal Nawab ( ar, نواب; bn, নবাব/নওয়াব; hi, नवाब; Punjabi Panjābī (pʌnˈdʒɑːbi) (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (پنجابی) Punjabi or Panjabi most often refers to: * Something of, from, or related to Punjab ...
became the region's ''de facto'' rulers. The title of the ruler is popularly known as the ''Nawab of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa'', given that the Bengali Nawab's realm encompassed much of the eastern subcontinent. The Nawabs forged alliances with European colonial companies, which made the region relatively prosperous early in the century. Bengal accounted for 50% of the gross domestic product of the empire. The Bengali economy relied on textile manufacturing, shipbuilding, saltpetre production, craftsmanship, and agricultural produce. Bengal was a major hub for international trade – silk and cotton textiles from Bengal were worn in Europe, Japan, Indonesia, and Central Asia. Annual Bengali shipbuilding output was 223,250 tons, compared to an output of 23,061 tons in the nineteen colonies of North America. Bengali shipbuilding proved to be more advanced than European shipbuilding prior to the Industrial Revolution. The flush deck of Bengali rice ships was later replicated in European shipbuilding to replace the stepped deck design for ship hull (watercraft), hulls.Angus Maddison, Maddison, Angus (2003):
Development Centre Studies The World Economy Historical Statistics: Historical Statistics
', OECD Publishing, , pages 259–261
The Bengali Muslim population was a product of conversion and religious evolution, and their pre-Islamic beliefs included elements of Buddhism and Hinduism. The construction of mosques, Islamic academies (madrasas) and Sufi monasteries (khanqahs) facilitated conversion, and Islamic cosmology played a significant role in developing Bengali Muslim society. Scholars have theorised that Bengalis were attracted to Islam by its egalitarian social order, which contrasted with the Hindu caste system. One of the notable Muslim preachers was Shah Jalal who arrived in the region of Sylhet in 1303 with many other disciples to preach the religion to the people. By the 15th century, Muslim poets were writing in the Bengali language. Notable medieval Bengali Muslim poets included Daulat Qazi, Abdul Hakim (poet), Abdul Hakim and Alaol. Syncretic cults, such as the Baul movement, emerged on the fringes of Bengali Muslim society. The Persianate culture was significant in Bengal, where cities like Sonargaon became the easternmost centers of Persian influence. The Mughals had aided France during the Seven Years' War to avoid losing the Bengal region to the British Empire, British. However, in the
Battle of Plassey A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...
the British East India Company registered a decisive victory over the Nawab of Bengal and his French East India Company, French allies on 22 June 1757, under the leadership of Robert Clive. The battle followed the order of Siraj ud-Daulah, Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, to the English to stop the extension of their fortification. Robert Clive bribed Mir Jafar, the commander-in-chief of the Nawab's army, and also promised him to make him Nawab of Bengal which helped him to defeat Siraj-ud-Daulah and capture Calcutta. The battle consolidated the company's presence in Bengal, which later expanded to cover much of
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
over the next hundred years. Although they had lost control of Bengal Subah, Shah Alam II was involved in the Bengal War which ended once more in their defeat at the Battle of Buxar.


Colonial period

Two decades after Vasco Da Gama's landing in Calicut, the Bengal Sultanate gave permission for the Portuguese Empire, Portuguese settlement in Chittagong to be established in 1528. It became the first European colonial enclave in Bengal. The Bengal Sultanate lost control of Chittagong in 1531 after Arakan declared independence and the established Kingdom of Mrauk U. Portuguese ships from Goa and Portuguese Malacca, Malacca began frequenting the port city in the 16th century. The ''cartaz'' system was introduced and required all ships in the area to purchase naval trading licenses from the Portuguese settlement. Slave trade and piracy flourished. The nearby island of Sandwip was conquered in 1602. In 1615, the Portuguese Navy defeated a joint Dutch East India Company and Arakanese fleet near the coast of Chittagong. The Bengal Sultan after 1534 allowed the Portuguese to create several settlements at Chitagoong, Satgaon, Hughli, Bandel, and Dhaka. In 1535 the Portuguese allied with the Bengal sultan and held the Teliagarhi pass 280 km from Patna helping to avoid the invasion by the Mughals. By then several of the products came from Patna and the Portuguese send in traders, establishing a factory there since 1580. By the time the Portuguese assured military help against Sher Shah, the Mughals already had started to conquer the Sultanate of Ghiyasuddin Mahmud. Bengal was the wealthiest region in the Indian subcontinent, and its proto-industrialization, proto-industrial economy showed signs of driving an
Industrial revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
. The region has been described as the "Paradise of Nations", and its inhabitants's standards of living, living standards and real wages were among the highest in the world. It alone accounted for 40% of Dutch imports outside the European continent. The eastern part of Bengal was globally prominent in industries such as textile manufacturing and shipbuilding, and it was a major exporter of silk and cotton textiles, steel, saltpeter, and agricultural and industrial produce in the world. In 1666, the Mughal government of Bengal led by viceroy
Shaista KhanShaista ( fa, شایسته, bn, শায়েস্তা, ur, شائستہ) is a given name of Persian origin. Notable people with this name include: * Shaista Aziz, English journalist * Shaista Khan, Mughal subahdar of Bengal * Shaista Lod ...
moved to retake Chittagong from Portuguese and Arakanese control. The
Anglo-Mughal War The Anglo-Mughal War, also known as Child's War, was the first Anglo-Indian war on the Indian subcontinent. The English East India Company had been given a monopoly and numerous fortified bases on western and south-eastern coast of the Mughal ...
was witnessed in 1686. After the 1757
Battle of Plassey A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...
, Bengal was the first region of the Indian subcontinent conquered by the
British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
. The company formed the Bengal Presidency, Presidency of Fort William, which administered the region until 1858. A notable aspect of company rule in India, company rule was the Permanent Settlement, which established the feudal zamindari system. The plunder of Bengal directly contributed to the Industrial Revolution in Britain, with the capital amassed from Bengal used to invest in British industries such as textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, textile and greatly increase British wealth, while at the same time leading to deindustrialisation of Bengal's traditional textile industry. The economic mismanagement directly led to the Great Bengal famine of 1770, which is estimated to have caused the deaths of about 10 million people, as a third of the population in the affected region starved to death. Several rebellions broke out during the early 19th century (including one led by Titumir), but British rule displaced the Muslim ruling class. A conservative Islamic cleric, Haji Shariatullah, sought to overthrow the British by propagating Islamic revivalism. Several towns in Bangladesh participated in the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and pledged allegiance to the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, who was later exiled to neighbouring Burma. The challenge posed to company rule by the failed Indian Mutiny led to the creation of the British Indian Empire as a crown colony. The British established several schools, colleges, and a university in what is now Bangladesh. Syed Ahmed Khan and Ram Mohan Roy promoted modern and liberal education in the subcontinent, inspiring the Aligarh movement and the Bengal Renaissance. During the late 19th century, novelists, social reformers and feminists emerged from Muslim Bengali society. Electricity and municipal water systems were introduced in the 1890s; Movie theater, cinemas opened in many towns during the early 20th century. East Bengal's plantation economy was important to the British Empire, particularly its jute and Tea production in Bangladesh, tea. The British established free port, tax-free river ports, such as the Port of Narayanganj, and large seaports like the Port of Chittagong. Bengal had the highest gross domestic product in British India. Bengal was one of the first regions in Asia to have a railway. The first railway in what is now Bangladesh began operating in 1862. In comparison, Japan saw its first railway in 1872. The main railway companies in the region were the Eastern Bengal Railway and Assam Bengal Railway. Railways competed with waterborne transport to become one of the main mediums of transport. Supported by the Muslim aristocracy, the British government created the province of Eastern Bengal and Assam in 1905; the new province received increased investment in education, transport, and industry. However, the Partition of Bengal (1905), first partition of Bengal created an uproar in Kolkata, Calcutta and the Indian National Congress. In response to growing Hindu nationalism, the All India Muslim League was formed in Dhaka during the 1906 All India Muhammadan Educational Conference. The British government reorganised the provinces in 1912, reuniting East and West Bengal and making Assam Province, Assam a second province. The Raj was slow to allow self-rule in the colonial subcontinent. It established the Bengal Legislative Council in 1862, and the council's native Bengali representation increased during the early 20th century. The Bengal Provincial Muslim League was formed in 1913 to advocate civil rights for Bengali Muslims within a constitutional framework. During the 1920s, the league was divided into factions supporting the Khilafat movement and favouring co-operation with the British to achieve self-rule. Segments of the Bengali elite supported Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's Secularism in Turkey, secularist forces. In 1929, the Praja Party, All Bengal Tenants Association was formed in the Bengal Legislative Council to counter the influence of the Hindu landed gentry, and the Indian Independence Movement, Indian Independence and Pakistan Movements strengthened during the early 20th century. After the Morley-Minto Reforms and the Government of India Act 1919, diarchy era in the legislatures of British India, the British government promised Government of India Act 1935, limited provincial autonomy in 1935. The Bengal Legislative Assembly, British India's largest legislature, was established in 1937. Although it won a majority of seats in 1937, the Bengal Congress boycotted the legislature. A. K. Fazlul Huq of the Krishak Sramik Party, Krishak Praja Party was elected as the first Prime Minister of Bengal. In 1940 Huq supported the Lahore Resolution, which envisaged independent states in the northwestern and eastern Muslim-majority regions of the subcontinent. The first Huq ministry, a coalition with the Bengal Provincial Muslim League, lasted until 1941; it was followed by a Huq coalition with the Hindu Mahasabha which lasted until 1943. Huq was succeeded by Khawaja Nazimuddin, who grappled with the effects of the Burma Campaign, the Bengal famine of 1943, which killed up to 3 million people, and the Quit India movement. In 1946, the Bengal Provincial Muslim League won the provincial election, taking 113 of the 250-seat assembly (the largest Muslim League mandate in British India). H. S. Suhrawardy, who made a final futile effort for a United Bengal in 1946, was the last premier of Bengal.


Partition of Bengal (1947)

On 3 June 1947, the Mountbatten Plan outlined the partition of British India. On 20 June, the Bengal Legislative Assembly met to decide on the partition of Bengal. At the preliminary joint meeting, it was decided (120 votes to 90) that if the province remained united it should join the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. At a separate meeting of legislators from West Bengal, it was decided (58 votes to 21) that the province should be partitioned and West Bengal should join the Constituent Assembly of India. At another meeting of legislators from East Bengal, it was decided (106 votes to 35) that the province should not be partitioned and (107 votes to 34) that East Bengal should join the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan if Bengal was partitioned. On 6 July, the Sylhet Division, Sylhet region of Assam voted in a 1947 Sylhet referendum, referendum to join East Bengal. Cyril Radcliffe was tasked with drawing the borders of Pakistan and India, and the Radcliffe Line established the borders of present-day Bangladesh.


Union with Pakistan

The
Dominion of Pakistan The Federation of Pakistan, also called the Dominion of Pakistan, was an independent federal dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. "Dominion status" ...
was created on 14 August 1947. East Bengal, with Dhaka as its capital, was the most populous province of the 1947 State of Pakistan, Pakistani federation (led by Governor General of Pakistan, Governor General Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who promised freedom of religion and secular democracy in the new state). East Bengal was also Pakistan's most cosmopolitan province, home to peoples of different faiths, cultures and ethnic groups. Partition gave increased economic opportunity to East Bengalis, producing an urban population during the 1950s. Khawaja Nazimuddin was East Bengal's first Chief Minister of East Bengal, chief minister with Frederick Chalmers Bourne its governor. The All Pakistan Awami Muslim League was formed in 1949. In 1950, the East Bengal Legislative Assembly enacted land reform, abolishing the Permanent Settlement and the zamindari system. The 1952 Bengali Language Movement was the first sign of friction between the country's geographically-separated wings. The Awami Muslim League was renamed the more-secular Awami League in 1953."ts present name in December 1953" The first constituent assembly was dissolved in 1954; this was challenged by its East Bengali speaker, Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan. The United Front (East Pakistan), United Front coalition swept aside the Muslim League in a landslide victory in the 1954 East Bengali legislative election. The following year, East Bengal was renamed East Pakistan as part of the One Unit program and the province became a vital part of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. Pakistan adopted its first constitution in 1956. Three Bengalis were its Prime Minister until 1957: Nazimuddin, Mohammad Ali of Bogra and Suhrawardy. None of the three completed their terms, and resigned from office. The Pakistan Army imposed 1958 Pakistani coup d'état, military rule in 1958, and Ayub Khan (general), Ayub Khan was the country's strongman for 11 years. Political repression increased after the coup. Khan introduced a new constitution in 1962, replacing Pakistan's parliamentary system with a presidential and gubernatorial system (based on electoral college selection) known as Basic Democracy. In 1962 Dhaka became the seat of the National Assembly of Pakistan, a move seen as appeasing increased Bengali nationalism. The Pakistani government built the controversial Kaptai Dam, displacing the Chakma people from their indigenous homeland in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. During the 1965 Pakistani presidential election, 1965 presidential election, Fatima Jinnah lost to Ayub Khan despite support from the Combined Opposition alliance (which included the Awami League). The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 blocked cross-border transport links with neighbouring India in what is described as a second partition. In 1966, Awami League leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman announced a six point movement, six-point movement for a federal parliamentary democracy. According to senior World Bank officials, Pakistan practised extensive economic discrimination against East Pakistan: greater government spending on West Pakistan, financial transfers from East to West Pakistan, the use of East Pakistan's foreign-exchange surpluses to finance West Pakistani imports, and refusal by the central government to release funds allocated to East Pakistan because the previous spending had been under budget; though East Pakistan generated 70 percent of Pakistan's export revenue with its jute and tea. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested for treason in the Agartala Conspiracy Case and was released during the 1969 uprising in East Pakistan which resulted in Ayub Khan's resignation. General Yahya Khan assumed power, reintroducing martial law. Ethnic and linguistic discrimination was common in Pakistan's civil and military services, in which Bengalis were under-represented. Fifteen percent of Pakistani central-government offices were occupied by East Pakistanis, who formed 10 percent of the military. Cultural discrimination also prevailed, making East Pakistan forge a distinct political identity. Pakistan banned Bengali literature and music in state media, including the works of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. A 1970 Bhola cyclone, cyclone devastated the coast of East Pakistan in 1970, killing an estimated 500,000 people, and the central government was criticised for its poor response. After the December 1970 elections, calls for the independence of East Bengal became louder; the Bengali-nationalist Awami League won 167 of 169 East Pakistani seats in the National Assembly. The League claimed the right to form a government and develop a new constitution but was strongly opposed by the Pakistani military and the Pakistan Peoples Party (led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto).


War of Independence

The Bengali population was angered when Prime Minister-elect Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was prevented from taking the office. Civil disobedience erupted across East Pakistan, with calls for independence. Mujib addressed a 7 March Speech of Bangabandhu, pro-independence rally of nearly 2 million people in Dacca (as Dhaka used to be spelled in English) on 7 March 1971, where he said, "This time the struggle is for our freedom. This time the struggle is for our independence." The flag of Bangladesh was raised for the first time on 23 March, Pakistan's Republic Day. Later, on 25 March late evening, the Pakistani military junta led by Yahya Khan launched a sustained military assault on East Pakistan under the code name of Operation Searchlight. The Pakistan Army arrested Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and flew him away to Karachi. However, before his arrest Mujib proclaimed the Proclamation of Bangladeshi Independence, Independence of Bangladesh at midnight on 26 March which led the Bangladesh Liberation War to break out within hours. The Pakistan Army continued to massacre Bengali 1971 Dhaka University massacre, students, 1971 killing of Bengali intellectuals, intellectuals, politicians, civil servants and military defectors in the 1971 Bangladesh genocide, while the Mukti Bahini and other Bengali guerrilla forces created strong resistance throughout the country. During the war, an estimated 0.3 to 3 million people were killed and several million people took shelter in neighbouring India. Global public opinion turned against Pakistan as news of the atrocities spread; the Bangladesh movement was supported by prominent political and cultural figures in the West, including Ted Kennedy, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Victoria Ocampo and André Malraux. The Concert for Bangladesh was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City to raise funds for Bangladeshi refugees. The first major benefit concert in history, it was organised by Harrison and Indian Bengali sitarist Ravi Shankar. During the Bangladesh Liberation War, Bengali nationalists declared independence and formed the Mukti Bahini (the Bangladeshi National Liberation Army). The Provisional Government of Bangladesh was established on 17 April 1971, converting the 469 elected members of the Pakistani national assembly and East Pakistani provincial assembly into the Constituent Assembly of Bangladesh. The provisional government issued a Proclamation of Bangladeshi Independence, proclamation that became the country's interim constitution and declared "equality, human dignity, and social justice" as its fundamental principles. Due to Mujib's detention, Syed Nazrul Islam took over the role of Acting President, while Tajuddin Ahmad was named Bangladesh's first Prime Minister. The Mukti Bahini and other Bengali guerrilla forces formed the Bangladesh Forces which became the military wing of the provisional government. Led by General M. A. G. Osmani and eleven List of sectors in Bangladesh Liberation War, sector commanders, the forces held the countryside during the war and conducted wide-ranging guerrilla operations against Pakistani forces. As a result, almost the entire country except the capital Dacca was liberated by Bangladesh Forces by late November.This led the Pakistan Army to attack neighbouring India's western front on 2 December 1971. India retaliated in both the western and eastern fronts. With a joint ground advance by Bangladeshi and Indian forces, coupled with air strikes by both India and the small Bangladeshi air contingent, the capital Dacca was liberated from Pakistani occupation in mid-December. During the last phase of the war, both the Soviet Union and the United States dispatched naval forces to the Bay of Bengal in a Cold War standoff. The nine month long war ended with the Surrender of Pakistan, surrender of Pakistani armed forces to the Bangladesh-India Allied Forces on 16 December 1971.Rummel, Rudolph J. (1997
"Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900"
. Transaction Publishers, Rutgers University. , Chapter 8
Table 8.2 Pakistan Genocide in Bangladesh Estimates, Sources, and Calculations
.
Under international pressure, Pakistan released Rahman from imprisonment on 8 January 1972 and he was flown by the British Royal Air Force to a million-strong homecoming in Dacca. Remaining Indian troops were withdrawn by 12 March 1972, three months after the war ended. The cause of Bangladeshi self-determination was recognised around the world. By August 1972, the new state was recognised by 86 countries. Pakistan recognised Bangladesh in 1974 after pressure from most of the Muslim countries.


People's Republic of Bangladesh


First parliamentary era

The constituent assembly adopted the constitution of Bangladesh on 4 November 1972, establishing a secular, multiparty parliamentary democracy. The new constitution included references to socialism, and Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman nationalised major industries in 1972. A major reconstruction and rehabilitation program was launched. The Awami League won the country's first general election in 1973, securing a large majority in the "Jatiyo Sangshad", the national parliament. Bangladesh joined the Commonwealth of Nations, the UN, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC and the Non-Aligned Movement, and Rahman strengthened ties with India. Amid growing agitation by the opposition National Awami Party and Jashod, he became increasingly authoritarian. Rahman amended the constitution, giving himself more emergency powers (including the suspension of fundamental rights). The Bangladesh famine of 1974 also worsened the political situation.


Presidential era and coups (1975–1991)

In January 1975, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman introduced One-party state, one-party socialist rule under Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League, BAKSAL. Rahman banned all newspapers except four state-owned publications, and amended the constitution to increase his power. He was Assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, assassinated during a coup on 15 August 1975. Martial law was declared, and the presidency passed to the usurper Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad for four months. Ahmad is widely regarded as a traitor by Bangladeshis. Tajuddin Ahmad, the nation's first prime minister, and four other independence leaders were assassinated on 4 November 1975. Chief Justice Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem was installed as president by the military on 6 November 1975. Bangladesh was governed by a military junta led by the Chief Martial Law Administrator for three years. In 1977, the army chief Ziaur Rahman became president. Rahman reinstated multiparty politics, privatised industries and newspapers, established Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority, BEPZA and held the country's second general election in 1979. A semi-presidential system evolved, with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) governing until 1982. Rahman was assassinated in 1981, and was succeeded by Vice President of Bangladesh, Vice-President Abdus Sattar (president), Abdus Sattar. Sattar received 65.5 percent of the vote in the 1981 Bangladeshi presidential election, 1981 presidential election. After a year in office, Sattar was overthrown in the 1982 Bangladesh coup d'état. Chief Justice A. F. M. Ahsanuddin Chowdhury was installed as president, but army chief Hussain Muhammad Ershad became the country's ''de facto'' leader and assumed the presidency in 1983. Ershad lifted martial law in 1986. He governed with four successive prime ministers (Ataur Rahman Khan, Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury, Moudud Ahmed and Kazi Zafar Ahmed) and a parliament dominated by his Jatiya Party (Ershad), Jatiyo Party. General elections were held in 1986 and 1988, although the latter was boycotted by the opposition BNP and Awami League. Ershad pursued administrative decentralisation, dividing the country into 64 districts, and pushed Parliament to make Islam the state religion in 1988. A 1990 Mass Uprising in Bangladesh, 1990 mass uprising forced him to resign, and Chief Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed led the country's first caretaker government as part of the transition to parliamentary rule.


Current parliamentary era (1991–present)

After the 1991 general election, the twelfth amendment to the constitution restored the parliamentary republic and Begum Khaleda Zia became Bangladesh's first female prime minister. Zia, a former first lady, led a BNP government from 1990 to 1996. In 1991 her finance minister, Saifur Rahman (Bangladeshi politician), Saifur Rahman, began a major program to liberalise the Bangladeshi economy. In February 1996, February 1996 Bangladeshi general election, a general election was held which was boycotted by all opposition parties giving a 300 (of 300) seat victory for BNP. This election was deemed illegitimate, so a system of a caretaker government of Bangladesh, caretaker government was introduced to oversee the transfer of power and a new election was held in June 1996, overseen by Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman, the first Chief Adviser of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Awami League, Awami League won the June 1996 Bangladeshi general election, seventh general election, marking its leader Sheikh Hasina, Sheikh Hasina's first term as Prime Minister. Hasina's first term was highlighted by the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord and a Ganges water-sharing treaty with India. The second caretaker government, led by Chief Adviser Justice Latifur Rahman, oversaw the 2001 Bangladeshi general election which returned Begum Zia and the BNP to power. The second Zia administration saw improved economic growth, but political turmoil gripped the country between 2004 and 2006. A radical Islamist militant group, the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, JMB, carried out a series of terror attacks. The evidence of staging these attacks by these extremist groups have been found in the investigation, and hundreds of suspected members were detained in numerous security operations in 2006, including the two chiefs of the JMB, Shaykh Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai, who were executed with other top leaders in March 2007, bringing the militant group to an end. In 2006, at the end of the term of the BNP administration, there was widespread political unrest related to the handover of power to a caretaker government. As such, the Bangladeshi military urged President Iajuddin Ahmed to impose a state of emergency and a caretaker government, led by technocrat Fakhruddin Ahmed, was installed. Emergency rule lasted for two years, during which time investigations into members of both Awami League and BNP were conducted, including their leaders Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia. In 2008 the 2008 Bangladeshi general election, ninth general election saw a return to power for Sheikh Hasina and the Bangladesh Awami League, Awami League led Grand Alliance (Bangladesh), Grand Alliance in a landslide victory. In 2010, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Supreme Court ruled martial law illegal and affirmed Secularism, secular principles in the constitution. The following year, the Awami League abolished the caretaker-government system. Citing the lack of caretaker government the 2014 Bangladeshi general election, 2014 general election was boycotted by the BNP and other opposition parties, giving the Awami League a decisive victory. The election was controversial with reports of violence and an alleged crackdown on the opposition in the run-up to the election and 153 seats (of 300) went uncontested in the election. Despite the controversy, Hasina went on to form a government that saw her return for a third term as Prime Minister. Due to strong domestic demand, Bangladesh emerged as one of the List of countries by real GDP growth rate, fastest-growing economies in the world. However, human rights abuses increased under the Hasina administration, particularly Forced disappearance in Bangladesh, enforced disappearances. Between 2016 and 2017, an estimated 1 million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees took shelter in Cox's Bazar District, southeastern Bangladesh amid a military crackdown in neighbouring Rakhine State,
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
. In 2018, the country saw major movements for 2018 Bangladesh quota reform movement, government quota reforms and 2018 Bangladesh road-safety protests, road-safety. The 2018 Bangladeshi general election was marred by allegations of widespread vote rigging. The Awami League won 259 out of 300 seats and the main opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front secured only 8 seats, with Sheikh Hasina becoming the longest-serving prime minister in Bangladeshi history. Pro-democracy leader Dr. Kamal Hossain called for an annulment of the election result and for a new election to be held in a free and fair manner. The election was also observed by European Union observers.


Geography

Bangladesh is a small, lush country in
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri La ...

South Asia
; located on the
Bay of Bengal The Bay of Bengal is the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to th ...

Bay of Bengal
. It is surrounded almost entirely by neighbouring
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
—and shares a small border with
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
to its southeast, thought it lies very close to
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...

Nepal
,
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Ch ...

Bhutan
, and
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
. The country is divided between three regions. Most of the country is dominated by the fertile Ganges Delta, the largest river delta in the world. The northwest and central parts of the country are formed by the Madhupur tract, Madhupur and the Barind Tract, Barind plateaus. The northeast and southeast are home to evergreen hill ranges. The Ganges delta is formed by the confluence of the Ganges (local name Padma River, Padma or ''Pôdda''), Brahmaputra River, Brahmaputra (Jamuna River (Bangladesh), Jamuna or ''Jomuna''), and Meghna River, Meghna rivers and their respective tributaries. The Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna, finally flowing into the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh is called the "Land of Rivers"; as it is home to over 57 trans-boundary rivers. However, this, makes the resolution of water issues politically complicated, in most cases, as the country is a lower riparian zone, riparian state to India. Bangladesh is predominantly rich fertile flat land. Most of it is less than above sea level, and it is estimated that about 10% of its land would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by . 17% of the country is covered by forests and 12% is covered by hill systems. The country's haor wetlands are of significance to global environmental science. In southeastern Bangladesh, experiments have been done since the 1960s to 'build with nature'. Construction of cross dams has induced a natural accretion of silt, creating new land. With Dutch funding, the Bangladeshi government began promoting the development of this new land in the late 1970s. The effort has become a multi-agency endeavour, building roads, culverts, embankments, cyclone shelters, toilets, and ponds, as well as distributing land to settlers. Years of collaboration with donors and global experts in water resources management has enabled Bangladesh to formulate strategies to combat the impacts of climate change. In Sep 2018, Bangladesh Government approved ''Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100'', a combination of long-term strategies and subsequent interventions for ensuring long-term water and food security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. The formulation of the plan was led by the General Economics Division of the Ministry of Planning, and supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, bringing together cross-sectoral expertise from the Netherlands and Bangladesh. With an elevation of , Saka Haphong (also known as Mowdok Mual) near the border with
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
, is claimed to be the highest peak of Bangladesh. However, it is not yet widely recognised as the highest point of the country, and most sources give the honor to Keokradong.


Administrative geography

Bangladesh is divided into eight administrative divisions, each named after their respective divisional headquarters: Barisal Division, Barisal (officially ''Barishal''), Chittagong Division, Chittagong (officially ''Chattogram''), Dhaka Division, Dhaka, Khulna Division, Khulna, Mymensingh Division, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Sylhet. Divisions are subdivided into districts (''zila''). There are 64 districts in Bangladesh, each further subdivided into ''upazila'' (subdistricts) or ''thana''. The area within each police station, except for those in metropolitan areas, is divided into several ''Union Councils of Bangladesh, unions'', with each union consisting of multiple villages. In the metropolitan areas, police stations are divided into wards, which are further divided into ''mahallas''. There are no elected officials at the divisional or district levels, and the administration is composed only of government officials. Direct elections are held in each union (or ward) for a chairperson and a number of members. In 1997, a parliamentary act was passed to reserve three seats (out of 12) in every union for female candidates.


Climate

Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladesh's climate is tropical with a mild winter from October to March, and a hot, humid summer from March to June. The country has never recorded an air temperature below , with a record low of in the north west city of Dinajpur on 3 February 1905. A warm and humid monsoon season lasts from June to October and supplies most of the country's rainfall. Natural calamities, such as Floods in Bangladesh, floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores occur almost every year, combined with the effects of deforestation, Soils retrogression and degradation, soil degradation and erosion. The List of Bangladesh tropical cyclones, cyclones of 1970 and 1991 were particularly devastating, the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone, latter killing some 140,000 people. In September 1998, Bangladesh saw 1998 Bangladesh floods, the most severe flooding in modern world history. As the Brahmaputra, the Ganges and Meghna spilt over and swallowed 300,000 houses, of road and of embankment, 1,000 people were killed and 30 million more were made homeless; 135,000 cattle were killed; of land were destroyed; and of roads were damaged or destroyed. Effectively, two-thirds of the country was underwater. The severity of the flooding was attributed to unusually high monsoon rains, the shedding of equally unusually large amounts of melt water from the Himalayas, and the widespread cutting down of trees (that would have intercepted rain water) for firewood or animal husbandry. As a result of various international and national level initiatives in disaster risk reduction, human toll and economic damage from floods and cyclones have come down over the years. A similar country wide flood in 2007, which left five million people displaced, had a death toll around 500. Bangladesh is recognised to be one of the countries most Climate change vulnerability, vulnerable to climate change. Over the course of a century, 508 cyclones have affected the Bay of Bengal region, 17 percent of which are believed to have caused landfall in Bangladesh. Natural hazards that come from increased rainfall, rising sea levels, and tropical cyclones are expected to increase as the climate changes, each seriously affecting agriculture, water and food security, human health, and shelter. It is estimated that by 2050, a 3 feet rise in sea levels will inundate some 20 percent of the land and displace more than 30 million people. To address the sea level rise threat in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 has been launched.


Biodiversity

Bangladesh ratified the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on 3 May 1994. , the country was set to revise its Biodiversity action plan, National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Bangladesh is located in the Indomalayan realm, and lies within four terrestrial ecoregions: Lower Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests, Mizoram–Manipur–Kachin rain forests, Sundarbans freshwater swamp forests, and Sundarbans mangroves. Its ecology includes a long sea coastline, numerous List of rivers in Bangladesh, rivers and tributaries, lakes, wetlands, evergreen forests, semi evergreen forests, hill forests, moist deciduous forests, freshwater swamp forests and flat land with tall grass. The Bangladesh Plain is famous for its fertile alluvial soil which supports extensive cultivation. The country is dominated by lush vegetation, with villages often buried in groves of mango, jackfruit, bamboo, betel nut, coconut and date palm.Bangladesh , history – geography :: Plant and animal life
. ''Encyclopædia Britannica''.
The country has up to 6000 species of plant life, including 5000 flowering plants. Water bodies and wetland systems provide a habitat for many aquatic plants. Nymphaeaceae, Water lilies and Nelumbo nucifera, lotuses grow vividly during the monsoon season. The country has List of protected areas of Bangladesh, 50 wildlife sanctuaries. Bangladesh is home to much of the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest, covering an area of 6,000 km2 in the southwest littoral region. It is divided into three protected sanctuaries–the Sundarbans South Wildlife Sanctuary, South, Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuary, East and Sundarbans West Wildlife Sanctuary, West zones. The forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The northeastern Sylhet region is home to haor wetlands, which is a unique ecosystem. It also includes tropical and subtropical coniferous forests, a freshwater swamp forest, and mixed deciduous forests. The southeastern Chittagong Division, Chittagong region covers evergreen and semi-evergreen hilly jungles. Central Bangladesh includes the plainland Sal forest running along the districts of Gazipur, Tangail and Mymensingh. St. Martin's Island is the only coral reef in the country. Bangladesh has an abundance of Wildlife in Bangladesh, wildlife in its forests, marshes, woodlands and hills. The vast majority of animals dwell within a habitat of 150,000 km2. The Bengal tiger, clouded leopard, saltwater crocodile, black panther and fishing cat are among the chief predators in the Sundarbans. Northern and eastern Bangladesh is home to the Asian elephant, hoolock gibbon, Asian black bear and oriental pied hornbill. The Chital deer are widely seen in southwestern woodlands. Other animals include the black giant squirrel, capped langur, Bengal fox, sambar deer, jungle cat, king cobra, wild boar, mongooses, pangolins, Python (genus), pythons and Asian water monitor, water monitors. Bangladesh has one of the largest populations of Irrawaddy dolphins and South Asian river dolphin, Ganges dolphins. A 2009 census found 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins inhabiting the littoral rivers of Bangladesh. The country has numerous species of amphibians (53), reptiles (139), marine reptiles (19) and marine mammals (5). It also has List of birds of Bangladesh, 628 species of birds. Several animals became extinct in Bangladesh during the last century, including the one-horned and two-horned rhinoceros and common peafowl. The human population is concentrated in urban areas, hence limiting deforestation to a certain extent. Rapid urban growth has threatened natural habitats. Although many areas are protected under law, a large portion of Bangladeshi wildlife is threatened by this growth. Furthermore, access to biocapacity in Bangladesh is low. In 2016, Bangladesh had 0.4 global hectares of biocapacity per person within its territory, or about one fourth of the world average. In contrast, in 2016, they used 0.84 global hectares of biocapacity – their ecological footprint of consumption. As a result, Bangladesh is running a biocapacity deficit. The Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act was enacted in 1995. The government has designated several regions as Ecologically Critical Areas, including wetlands, forests, and rivers. The Sundarbans tiger project and the Bangladesh Bear Project are among the key initiatives to strengthen conservation.


Politics and government

Bangladesh is a ''de jure'' representative democracy under its Constitution of Bangladesh, constitution, with a Westminster system, Westminster-style unitary authority, unitary parliamentary republic that has universal suffrage. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is invited to form a government every five years by the President. The President invites the leader of the largest party in parliament to become Prime Minister of the world's fifth-largest democracy. Bangladesh experienced a two party system between 1990 and 2014, when the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) alternated in power. During this period, elections were managed by a neutral Caretaker government of Bangladesh, caretaker government. But the caretaker government was abolished by the Awami League government in 2011. The BNP boycotted the next election in 2014, arguing that it would not be fair without a caretaker government. The BNP-led Jatiya Oikya Front participated in the 2018 election and lost. The election saw many allegations of irregularities. Bangladesh has a prominent civil society since the colonial period. There are various special interest groups, including non-governmental organisations, human rights organisations, professional associations, chamber of commerce, chambers of commerce, employers' associations and trade unions. One of the key aspects of Bangladeshi politics is the "spirit of the liberation war" which refers to the ideals of the liberation movement during the Bangladesh Liberation War. The Proclamation of Independence enunciated the values of "equality, human dignity and social justice". In 1972, the constitution included a bill of rights and declared "nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularity" as the principles of government policy. Socialism was later de-emphasised and neglected by successive governments. Bangladesh has a market-based economy. To many Bangladeshis, especially in the younger generation, the spirit of the liberation war is a vision for a society based on civil liberties, human rights, the rule of law and good governance.


Executive branch

The Government of Bangladesh is overseen by a Cabinet of Bangladesh, cabinet headed by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The tenure of a parliamentary government is five years. The Bangladesh Civil Service assists the cabinet in running the government. Recruitment for the civil service is based on a public examination. In theory, the civil service should be a meritocracy. But a disputed quota system coupled with politicisation and preference for seniority have allegedly affected the civil service's meritocracy. The President of Bangladesh is the ceremonial head of state whose powers include signing bills passed by parliament into law. The President is elected by the parliament and has a five-year term. Under the constitution, the president acts on the advice of the prime minister. The President is the Supreme Commander of the Bangladesh Armed Forces and the chancellor of all universities.


Legislative branch

The Jatiya Sangshad (National Assembly) is the unicameral parliament. It has 350 Member of parliament, Members of Parliament (MPs), including 300 MPs elected on the first past the post system and 50 MPs appointed to reserved seats for women's empowerment. Article 70 of the Constitution of Bangladesh forbids MPs from voting against their party. However, several laws proposed independently by MPs have been transformed into legislation, including the anti-torture law. The parliament is presided over by the Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad, who is second in line to the president as per the constitution. There is also a Deputy Speaker. When a president is incapable of performing duties (i.e. due to illness), the Speaker steps in as Acting President and the Deputy Speaker becomes Acting Speaker. A recurring proposal suggests that the Deputy Speaker should be a member of the opposition.


Legal system

The Supreme Court of Bangladesh is the highest court of the land followed by the High Court Division, High Court and Appellate Divisions. The head of the judiciary is the Chief Justice of Bangladesh, who sits on the Supreme Court. The courts have wide latitude in judicial review in Bangladesh, judicial review and judicial precedent is supported by Article 111 of the constitution. The Judiciary of Bangladesh, judiciary includes district and metropolitan courts, which are divided into civil and criminal courts. Due to a shortage of judges, the judiciary has a large backlog. The Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission is an independent body responsible for judicial appointments, salaries, and discipline. Bangladesh's legal system is based on common law and its principal source of laws are acts of Parliament. The Bangladesh Code includes a list of all laws in force in the country. The code begins in 1836 and most of its listed laws were crafted under the British Raj by the Bengal Legislative Council, the Bengal Legislative Assembly, the Eastern Bengal and Assam Legislative Council, the Imperial Legislative Council and the Parliament of the United Kingdom. One example is the The Penal Code, 1860 (Bangladesh), 1860 Penal Code. From 1947 to 1971, laws were enacted by Pakistan's National Assembly of Pakistan, national assembly and the East Pakistan Provincial Assembly, East Pakistani legislature. The Constituent Assembly of Bangladesh was the country's provisional parliament until 1973, when the first elected Jatiyo Sangshad (National Parliament) was sworn in. Although most of Bangladesh's laws were compiled in English, after a 1987 government directive laws are now primarily written in Bengali language, Bengali. While most of Bangladeshi law is secular; marriage, divorce, and inheritance are governed by Sharia, Islamic, Hindu law, Hindu and Christian family law. The judiciary is often influenced by legal developments in the Commonwealth of Nations, such as the Legitimate expectation, doctrine of legitimate expectation.


Military

The Bangladesh Armed Forces have inherited the institutional framework of the British military and the British Indian Army. It was formed in 1971 from the military regiments of East Pakistan. In 2018 the active personnel strength of the Bangladesh Army was around 157,500,* excluding the Air Force and the Navy (24,000). In addition to traditional defence roles, the military has supported civil authorities in disaster relief and provided internal security during periods of political unrest. For many years, Bangladesh has been the world's largest contributor to United Nations peacekeeping, UN peacekeeping forces. In February 2015, the country made major deployments to Cote d'Ivoire, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Golan Heights, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia and South Sudan. The Bangladesh Navy has the third-largest fleet of countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal, including guided-missile frigates, submarines, Cutter (boat), cutters and aircraft. The Bangladesh Air Force is equipped with several Russian multi-role fighter jets. Bangladesh cooperates defensively with the United States Armed Forces, participating in the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercises. Ties between the Bangladeshi and the Indian military exist with high-level visits by the military chiefs of both countries. Most of Bangladesh's military equipment comes from China. In 2019, Bangladesh ratified the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


Foreign relations

The first major intergovernmental organisation joined by Bangladesh was the Commonwealth of Nations in 1972. The country joined the United Nations in 1974, and has been elected twice to the UN Security Council. Ambassador Humayun Rashid Choudhury was elected president of the UN General Assembly in 1986. Bangladesh relies on multilateralism, multilateral diplomacy in the World Trade Organization. It is a major contributor to UN peacekeeping, providing 113,000 personnel to 54 UN missions in the Middle East, the Balkans, Africa and the Caribbean in 2014. In addition to membership in the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations, Bangladesh pioneered regional co-operation in South Asia. Bangladesh is a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), an organisation designed to strengthen relations and promote economic and cultural growth among its members. It has hosted several summits and two Bangladeshi diplomats were the organisation's secretary-general. Bangladesh joined the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1973. It has hosted the summit of OIC foreign ministers, which addresses issues, conflicts and disputes affecting Muslim world, Muslim-majority countries. Bangladesh is a founding member of the Developing 8 Countries, which is a bloc of eight Muslim-majority republics. The neighbouring country of
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
(Burma) was one of the first countries to recognise Bangladesh. Despite common regional interests, Bangladesh-Myanmar relations have been strained by the Rohingya refugee crisis and the isolationist policies of the Myanmar military. In 2012, both countries came to terms at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea over maritime boundaries in the Bay of Bengal. In 2016 and 2017, relations with Myanmar were strained once again as over 700,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees illegally entered Bangladesh fleeing persecution, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and other atrocities in Myanmar. The parliament, government, and civil society of Bangladesh have been at the forefront of International reaction to the 2016–17 Rohingya exodus, international criticism against Myanmar for military operations against the Rohingya, which the United Nations has described as ethnic cleansing. Bangladesh's most politically important bilateral relationship is with neighbouring
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
. In 2015, major Indian newspapers called Bangladesh a "trusted friend". Bangladesh and India are South Asia's largest trading partners. The countries are collaborating in regional economic and infrastructure projects, such as a regional motor-vehicle agreement in eastern South Asia and a coastal shipping agreement in the
Bay of Bengal The Bay of Bengal is the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to th ...

Bay of Bengal
. Bangladesh-India relations, Indo-Bangladesh relations often emphasise a shared cultural heritage, democratic values and a history of support for Bangladesh Liberation War, Bangladeshi independence. Despite political goodwill, Deaths along the Bangladesh–India border, border killings of Bangladeshi civilians and the lack of a comprehensive water-sharing agreement for 54 trans-boundary rivers are major issues. In 2017, India joined Russia and China in refusing to condemn Myanmar's atrocities against the Rohingya, which contradicted with Bangladesh's demand for recognising Rohingya human rights. However, the Indian air force delivered aid shipments for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The crackdown against cattle smuggling in India has also affected Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi beef and leather industries have seen increased prices due to the Indian Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP government's campaign against the export of beef and cattle skin. Pakistan and Bangladesh have a US$550 million trade relationship, particularly in Pakistani cotton imports for the Bangladeshi textile industry. Although Bangladeshi and Pakistani businesses have invested in each other, diplomatic relations are strained because of Pakistani denial of the 1971 Bangladesh genocide. The execution of a Jamaat-e-Islami leader in 2013 on committing of 1971 Bangladesh genocide, war crimes during the liberation war was opposed in Pakistan and led to further strained ties. Bangladesh-China relations, Sino-Bangladesh relations date to the 1950s and are relatively warm, despite the Chinese leadership siding with Pakistan during Bangladesh's war of independence. China and Bangladesh established bilateral relations in 1976 which have significantly strengthened and the country is considered a cost-effective source of arms for the Bangladeshi military. Since the 1980s 80 percent of Bangladesh's military equipment has been supplied by China (often with generous credit terms), and China is Bangladesh's largest trading partner. Both countries are part of the BCIM Forum. Japan is Bangladesh's largest economic-aid provider in the form of loans and the countries have common political goals. The United Kingdom has longstanding Bangladesh-United Kingdom relations, economic, cultural and military links with Bangladesh. The United States is a major Bangladesh-United States relations, economic and security partner, its largest export market and foreign investor. Seventy-six percent of Bangladeshis viewed the United States favourably in 2014, one of the highest ratings among Asian countries. The United States views Bangladesh as a key partner in the Indo-Pacific. The European Union is Bangladesh's largest regional market, conducting public diplomacy and providing development assistance. Relations with other countries are generally positive. Shared democratic values ease relations with Western countries and similar economic concerns forge ties to other developing countries. Despite poor working conditions and war affecting overseas Bangladeshis in the Middle East, Bangladeshi workers, relations with Middle Eastern countries are friendly and bounded by religion and culture. More than a million Bangladeshis are employed in the region. In 2016, the king of Saudi Arabia called Bangladesh "one of the most important Muslim countries". However, Bangladesh has not established diplomatic relationship with Bangladesh–Israel relations, Israel in support of a sovereign Proposals for a Palestinian state, Palestinian state and "an end to Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine". Bangladeshi aid agencies work in many developing countries. An example is BRAC (NGO), BRAC in Afghanistan, which benefits 12 million people in that country. Bangladesh has a record of nuclear nonproliferation as a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and is also a member of Non-Aligned Movement since 1973. It is a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Bangladeshi foreign policy is influenced by the principle of "friendship to all and malice to none", first articulated by Bengali statesman H. S. Suhrawardy in 1957. Suhrawardy led East and West Pakistan to join the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, CENTO and the Regional Cooperation for Development.


Human rights

A list of fundamental rights is enshrined in the country's constitution. The drafter of the constitution in 1972, Dr. Kamal Hossain, was influenced by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Bangladesh also recognises the third gender. However, LGBT rights in Bangladesh, Homosexuality is outlawed by section 377 of the criminal code (a legacy of the colonial period), and is punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment. Judicial activism has often upheld human rights. In the 1970s, judges invalidated detentions under the Special Powers Act, 1974 through cases such as ''Aruna Sen v. Government of Bangladesh'' and ''Abdul Latif Mirza v. Government of Bangladesh''. In 2008, the Supreme Court paved the way for citizenship for the Stranded Pakistanis, who were an estimated 300,000 stateless people. Despite being a non-signatory of the UN Refugee Convention, Bangladesh has taken in Rohingya refugees since 1978 and the country is now home to a million refugees. Bangladesh is an active member of the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 1972. It has ratified 33 ILO conventions, including the seven fundamental ILO conventions. Bangladesh has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In 2018, Bangladesh came under heavy criticism for its repressive Digital Security Act which threatened freedom of speech. The photojournalist Shahidul Alam was jailed and tortured for criticising the government. Alam was featured in the 2018 ''Time Person of the Year'' issue. The National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh was set up in 2007. Notable human rights organisations and initiatives include the Centre for Law and Mediation (Bangladesh), Centre for Law and Mediation, Odhikar, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council and the War Crimes Fact Finding Committee. Successive governments and their security forces have flouted constitutional principles and have been accused of human rights abuses. Bangladesh is ranked "partly free" in Freedom House's ''Freedom in the World'' report, but its press is ranked "not free". According to the British Economist Intelligence Unit, the country has a hybrid regime: the third of four rankings in its Democracy Index. Bangladesh was the third-most-peaceful South Asian country in the 2015 Global Peace Index. Civil society and media in Bangladesh have been attacked by the ruling Bangladesh Awami League, Awami League government and Islamic extremists. According to National Human Rights Commission, 70% of alleged human-rights violations are committed by law-enforcement agencies. Targets have included Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, Attacks on secularists in Bangladesh, secularist bloggers and independent and pro-opposition newspapers and television networks. The United Nations is concerned about government "measures that restrict freedom of expression and democratic space". Bangladeshi security forces, particularly the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), have received international condemnation for human-rights abuses (including enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings). Over 1,000 people have been said to have been victims of extrajudicial killings by RAB since its inception under the last Bangladesh Nationalist Party government. The RAB has been called a "death squad" by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which have called for the force to be disbanded. The British and American governments have been criticised for funding and engaging the force in counter-terrorism operations. The Bangladeshi government has not fully implemented the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord. The Hill Tracts region remains heavily militarised, despite a peace treaty with indigenous people forged by the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti, United People's Party of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Secularism is protected by the constitution of Bangladesh and religious parties are barred from contesting elections; however, the government is accused of courting religious extremist groups. Islam's ambiguous position as the ''de facto''
state religion A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether ...
has been criticised by the United Nations. Despite relative harmony, religious minorities have faced occasional persecution. The Hindu and Buddhist communities have experienced religious violence from Islamic groups – notably the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing (Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir, Shibir). However, Islamic groups are losing popular support - Islamic far-right candidates peaked at 12 percent of the vote in 2001, falling to four percent in 2008. According to the 2016 Global Slavery Index, an estimated 1,531,300 people are enslaved in modern-day Bangladesh, or 0.95% of the population. A number of slaves in Bangladesh are forced to work in the fish and shrimp industries.


Corruption

Like for many developing countries, institutional corruption is a serious concern for Bangladesh. Bangladesh was ranked 146th among 180 countries on Transparency International's 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index. According to survey conducted by the Bangladesh chapter of TI, in 2015 bribes made up 3.7 percent of the national budget.
Corruption in Service Sectors: National Household Survey 2015
', Transparency International Bangladesh, Dhaka, 2016, p. 1
Land administration was the sector with the most bribery in 2015, followed by education, police and water supply. The Anti Corruption Commission Bangladesh, Anti Corruption Commission was formed in 2004, and it was active during the 2006–08 Bangladeshi political crisis, indicting many leading politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen for Graft (politics), graft.


Economy

Bangladesh has the world's List of countries by GDP (nominal), 39th largest economy in terms of market exchange rates and List of countries by GDP (PPP), 29th largest in terms of purchasing power parity, which ranks second in South Asia after India. Bangladesh is also one of the world's List of countries by real GDP growth rate, fastest-growing economies and one of the fastest growing middle-income countries. The country has a market-based mixed economy. A developing nation, Bangladesh is one of the Next Eleven emerging markets. According to the IMF, its per-capita income was in 2019, with a Gross domestic product, GDP of $317 billion. Bangladesh has the second-highest List of countries by foreign exchange reserves, foreign-exchange reserves in South Asia (after India). The Bangladeshi diaspora contributed $15.31 billion in Remittance to Bangladesh, remittances in 2015. Bangladesh's largest trading partners are the European Union, the United States, Japan, India, Australia, China and ASEAN. Expat workers in the Middle East and Southeast Asia send back a large chunk of remittances. The economy is driven by strong domestic demand. During its first five years of independence, Bangladesh adopted socialist policies. The subsequent military regime and BNP and Jatiya Party governments restored free markets and promoted the country's private sector. In 1991, finance minister Saifur Rahman (Bangladeshi politician), Saifur Rahman introduced a programme of economic liberalisation. The Bangladeshi private sector has rapidly expanded, with a number of List of conglomerates in Bangladesh, conglomerates driving the economy. Major industries include textiles, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, steel, electronics, energy, construction materials, chemicals, ceramics, food processing, and leather goods. Export-oriented industrialisation has increased with fiscal year 2018–19 exports increasing by 10.1% over the previous year to $40 billion. Most export earnings are from the Bangladesh textile industry, garment-manufacturing industry. However, an insufficient power supply is a significant obstacle to Bangladesh's economic development. According to the World Bank, poor governance, corruption and weak public institutions are also major challenges. In April 2010, Standard & Poor's gave Bangladesh a BB- long-term credit rating, below India's but above those of Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh is the seventh-largest Natural gas in Bangladesh, natural gas producer in Asia, ahead of neighbouring Myanmar, and 56 percent of the country's electricity is generated by natural gas. Major gas fields are located in the northeastern (particularly Sylhet) and southern (including Barisal and Chittagong) regions. Petrobangla is the national energy company. The American multinational corporation Chevron Corporation, Chevron produces 50 percent of Bangladesh's natural gas. According to geologists, the Bay of Bengal contains large, untapped gas reserves in Bangladesh's exclusive economic zone. Bangladesh has substantial coal reserves, with several coal mines operating in the northwest. Jute exports remain significant, although the global jute trade has shrunk considerably since its World War II peak. Bangladesh has one of the world's oldest tea industries, and is a major exporter of fish and seafood. Bangladesh's textile and Bangladeshi RMG Sector, ready-made garment industries are the country's largest manufacturing sector, with 2017 exports of $34.1 billion. Leather-goods manufacturing, particularly footwear, is the second-largest export sector. The pharmaceutical industry in Bangladesh, pharmaceutical industry meets 97 percent of domestic demand, and exports to many countries. Shipbuilding in Bangladesh, Shipbuilding has grown rapidly, with exports to Europe. Steel industry in Bangladesh, Steel is concentrated in the port city of Chittagong, and the ceramics industry in Bangladesh, ceramics industry is prominent in international trade. In 2005 Bangladesh was the world's 20th-largest List of countries by cement production, cement producer, an industry dependent on limestone imports from northeast India. Food processing is a major sector, with local brands such as PRAN increasing their international presence. The Electronics industry in Bangladesh, electronics industry is growing rapidly with contributions from companies like the Walton Group. Bangladesh's defense industry includes the Bangladesh Ordnance Factories and the Khulna Shipyard. The service sector accounts for 51 percent of the country's GDP. Bangladesh ranks with Pakistan as South Asia's second-largest banking sector. The Dhaka Stock Exchange, Dhaka and Chittagong Stock Exchanges are the country's twin financial markets. Bangladesh's Telecommunications in Bangladesh, telecommunications industry is one of the world's fastest-growing, with 114 million cellphone subscribers in December 2013, and Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi (company), Robi and BTTB are major companies. Tourism in Bangladesh, Tourism is developing, with the beach resort of Cox's Bazar at the center of the industry. The Sylhet region, home to Bangladesh's tea gardens, also hosts a large number of visitors. The country has List of World Heritage Sites in Bangladesh, three UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat, the Mosque City, Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur, the Buddhist Vihara and the Sundarbans) and five World Heritage Site#Nominating process, tentative-list sites. Following the pioneering work of Akhter Hameed Khan on rural development at Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development, several non-governmental organisation, NGOs in Bangladesh including BRAC (NGO), BRAC (the world's largest NGO), and Grameen Bank, focused on rural development and poverty alleviation in the country. Muhammad Yunus successfully pioneered microfinance as a sustainable tool for poverty alleviation and others followed suit. As of 2015, the country had over 35 million microcredit borrowers. In recognition of their tangible contribution to poverty alleviation, Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.


Agriculture


Transport

Transport is a major sector of the economy. Aviation has grown rapidly, and is dominated by the flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines and other List of airlines of Bangladesh, privately owned airlines. Bangladesh has a List of airports in Bangladesh, number of airports including three international and several domestic STOL (short takeoff and landing) airports. The busiest, Shahjalal International Airport connects Dhaka with major destinations. Bangladesh has a long rail network operated by the state-owned Bangladesh Railway. The total length of the country's List of roads in Bangladesh, road and highway network is nearly 21,000 kilometers (13,000 miles). With of navigable waters, Bangladesh has one of the largest inland waterway networks in the world. The southeastern port of Chittagong is its busiest seaport, handling over $60 billion in annual trade (more than 80 percent of the country's export-import commerce). The second-busiest seaport is Port of Mongla, Mongla. Bangladesh has three seaports and 22 river ports.


Energy and infrastructure

Bangladesh had an installed electrical capacity of 20,000 megawatts in 2018, reaching 23,548 MW in 2020. About 56 percent of the country's commercial energy is generated by natural gas, followed by oil, hydropower and coal. Bangladesh has planned to import hydropower from Energy in Bhutan, Bhutan and Energy in Nepal, Nepal. A nuclear power plant is under construction with Russian support in the Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant project which will add 2160 MW when fully operational. The country ranks fifth worldwide in the number of renewable energy green jobs, and solar panels are increasingly used to power urban and off-grid rural areas. An estimated 98 percent of the country's population had access to improved water sources by 2004*
Data are based on
(a high percentage for a low-income country), achieved largely through the construction of hand pumps with support from external donors. However, in 1993 it was discovered that much of Bangladesh's groundwater (the source of drinking water for 97 percent of the rural population and a significant share of the urban population) is naturally contaminated with arsenic. Another challenge is low cost recovery due to low tariffs and poor economic efficiency, especially in urban areas (where water revenue does not cover operating costs). An estimated 56 percent of the population had access to adequate sanitation facilities in 2010. Community-led total sanitation, addressing the problem of open defecation in rural areas, is credited with improving public health since its introduction in 2000.


Science and technology

The Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, founded in 1973, traces its roots to the East Pakistan Regional Laboratories established in Dhaka (1955), Rajshahi (1965) and Chittagong (1967). Bangladesh's space agency, SPARRSO, was founded in 1983 with assistance from the United States. The country's first communications satellite, Bangabandhu-1, was launched from the United States in 2018. The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission operates a TRIGA research reactor at its atomic-energy facility in Savar. In 2015, Bangladesh was ranked the 26th global IT outsourcing destination.


Tourism

Bangladesh's tourist attractions include historical sites and monuments, resorts, beaches, picnic spots, forests and wildlife of various species. Activities for tourists include angling, water skiing, river cruising, hiking, rowing (sport), rowing, yachting, and sea bathing. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reported in 2019 that the travel and tourism industry in Bangladesh directly generated 1,180,500 jobs in 2018 or 1.9 percent of the country's total employment. According to the same report, Bangladesh experiences around 125,000 international tourist arrivals per year. Domestic spending generated 97.7 percent of direct travel and tourism gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012. Bangladesh's world ranking in 2012 for travel and tourism's direct contribution to GDP, as a percentage of GDP, was 120 out of 140.


Demographics

Estimates of the Bangladeshi population vary, but UN data suggests (162.9 million) in 2017. The 2011 census estimated 142.3 million, much less than 2007–2010 estimates of Bangladesh's population (150–170 million). Bangladesh is the world's List of countries by population, eighth-most-populous nation and the most densely-populated large country in the world, ranking 7th in population density even when small countries and city-states are included. The country's population-growth rate was among the highest in the world in the 1960s and 1970s, when its population grew from 65 to 110 million. With the promotion of birth control in the 1980s, Bangladesh's growth rate began to slow. Its total fertility rate is now 2.05, lower than India's (2.58) and Pakistan's (3.07). The population is relatively young, with 34 percent aged 15 or younger and five percent 65 or older. Life expectancy at birth was estimated at 72.49 years in 2016. According to the World Bank, 14.8% of the country lives below the international poverty line on less than $1.90 per day. Bengali people, Bengalis are 98 percent of the population."Background Note: Bangladesh"
. Retrieved 11 June 2008.
Of Bengalis, Bengali Muslims, Muslims are the majority, followed by Bengali Hindus, Hindus, Bengali Christians, Christians and Bengali Buddhists, Buddhists. The Adivasi population includes the Chakma people, Chakma, Marma people, Marma, Tanchangya people, Tanchangya, Tripuri people, Tripuri, Kuki people, Kuki, Khiang, Khumi, Murang people, Murang, Mru people (Mrucha), Mru, Chak people, Chak, Lushei, Bawm people, Bawm, Bisnupriya Manipuri Society, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Khasi people, Khasi, Synteng, Jaintia, Garo people, Garo, Santal, Munda people, Munda and Oraon tribes. The Chittagong Hill Tracts region experienced unrest and an Chittagong Hill Tracts conflict, insurgency from 1975 to 1997 in an autonomy movement by its indigenous people. Although a peace accord was signed in 1997, the region remains militarised. Bangladesh is home to a significant Ismaili community. It hosts many Urdu-speaking immigrants, who migrated there after the partition of India. Stranded Pakistanis were given citizenship by the Supreme Court in 2008. Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh number at around 1 million, making Bangladesh one of the countries with the largest refugee populations in the world.


Urban centres

Dhaka is Bangladesh's capital and largest city and is overseen by two city corporations who manage between them the northern and southern part of the city. There are 12 List of City Corporations of Bangladesh, city corporations which hold mayoral elections: Dhaka South, Dhaka North, Chittagong, Comilla, Khulna, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Barisal, Rangpur, Bangladesh, Rangpur, Gazipur, Dhaka Division, Gazipur and Narayanganj. Mayors are elected for five-year terms. Altogether there are 506 urban centres in Bangladesh among which 43 cities have a population of more than 100,000.


Language

The predominant language of Bangladesh is Bengali language, Bengali (also known as Bangla). Bengali is one of the easternmost branches of the Indo-European language family. It is a part of the Eastern Indo-Aryan languages in South Asia, which developed between the 10th and 13th centuries. Bengali is written using the Bengali alphabet, Bengali script. In ancient Bengal, Sanskrit was the language of written communication, especially by priests. During the Islamic period, Sanskrit was replaced by Bengali as the vernacular language. The Sultans of Bengal promoted the production of Bengali literature instead of Sanskrit. Bengali also received Persian language, Persian and Arabic loanwords during the
Sultanate of Bengal This article includes a list of successive Muslim state An Islamic state is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associati ...

Sultanate of Bengal
. Under Bengal Presidency, British rule, Bengali was significantly modernised by Europeans. Modern Standard Bengali emerged as the ''lingua franca'' of the region. A heavily Sanskritized version of Bengali was employed by Hindu scholars during the Bengali Renaissance. Muslim writers such as Kazi Nazrul Islam gave attention to the Persian and Arabic vocabulary of the language. Today, the Bengali language standard is prescribed by the Bangla Academy in Bangladesh. More than 98 percent of people in Bangladesh speak Bengali as their native language.Constitution of Bangladesh
(As modified up to 17 May 2004), Part I, Article 5.
Bengali is described as a dialect continuum where there are various Bengali dialects, dialects spoken throughout the country. Currently there is a diglossia in which much of the population are able to understand or speak Standard Colloquial Bengali and in their regional dialect, such as Chittagonian language, Chittagonian or Sylheti language, Sylheti, which some linguists consider as separate languages. The Bangla Bhasha Prachalan Ain, 1987, Bengali Language Implementation Act, 1987 made it mandatory to use Bengali in all government affairs in Bangladesh. Although laws were historically written in English, they were not translated into Bengali until the act. All subsequent acts, ordinances and laws have been promulgated in Bengali since 1987. English is often used in the verdicts delivered by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, and is also used in higher education. The Chakma language is another native Eastern Indo-Aryan language of Bangladesh. It is written using the Chakma script. The unique aspect of the language is that it is used by the Chakma people, who are a population with similarities to the people of East Asia, rather than the Indian subcontinent. The Chakma language is endangered due to its decreasing use in schools and institutions. Other tribal languages include Garo language, Garo, Meitei language, Meitei, Kokborok and Rakhine language, Rakhine. Among the Austroasiatic languages, the Santali language is spoken by the Santali tribe. Many of these languages are written in the Bengali script; while there is also some usage of the Latin script. Urdu has a significant heritage in Bangladesh, in particular Old Dhaka. The language was introduced to Bengal in the 17th-century. Traders and migrants from North India often spoke the language in Bengal, as did sections of the Bengali upper class. Urdu poets lived in many parts of Bangladesh. The use of Urdu became controversial during the Bengali Language Movement, when the people of East Bengal resisted attempts to impose Urdu as the main official language. In modern Bangladesh, the Urdu-speaking community is restricted to the country's Biharis in Bangladesh, Bihari community (formerly Stranded Pakistanis); and some sections of the Dhakaiyas, Old Dhakaiya population.


Religion

The constitution grants freedom of religion and officially makes Bangladesh a
secular state A secular state is an idea pertaining to secularity Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin ''Saeculum'', "worldly" or "of a generation"), is the state of being unrelated or neutral in regards to religion and irreligion. Anythin ...
, while establishing Islam as the "religion of the Republic". Islam in Bangladesh, Islam is followed by 90 percent of the population. Most Bangladeshis are Bengali Muslims, who form the largest Muslim ethnoreligious group in South Asia and the second largest in the world after the Arabs. There is also a minority of non-Bengali Muslims. The vast majority of Bangladeshi Muslims are Sunni, followed by minorities of Shia and Ahmadiya. About four percent are non-denominational Muslims. Bangladesh has the fourth-largest Muslim population in the world, and is the third-largest Muslim-majority country (after Indonesia and Pakistan). Sufism has an extensive heritage in the region. Liberal Bengali Islam sometimes clashes with orthodox movements. The largest gathering of Muslims in Bangladesh is the apolitical Bishwa Ijtema, held annually by the orthodox Tablighi Jamaat. The Ijtema is the second-largest Muslim congregation in the world, after the Hajj. The Islamic Foundation Bangladesh, Islamic Foundation is an autonomous government agency responsible for some religious matters under state guidance, including monitoring of sighting of the moon in accordance with the lunar Islamic calendar in order to set festival dates; as well as the charitable tradition of ''zakat''. Public holidays include the Islamic observances of Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-al-Adha, the Prophet's Birthday, Ashura and Shab-e-Barat. Hinduism in Bangladesh, Hinduism is followed by 8.5 percent of the population; most are Bengali Hindus, and some are members of Ethnic groups in Bangladesh, ethnic minority groups. Bangladeshi Hindus are the country's second-largest religious group and the third-largest Hindu community in the world, after those in India and Nepal. Hindus in Bangladesh are evenly distributed, with concentrations in Gopalganj District, Bangladesh, Gopalganj, Dinajpur District (Bangladesh), Dinajpur, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Mymensingh, Khulna, Jessore, Chittagong and parts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The festivals of Durga's Return and Krishna's Birthday are public holidays. Buddhism in Bangladesh, Buddhism is the third-largest religion, at 0.6 percent. Bangladeshi Buddhists are concentrated among ethnic groups in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (particularly the Chakma, Marma and Tanchangya peoples), while coastal Chittagong is home to a large number of Bengali Buddhists. Although the Mahayana school of Buddhism was historically prevalent in the region, Bangladeshi Buddhists today adhere to the Theravada school. Buddha's Birthday is a public holiday. The chief Buddhist priests are based at a monastery in Chittagong. Christianity is the fourth-largest religion, at 0.4 percent. Roman Catholicism is the largest denomination among Bangladeshi Christians. Bengali Christians are spread across the country; while there are many Christians among minority ethnic groups in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (southeastern Bangladesh) and within the Garo tribe of Mymensingh (north-central Bangladesh). The country also has Protestant, Baptist, and Oriental Orthodox churches. Christmas is a public holiday. The Constitution of Bangladesh declares Islam the state religion, but bans religion-based politics. It proclaims equal recognition of Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and people of all faiths. In 1972, Bangladesh was South Asia's first constitutionally-secular country. Article 12 of the constitution continues to call for secularism, the elimination of interfaith tensions and prohibits the abuse of religion for political purposes and any discrimination against, or persecution of, persons practising a particular religion. Article 41 of the constitution subjects religious freedom to public order, law and morality; it gives every citizen the right to profess, practice or propagate any religion; every religious community or denomination the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions; and states that no person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or to take part in or to attend any religious ceremony or worship, if that instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.


Education

Bangladesh has a literacy rate of 74.7% percent as of 2019: 77.4% for males and 71.9% for females. The country's educational system is three-tiered and heavily subsidised, with the government operating many schools at the primary, secondary and higher secondary levels and subsidising many private schools. In the tertiary education sector, the Bangladeshi government funds over 45 state universitieshttp://www.ugc-universities.gov.bd/public-universities through the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh, University Grants Commission. The education system is divided into five levels: primary (first to fifth grade), junior secondary (sixth to eighth grade), secondary (ninth and tenth grade), higher secondary (11th and 12th grade), and tertiary. Five years of secondary education (including junior secondary) ends with a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination. Since 2009, the Primary Education Closing (PEC) examination has also been introduced. Students who pass the PEC examination proceed to secondary or matriculation training, culminating in the SSC examination. Students who pass the PEC examination proceed to three years of junior secondary education, culminating in the Junior School Certificate (JSC) examination. Students who pass this examination proceed to two years of secondary education, culminating in the SSC examination. Students who pass this examination proceed to two years of higher secondary education, culminating in the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) examination. Education is primarily in Bengali, but English is commonly taught and used. Bangladesh conforms with UNESCO, UNESCO's Education For All (EFA) objectives, the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and other international declarations. Article 17 of the Bangladesh Constitution provides that all children between the ages of six and ten years receive a basic education free of charge. Universities in Bangladesh are of three general types: public (government-owned and subsidised), private (privately owned universities) and international (operated and funded by international organisations). They are accredited by and affiliated with the University Grants Commission (Bangladesh), University Grants Commission (UGC), created by Presidential Order 10 in 1973. The country has 47 public, 105 private and two international List of universities in Bangladesh, universities; Bangladesh National University has the largest enrollment, and the University of Dhaka (established in 1921) is the oldest. University of Chittagong (established in 1966) is the largest University (Campus: Rural, 2,100 acres (8.5 km2)). Islamic University of Technology, commonly known as IUT, is a subsidiary of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC, representing 57 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America). Asian University for Women in Chittagong is the preeminent South Asian liberal-arts university for women, representing 14 Asian countries; its faculty hails from notable academic institutions in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. As in Bangladesh, the agriculture sector is the largest contributor (more than 20%) to GDP and agricultural sciences are well developed. It has 6 public research based agricultural university, and they are: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Sylhet Agricultural University, Khulna Agricultural University, Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University. BUET, CUET, KUET and RUET are Bangladesh's four public engineering universities. BUTEX and DUET are two specialised engineering universities; BUTEX specialises in textile engineering, and DUET offers higher education to diploma engineers. The National Institute of Textile Engineering and Research, NITER is a specialised public-private partnership institute that provides higher education in textile engineering. Science and technology universities include Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science & Technology University, Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, SUST, Jessore University of Science & Technology, JUST, Pabna University of Science & Technology, PUST, Noakhali Science and Technology University, NSTU and Patuakhali Science and Technology University, PSTU. The country's first higher education institution on aerospace engineering, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University, has been established in 2019 and is expected to launch its on-campus academic activities from the start of 2021. Medical education is provided by 29 government and private List of medical colleges in Bangladesh, medical colleges. All medical colleges are affiliated with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Bangladesh), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Bangladesh's 2015 literacy rate rose to 71 percent due to education modernisation and improved funding, with 16,087 schools and 2,363 colleges receiving Monthly Pay Order (MPO) facilities. According to then education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, 27,558 madrasas and technical and vocational institutions were enlisted for the facility. 6,036 educational institutions were outside MPO coverage, and the government enlisted 1,624 private schools for MPO in 2010.


Health

Healthcare facilities in Bangladesh are considered less than adequate, although they have improved as poverty levels have decreased significantly. Findings from a recent study in Chakaria Upazila, Chakaria (a rural upazila under Cox's Bazar District) revealed that the "village doctors", practicing allopathic medicine without formal training, were reported to have provided 65% of the healthcare sought for illness episodes occurring within 14 days prior to the survey. Formally-trained providers made up only four percent of the total health workforce. The Future Health Systems survey indicated significant deficiencies in the treatment practices of village doctors, with widespread harmful and inappropriate drug prescribing. Receiving health care from informal providers is encouraged. A 2007 study of 1,000 households in rural Bangladesh found that direct payments to formal and informal healthcare providers and indirect costs (loss of earnings because of illness) associated with illness were deterrents to accessing healthcare from qualified providers. A community survey of 6,183 individuals in rural Bangladesh found a gender difference in treatment-seeking behaviour, with women less likely to seek treatment than to men. The use of skilled birth attendant (SBA) services, however, rose from 2005 to 2007 among women from all socioeconomic Quantile, quintiles except the highest. A health watch, a pilot community-empowerment tool, was successfully developed and implemented in south-eastern Bangladesh to improve the uptake and monitoring of public-health services. Bangladesh's poor health conditions are attributed to the lack of healthcare provision by the government. According to a 2010 World Bank report, 2009 healthcare spending was 3.35 percent of the country's GDP. Government spending on healthcare that year was 7.9 percent of the total budget; out-of-pocket expenditures totalled 96.5 percent. According to the government sources, the number of hospital beds is 8 per 10,000 population (as of 2015). Malnutrition has been a persistent problem in Bangladesh, with the World Bank ranking the country first in the number of malnourished children worldwide. More than 54% of preschool-age children are stunted, 56% are underweight and more than 17% are wasted. More than 45 percent of rural families and 76 percent of urban families were below the acceptable caloric-intake level.


Culture


Visual arts

The recorded history of art in Bangladesh can be traced to the 3rd century BCE, when terracotta sculptures were made in the region. In classical antiquity, a notable school of sculptural Hindu, Jain and Buddhist art developed in the Pala Empire and the Sena dynasty. Islamic art evolved since the 14th century. The architecture of the Bengal Sultanate saw a distinct style of domed mosques with complex niche pillars that had no minarets.
Mughal Bengal The Bengal Subah (also known as Mughal Bengal) was the largest subdivision of the Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire, Mogul or Moghul Empire, was an Early modern period, early modern empire in South Asia. Quote: "Although the first two Timu ...

Mughal Bengal
's most celebrated artistic tradition was the weaving of Jamdani Motif (textile arts), motifs on fine muslin, which is now classified by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage. Jamdani motifs were similar to Iranian textile art (buta motifs) and Western textile art (Paisley (design), paisley). The Jamdani weavers in Dhaka received imperial patronage. Ivory and brass were also widely used in Mughal art. Pottery is widely used in Bengali culture. The modern art movement in Bangladesh took shape during the 1950s, particularly with the pioneering works of Zainul Abedin. East Bengal developed its own modernist painting and sculpture traditions, which were distinct from the art movements in West Bengal. The Art Institute Dhaka has been an important center for visual art in the region. Its annual Mangal Shobhajatra, Bengali New Year parade was enlisted as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2016. Modern Bangladesh has produced many of South Asia's leading painters, including SM Sultan, Mohammad Kibria, Shahabuddin Ahmed (artist), Shahabuddin Ahmed, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Kafil Ahmed, Saifuddin Ahmed, Qayyum Chowdhury, Rashid Choudhury, Quamrul Hassan, Rafiqun Nabi and Syed Jahangir, among others. Novera Ahmed and Nitun Kundu were the country's pioneers of modernist sculpture. In recent times, photography as a medium of art has become popular. Biennial Chobi Mela is considered the largest photography festival in Asia.


Literature

The oldest evidence of writing in Bangladesh is the Mahasthan Brahmi Inscription, which dates back to the 3rd century BCE. In the Gupta Empire, Sanskrit literature thrived in the region. Bengali developed from Sanskrit and Magadhi Prakrit in the 8th to 10th century. Bengali literature is a millennium-old tradition; the Charyapadas are the earliest examples of Bengali poetry. Sufi spiritualism inspired many Bengali Muslim writers. During the Bengal Sultanate, medieval Bengali writers were influenced by Arabic literature, Arabic and Persian literature, Persian works. The Chandidas are the notable lyric poets from the early Medieval Age. Alaol, Syed Alaol was a noted secular poet and translator from the Arakan region. The Bengal Renaissance shaped the emergence of modern Bengali literature, including novels, short stories and Bengali science fiction, science fiction. Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-European laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature and is described as the Bengali Shakespeare. Kazi Nazrul Islam was a revolutionary poet who espoused political rebellion against colonialism and fascism. Begum Rokeya is regarded as the pioneer feminist writer of Bangladesh. Other renaissance icons included Michael Madhusudan Dutt and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. The writer Syed Mujtaba Ali is noted for his cosmopolitan Bengali worldview. Jasimuddin was a renowned pastoral poet. Shamsur Rahman (poet), Shamsur Rahman and Al Mahmud are considered two of the greatest Bengali poets to have emerged in the 20th century. Farrukh Ahmad, Sufia Kamal, Syed Ali Ahsan, Ahsan Habib, Abul Hussain, Shahid Qadri, Fazal Shahbuddin, Abu Jafar Obaidullah, Omar Ali (poet), Omar Ali, Al Mujahidy, Syed Shamsul Huq, Nirmalendu Goon, Abid Azad, Sanaul Haque Khan, Hasan Hafiz, Abdul Hye Sikder, Sayeed Abubakar, Jafar Ahmad Rashed are important figures of modern Bangladeshi poetry. Ahmed Sofa is regarded as the most important Bangladeshi intellectual in the post-independence era. Humayun Ahmed was a popular writer of modern Bangladeshi magical realism and science fiction. Notable writers of Bangladeshi fictions include Mir Mosharraf Hossain, Akhteruzzaman Elias, Alauddin Al Azad, Shahidul Zahir, Rashid Karim, Mahmudul Haque, Syed Waliullah, Shahidullah Kaiser, Shawkat Osman, Selina Hossain, Shahed Ali, Abul Khayer Muslehuddin, Razia Khan, Anisul Hoque, and Abdul Mannan Syed. The annual Ekushey Book Fair and Hay Festival Dhaka, Dhaka Literature Festival, organised by the Bangla Academy, are among the largest literary festivals in South Asia.


Women in Bangladesh

Although, , several women occupied major political office in Bangladesh, its women continue to live under a patriarchal social regime where violence is common.Whispers to Voices: Gender and Social Transformation in Bangladesh
World Bank.org 2008
Whereas in India and Pakistan women participate less in the workforce as their education increases, the reverse is the case in Bangladesh. Bengal has a long history of feminist activism dating back to the 19th century. Begum Rokeya and Nawab Faizunnesa, Faizunnessa Chowdhurani played an important role in emancipating Bengali Muslim women from purdah, prior to the country's division, as well as promoting girls' education. Several women were elected to the Bengal Legislative Assembly in the British Raj. The first women's magazine, ''Begum (magazine), Begum'', was published in 1948. In 2008, Bangladeshi female workforce participation stood at 26%. Women dominate blue collar jobs in the Bangladeshi garment industry. Agriculture, social services, healthcare and education are also major occupations for Bangladeshi women, while their employment in White-collar worker, white collar positions has steadily increased.


Architecture

The architectural traditions of Bangladesh have a 2,500-year-old heritage. Terracotta architecture is a distinct feature of Bengal. Pre-Islamic Bengali architecture reached its pinnacle in the Pala Empire, when the Pala School of Sculptural Art established grand structures such as the Somapura Mahavihara. Islamic architecture began developing under the Bengal Sultanate, when local terracotta styles influenced medieval mosque construction. The Adina Mosque of United Bengal was the largest mosque built on the Indian subcontinent. The Sixty Dome Mosque was the largest medieval mosque built in Bangladesh, and is a fine example of Turkic-Bengali architecture. The Mughal architecture, Mughal style replaced indigenous architecture when Bengal became a province of the Mughal Empire and influenced the development of urban housing. The Kantajew Temple and Dhakeshwari Temple are excellent examples of late medieval Hindu temple architecture. Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, based on Indo-Islamic styles, flourished during the British period. The zamindar gentry in Bangladesh built numerous Indo-Saracenic palaces and country mansions, such as the Ahsan Manzil, Tajhat Palace, Uttara Gonobhaban, Dighapatia Palace, Puthia Rajbari and Natore Rajbari. Bengali vernacular architecture is noted for pioneering the bungalow. Bangladeshi villages consist of thatched roofed houses made of natural materials like mud, straw, wood and bamboo. In modern times, village bungalows are increasingly made of tin. Muzharul Islam was the pioneer of Bangladeshi modern architecture. His varied works set the course of modern architectural practice in the country. Islam brought leading global architects, including Louis Kahn, Richard Neutra, Stanley Tigerman, Paul Rudolph (architect), Paul Rudolph, Robert Boughey and Konstantinos Apostolos Doxiadis, Konstantinos Doxiadis, to work in erstwhile East Pakistan. Louis Kahn was chosen to design the National Parliament Complex in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. Kahn's monumental designs, combining regional red brick aesthetics, his own concrete and marble brutalism and the use of lakes to represent Bengali geography, are regarded as one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. In more recent times, award-winning architects like Rafiq Azam have set the course of contemporary architecture by adopting influences from the works of Islam and Kahn.


Performing arts

Theatre in Bangladesh includes various forms with a history dating back to the 4th century CE. It includes narrative forms, song and dance forms, supra-personae forms, performances with scroll paintings, puppet theatre and processional forms. The Jatra (theatre), Jatra is the most popular form of Bengali folk theatre. The dance traditions of Bangladesh include indigenous tribal and Bengali dance forms, as well as classical Indian dances, including the Kathak, Odissi and Manipuri dances. The music of Bangladesh features the Baul Mysticism, mystical tradition, listed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Lalon, Fakir Lalon Shah popularised Baul music in the country in the 18th century and it has been one of the most popular music genera in the country since then. Most modern Bauls are devoted to Lalon Shah. Numerous lyric-based musical traditions, varying from one region to the next, exist, including Gombhira, Bhatiali and Bhawaiya. Folk music is accompanied by a one-stringed instrument known as the ektara. Other instruments include the dotara, dhol, flute, and tabla. Bengali classical music includes Tagore songs and Nazrul geeti, Nazrul Sangeet. Bangladesh has a rich tradition of Indian classical music, which uses instruments like the sitar, tabla, sarod and santoor. Sabina Yasmin and Runa Laila are considered the leading playback singers in the modern time, while musician Ayub Bachchu is credited with popularising Bengali rock music in Bangladesh.


Textiles

The Nakshi Kantha is a centuries-old embroidery tradition for quilts, said to be indigenous to eastern Bengal (i.e. Bangladesh). The sari is the national dress for Bangladeshi women. Mughal Dhaka was renowned for producing the finest Muslin saris, as well as the famed Dhakai and Jamdani, the weaving of which is listed by UNESCO as one of the masterpieces of humanity's intangible cultural heritage. Bangladesh also produces the Rajshahi silk. The shalwar kameez is also widely worn by Bangladeshi women. In urban areas some women can be seen in western clothing. The kurta and sherwani are the national dress of Bangladeshi men; the lungi and dhoti are worn by them in informal settings. Aside from ethnic wear, domestically tailored suit (clothing), suits and neckties are customarily worn by the country's men in offices, in schools and at social events. The handloom industry supplies 60–65% of the country's clothing demand. The Bengali ethnic fashion industry has flourished in the changing environment of the fashion world. The retailer Aarong is one of the most successful ethnic wear brands in South Asia. The development of the Bangladesh textile industry, which supplies leading international brands, has promoted the production and retail of modern Western attire locally, with the country now having a number of expanding local brands like Westecs and Yellow. Bangladesh is the world's second-largest garments exporter. Among Bangladesh's fashion designers, Bibi Russell has received international acclaim for her "Fashion for Development" shows.


Cuisine

White rice is the staple of Bangladeshi cuisine, along with many vegetables and lentils. Rice preparations also include Bengali biryanis, pilaf, pulaos, and khichuris. Mustard (condiment), Mustard sauce, ghee, sunflower oil and fruit chutneys are widely used in Bangladeshi cooking. Fish is the main source of protein in Bengali cuisine. The Hilsa is the national fish and immensely popular across Bangladesh. Other kinds of fish eaten include rohu, butterfish, catfish, tilapia and barramundi. Fish eggs are a gourmet delicacy. Seafood holds an important place in Bengali cuisine, especially lobsters, shrimps and dried fish. Meat consumption includes chicken, beef, mutton, venison, duck and squab (food), squab. In Chittagong, ''Mezban'' feasts are a popular tradition featuring the serving of hot beef curry. In Sylhet, the ''shatkora'' lemons are used to marinate dishes. In the tribal Hill Tracts, bamboo shoot cooking is prevalent. Bangladesh has a vast spread of desserts, including distinctive sweets like ''Rasgulla, Rôshogolla'', ''Rôshomalai'', ''Chomchom'', ''Mishti Doi'' and ''Kalojaam''. Pithas are traditional boiled desserts made with rice or fruits. Halwa is served during religious festivities. Naan, paratha, luchi and bakarkhani are the main local breads. Milk tea is offered to guests as a gesture of welcome and is the most common hot beverage in the country. Kebabs are widely popular across Bangladesh, particularly seekh kebabs, chicken tikka and shashliks. Bangladesh shares its culinary heritage with the neighbouring Indian state of West Bengal. The two regions have several differences, however. In Muslim-majority Bangladesh, meat consumption is greater; whereas in Hindu-majority West Bengal, vegetarianism is more prevalent. The Bangladeshi diaspora dominates the South Asian restaurant industry in many Western countries, particularly in the United Kingdom.


Festivals

''Pahela Baishakh'', the Bengali new year, is the major festival of Culture of Bengal, Bengali culture and sees widespread festivities. Of the major holidays celebrated in Bangladesh, only Pahela Baishakh comes without any pre-existing expectations (specific religious identity, culture of gift-giving, etc.) and has become an occasion for celebrating the simpler, rural roots of the Bengal. Other cultural festivals include Nabanna, Nabonno, and Poush Parbon both of which are Bengali harvest festivals. The Muslim festivals of Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Milad un Nabi, Muharram, Chand Raat, Barat Night, Shab-e-Barat; the Hindu festivals of Durga Puja, Janmashtami and Rath Yatra; the Buddhist festival of Vesak, Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, and Christian festival of Christmas are Public holidays in Bangladesh, national holidays in Bangladesh and see the most widespread celebrations in the country. The two Eids are celebrated with long streak of public holidays and give the city-dwellers opportunity to celebrate the festivals with their families outside city. Alongside are national days like the remembrance of 21 February 1952 Language Movement Day (declared as International Mother Language Day by UNESCO in 1999), Independence Day (Bangladesh), Independence Day and Victory day of Bangladesh, Victory Day. On Language Movement Day, people congregate at the Shaheed Minar, Dhaka, Shaheed Minar in Dhaka to remember the national heroes of the Bengali Language Movement. Similar gatherings are observed at the National Martyrs’ Memorial on Independence Day and Victory Day to remember the national heroes of the Bangladesh Liberation War. These occasions are celebrated with public ceremonies, parades, rallies by citizens, political speeches, fairs, concerts, and various other public and private events, celebrating the history and traditions of Bangladesh. TV and radio stations broadcast special programs and patriotic songs, and many schools and colleges organise fairs, festivals, and concerts that draw the participation of citizens from all levels of Bangladeshi society.


Sports

In rural Bangladesh, several traditional indigenous sports such as Kabaddi, Boli Khela, Lathi Khela and Nouka Baich remain fairly popular. While Kabaddi is the national sport cricket is the most popular sport in the country followed by association football, football. The Bangladesh national cricket team, national cricket team participated in their first Cricket World Cup in 1999 and the following year was granted Test cricket status. Bangladesh reached the quarter-final of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, the semi-final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and they reached the final of the Asia Cup 3 times – in 2012, 2016 and 2018. In February 2020, the Bangladesh youth national cricket team won the men's 2020 Under-19 Cricket World Cup, Under-19 Cricket World Cup, held in South Africa. This was Bangladesh's first World Cup victory. Women's sports saw significant progress in the 2010s decade in Bangladesh. In 2018 the Bangladesh women's national cricket team won the 2018 Women's Twenty20 Asia Cup defeating India women's national cricket team in the final. Bangladesh women's national football team has also registered some success at regional level, especially the Under-15 and Under-18 teams. Football is a popular sport in Bangladesh, alongside cricket, and is governed by the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF). Football tournaments are regularly organised in and outside Dhaka District, Dhaka and football fever grips the nation during every FIFA World Cup. On 4 November 2018, Bangladesh national under-17 football team, Bangladesh national under-15 football team won the 2018 SAFF U-15 Championship, defeating Pakistan national under-17 football team, Pakistan national under-15 football team in the final. Bangladesh archers Ety Khatun and Roman Sana won several gold medals winning all the 10 archery events (both individual, and team events) in the 2019 South Asian Games. The National Sports Council regulates 42 sporting federations. Athletics, swimming, archery, boxing, volleyball, weight-lifting and wrestling and different forms of martial arts remain popular. Chess is very popular in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has five grandmasters in chess. Among them, Niaz Murshed was the first grandmaster in South Asia. In 2010, mountain climber Musa Ibrahim became the first Bangladeshi climber to conquer Mount Everest. He climbed the top of the summit of Mount Everest. Wasfia Nazreen is the first Bangladeshi climber to climb the Seven Summits, which are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents of the world. Bangladesh hosts a number of international tournaments. Bangabandhu Cup is an international football tournament hosted in the country. Bangladesh hosted the South Asian Games several times. In 2011, Bangladesh co-hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 with India and Sri Lanka. The 2014 ICC World Twenty20 championship was solely hosted by Bangladesh. Bangladesh hosted the Asia Cup Cricket Tournament in 2000, 2012, 2014 and 2016.


Media and cinema

The Bangladeshi press is diverse, outspoken and privately owned. Over 200 newspapers are published in the country. Bangladesh Betar is the state-run radio service. The British Broadcasting Corporation operates the popular BBC Bangla news and current affairs service. Bengali broadcasts from Voice of America are also very popular. Bangladesh Television (BTV) is the state-owned television network. There more than 20 privately owned television networks, including several news channels. Freedom of the media remains a major concern, due to government attempts at censorship and the harassment of journalists. The cinema of Bangladesh dates back to 1898, when films began screening at the Crown Theatre in Dhaka. The first bioscope on the subcontinent was established in Dhaka that year. The Dhaka Nawab Family patronised the production of several silent films in the 1920s and 30s. In 1931, the East Bengal Cinematograph Society released the first full-length feature film in Bangladesh, titled the ''Last Kiss''. The first feature film in East Pakistan, ''Mukh O Mukhosh'', was released in 1956. During the 1960s, 25–30 films were produced annually in Dhaka. By the 2000s, Bangladesh produced 80–100 films a year. While the Bangladeshi film industry has achieved limited commercial success, the country has produced notable independent filmmakers. Zahir Raihan was a prominent documentary-maker who was assassinated in 1971. The late Tareque Masud is regarded as one of Bangladesh's outstanding directors for his critically acclaimed films on social issues. Masud was honoured by FIPRESCI at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival for his film ''Matir Moina, The Clay Bird''. Tanvir Mokammel, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, Humayun Ahmed, Alamgir Kabir (film maker), Alamgir Kabir, and Chashi Nazrul Islam are some of the prominent directors of Bangladeshi cinema. Bangladesh has a very active film society culture. It started in 1963 in Dhaka. Now around 40 Film Societies are active all over Bangladesh. Federation of Film Societies of Bangladesh is the parent organisation of the film society movement of Bangladesh. Active film societies include the Rainbow Film Society, Children's Film Society, Moviyana Film Society and Dhaka University Film Society.


Museums and libraries

The Varendra Research Museum is the oldest museum in Bangladesh. It houses important collections from both the pre-Islamic and Islamic periods, including the sculptures of the Pala-Sena School of Art and the Indus Valley Civilization; as well as Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian manuscripts and inscriptions. The Ahsan Manzil, the former residence of the Nawab of Dhaka, is a national museum housing collections from the British Raj. It was the site of the founding conference of the All India Muslim League and hosted many British Viceroys in Dhaka. The Tajhat Palace Museum preserves artefacts of the rich cultural heritage of North Bengal, including Hindu-Buddhist sculptures and Islamic manuscripts. The Mymensingh Museum houses the personal antique collections of Bengali aristocrats in central Bengal. The Ethnological Museum of Chittagong showcases the lifestyle of various tribes in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh National Museum is located in Ramna, Dhaka and has a rich collection of antiquities. The Liberation War Museum documents the Bangladeshi struggle for independence and the 1971 genocide. In ancient times, manuscripts were written on palm leaves, tree barks, parchment vellum and terracotta plates and preserved at monasteries known as ''viharas''. The Hussain Shahi dynasty established royal libraries during the Bengal Sultanate. Libraries were established in each district of Bengal by the zamindar gentry during the Bengal Renaissance in the 19th century. The trend of establishing libraries continued until the beginning of World War II. In 1854, four major public libraries were opened, including the Bogra Woodburn Library, the Rangpur Public Library, the Jessore Institute Public Library and the Barisal Public Library. The Northbrook Hall, Northbrook Hall Public Library was established in Dhaka in 1882 in honour of Lord Northbrook, the Governor-General. Other libraries established in the British period included the Victoria Public Library, Natore (1901), the Sirajganj Public Library (1882), the Rajshahi Public Library (1884), the Comilla Birchandra Library (1885), the Shah Makhdum Institute Public Library, Rajshahi (1891), the Noakhali Town Hall Public Library (1896), the Prize Memorial Library, Sylhet (1897), the Chittagong Municipality Public Library (1904) and the Varendra Research Library (1910). The Great Bengal Library Association was formed in 1925. The Central Public Library (Dhaka), Central Public Library of Dhaka was established in 1959. The National Library of Bangladesh was established in 1972. The Bishwo Shahitto Kendro, World Literature Center, founded by Ramon Magsaysay Award winner Abdullah Abu Sayeed, is noted for operating numerous mobile library, mobile libraries across Bangladesh and was awarded the UNESCO Jon Amos Comenius Medal.


See also

* Index of Bangladesh-related articles * Outline of Bangladesh


References


Cited sources

* * *


Further reading

* Iftekhar Iqbal (2010) The Bengal Delta: Ecology, State and Social Change, 1840–1943, Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, * M. Mufakharul Islam (edited) (2004) Socio-Economic History of Bangladesh: essays in memory of Professor Shafiqur Rahman, 1st Edition, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, * M. Mufakharul Islam (2007), Bengal Agriculture 1920–1946: A Quantitative Study, Cambridge South Asian Studies, Cambridge University Press, * Meghna Guhathakurta & Willem van Schendel (Edited) (2013) The Bangladesh Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The World Readers), Duke University Press Books, * Sirajul Islam (edited) (1997) History of Bangladesh 1704–1971(Three Volumes: Vol 1: Political History, Vol 2: Economic History Vol 3: Social and Cultural History), 2nd Edition (Revised New Edition), The Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, * Sirajul Islam (Chief Editor) (2003) Banglapedia: A National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh.(10 Vols. Set), (written by 1300 scholars & 22 editors) The Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, * Srinath Raghavan (2013) '1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh', Harvard University Press, * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

Government *
Official Site of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority
General information
Bangladesh
''The World Factbook''. Central Intelligence Agency. *
Bangladesh
from the BBC News
Bangladesh
from ''UCB Libraries GovPubs'' * *
Key Development Forecasts for Bangladesh
from International Futures {{Portal bar, Bangladesh, Asia Bangladesh, Bengal Bengali-speaking countries and territories Commonwealth republics Developing 8 Countries member states Former British colonies and protectorates in Asia Least developed countries Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations Member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Member states of the United Nations South Asian countries States and territories established in 1971 1971 establishments in Asia Countries in Asia Geographical articles missing image alternative text