About Bangladesh

Bangladesh is the land of Bengal or means country of Bangladeshi in South Asia and it is officially People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is bordered by India and Myanmar, East, west and north by India except South where is the Bay of Bengal.  It is separated from Nepal and Bhutan with narrow corridor. Bangladesh is eighth most populous country in the world and ninety third largest by its area. The majority of population in Bangladesh is Bengali Muslim and the rest are Hindus, Christian and Buddhist communities. Bangladesh’s official language is Bengali and this Bengali language is also spoken in Indian states as west Bengal and Tripura. Bangladesh is a rich biodiversity It is home to the world’s largest mangrove forest and a mountainous east, 600 km coastline which is longest sea beach in the world. It was formed as a historic land, the earliest cities in Bangladesh date back to the Vedic period. Bangladesh was also known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Ganga. Ganga is mighty river also Brahmaputra river connected our Bangladesh with India and China, making this region a central point of the historical silk road. During the Pala and Sena periods, the people of the country developed their own language, script, literature, music, art and architecture. Islam was established in the second millennium CE under Delhi  sultan, the Bengal sultanate and the Mughal Empire.  Annexed by the British East India company in 1765. the region was a part of British ruled India until the creation of Pakistan 1947. The rise of Bengali nationalism in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) resulted in the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971. After independence, Bangladesh experienced several military coups. The parliamentary system was restored in 1990. Bangladesh is a unitary parliamentary  republic with a diverse culture heritage. It is the world’s largest contributor to UN peacekeeper operation and is a member of the commonwealth of nations, the world trade organization, the OIC, NAM, the D8, SAARC, BIMSTEC and BCIM. Despite steady progress in human development, the country continues to face challenges of poverty, over population, gender discrimination, corruption, political instability, terrorism, global warming, authoritarianism and human rights abuses.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Etymology in Bangladesh

The name of the country was originally written as two words Bangla desh, present name is Bangladesh. Starting in the 19950s, Bengali nationalists used the term in political rallies in East Pakistan (Bangladesh).  The term Bangla is a major name for both the Bengali region and the Bengali Language. The earliest references to the term date to the Nesari plate in 805 AD. The term Vangala Desha is found in South Indian records in the 11th century. The term gained official status during the Sultanate of Bengal in the 14th century. Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah proclaimed himself as the first shah of Bengal in 1342. Persian writers frequently used the term Bangla to refer to the Bengal Sultanate. The word Bangla became most common name for the region during the Islamic period. Taking a cue from the Persian term, the Portuguese  referred to the region as Bengala in the 16th century. It probably gave rise to the English term Bengal. The origins of the term Bangla are unclear with theories pointing to a Bronze age proto-dravidian tribe, the austric word Bonga(sun god) and the iron age Vanga kingdom. The Indo Aryan suffix  Desh is derived from the Sanskrit word Desha which means land or country. Etymology of Bangladesh.

Ancient and classical Bengal of Bangladesh

Stones age tools found in the Greater Bengal region(Bangladesh) indicate human habitation for over 20000 years.  Remnants of copper age settlement date back 4000 years.  Ancient Bengal was settled by  Astronautics, Tibeto- Burmans, Dravidians and Indo-Aryans in consecutive waves of migration.  Major urban settlements formed during the iron age in the middle of the fast  millennium BCE when the northern Black polished ware culture developed in the Indian subcontinent.  In 1879, Sir Alexander Cunningham identified the archaeological ruins of Mahastanagarh as the ancient city of Pundranagra, the capital ofthe PundraKingdom mentioned in the rigveda. The wari- bates war ruins are regarded by archaeological as the capital of an ancient janapa, one of the earliest city states in the subcontinent. An indigenous currency of silver punched marked coins dating between 600 BCE and 400 BCE has been found at the site. Excavation of glass beads suggest the city had trading links with southeast Asia and the Roman world. Greek and Roman records of the ancient Gangaridai kingdom which according to legend deterred the invasion of Alexander the great are linked to the fort city in wari-bateswar.  This site is also identified with the prosperous  trading center of Sounagoura mentioned in Ptolemy’s map. Roman geographers kept the note the existence of a large and important seaport in southeastern part of Bengal corresponding to the most modern city Chittagong region. The legendary Vanga as kingdom is mentioned  in the Indian epic Mahabharata covering the region. It was described as a seafaring nation of South Asia. According to Sinhalese chronicles the Bengali Prince Vijay led an maritime expedition to Sri Lanka, conquering the island and establishing its first recorded kingdom. The Bengali people also embarked on overseas colonization in Southeast Asia including in modern day Malaysia and Indonesia. Classic Bangladesh

Bengal (Bangladesh) was ruled by the Mouryan Empire in the 2nd and 3rd centuries BCE.  In the Bengal and Bihar regions with their bastions, In Ancient India, the Mauryans built first geographically extensive Iron age empire.  They promoted Jainism and Buddhism. The empire reached its peak under emperor Ashoka. The Mauryans were also influenced by the Persian Achaemenid empire. They were eventually succeeded by the Gupta Empire in the 3 rd century. According to historian HC Roychowdury, the Gupta dynasty originated in the Verendra region in Bangladesh corresponding to the modern city Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions. The Gupta era saw the invention of zero concept, the theory of Earth orbiting the Sun and the study of solar and lunar eclipses and the flourishing of Sankskrit literature, drama as well. In classical antiquity , Bengal was divided among various kingdoms. As the largest  Bengali state, the Pala Empire stood out and established in ancient history with an empire covering most of the north Indian subcontinent at its height in the 9th century.  The Palas were devout Mahayana Buddhists. They strongly patrinized art, architecture and education, giving rise to the Pala School of Painting and Sculptural art, the Soapura Mahavihara and the universities of Vikramshila and Nalanda. The Bengali  language emerged under Pala rule. In the 11th century, the resurgent Hindu Sena dynasty gained power. The senas were staunch promoters of Brahmanical Hinduism and laid the foundation of Bengai Hinduism. They patronized their own school of Hindu art taking inspiration from their predecessors.   The Senas consolidated the caste system in Bengal (Bangladesh).

Islamic Bengal in Bangladesh

Islamic arrived on the shores of Bengal (Bangladesh) in late first millennium brought largely by missionaries, Sufi and merchants from Middle East.  Some experts have suggested that early Muslims, including Saad Ibne Abi Waqqas (uncle of the prphet Muhammed) used Bengal as a transmit point to travel to China on the Southern Silk road. The excavation of Abbasid Caliphate coins in Bngladesh indicate a strong trade network during the house of wisdom Era in Baghdad when Arab scientists absorbed pre Islamic Indian and Greek discoveries.  This gave rise to the Indo Arabic numerals. Writing in 1154, Al Idris noted a busy shipping route between Chittagog and Basa. Subsequent Muslim coquest absorbed the culture and achievements of pre-Islamic Bengli civilization in the new Islamic polity. Muslims adopted indigenous customs and traditions including in dress, food and way of life. This included the wearing of the sari, bindu and bangles by Muslims women and arts forms in music, dance and theater.  Muslim rule reinformed the process of conversion through the construction of mosques, madrass and Sufi Khankas. The Islamic conquest of Bengal(Bangladesh) began when Khilji of Delhi Sultanate conquered  northern and western Bengal in 1204. The Delhi Sultanate gradually annexed the whole of Bengal (Bangladesh) over the next century. By the 14th century, an independent Bengal Sultanate was established. The early Ilyas Shahi sultans were Persinates who built the largest masques  in south Asia that cultivated strong diplomatic and commercial ties with Ming China in that period.  Jalaluddin Muhammed Shah was the first Bengali convert on the throne. The Bengal Sultanate  was noted for its culture pluralism. The Muslims, Hindus and Buddhist jointly formed its civil military service.  The Hussain Shahi sultans promoted the development of Bengali literature. The sultanate also attracted many Turkish,  Arab, Persian and Abyssinian settlers.  It brought Arakan under its suzerainty for 100 years. The Sultanate was visited by numerous world explorers, including Niccolo De Conti of Venice, Ibn Battua of Morocco and Admiral Zheng He of China. However, by the 16th  century, the Bengal sultanate began to disintegrate. The Sur Empire overran Bengal in 1532 and built the Grand Trunk road.  Hindu Rajas nd the Baro Bhuyan Zamindar gained control of large parts of the region especially in the fertile Bhati zone. Isa Khan was the Rajput leader of the Baro Bhuyan based in Sinargaon. In the late 16th  century, the Mughal Empire led by Akbar the Great began conquering the Bengal delta after the battle  of Tukaroi where he defeated the Bengal last rulers of Sultanate the Karrani dynasty. Dhaka city was founded as the Mughal provincial capital in 1608. The Mughals faced stiff resistance from the Baro Bhuiyans, Afghan warlords and Zamindars but where ultimately successful in conquering the whole of Bengal by 1666 when the Portuguese and Arakanese were expelled from Chittagong. Mughal rule ushered economic high prosperity, agrarian reforming and by flourishing external trade particularly in muslin and silk textiles that is a kind of cloths. Mughal Viceroys promoted agricultural expansion and turned Bengal into the rice basket of the Indian sub-continent.  Sufis acquired increasing prominence. Sufism inspired the Baul movement, also emerged under Mughal rule.  The Bengali ethnic identify further crystallized at the time of this period and the region’s inhabitants were given enough autonomy to culture their own customs and literature. The entire region was brought under a stable long lasting administration in Bangladesh.

By the 18th century Bengal was the wealthiest part of the subcontinent. It generated 50% o Mughal GDP. Its towns and cities were filled with Eurasian traders. The Nawabs of Bengal established an independent particularly in 1717 with their headquarters in Murshidabad. The Nawabs granted increasing concessions to European trading powers. Matters reached a climax in 1757 that time Nawab Sirajud Daulah captured the British base at fort william in an effort to stem the rising influence of the East India company. Mir Jafar, general, betrayed Siraj Ud Daulah to help Robert Clive to defeat the last independent Nawab at the Battle of Plassey on 23 June in 1757, Bangladesh.

British Eastern Bengal of Bangladesh

At the Battle of Palassey, the defeat of the last independent Nawab of Bengal  ushered the rule of the British East India company in 1757. The British displaced the ruling Muslim class and the Bengal presidency was funded in 1765 with Calcutta as its capital. The permanent settlement created an oppressive feudal system. A great number of deadly famines struck the region in that period. The Mutiny of 1857 was started in the presidency of Bengal with major revolts by the Bengal Army in Dacca, Calcutta and Chittagong. Eastern Bengal eye-witnessed many native rebellions naming the Faraizi Movement by Haji Shariatullah, the activities of Titumir, the Chittagong army raid and revolutionary formations such as the Anushilan Samite. It flowered for educational and cultural institutions being established across the region especially in East Bengal and the imperial colonial capital in Calcutta. The Bengal presidency became the cradle of modern South Asian political with artistic expression. It includes the notable contributions of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chondra Vidyasaghor, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Mir Mosharraf Hussain, Jagadis Chandra Bose, Khan Bahadur Ahsanullah, Rabindranath Tagore, Michael Madhusudan Dutta, Khazi Nazrul Islam and Begum Rokeya in Bangladesh.

During British rule, East Bengal developed a plantation economy centered on the jute trade and tea production. Its share in the world jute supply peaked in the early 20th century over 80%. The Eastern Bengal railway and the Assam Bengal railway served as significant trade routes connecting the port of Chittagong with a large hinterland.  As a result of growing demands for educational development in East Bengal, the British patronized Bengal in 1905 and created the administrative division of Eastern Bengal and Assam. Based in Dacca, with Shilong as the summer capital and Chittagong as the new province covered much of he northeastern subcontinent. The all India Muslim league was formed in Dacca in 1906 that emerged as the standard bearer of Muslims. The separation of Bengal outraged nationalist Hindus and anti British Muslims that leading to the Swadeshi movement by the Indian National congress. The partition was cancelled in 1911 after a long civil disobedience campaign by the congress party. Independence movement of India enjoyed strong momentum in the Bengal region including the constitutional struggle for the rights if Muslim minorities. The freedom of intellect movement thrived in the University of Dacca which gained a reputation as the oxford of the East. By the 1930s, Krishak proja led by A K Fazlul Haque and the Swaraj party led by C R Das came to represent the new Bengali middle  class. Haque became the prime minister of Bengal in 1937. With the breakdown of Hindu- Muslim unity in the British Raj, Haque being allied with the Muslim league to show the Lahore resolution in 1940 which envisioned independent states in the eastern and northeastern subcontinent. When the second world war was, the Japanese air force led air raids in Chittagong in 1942 and displacing several thousand people.  The war induced Bengal famine of 1943 claimed the lives of over a million people. Allied forces were stationed in base across East Bengal in support of the Burma Campaign. Axis allied Subhash Chandra bose also had a significant following in east Bengal.  The Muslim league created a parliamentary government in Bengal in 1943 with Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin and later HS Suhrawardy was as its premiers. At the Indian provincial elections in 1946 and the decisive victory of the Bengal Muslim league formed the course for the separation of British-India and the creation of the Dominion of Pakistan on 14 August 1947. Assam was partitioned in order to allow Bengali speaking people in Sylhet to join East Bengal. It was also an unsuccessful attempt to form a united Bengal. The Radcliffe line divided Bengal on religious grounds, ceding Hindu majority districts to the Indian dominion and making majority districts the eastern wing of Pakistan.

East Pakistan, Bangladesh

East Bengal became the most populous province in the new Pakistani federation led by Governor General Muhammed Ali Jinnah in 1947 and Dacca as the provincial capital in 1950, land reformation was accomplished in East Bengal with the abolishment of the feudal Zamindari system and the permanent  settlement. The successful Bengali language movement in 1952 was the first sign of friction between the two wings of Pakistan. The one unit scheme renamed the province as East Pakistan in 1955. Dissatisfaction with the central government rose over economic and cultural issues in the next two decades. The Awami League emerged as the political voice of the Bengali- speaking population with its leader HS Suhrawardy becoming prime minister in 1956. He was ousted after only a year in office due to tensions with west Pakistan’s establishment and bureaucracy.  Bengali nationalist leaders, including AK Fazlul Haque and Moulana bhasani, advocated the independence of East Pakistan as early as the late 1950. The first Pakistani military coup ushered the  dictatorship of Ayob Khan. In 1962, Dacca (now as Dhaka) was allocated as the legislative capital city of Pakistan in an conciliation of growing Bengali culture and political nationalism. Khan’s government also constructed the Kaptai Dam which controversially displaces much of the Chakma people from their indigenous homeland. East Pakistan’s economy came to be dominated by west Pakistan tycoons. By the early 1960, even though east Pakistan generated 70% of Pakistan’s export earnings wih jute and tea, it received far less government investments compared to west Pakistan. Bengali economists, particularly Rehman sobhan, argued that the east subsidizing the west to the tune of 3 billion dollars a year. Most of Pakistan’s foreign aid was spent on the west, even though theoretically, the east deserved more because of its larger population. In 1963, the Awami league elected Shekh Mujibur Rahman (Mujib) as its president. In 1966, Mujib outlined the six point plan for a Pakistani confederation with free trade and provincial foreign exchange accounts.  President Ayub Khan strongly  opposed he plan and jailed Mujib for treason. Mujib was later acquitted and released following the 1969 which ousted president Khan off from power. Restrictions on Bengali culture expression, including a ban on Rabindranah Tagore, exasperated Bengali nationalism. In 1970, a big cyclone devastated the coastal area of East Pakistan which killed up to half a million people. The central government was criticized for its poor response and hampering international relief efforts.

Bangladesh liberation war– The anger of the Bengali population was compounded when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman whose Awami league had won a majority in Parliament in the 1970 elections, it was blocked from taking office. A big civil disobedience movement was erupted across east Pakistan, with open calls for Independence. sheikh Mujibur Rahman addressed a huge pro independence rally in Dacca on 7 March 1971. The Bangladeshi flag was hoisted for the first time on March 1971, Pakistan’s republic day. On 26 March 1971, the Pakistani military Junta led by Yahya Khan launched operation searchlight, a sustained military assault on East Pakistani and detained the Prime Minister elect under military   custody. The Pakistan army with the help of supporting militias massacred Bengali students, politicians, civil servants, intellectuals and military defectors during the 1971 Bangladesh genocide. Several million refugees fled to neighboring country India. It estimated those were killed throughout the war range between 300,000 and 3 million. Global public opinion in this land that turned against Pakistan through news of atrocities spread with the Bangladesh movement acquiring support from prominent political and cultural figures in the west, including George Harrison, ted Kennedy, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Victoria Ocampo and Andre Malraux. The concert for Bangladesh was held at Madison square garden in New York city to raise funds for Bangladeshi refugees. It was the first major benefiting concert in history of Bangladesh and it was organized by Beatles star George Harrison, sitarist Ravi Shankar and Indian Bengali. During the liberation war, Bengali nationalists announced a declaration of independence and made the Mukti Bahini ( the Bangladeshi National Liberation Army). The provisional government of Bangladesh operated exile from Calcutta, India which led by general MAG Osmani and eleven sector commanders, the Mukti Bahini held the Bengali countryside, it was during the war and waged wide-scale guerrilla operations against Pakistani forces. Neighboring country India and its leader Indira Gandhi provided crucial support to the Bangladesh forces and intervened in supporting of the provisional government on 3rd December in 1971. The Soviet union and the united states dispatched naval forces the the Bay of Bengal aimed a cold war standoff during the Indo-Pakistani war. The war Lasted for nine months, the whole war was ended with the surrender of Pakistan’s military to the allied forces of Bangladesh-India on 16th December in 1971. Under international pressure, Pakistan released Mujib from prison on 8th January in 1972. after which he was flown by the Royal air force to a million strong homecoming in Dhaka. Indian troops were withdrawn by 12 March 1972, three months after the end. The  Bangladesh armed forces incorporated regiments of the Mukti Bahini including the notable east Bengal division which played crucial role in the war. The reason of Bangladeshi self- determination was widely recognized around the world. By the time its admission for UN membership in August 1972, this new state was recognized by 86 countries in the world.

Post independence of Bangladesh

After independence, Bangladesh became a secular democracy and a republic withing the commonwealth. The world’s 7th most populous nation at the time was ravaged by wartime devastation and widespread poverty.

Geography in Bangladesh

The geography of Bangladesh is divided between three regions. Most of the country is dominated by the fertile Ganges BRahmaputra delta. The north west and central parts of this country are formed by the Madhupur and the Barind plateaus. The northeast and southeast of the country are home to evergreen hill ranges that only hilly areas of Bagladesh. The Ganges delta is formed by the confluence of he Ganges ( local name Padma) Brahmaputra (Jamuna) and Meghna rivers and their respective tributaries. The Ganges unites with Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna which finally flows into the Bay of Bengal.  The alluvial soil deposited by the rivers when they overflow their banks and it has created some of the most fertile lands in the country. Bangladesh having 57 trans-boundary rivers around the country that makes water issues politically complicated to resolve in most cases.  The rich fertile flat land the country predominated. Most areas through the country are less than 12 m (39.4 ft) above sea level and it is estimated that about 10% of the land would be flooded if the sea level rises by 1 m (3.28 ft).  17% of the country is covered by forests where trees and plants and 12% is covered by hilly systems. The country’s haor (wetlands) are of enough importance to global environment science. In southeastern Bangladesh, experiments have been done since 1960 to build with natural things. Construction of cross dams has cooperated a natural accretion of silt that is creating new lands. With the help of Dutch funding, the Bangladesh government started promoting the development of this new land in the late 1970. The effort has become a multi-agency efforts, constructing roads, , embankments, culverts, shelters for cyclone, toilets and ponds as well as disturbing land to settlers. By 2010, the program will have allotted off some 27000 acres (10,927 ha) to 21000 families in the country. With an elevation of 1064 m (3491 ft) the highest peak of Bangladesh is Sake Hphong in Chittagong hill tracks, on the border with Myanmar.

Climate of Bangladesh

Straddling the tropic of cancer, Bangladesh’s climate is a tropical with a mild winter from October to March, and a hot humid that is summer from March to June. The country has never recorded an air temperature below 0 degree C, with a record low of 1.1 degree C in the north west city of Dinajpur on 3rd February in 1905.  A warm and humid monsoon season lasts from June to October and supplies most rainfall across the country. Natural calamities such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes and tidal bores occur almost every year round, combined with the effects of soil degradation, deforestation and erosion. This country is now widely recognized to be one of countries most vulnerable to climate change. Natural hazards which come from increasing rainfall, rising sea levels and tropical cyclones that expected to increase as climate change.

Biodiversity in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is located in the Indo Malaya eco zone. Its ecology includes a long sea coastline, numerous rivers and tributaries, lakes, wetlands, hill forests, moist deciduous forest, evergreen forests, semi evergreen forests, freshwater swamp forests and flat land with tall grass. The Bangladesh is famous for its fertile alluvial soil which supports extensive cultivation in most areas. The country is dominated by lush vegetation with villages often buried in groves of mango, jack fruit, bamboo, coconut, betel nut and date palm. In the country 6000 species of plant life including 5000 flowering plants are here. Water bodies like rivers and wetland systems are providing a habitat for many aquatic plants and a employment source. Water lilies and lotuses grow vividly during the monsoon in the water lands. Bangladesh has 50 wildlife sanctuaries. Sundarban is the largest mangrove forest in the world. It covers an area of 6000 square km in the southwest littoral region. Sundarban is divided into three protected sanctuaries- the south, east and west zones. The forest was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. The north eastern Sylhet region is home to haor (wetlands) and second hilly area which is unique ecosystem. The country also includes tropical and subtropical coniferous forests where are a freshwater swamp forest thrilling a awesome tour here and mixed deciduous forests. The southeastern Chittagong region covers evergreen and semi evergreen hilly jungles. Central Bangladesh includes the plain land Sal forest running along the districts of Gazipur, Tangail and Mymensingh. St Martin’s Island is the only coral reef in Bangladesh.  Bangladesh has an abundance of wildlife in its forests, marshes, woodlands and hills. The vast majorities of animals dwell withing a habitat of 150,000 square km. The Royal Bengal tiger, clouded leopard, fishing cat, saltwater crocodile, black panther are among the chief predators in the Sundarbands. Northern and eastern Bangladesh is home to the Asian wild elephants, hoolock gibbon, Asian black bear and oriental pied horn bill. The chital deer are widely seen in southwestern woodlands. Other animals includes the black giant squirrel, capped languor, Bengal fox, sambar, deer, jungle cat, wild boar, mongooses, Pangolins, king cobra, rock pythons, buemese pythons and water monitors. Bangladesh has one of the largest population of Irrawaddy dolphins and Ganges dolphins seen near rivers to Sundarban. The country has numerous species of amphibians, reptiles, marine reptiles and marine mammals. It has 628 species of birds. Several animals became extinct in Bangladesh during the last century including the one horned, two horned rhinoceros and common peafowl.  The human population is concentrated in urban areas, hence limiting deforestation .        Its source