Context of Bangladesh


Bangladesh (; Bengali: বাংলাদেশ, pronounced [ˈbaŋlaˌdeʃ] (listen)), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most-populous country in the world, with a population of around 169 million people in an area of 148,460 square kilometres (57,320 sq mi). Bangladesh is among the most densely populated countries in the world, and shares land borders with India to the west, north, and east, and Myanmar to the southeast; to the south it has a coastline along the Bay of Bengal. It is narrowly separated from Bhutan and Nepal by the Siliguri Corridor; and from China by the Indian state of Sikkim in the north. Dhaka, the capital and largest city, is the nation's political, financial and cultural centre. Chittagong, the second-largest city, is the busiest port on the Bay of Bengal. The o...Read more


Bangladesh (; Bengali: বাংলাদেশ, pronounced [ˈbaŋlaˌdeʃ] (listen)), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most-populous country in the world, with a population of around 169 million people in an area of 148,460 square kilometres (57,320 sq mi). Bangladesh is among the most densely populated countries in the world, and shares land borders with India to the west, north, and east, and Myanmar to the southeast; to the south it has a coastline along the Bay of Bengal. It is narrowly separated from Bhutan and Nepal by the Siliguri Corridor; and from China by the Indian state of Sikkim in the north. Dhaka, the capital and largest city, is the nation's political, financial and cultural centre. Chittagong, the second-largest city, is the busiest port on the Bay of Bengal. The official language is Bengali, one of the easternmost branches of the Indo-European language family.

Bangladesh forms the sovereign part of the historic and ethnolinguistic region of Bengal, which was divided during the Partition of India in 1947. The country has a Bengali Muslim majority. Ancient Bengal was an important cultural centre in the Indian subcontinent as the home of the states of Vanga, Pundra, Gangaridai, Gauda, Samatata, and Harikela. The Mauryan, Gupta, Pala, Sena, Chandra and Deva dynasties were the last pre-Islamic rulers of Bengal. The Muslim conquest of Bengal began in 1204 when Bakhtiar Khalji overran northern Bengal and invaded Tibet. Becoming part of the Delhi Sultanate, three city-states emerged in the 14th century with much of eastern Bengal being ruled from Sonargaon. Sufi missionary leaders like Sultan Balkhi, Shah Jalal and Shah Makhdum Rupos helped in spreading Muslim rule. The region was unified into an independent, unitary Bengal Sultanate. Under Mughal rule, eastern Bengal continued to prosper as the melting pot of Muslims in the eastern subcontinent and attracted traders from around the world. The Bengali elite were among the richest people in the world due to strong trade networks like the muslin trade which supplied textiles, such as 40% of Dutch imports from Asia. Mughal Bengal became increasingly assertive and independent under the Nawabs of Bengal in the 18th century. In 1757, the betrayal of Mir Jafar resulted in the defeat of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah to the British East India Company and eventual British dominance across South Asia. The Bengal Presidency grew into the largest administrative unit in British India. The creation of Eastern Bengal and Assam in 1905 set a precedent for the emergence of Bangladesh. In 1940, the first Prime Minister of Bengal A. K. Fazlul Huq supported the Lahore Resolution with the hope of creating a state in the eastern subcontinent. Prior to the partition of Bengal, the Prime Minister of Bengal proposed a Bengali sovereign state. A referendum and the announcement of the Radcliffe Line established the present-day territorial boundary of Bangladesh.

In 1947, East Bengal became the most populous province in the Dominion of Pakistan. It was renamed as East Pakistan, with Dhaka becoming the country's legislative capital. The Bengali Language Movement in 1952; the East Bengali legislative election, 1954; the 1958 Pakistani coup d'état; the six point movement of 1966; and the 1970 Pakistani general election resulted in the rise of Bengali nationalism and pro-democracy movements in East Pakistan. The refusal of the Pakistani military junta to transfer power to the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led to the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, in which the Mukti Bahini aided by India waged a successful armed revolution. The conflict saw the 1971 Bangladesh genocide and the massacre of pro-independence Bengali civilians, including intellectuals. The new state of Bangladesh became the first constitutionally secular state in South Asia in 1972. Islam was declared the state religion in 1988. In 2010, the Bangladesh Supreme Court reaffirmed secular principles in the constitution.

A middle power in the Indo-Pacific, Bangladesh is the second-largest economy in South Asia. It maintains the third-largest military in the region and is a major contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. The large Muslim population of Bangladesh makes it the third-largest Muslim-majority country. Bangladesh is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic based on the Westminster system. Bengalis make up 99% of the total population of Bangladesh. The country consists of eight divisions, 64 districts and 495 subdistricts. It hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world due to the Rohingya genocide. Bangladesh faces many challenges, particularly corruption and effects of climate change. Bangladesh has been a leader within the Climate Vulnerable Forum. It hosts the headquarters of BIMSTEC. It is a founding member of SAARC, as well as a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Commonwealth of Nations.

More about Bangladesh

Basic information
  • Currency Bangladeshi taka
  • Calling code +880
  • Internet domain .bd
  • Mains voltage 220V/50Hz
  • Democracy index 5.99
Population, Area & Driving side
  • Population 169356251
  • Area 147570
  • Driving side left
    Ancient Bengal
    Ancient Bengal
    The earliest form of the Bengali language developed during the Pala Empire, shown here on a map of Asia in 800 CE.
    The ruins of Paharpur include a pyramid-like structure from the Pala period.

    Stone Age tools have been found in different parts of Bangladesh.[1] Remnants of Copper Age settlements date back 4,000 years.[2] Ancient Bengal was settled by Austroasiatics, Tibeto-Burmans, Dravidians and Indo-Aryans in consecutive waves of migration.[2][3] 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.[4] The Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers were natural arteries for communication and transportation,[4] and estuaries on the Bay of Bengal permitted maritime trade. The early Iron Age saw the development of metal weaponry, coinage, agriculture and irrigation.[4] Major urban settlements formed during the late Iron Age, in the mid-first millennium BCE,[5] when the Northern Black Polished Ware culture developed.[6] In 1879, Alexander Cunningham identified Mahasthangarh as the capital of the Pundra Kingdom mentioned in the Rigveda.[7][8] The oldest inscription in Bangladesh was found in Mahasthangarh and dates from the 3rd century BCE. It is written in the Brahmi script.[9]

    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-Bateshwar.[10][11] The site is also identified with the prosperous trading centre of Souanagoura listed on Ptolemy's world map.[12] Roman geographers noted a large seaport in southeastern Bengal, corresponding to the present-day Chittagong region.[13]

    Ancient Buddhist and Hindu states which ruled Bangladesh included the Vanga, Samatata and Pundra kingdoms, the Mauryan and Gupta Empires, the Varman dynasty, Shashanka's kingdom, the Khadga and Candra dynasties, the Pala Empire, the Sena dynasty, the Harikela 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. Gopala I was the first ever elected ruler of the region in 750 AD, during a time of mass turmoil the people of Bengal elected him to restore stability in the region at which he was successful went on to form the Pala dynasty that ruled until 1161 AD during with time Bengal prospered.[14] 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 emerged during the eighth century. Seafarers in the Bay of Bengal where modern Bangladesh is now located, have also been sailing and trading with Southeast Asia[15] and exported Buddhist and Hindu cultures to the region since the early Christian era.[16]

    Islamic Bengal

    The early history of Islam in Bengal is divided into two phases. The first phase is the period of maritime trade with Arabia and Persia between the 8th and 12th centuries. The second phase covers centuries of Muslim dynastic rule after the Islamic conquest of Bengal. The writings of Al-Idrisi, Ibn Hawqal, Al-Masudi, Ibn Khordadbeh and Sulaiman record the maritime links between Arabia, Persia and Bengal.[17] Muslim trade with Bengal flourished after the fall of the Sasanian Empire and the Arab takeover of Persian trade routes. Much of this trade occurred with southeastern Bengal in areas east of the Meghna River. There is speculation regarding the presence of a Muslim community in Bangladesh as early as 690 CE; this is based on the discovery of one of South Asia's oldest mosques in northern Bangladesh.[18][19][17] Bengal was possibly used as a transit route to China by the earliest Muslims. Abbasid coins have been discovered in the archaeological ruins of Paharpur and Mainamati.[20] A collection of Sasanian, Umayyad and Abbasid coins are preserved in the Bangladesh National Museum.[21]

    Sultanate period
    Coin featuring a horseman issued after the Muslim conquest of Bengal
    The Bengal Sultanate and its vassals in the 15th-century
    Mihrabs and arches in the ruins of Darasbari Mosque, an Islamic learning center of the Bengal Sultanate in the 15th century. Its roof collapsed during the 1897 Assam earthquake.[22]
    The 15th-century Sixty Dome Mosque in the Mosque City of Bagerhat is the largest sultanate-era mosque in Bangladesh.

    The Muslim conquest of Bengal began with the 1204 Ghurid expeditions led by Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, who overran the Sena capital in Gauda and led the first Muslim army into Tibet.[4] Bengal was ruled by the Sultans of the Delhi Sultanate for a century under the Mamluk, Balban, and Tughluq dynasties. In the 14th century, three city-states emerged in Bengal, including Sonargaon led by Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah, Satgaon led by Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah and Lakhnauti led by Alauddin Ali Shah. These city-states were led by former governors who declared independence from Delhi. In 1352, Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah united the three city-states into a single, unitary and independent Bengal Sultanate. The new Sultan of Bengal led the first Muslim army into Nepal and forced the Sultan of Delhi to retreat during an invasion. The army of Ilyas Shah reached as far as Varanasi in the northwest, Kathmandu in the north, Kamarupa in the east and Orissa in the south. During the reign of Sikandar Shah, Delhi recognised Bengal's independence. The Bengal Sultanate established a network of mint towns which acted as a provincial capitals where the Sultan's currency was minted.[23] As Bengal became the easternmost frontier of the Islamic world, the Bengali language crystallized as an official court language during the Bengal Sultanate, giving rise to various prominent writers. The sultanate was evolving as a commercialized and monetized economy, and as a melting pot of Muslim political, mercantile and military elites.[24]

    The two most prominent dynasties of the Bengal Sultanate were the Ilyas Shahi and Hussain Shahi dynasties. The reign of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah saw the opening of diplomatic relations with Ming China. The reign of the Sultan Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah saw the development of Bengali architecture. During the early 15th century, Bengal aided the Restoration of Min Saw Mon in Arakan, which led to the latter becoming a tributary state of Bengal.[25][26] During the reign of Sultan Alauddin Hussain Shah, Bengali forces penetrated deep into the Brahmaputra Valley—and being led by Shah Ismail Ghazi, conquered Assam,[27] Jajnagar in Orissa,[28][29] the Jaunpur Sultanate, Pratapgarh Kingdom and the island of Chandradwip.[30][31][32][33][34] By 1500, Gaur became the fifth-most populous city in the world with a population of 200,000.[35][36] Maritime trade linked Bengal with China, Malacca, Sumatra, Brunei, Portuguese India, East Africa, Arabia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Yemen and the Maldives. Bengali ships were among the biggest vessels plying the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The Sultans permitted the opening of the Portuguese settlement in Chittagong. The disintegration of the Bengal Sultanate began with the intervention of the Suri Empire. Babur began invading Bengal after creating the Mughal Empire. The Bengal Sultanate collapsed with the overthrow of the Karrani dynasty during the reign of Akbar. However, the Bhati region of eastern Bengal continued to be ruled by aristocrats of the former Bengal Sultanate led by Isa Khan. They formed an independent federation called the Twelve Bhuiyans, with their capital in Sonargaon. In 1580, English traveler Ralph Fitch visited Bengal and saw the success of the Twelve Bhuiyans in withstanding against the Mughals. Fitch wrote that "for here are so many Rivers and Lands, that they (Mughals) flee from one to another, whereby his (Akbar) horsemen cannot prevail against them. Great store of cotton cloth is made here. Sinnergan (Sonargaon) is a [town six] leagues from Serrepore, where there is the best and finest cloth made of cotton that is in all India. The chief king of all these countries is called Isacan (Isa Khan), and he is chief of all the other kings".[37] The Bhuiyans ultimately succumbed to the Mughals after Musa Khan was defeated.

    Mughal period
    Isa Khan, the Zamindar of Sonargaon, resisted Mughal expansion in the late 16th century
    The Bibi Mariam Cannon (Lady Mary Cannon) was used by the Mughals to defend their bases.
    The 17th-century Lalbagh Fort was built by Azam Shah, who served as the Mughal Emperor.

    The Mughal Empire 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. It was the capital of Bengal Subah for 75 years.[38] The city was home to many leaders of the Mughal imperial family, nobility, bureaucracy and military. In 1666, the Mughals expelled the Arakanese from the port of Chittagong. Mughal Bengal attracted foreign traders for its muslin and silk goods, and the 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 imports from Asia; including more than 50% of textiles and around 80% of silks.[39] The Bengal Subah, described as the Paradise of the Nations,[40] was the empire's wealthiest province, and a major global exporter,[39][41][42] a notable centre of worldwide industries such as muslin, cotton textiles, silk,[4] and shipbuilding.[43] Its citizens also enjoyed one of the world's most superior living standards.[44]

    During the 18th century, the Nawabs of Bengal became the region's de facto rulers, with a realm encompassing much of eastern South Asia. The Nawabs forged alliances with European colonial companies, making 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, renowned for its silk and cotton textiles worldwide.[45][4] Bengal was also famed as a shipbuilding hub.[46][47]

    Eastern Bengal was a thriving melting pot with strong trade and cultural networks. It was a relatively prosperous part of the subcontinent and the center of the Muslim population in the eastern subcontinent.[48][49] The Bengali Muslim population was a product of conversion and religious evolution,[4] 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.[50] By the 15th century, Muslim poets were widely writing in the Bengali language. 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 centres of Persian influence.[51][52]

    In 1756, nawab Siraj ud-Daulah sought to rein in the rising power of the British East India Company by revoking their free trade rights and demanding the dismantling of their fortification in Calcutta. A military conflict ensued which culminated in the Battle of Plassey on 22 June 1757.[53] Robert Clive exploited rivalries within the nawab's family, bribing Mir Jafar, the nawab's uncle and commander in chief, to ensure Siraj-ud-Daula's defeat.[54][55] Clive rewarded Mir Jafar by making him nawab in place of Siraj-ud-Daula, but henceforth the position was a figurehead appointed and controlled by the company.[56] After Plassey, the Mughal emperor ruled Bengal in name only.[57] Effective power rested with the company. Historians often describe the battle as "the beginning of British colonial rule in South Asia".[58]

    The Company replaced Mir Jafar with his son-in-law, Mir Kasim, in 1760. Mir Kasim challenged British control by allying with Mughal emperor Shah Alam II and the Nawab of Awadh, Shuja ud-Daulah, but the company decisively defeated the three at the Battle of Buxar on 23 October 1764.[55][57] The resulting treaty made the Mughal emperor a puppet of the British and gave the company the right to collect taxes (diwani) in Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa, giving them de facto control of the region.[57][59] The Company used Bengal's tax revenue to conquer the rest of India.[59]

    Colonial period Initial period
    Portuguese envoys (top left) at the imperial court of emperor Akbar. The Portuguese settlement in Chittagong flourished until the Mughals expelled the Portuguese in 1666.
    Lord Clive meeting with Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey, which led to the overthrow of the last independent Nawab of Bengal

    Two decades after Vasco Da Gama's landing in Calicut, the Bengal Sultanate permitted the 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 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,[60] Hughli, Bandel, and Dhaka. In 1535, the Portuguese allied with the Bengal sultan and held the Teliagarhi pass 280 kilometres (170 mi) 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.[61]

    By the time the Portuguese assured military help against Sher Shah, the Mughals already had started to conquer the Sultanate of Ghiyasuddin Mahmud.[62]

    The region accounted for 40% of Dutch imports outside the European continent.[39][48] The eastern part of Bengal was globally prominent in industries such as textile manufacturing and shipbuilding,[63] and it was a major exporter of silk and cotton textiles, steel, saltpeter, and agricultural and industrial produce in the world.[48] In 1666, the Mughal government of Bengal led by viceroy Shaista Khan moved to retake Chittagong from Portuguese and Arakanese control. The Anglo-Mughal War was witnessed in 1686.[64][65]

    Company rule
    Charles Cornwallis was responsible for enacting the Permanent Settlement

    After the 1757 Battle of Plassey, Bengal was the first region of the Indian subcontinent conquered by the British East India Company. The company formed the Presidency of Fort William, which administered the region until 1858. A notable aspect of Company rule was the Permanent Settlement, which established the feudal zamindari system; in addition, Company policies led to the deindustrialisation of Bengal's textile industry.[66] The capital amassed by the East India Company in Bengal was invested in the emerging Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, in industries such as textile manufacturing.[67][68] Economic mismanagement, alongside drought and a smallpox epidemic, directly led to the Great Bengal famine of 1770, which is estimated to have caused the deaths of between 1 million and 10 million people.[69][70][71][72] Several rebellions broke out during the early 19th century (including one led by Titumir), as Company rule had displaced the Muslim ruling class from power. A conservative Islamic cleric, Haji Shariatullah, sought to overthrow the British by propagating Islamic revivalism.[73] Several towns in Bangladesh participated in the Indian Rebellion of 1857[74] and pledged allegiance to the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, who was later exiled to neighbouring Burma.

    British Raj
    Lord Curzon oversaw the creation of Eastern Bengal and Assam

    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 Bangladesh. Syed Ahmed Khan and Ram Mohan Roy promoted modern and liberal education in the subcontinent, inspiring the Aligarh movement[75] and the Bengal Renaissance.[76] 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; 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. The British established 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.[77] 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.[78] 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.[79]

    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.[80] However, the first partition of Bengal created an uproar in 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 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 secularist forces.[81] In 1929, the All Bengal Tenants Association was formed in the Bengal Legislative Council to counter the influence of the Hindu landed gentry, and the Indian Independence and Pakistan Movements strengthened during the early 20th century. After the Morley-Minto Reforms and the diarchy era in the legislatures of British India, the British government promised limited provincial autonomy in 1935. The Bengal Legislative Assembly, British India's largest legislature, was established in 1937.

    Founding conference of the All India Muslim League in Dhaka, 1906

    Although it won most seats in 1937, the Bengal Congress boycotted the legislature. A. K. Fazlul Huq of the 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 subcontinent's northwestern and eastern Muslim-majority regions. 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,[82] 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)
    British Bengal's last premier H. S. Suhrawardy speaking about partition

    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.[83] On 6 July, the Sylhet region of Assam voted in a 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. The Radcliffe Line awarded two-thirds of Bengal as the eastern wing of Pakistan, although the medieval and early modern Bengali capitals of Gaur, Pandua and Murshidabad fell on the Indian side close to the border with Pakistan.

    Union with Pakistan
    Map of the world, with Pakistan in 1947 highlighted 
    The Dominion of Pakistan in 1947, with East Bengal its eastern part
    Women students of Dhaka University marching in defiance of the Section 144 prohibition on assembly during the Bengali Language Movement in early 1953
    Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (seated) at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in the United States in 1958

    The Dominion of Pakistan was created on 14 August 1947. East Bengal, with Dhaka as its capital, was the most populous province of the 1947 Pakistani federation (led by Governor General Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who promised freedom of religion and secular democracy in the new state).[84][85]

    Khawaja Nazimuddin was East Bengal's first 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.[86] 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.[87] The first constituent assembly was dissolved in 1954; this was challenged by its East Bengali speaker, Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan. The 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 programme, and the province became a vital part of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.

    Pakistan adopted a new 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 military rule in 1958, and 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.[88] The Pakistani government built the controversial Kaptai Dam, displacing the Chakma people from their indigenous homeland in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.[89] During the 1965 presidential election, Fatima Jinnah lost to Ayub Khan despite support from the Combined Opposition alliance (which included the Awami League).[90] The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 blocked cross-border transport links with neighbouring India in what is described as a second partition.[91] In 1966, Awami League leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman announced a six-point movement for a federal parliamentary democracy.

    According to senior World Bank officials, the Pakistani government practised extensive economic discrimination against East Pakistan. Despite generating 70 percent of Pakistan's export revenue with jute and tea,[92] East Pakistan received much less government spending than West Pakistan. Economists in East Pakistan, including Rehman Sobhan and Nurul Islam among others, demanded a separate foreign exchange account for the eastern wing. The economists paraphrased Pakistan's Two-Nation Theory ideology against India, by pointing to the existence of two different economies with Pakistan itself, dubbed the Two-Economies Theory.[93][94][95][96] East Pakistan's foreign-exchange surplus was used to finance West Pakistani imports. The central government also refused to release foreign aid allocated for East Pakistan.[97] The populist leader 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.[98] Cultural discrimination also prevailed, making East Pakistan forge a distinct political identity.[99] Authorities banned Bengali literature and music in state media, including the works of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.[100] A cyclone devastated the coast of East Pakistan in 1970, killing an estimated 500,000 people,[101] and the central government was criticised for its poor response.[102] 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

    In the first three months of 1971, negotiations began on the transfer of power.[103] The Awami League wanted to develop a constitution based on its Six Points agenda;[103] this was opposed by the Pakistani military, the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Muslim League factions. The Awami League received support from the main political parties in North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan.[104] Talks eventually broke down as the junta led by Yahya Khan prepared for a military operation in East Pakistan. The Bengali population was angered when the newly elected National Assembly was not convened under pressure from the junta and West Pakistani politicians. Despite enjoying an absolute majority in the newly elected parliament, Prime Minister-elect Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was prevented from taking oath. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto threatened to break the legs of West Pakistani MPs if they flew to Dhaka for the first session of the newly elected parliament.[105][106] Civil disobedience erupted across East Pakistan,[107] with loud calls for independence. Mujib addressed a pro-independence rally of nearly 2 million people on 7 March 1971, where he said, "This time the struggle is for our liberation. This time the struggle is for our independence".[108] The flag of Bangladesh was raised for the first time on 23 March, Pakistan's Republic Day.[109]

    Museum of Independence, Dhaka

    Around midnight on 26 March 1971, military operations under the code name of Operation Searchlight began.[110][111] The first targets were the student dormitories of Dhaka University, the police barracks in Dhaka's Rajarbagh locality, and Hindu neighborhoods in Old Dhaka. The Pakistan Army then proceeded to arrest Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and flew him to a jail in West Pakistan.[112][113][114] Mujib's lawyer Kamal Hossain was also arrested. The army burnt down the Ittefaq newspaper's office.[115] Before his arrest, Mujib proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh.[116][117] Pakistani forces launched a widespread campaign of killings, torture, rape, arson and destruction across East Pakistan, targeting segments of the population perceived to be pro-Awami League and pro-independence. The Hindu minority was particularly targeted because of Pakistan's enmity with neighboring Hindu-majority India.[118]

    During the Bangladesh Liberation War, the Mukti Bahini emerged as the Bengali resistance force. A highly successful guerrilla war was fought against Pakistan. The Mukti Bahini combined defecting Bengali members of the Pakistani military with civilian volunteers. The Mukti Bahini was gradually organized into armed divisions over the course of the war. Bengalis continued to defect from Pakistan's diplomatic service, military, police and bureaucracy. In April, they helped Awami League leaders to set up the Provisional Government of Bangladesh, which operated in exile from Calcutta with the support of the Indian government until December 1971. The Mukti Bahini divided the war zone into eleven sectors, with each sector headed by a rebel officer of the Pakistani military. The Bangladesh Armed Forces was formally established in November 1971, when Bengali forces secured control of much of the countryside. The Mukti Bahini forced the railway network to shut down to stop Pakistani troop movements. Some of the notable operations of the Mukti Bahini included Operation Jackpot and Operation Barisal.

    India intervened in the war on 3 December 1971, after Pakistan's failed pre-emptive air strikes on India's northwestern flank. 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 Dhaka 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 the Pakistan Eastern Command to the Bangladesh-India Allied Forces on 16 December 1971.[119][120] Under international pressure, Pakistan released Mujib from imprisonment on 8 January 1972 and he was flown by the British Royal Air Force to a million-strong homecoming in Dhaka.[121][122] Remaining Indian troops were withdrawn by 12 March 1972, three months after the war ended.[123]

    The cause of Bangladeshi self-determination was recognised around the world. By August 1972, the new state was recognised by 86 countries.[124] Pakistan recognised Bangladesh in 1974 after pressure from most of the Muslim countries.[125]

    The Liberation War Museum in Dhaka has many exhibits on the victims of the 1971 war

    The government of Bangladesh records the official death toll of the war at 3 million,[126] including victims of atrocities and those who died from starvation. Minimum estimates for the number of those killed range between 300,000 and 500,000.[127][128] An estimated 10 million refugees fled to neighboring India and 30 million were internally displaced.[129][130][131][132] The war was one of the first to record the use of rape as a weapon of war, with an estimated 200,000 women being subjected to sexual abuse by the Pakistani army.[133] The war saw the systematic targeting of Bengali elites,[134] particularly intellectuas like university professors, poets, doctors, journalists, lawyers, and scientists. The Jamaat-e-Islami formed paramilitary militias, including the Razakars, Al-Badr and Al-Shams corps, which aided Pakistani troops and guided them to their intended targets. While Bengali Muslims bore the brunt of atrocities because of racial tensions with the largely Punjabi Muslim West Pakistani forces,[135] the minority Bengali Hindu community was singled out for attacks by the Pakistani army; a legacy which has led Hindu nationalist groups to claim that the war was a Hindu genocide.[136] Other communities, including the tribal people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bengali Christians, Bengali Buddhists, Biharis and Urdu-speaking people also suffered atrocities, including reprisals from Bengali guerrillas. Pakistani nationalists frequently engage in genocide denial, downplaying the war's effects on Bengali Muslims and accuse Bengali forces of committing killings.[137]

    Archer K. Blood, the US Consul General in East Pakistan at the time of the war, described the situation as "selective genocide", in which segments of the population were being systematically wiped out.[138][139][140] The government, media, civil society and victims' groups of Bangladesh have often called on Pakistan to recognize the genocide and apologize to the Bangladeshi people. These calls have been supported by prominent Pakistanis.[141][142] In 1974 and 2002, Pakistan formally expressed "regret" for what happened.[143][144] In 2015, Pakistan denied any atrocities took place.[145] In 2022, a bipartisan resolution was introduced in the US Congress to "Recognize the Bangladesh Genocide of 1971".[146] The International Association of Genocide Scholars regards the atrocities as a genocide.[147][148]

    Modern Bangladesh First parliamentary era
    Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with a commander of the Bangladesh Navy

    The new government of Bangladesh transformed East Pakistan's state apparatus into an independent Bangladeshi state. The Awami League successfully reorganised the bureaucracy, framed a written constitution, and rehabilitated war victims and survivors. While returning from London, Mujib was told by an Indian diplomat that "on India's eastern flank, she wished to have a friendly power, a prosperous economy, and a secular democracy, with a parliamentary system of government".[149] In January 1972, Mujib introduced a parliamentary republic through a presidential decree.[150] The emerging state structure was heavily influenced by the British Westminster model. The Constitution Drafting Committee led by Kamal Hossain established a bill of rights influenced by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[151]

    The constituent assembly adopted the constitution of Bangladesh on 4 November 1972, establishing a secular, multiparty parliamentary democracy. Bangladesh joined the Commonwealth of Nations, the UN, the OIC and the Non-Aligned Movement. In his maiden speech to the UNGA, Mujib stated that "the Bengali has struggled for many centuries for the right to live a free and honourable life as independent citizens of an independent country. They expected to live in peace and harmony with all the nations in the world".[152][153] He strengthened relations with India by signing a 25-year friendship treaty, a border demarcation agreement, and protocols on cross-border trade. The land boundary treaty was aimed at resolving border disputes inherited from East Pakistan and swapping the Indo-Bangladesh enclaves. The land boundary agreement was challenged in court, which ruled that the government needed the prior approval of parliament to implement the land boundary treaty in line with the newly enacted constitution.[154] Mujib was a vocal supporter of Palestinian rights despite Israel being one of the first countries to recognize Bangladesh's independence. In what became Bangladesh's first dispatch of military aid overseas, Mujib sent an army medical unit to Egypt during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.[155]

    In economic policy, the first five years of Bangladesh was the only socialist period in its history. Mujib nationalized 580 industrial plants, as well as banks and insurance companies. In 1974, the government invited international oil companies to explore the Bay of Bengal for oil and natural gas. Petrobangla was established as the national oil and gas corporation after Shell sold five gas fields to the Bangladeshi government.[156] The Mujib government faced huge economic problems exasperated by the resettlement of millions of people displaced in 1971, a breakdown in the food supply chain, poor health services and a lack of other necessities. The effects of the 1970 cyclone were still being felt, and the economy needed reconstruction after the war.[157] The Bangladesh famine of 1974 damaged Mujib's popularity.

    Mujib presided over a regime which was built around his personality cult. Sycophants and loyalists developed an ideology called Mujibism. Amid growing opposition from radical leftists and socialists, he curtailed the multi-party character of the constitution and established a one party state in 1975.

    Presidential era (1975–1991)
    Ziaur Rahman (second from right) with members of the Dutch royal family in 1978
    H M Ershad
    Abdus Sattar (seated third from left) at the North-South Summit in 1981

    In January 1975, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman introduced one-party socialist rule under BAKSAL. Rahman banned all newspapers except four state-owned publications and amended the constitution to increase his power. He was 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.[158] 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, re-opened the Dhaka Stock Exchange, established BEPZA and held the country's second general election in 1979. In 1978, 200,000 Arakanese Muslim refugees crossed the Naf River into Bangladesh due to a Burmese military crackdown. The refugees were later repatriated.[159] 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 Abdus Sattar. Sattar received 65.5 per cent of the vote in the 1981 presidential election.[160]

    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 Jatiyo Party. General elections were held in 1986 and 1988, although the opposition BNP and Awami League boycotted the latter. Ershad pursued administrative decentralisation, dividing the country into 64 districts, and pushed Parliament to make Islam the state religion in 1988.[161] Bangladesh dispatched its first contingent of UN peacekeepers in 1988.[155] In 1990, Bangladesh joined the US-led coalition to liberate Kuwait during the Gulf War.[155][162] A mass uprising forced Ershad to resign, and Chief Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed led the country's first caretaker government as part of the transition to parliamentary rule.[160]

    Parliamentary era (1991–present)
    Khaleda Zia (standing second from right) with the Emir of Bahrain in 1994
    Sheikh Hasina addressing a rally in 2023

    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, began a major programme to liberalise the Bangladeshi economy.[163] In addition to setting up the Chittagong Stock Exchange; banking, pharmaceuticals, aviation, ceramics, steel, telecoms and tertiary education were opened up for investments, resulting in increased market competition. In 1992, an estimated 250,000 refugees from Burma took shelter in Bangladesh due to the suppression of the Burmese pro-democracy movement; most of these refugees returned to Burma by 1993.[159] In 1994, Bangladesh provided the largest non-US contingent in Operation Uphold Democracy, a UN-approved American-led military intervention in Haiti.[164]

    In 1996, a year of political upheaval saw a boycotted February election, an attempted military coup, and mediation efforts producing a caretaker government to oversee elections. For three months, Muhammad Habibur Rahman served as the interim leader of the country. The Awami League returned to power in the June election after 21 years. One of the first initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was to repeal the deeply controversial Indemnity Ordinance, which protected her father's killers from prosecution. Hasina also signed the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord, which ended an insurgency in the southeastern hill districts. She reached an agreement with India for sharing the water of the Ganges.[165]

    The economic reform momentum lost steam due to political instability, including frequent hartals and strikes by the opposition. In 2001, the BNP returned to power on the back of promises to improve the economy. The second Zia administration saw higher economic growth, but security and political problems gripped the country between 2004 and 2006. A radical Islamist militant group, the JMB, carried out a series of terror attacks. At the end of the BNP's term in 2006, there was widespread political unrest related to the handover of power to a caretaker government. The Bangladeshi military urged President Iajuddin Ahmed to impose a state of emergency and a caretaker government, led by former central bank governor Fakhruddin Ahmed, was installed in 2007 to implement reforms to the electoral system, judiciary, and bureaucracy.[163]

    In 2008, the Awami League returned to power with a landslide majority. In 2010, the Supreme Court reduced the scope for military interventions through legal loopholes, and reaffirmed secular principles in the constitution. The Awami League set up a war crimes tribunal to prosecute surviving Bengali Islamist collaborators of the 1971 atrocities. It abolished the caretaker government mechanism for elections. Human rights abuses increased under the Hasina administration, particularly enforced disappearances by the Rapid Action Battalion. The 2014 election was boycotted by the BNP-Jamaat alliance. The BNP and Jamaat have often engaged in violent protests to overthrow the government. In 2017, Bangladesh experienced the largest influx of Arakanese refugees in its history. An estimated 700,000 Rohingya refugees took shelter in Cox's Bazar after a campaign of ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State, Myanmar.[166]

    Bangladesh has achieved significant economic development after independence. The capital Dhaka has grown into a megacity. The port city of Chittagong became home to the busiest port on the Bay of Bengal, while the cities of Sylhet, Khulna and Rajshahi saw urban growth due to economic growth and remittances from the Bangladeshi diaspora. The national poverty rate went down from 80% in 1971 to 44.2% in 1991 to 12.9% in 2021.[167][168][169] Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, which Yunus founded, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering microfinance and their efforts to eradicate poverty. Bangladesh has emerged as the second-largest economy in South Asia,[170][171] surpassing the per capita income levels of both India and Pakistan.[172][171] Since 2009, Bangladesh has launched a series of infrastructure megaprojects. On 25 June 2022, the Padma Bridge was opened by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.[173]

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Retrieved 31 October 2017. ^ Thorpe, Edgar (2012). The Pearson General Knowledge Manual. Pearson Education India. p. A.125. ISBN 978-81-317-6190-8. ^ Bass, Gary Jonathan (2014). The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-307-70020-9. That night [25 March] ... The Pakistani military had launched a devastating assault on the Bengalis. ^ Siegfried O. Wolf; Jivanta Schöttli; Dominik Frommherz; Kai Fürstenberg; Marian Gallenkamp; Lion König; Markus Pauli (2014). Politics in South Asia: Culture, Rationality and Conceptual Flow. Springer. p. 111. ISBN 978-3-319-09087-0. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017. ^ Bates, Crispin (2013). Subalterns and Raj: South Asia Since 1600. Routledge. p. 191. ISBN 978-1-134-51375-8. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017. ^ Pervez Musharraf (2008). In the Line of Fire. Simon and Schuster. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-84739-596-2. ^ Johnston, Faith (2013). Four Miles to Freedom. Random House India. ISBN 978-81-8400-507-3. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017. ^ "The genocide of March 25 as a metaphor". 25 March 2023. ^ "ABC News, March 26, 1971". YouTube. Retrieved 25 March 2012. ^ "Bangabandhur Shadhinota Ghoshonar Telegraphic Barta". BDNews24. Retrieved 31 March 2017. ^ Debnath, Angela (2012) [First published 2009]. "The Bangladesh Genocide: The Plight of Women". In Totten, Samuel (ed.). Plight and Fate of Women During and Following Genocide. Transaction Publishers. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-4128-4759-9. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017. ^ "Victory: Pakistan army surrenders to allied forces". 15 December 2014. ^ "Victory Day: Indian 1971 veteran unveils prelude to surrender negotiation". 15 December 2022. ^ Srinath Raghavan (2013). 1971. Harvard University Press. p. 247. ISBN 978-0-674-73127-1. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017. ^ Sheikh Mujib's Return to Bangladesh – January 10, 1972 Monday. NBC. 23 December 2013. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2015 – via Centre for Bangladesh Genocide Research. ^ Lyon, Peter (2008). Conflict Between India and Pakistan: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-57607-712-2. 12 March India's armed forces withdraw from Bangladesh at a ceremonial parade in Dacca. ^ Benvenisti, Eyal (2012) [First published 1992]. The International Law of Occupation (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-19-163957-9. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017. The genuine and widely recognized claim for Bangladeshi self-determination as an entity independent of West Pakistan, coupled with the repulsion caused by the Pakistani measures to suppress that claim convinced global public opinion ... By the time its admission for membership in the United Nations came before the Security Council, in August 1972, Bangladesh had already been recognized by eighty-six countries. ^ Syed Muazzem Ali (19 February 2006). "Bangladesh and the OIC". The Daily Star. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2015. ^ "30 lakh martyrs a settled history". 3 February 2016. ^ "The Genocide the U.S. Can't Remember, but Bangladesh Can't Forget". ^ "Bangladesh war: The article that changed history". BBC News. 15 December 2011. ^ "1971 Exodus: Managing an astronomical 10 million refugees". 27 March 2021. ^ "How India responded to the influx of 10 million refugees". 5 October 2015. ^ "Genocide: Confusion with numbers". ^ "Bangladesh's genocide debate; A conscientious research". ^ Begum, Thaslima (3 April 2023). "'We lay like corpses. Then the raping began': 52 years on, Bangladesh's rape camp survivors speak out". The Guardian. ^ "Gary Bass: Development and the Legacy of the 1971 War in Bangladesh • the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute". 5 September 2019. ^ "Why won't the UN recognise 1971 genocide?". 25 March 2023. ^ "1971 Bengali Hindu Genocide". ^ "Pakistan's Insistence on Denial | Hudson". ^ Blood, Archer K. (2002). The Cruel Birth of Bangladesh: Memoirs of an American Diplomat. ISBN 9789840516506. ^ Bass, Gary J. (October 2013). The Blood Telegram. ISBN 9788184004830. ^ "American Centre Library after name of Archer K Blood: His son deplores bombers". ^ "Former Pakistani diplomat calls for official apology to Bangladesh for 1971 genocide". 30 March 2021. ^ "Should Pakistan apologize to Bangladesh for the 1971 war? – DW – 03/30/2021". Deutsche Welle. ^ "Bhutto Regrets 'Crimes' in Bangladesh". The New York Times. 29 June 1974. ^ "President regrets '71 war excesses: Trade accords to be signed today". 30 July 2002. ^ "Pakistan denies war atrocities in 1971". 30 November 2015. ^ "Text - H.Res.1430 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Recognizing the Bangladesh Genocide of 1971. | | Library of Congress". ^ ^ ^ "Mujibur Rahman's First Secret Meeting with an Indian Officer — Me". 15 February 2021. ^ "Mujib Administration's Policy Action Timeline". 16 March 2020. ^ "Lecture Series - Dr. Kamal Hossain". ^ "Bangabandhu's historic 1974 UN speech". The Independent. Dhaka. ^ "25th September 1974 Speech in UN by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman" – via YouTube. ^ "Kazi Mukhlesur Rahman v. Bangladesh and Another". International Law Reports. 70: 35–50. 1986. doi:10.1017/CBO9781316151983.013. S2CID 248999854. ^ a b c "OP-ED: Bangladesh and the first Gulf War". 24 October 2020. ^ "National Energy Security Day today". New Age. ^ Lawrence B. Lesser. "Economic Reconstruction after Independence". A Country Study: Bangladesh (James Heitzman and Robert Worden, editors). Federal Research Division, Library of Congress (September 1988). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.About the Country Studies / Area Handbooks Program: Country Studies – Federal Research Division, Library of Congress ^ "Mushtaq was the worst traitor: attorney general". Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2017. ^ a b "Burma/Bangladesh: Burmese Refugees in Bangladesh - Historical Background". ^ a b B.Z. Khasru. The Bangladesh Military Coup and the CIA Link. Rupa Publications India Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 978-81-291-3416-5. ^ "Bangladesh profile". BBC News. 13 August 2017. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2017. ^ Hossain, Ishtiaq (1997). "Bangladesh and the Gulf War: Response of a Small State". Pakistan Horizon. 50 (2): 39–55. JSTOR 41393571. ^ a b David Lewis (2011). Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-139-50257-3. Archived from the original on 6 January 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2015. ^ "Background Note: Bangladesh". U.S. Department of State. ^ "'Sharing' Ganges Water: Indo-Bangladesh Treaties and International Law | the University Press Limited". ^ "Bangladesh Rohingya refugee crisis". 25 May 2022. ^ "Pre-Pandemic Level: Poverty set to drop further". The Daily Star. 8 October 2021. Retrieved 2 October 2022. ^ "What milestones have Bangladesh crossed in 50 years". 26 March 2021. ^ "Bangladesh: Reducing Poverty and Sharing Prosperity". World Bank. ^ "Bangladesh ranked 41st largest economy in 2019 all over the world". The Daily Star. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2022. ^ a b Sayeed Iftekhar Ahmed (18 March 2022). "Where do Bangladesh and Pakistan stand after 50 years of separation?". Retrieved 2 October 2022. ^ Sharma, Mihir (31 May 2021). "South Asia Should Pay Attention to Its Standout Star". Bloomberg News (Opinion). Archived from the original on 7 February 2022. Retrieved 2 October 2022. ^ "Grand preparations made for Padma Bridge inauguration". The Daily Star. 24 June 2022. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
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Stay safe
    Stay safe

    Dial 999 from any Bangladeshi mobile phone number or landline for police, fire or ambulance in case of any emergency. Bangladesh is a country full of friendly and open-minded people. But some people may find ways to exploit a foreigner or tourist. See common scams and pickpockets for some of their methods. Apply common sense precautions, such as not walking around unnecessarily or alone after dark in abandoned alleys. Also, if you do find yourself in trouble, create some noise and draw the attention of others who are almost certain to come to your aid. Foreigners, particularly Caucasian, will for the most part be safe when walking around city streets as you will undoubtedly be watched by multiple curious locals at any one time. When in a crowd or travelling by rickshaw, CNG (auto-rickshaw) or bus, be careful to keep valuables close at hand and away from pickpockets. Don't wear expensive jewellery without precaution; most middle-class locals simply wear imitation gold/silver jewellery and rhinestones/clay and beaded pendants.

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    Stay safe

    Dial 999 from any Bangladeshi mobile phone number or landline for police, fire or ambulance in case of any emergency. Bangladesh is a country full of friendly and open-minded people. But some people may find ways to exploit a foreigner or tourist. See common scams and pickpockets for some of their methods. Apply common sense precautions, such as not walking around unnecessarily or alone after dark in abandoned alleys. Also, if you do find yourself in trouble, create some noise and draw the attention of others who are almost certain to come to your aid. Foreigners, particularly Caucasian, will for the most part be safe when walking around city streets as you will undoubtedly be watched by multiple curious locals at any one time. When in a crowd or travelling by rickshaw, CNG (auto-rickshaw) or bus, be careful to keep valuables close at hand and away from pickpockets. Don't wear expensive jewellery without precaution; most middle-class locals simply wear imitation gold/silver jewellery and rhinestones/clay and beaded pendants.

    Bahaddarhat Bus Terminal, Chittagong

    It's best to not eat, drink or smoke anything offered to you by strangers as there is a growing problem in many Asian countries of drugging, and you're likely to see signs warning you against it on buses, trains, etc. That is not to say you shouldn't take someone up on their offer for a home cooked meal, but you may want to think twice about that piece of candy the person in the seat next to you just handed to you. Also, be careful about the sanitation procedures of local street food and unprocessed snacks which are not in packaging.

    Speeding buses, coaches or trucks may cause accidents. Traffic lights are often manually overridden by traffic police and in large metropolises traffic jams are always a given, making it very difficult for vehicles to travel. It is wisest not to drive yourself or to walk roads without pavements (sidewalks) alone. Consequently, road travel (if absolutely necessary) is best undertaken with an experienced local driver in a good vehicle with safety belts. If you can speak Bengali, rickshaws are a very authentic local drive for short distances. However, rickshaws are mostly banned, especially on major highways and routes. Prison sentences ranging from 2 to 10 years are prescribed for homosexual activity in public between consenting adults under Bangladeshi law. LGBT couples and travelers should exercise discretion and avoid public displays of affection.

    Political unrest

    Bangladesh is a politically troubled country and has a history of political-related violence. Many regard Bangladesh as one of the least effectively governed countries in the world.

    General strikes, otherwise known as hartals, are widely employed as a means of political expression in Bangladesh. Incidents of arson, vandalism, clashes between rival political groups, and attacks on individuals are common during protests.

    As a visitor, you should do all you can to avoid political protests, demonstrations, and marches. Don't feel tempted to act like a hero (take photos of protests, helping out injured protestors, and so on); you might lose your life or get severely injured.

    If you feel a protest is about to take place, evacuate the area immediately. Always assume that roads can be blocked during political protests and that public transportation services will be affected.

    During your stay, it is strongly recommended that you regularly monitor local media. English language media is common and ubiquitous in the country.

    The most corrupt institution in the entire country.

    Bangladesh is one of the most corrupt countries in the world and the problem seems to be getting worse and worse year by year. According to Transparency International, Bangladesh is the most corrupt country in South Asia.

    The police are notorious for being highly corrupt and woefully ineffective, and the locals themselves are convinced that they are not to be trusted at all. In addition, most Bangladeshis consider the police to be the most corrupt institute in the entire country.

    The police enjoy strong political patronage and are known to regularly abuse their powers; many public officials have been targeted and attacked by police forces.

    Due to their low salaries, it's not uncommon for them to target people for bribes. In the event you are targeted by a corrupt official, stay calm, but be firm and polite. Don't make the encounter tense by losing your cool.

    The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an elite unit of the police, is complicit in extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, and in December 2021, the organisation and six former RAB officials were sanctioned by the United States.

    Women travellers

    The clothing of local women varies, according to religion and degree of religious conservatism, geographic region and socio-economic status. In general, as a female tourist, it is wisest to wear at least the salwar kameez, which is both easy to wear and relatively versatile and functional, while being generally culturally respectful. If you don't own or want to buy a salwar kameez you should use a large scarf to drape around your upper body. Bangladesh is a conservative society, and as a foreign woman you will attract incredible amounts of attention. Do not wear shorts, tank tops, or any revealing clothing showing much skin. However, most of Bangladesh is a relatively open-minded Muslim country and the youth in major cities are quite Westernized.

    Forced marriages

    Forced marriage is a major problem in Bangladesh. The problem isn't just prevalent in Bangladesh though. It is also common among members of the Bangladeshi diaspora.

    If you are a woman of Bangladeshi origin, there's a good chance you could be forced into marital arrangements against your will. Your family relatives may subject you to threats, intimidation, and violence, as a means to make you feel you have no choice but to accept the marriage.

    Be very skeptical if your family asks you to come on a trip to Bangladesh. What may be a short trip could very easily turn into a long trip. Always ask yourself, "what's in it for them?". There may be an ulterior motive you don't know about.

    If you are not in Bangladesh, call the police. In February 2013, family members of a Bangladeshi-origin woman in the UK were arrested for attacking her and attempting to force her to marry, simply because she was in a relationship with someone from a different religious faith.

    If you are in Bangladesh, contact your embassy immediately for assistance. Always maintain possession of your passport and plane tickets; do not let your family members get their hands on them otherwise you may not be able to escape.

    Natural disasters Flooding
    Expect things to get this nasty during heavy floods

    Bangladesh is prone to flooding. This is largely in part due to the fact that the country is composed entirely out of silt, a material which is carried down by the rivers and tributaries comprising the Brahmaputra River Delta. As much as 30% of the country can be submerged during heavy floods.

    Silt is responsible for Bangladesh's low-lying geography (a large portion of the country is covered by the Brahmaputra River Delta), and causes Bangladesh's rivers to overflow or burst their banks after heavy rainfall.

    The summer monsoon in Bangladesh prevails from early June to mid-October. Try to schedule a trip before or after this period as the risk of flooding increases during that time.

    As Bangladesh is still a developing nation, do not expect high-quality emergency services. Refer to the various tips found in the Flash floods article in the unlikely event the country is swamped with floods.

    If you are in the country during the monsoon season, refer to this site: Flood Forecasting & Warning Centre. The website is maintained by the Bangladeshi government and you should refer to it from time to time so that you can stay safe in the event of massive flooding.


    Being a low-lying country, Bangladesh is vulnerable to cyclones.


    The northern part of the country is vulnerable to seismic activity. Although it is unlikely that a massive earthquake would strike the country, the country's infrastructure is ill-equipped to deal with the aftershocks of a huge earthquake.

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Where can you sleep near Bangladesh ?
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