Pays d'Asie du Sud
République populaire du Bangladesh
et la plus grande ville
et langue nationale
|Langues régionales||Chittagonien • Rangpuri • Sylheti|
parlementaire du parti dominant
|Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury|
|Syed Mahmud Hossain|
|Corps législatif||Jatiya Sangsad|
|26 mars 1971|
|16 décembre 1971|
|16 décembre 1972|
|148 460(7) km2 (57320 mi2) (92e)|
• L'eau (%)
• Aire d'atterrissage
• Espace aquatique
• estimation 2018
• Recensement de 2011
|149 772 364(11) (8ème)|
|1,106 / km2 (2,864.5 / mi carré) (7ème)|
|PIB (PPP)||Estimation 2020|
• Par habitant
|PIB (nominal)||Estimation 2020|
• Par habitant
moyen · 133ème
|Devise||Taka (৳) (BDT)|
|Fuseau horaire||UTC + 6 (BST)|
|Format de date||jj-mm-aaaa AD|
|Code ISO 3166||BD|
Bangladesh (,(16)Bengali: বাংলাদেশ, prononcé (ˈBaŋlaˌdeʃ) (Ecoutez)), officiellement le République populaire du Bangladesh, est un pays d'Asie du Sud. C'est le huitième pays le plus peuplé du monde, avec une population de plus de 163 millions d'habitants, sur une superficie de 148.460 kilomètres carrés (57.320 miles carrés), ce qui en fait l'un des pays les plus densément peuplés du monde. Le Bangladesh partage des frontières terrestres avec l'Inde à l'ouest, au nord et à l'est, le Myanmar au sud-est et le golfe du Bengale au sud. Il est étroitement séparé du Népal et du Bhoutan par le couloir de Siliguri et de la Chine par le Sikkim, au nord, respectivement. Dhaka, la capitale et la plus grande ville, est le centre économique, politique et culturel du pays. Chittagong, le plus grand port maritime, est la deuxième plus grande ville.
Le Bangladesh constitue la partie la plus large et la plus orientale de la région du Bengale.(17) Selon les anciens textes indiens, Rāmāyana et Mahābhārata, le royaume de Vanga, l'un des homonymes de la région du Bengale, était une puissante puissance navale. Dans les périodes ancienne et classique du sous-continent indien, le territoire abritait de nombreuses principautés, notamment le Pundra, le Gangaridai, le Gauda, le Samatata et le Harikela. C'était aussi une province de Mauryan sous le règne d'Ashoka. Les principautés étaient remarquables pour leur commerce extérieur, leurs contacts avec le monde romain, l'exportation de mousseline et de soie fines vers le Moyen-Orient et la diffusion de la philosophie et de l'art en Asie du Sud-Est. L'Empire Gupta, l'Empire Pala, la dynastie Chandra et la dynastie Sena étaient les derniers royaumes du milieu bengali préislamiques. L'Islam a été introduit pendant l'Empire Pala, grâce au commerce avec le Califat Abbaside,(18) mais à la suite des conquêtes ghurides menées par Bakhtiyar Khalji, de l'établissement du sultanat de Delhi et de la prédication de Shah Jalāl dans le nord-est, il s'est répandu dans toute la région. En 1576, le riche sultanat du Bengale fut absorbé par l'empire moghol, mais son règne fut brièvement interrompu par l'empire Suri. Le Bengale moghol, d'une valeur de 12% du PIB mondial (fin du XVIIe siècle), a agité la proto-industrialisation, a montré des signes d'une possible révolution industrielle,(19)(20) établi des relations avec la Compagnie néerlandaise et anglaise des Indes orientales, et est également devenu la base de la guerre anglo-moghole. Après la mort de l'empereur Aurangzeb Alamgir et du gouverneur Shaista Khan au début des années 1700, la région est devenue un État semi-indépendant sous les Nawabs du Bengale. Siraj Ud-Daulah, le dernier des Nawabs du Bengale, fut vaincu par la Compagnie britannique des Indes orientales à la bataille de Plassey en 1757 et toute la région fut conquise par les Britanniques en 1793.(21)
Après le déclin de la présidence britannique du Bengale, les frontières du Bangladesh moderne ont été établies avec la partition du Bengale en août 1947 au moment de la partition de l'Inde, lorsque la région est devenue le Pakistan oriental en tant que partie du Dominion nouvellement formé du Pakistan.(22) Plus tard, la montée d'un mouvement pro-démocratie a prospéré sur le nationalisme bengali et l'autodétermination, conduisant à la guerre de libération et a finalement abouti à l'émergence du Bangladesh en tant que nation souveraine et indépendante en 1971.
Les Bengalis représentent 98% de la population totale du Bangladesh,(4)(5) ce qui en fait l’un des États les plus ethniquement homogènes au monde.(23) La grande population musulmane du Bangladesh en fait le troisième plus grand pays à majorité musulmane.(24) La constitution déclare le Bangladesh un État laïc, tout en établissant l'islam en tant que religion d'État.(25) En tant que puissance moyenne dans la politique mondiale,(26) Le Bangladesh est une démocratie parlementaire et une république constitutionnelle unitaire suivant le système de gouvernance de Westminster. Le pays est divisé en huit divisions administratives et soixante-quatre districts. Bien que le pays continue de faire face aux défis de la crise des réfugiés rohingyas,(27)la corruption,(28) et les effets néfastes du changement climatique,(29) Le Bangladesh est l'une des économies émergentes et à la pointe de la croissance du monde, et est également l'un des pays Next Eleven, avec le taux de croissance du PIB réel le plus rapide d'Asie.(30) L'économie bangladaise est la 39e au monde en termes de PIB nominal et la 29e en termes de PPA.
L'origine exacte du mot Bangla est inconnue, bien qu'on pense qu'elle provienne de "Vanga", un ancien royaume et une division géopolitique sur le delta du Gange dans le sous-continent indien. Il était situé dans le sud du Bengale, la région centrale comprenant l'actuel sud-ouest du Bangladesh et le sud du Bengale occidental (Inde). Dans la tradition abrahamique, on dit qu'il est venu de "Bung / Bang", un fils de Hind (le fils de Hām, qui était un fils de Noé) qui a colonisé la région pour la première fois.(31) Le suffixe "Al" vint s'y ajouter du fait que les anciens rajas de cette terre élevaient des monticules de terre de 10 pieds de haut et 20 de large dans les basses terres au pied des collines que l'on appelait «al». De ce suffixe ajouté au Bung, le nom Bengal est né et a gagné de la monnaie ".(32)(33) Ce point de vue est pris en charge dans Ghulam Husain Salim's Riyaz-us-Salatin.(31)
D'autres théories pointent vers une tribu proto-dravidienne de l'âge du bronze,(34) le mot austrique "Bonga" (dieu du soleil),(35)(source auto-publiée?) et le royaume de Vanga de l'âge du fer.(35) Le suffixe indo-aryen Desh est dérivé du mot sanskrit deśha, qui signifie «terre» ou «pays». D'où le nom Bangladesh signifie «Pays du Bengale» ou «Pays du Bengale».(36)
Le terme Bangla désigne à la fois la région du Bengale et la langue bengali. La première utilisation connue du terme est la plaque Nesari en 805 après JC. Le terme Vangaladesa se trouve dans les archives du sud de l'Inde du XIe siècle.(36)(37) Le terme a acquis un statut officiel pendant le Sultanat du Bengale au 14ème siècle.(38)(39)Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah s'est proclamé le premier "Shah de Bangala" en 1342.(38) Le mot Bangla est devenu le nom le plus courant de la région pendant la période islamique. Les Portugais ont appelé la région Bengala au 16ème siècle.(40) Le terme Bangladesh était souvent écrit en deux mots, Bangla Desh, dans le passé. À partir des années 1950, les nationalistes bengalis ont utilisé le terme lors de rassemblements politiques au Pakistan oriental.
Périodes anciennes et médiévales
Les outils de l'âge de pierre trouvés au Bangladesh indiquent une habitation humaine depuis plus de 20000 ans,(41) et les vestiges des colonies de l'âge du cuivre remontent à 4 000 ans.(41) L'ancien Bengale a été colonisé par les austroasiatiques, les tibéto-birmans, les dravidiens et les indo-aryens lors de vagues consécutives de migration.(41)(42) Des preuves archéologiques confirment qu'au deuxième millénaire avant notre ère, les communautés rizicoles habitaient la région. Au 11ème siècle, les gens vivaient dans des logements systématiquement alignés, enterraient leurs morts et fabriquaient des ornements en cuivre et de la poterie noire et rouge.(43) Les fleuves Gange, Brahmapoutre et Meghna étaient des artères naturelles de communication et de transport,(43) et les estuaires du golfe du Bengale permettaient le commerce maritime. Le début de l'âge du fer a vu le développement de l'armement métallique, de la monnaie, de l'agriculture et de l'irrigation.(43) Les principaux établissements urbains formés à la fin de l'âge du fer, au milieu du premier millénaire avant notre ère,(44) lorsque la culture des articles polis noirs du Nord s'est développée.(45) En 1879, Alexander Cunningham a identifié Mahasthangarh comme la capitale du royaume de Pundra mentionné dans le Rigveda.(46)(47) La plus ancienne inscription au Bangladesh a été trouvée à Mahasthangarh et date du 3ème siècle avant notre ère. Il est écrit dans le script Brahmi.(48)
Les archives grecques et romaines de l'ancien royaume de Gangaridai, qui (selon la légende) ont dissuadé l'invasion d'Alexandre le Grand, sont liées à la ville fortifiée de Wari-Bateshwar.(49)(50) Le site est également identifié avec le centre commercial prospère de Souanagoura répertorié sur la carte du monde de Ptolémée.(51) Les géographes romains ont noté un grand port maritime dans le sud-est du Bengale, correspondant à la région actuelle de Chittagong.(52)
Les anciens États bouddhistes et hindous qui dirigeaient le Bangladesh comprenaient les royaumes Vanga, Samatata et Pundra, les empires Mauryan et Gupta, la dynastie Varman, le royaume de Shashanka, les dynasties Khadga et Candra, l'empire Pala, la dynastie Sena, le royaume Harikela et le Deva dynastie. Ces États avaient des monnaies, des services bancaires, des transports, de l'architecture et des arts bien développés, et les anciennes universités de Bikrampur et de Mainamati accueillaient des universitaires et des étudiants d'autres régions d'Asie. Xuanzang de Chine était un érudit renommé qui résidait au Somapura Mahavihara (le plus grand monastère de l'Inde ancienne), et Atisa voyagea du Bengale au Tibet pour prêcher le bouddhisme. La forme la plus ancienne de la langue bengali a commencé à émerger au cours du huitième siècle. Les premiers explorateurs et missionnaires musulmans sont arrivés au Bengale à la fin du premier millénaire de notre ère. La conquête islamique du Bengale a commencé avec les 1204 expéditions ghurides dirigées par Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji.(43) Le Bengale a ensuite été gouverné par le sultanat de Delhi pendant un siècle par des gouverneurs des dynasties mamelouk, balban et tughluq.
Sultanat du Bengale
Par la suite, le Sultanat indépendant du Bengale a été établi par les gouverneurs rebelles en 1352. Au cours de leur règne, le Bengale a été transformé en une superpuissance islamique cosmopolite et est devenu une grande nation commerçante du monde, souvent désignée par les Européens comme le pays le plus riche avec lequel commercer.(53) Les maisons dirigeantes du sultanat comprenaient les dynasties Ilyas Shahi, Ganesha, Hussain Shahi, Suri et Karrani, et l'époque a vu l'introduction d'une architecture de mosquée distincte.(54) et la monnaie du tangka.(citation requise) La région d'Arakan a été placée sous l'hégémonie bengali. Le sultanat du Bengale a été visité par les explorateurs Ibn Battuta, l'amiral Zheng He et Niccolo De Conti. Les Khorasanis qualifiaient la terre d '«enfer plein de cadeaux», en raison de son climat insupportable mais de l'abondance de ses richesses.(55)(citation complète nécessaire) À la fin du XVIe siècle, les Baro-Bhuyan (une confédération d'aristocrates musulmans et hindous) dirigeaient le Bengale oriental; son chef était le Mansad-e-Ala,(56) un titre détenu par Isa Khan et son fils Musa Khan. La dynastie Khan est considérée comme des héros locaux pour avoir résisté aux invasions de l'Inde du Nord avec leurs marines fluviales.
L'Empire moghol contrôlait le Bengale au 17e siècle. Sous le règne de l'empereur Akbar, le calendrier agraire bengali a été réformé pour faciliter la collecte des impôts. Les Mughals ont établi Dhaka comme une ville fortifiée et une métropole commerciale, et c'était la capitale du Bengale Subah pendant 75 ans.(57) En 1666, les Moghols expulsèrent les Arakanais de Chittagong. Mughal Bengal a attiré les commerçants étrangers pour ses produits de mousseline et de soie, et les Arméniens étaient une communauté marchande notable. Une colonie portugaise à Chittagong a prospéré dans le sud-est, et une colonie hollandaise à Rajshahi existait dans le nord. Le Bengale représentait 40% de l'ensemble des importations néerlandaises en provenance d'Asie; dont plus de 50% de textiles et environ 80% de soies.(58) Le Bengal Subah, décrit comme le Paradis des Nations,(59) était la province la plus riche de l'empire et l'un des principaux exportateurs mondiaux,(58)(60)(61) un centre notable d'industries mondiales telles que la mousseline, les textiles de coton, la soie,(43) et la construction navale.(62) Ses citoyens jouissaient également de l'un des niveaux de vie les plus élevés au monde.(63)(64)
Au XVIIIe siècle, les Nawabs du Bengale sont devenus la région de facto dirigeants. Le titre de la règle est populairement connu sous le nom de Nawab du Bengale, du Bihar et de l'Orissa, étant donné que le royaume du Bengali Nawab englobait une grande partie du sous-continent oriental. Les Nawabs ont forgé des alliances avec des sociétés coloniales européennes, ce qui a rendu la région relativement prospère au début du siècle. Le Bengale représentait 50% du produit intérieur brut de l'empire. L'économie bengali reposait sur la fabrication textile, la construction navale, la production de salpêtre, l'artisanat et les produits agricoles. Le Bengale était une plaque tournante majeure du commerce international – les textiles de soie et de coton du Bengale étaient portés en Europe, au Japon, en Indonésie et en Asie centrale.(60)(43) La production annuelle de la construction navale du Bengali était de 223 250 tonnes, comparativement à une production de 23 061 tonnes dans les dix-neuf colonies d'Amérique du Nord. La construction navale bengali s'est avérée plus avancée que la construction navale européenne avant la révolution industrielle. Le pont affleurant des navires de riz bengali a ensuite été reproduit dans la construction navale européenne pour remplacer la conception du pont à gradins pour les coques de navires.(64)(65)(66)(67)(62)(68)
La population musulmane bengali était le produit de la conversion et de l'évolution religieuse,(43) et leurs croyances préislamiques comprenaient des éléments du bouddhisme et de l'hindouisme. La construction de mosquées, d'académies islamiques (madrasas) et de monastères soufis (khanqahs) a facilité la conversion, et la cosmologie islamique a joué un rôle important dans le développement de la société musulmane bengalie. Les chercheurs ont émis l'hypothèse que les Bengalis étaient attirés par l'islam par son ordre social égalitaire, qui contrastait avec le système des castes hindoues.(69) L'un des prédicateurs musulmans notables était Shah Jalal qui est arrivé dans la région de Sylhet en 1303 avec de nombreux autres disciples pour prêcher la religion au peuple.(citation requise) Au 15ème siècle, les poètes musulmans écrivaient en bengali. Parmi les poètes musulmans bengalis médiévaux notables figuraient Daulat Qazi, Abdul Hakim et Alaol. Les cultes syncrétiques, comme le mouvement Baul, ont émergé en marge de la société musulmane bengali. La culture persane était importante au Bengale, où des villes comme Sonargaon sont devenues les centres les plus à l'est de l'influence perse.(70)(71)
Les Moghols avaient aidé la France pendant la guerre de Sept Ans à éviter de perdre la région du Bengale au profit des Britanniques. Cependant, dans la bataille de Plassey, la Compagnie britannique des Indes orientales a enregistré une victoire décisive sur le Nawab du Bengale et ses Français(72) alliés le 22 juin 1757, sous la direction de Robert Clive. La bataille suivit l'ordre de Siraj-ud-Daulah, le dernier Nawab indépendant du Bengale, aux Anglais d'arrêter l'extension de leur fortification. Robert Clive a soudoyé Mir Jafar, le commandant en chef de l'armée du Nawab, et lui a également promis de faire de lui le Nawab du Bengale, ce qui l'a aidé à vaincre Siraj-ud-Daulah et à capturer Calcutta.(73)
La bataille a consolidé la présence de l'entreprise au Bengale, qui s'est ensuite étendue à une grande partie de l'Inde au cours des cent prochaines années. Bien qu'ils aient perdu le contrôle du Bengale Subah, Shah Alam II a été impliqué dans la guerre du Bengale qui s'est terminée une fois de plus par leur défaite à la bataille de Buxar.(74)
Deux décennies après le débarquement de Vasco Da Gama à Calicut, le sultanat du Bengale autorisa l'établissement de la colonie portugaise de Chittagong en 1528. Elle devint la première enclave coloniale européenne au Bengale. Le sultanat du Bengale a perdu le contrôle de Chittagong en 1531 après la déclaration d'indépendance d'Arakan et le royaume établi de Mrauk U.
Les navires portugais de Goa et Malacca ont commencé à fréquenter la ville portuaire au 16ème siècle. Le cartaz Le système a été introduit et exigeait que tous les navires de la région achètent des licences de commerce naval auprès de la colonie portugaise. Le commerce des esclaves et la piraterie ont prospéré. L'île voisine de Sandwip a été conquise en 1602. En 1615, la marine portugaise a vaincu une flotte conjointe de la Compagnie néerlandaise des Indes orientales et de l'Arakan près de la côte de Chittagong.
Le sultan du Bengale après 1534 a permis aux Portugais de créer plusieurs colonies à Chitagoong, Satgaon,(75) Hughli, Bandel et Dhaka. En 1535, les Portugais s'allièrent au sultan du Bengale et tinrent le col de Teliagarhi à 280 km de Patna, aidant ainsi à éviter l'invasion des Moghols. À ce moment-là, plusieurs produits provenaient de Patna et les Portugais y envoyèrent des commerçants, y installant une usine depuis 1580.(76)
Au moment où les Portugais ont assuré l'aide militaire contre Sher Shah, les Moghols avaient déjà commencé à conquérir le sultanat de Ghiyasuddin Mahmud.(77)
Le Bengale était la région la plus riche du sous-continent indien et son économie proto-industrielle montrait des signes de révolution industrielle.(78)
La région a été qualifiée de "paradis des nations",(79) et le niveau de vie et les salaires réels de ses habitants étaient parmi les plus élevés au monde.(64) Il représentait à lui seul 40% des importations néerlandaises hors du continent européen.(58)(65) La partie orientale du Bengale était mondialement proéminente dans des industries telles que la fabrication textile et la construction navale,(19) et c'était un exportateur majeur de textiles de soie et de coton, d'acier, de salpêtre et de produits agricoles et industriels dans le monde.(65)
En 1666, le gouvernement moghol du Bengale dirigé par le vice-roi Shaista Khan a décidé de reprendre Chittagong du contrôle portugais et arakanais. La guerre anglo-moghole a été observée en 1686.(80)(81)
Après la bataille de Plassey en 1757, le Bengale fut la première région du sous-continent indien conquise par la British East India Company. La compagnie a formé la présidence de Fort William, qui a administré la région jusqu'en 1858. Un aspect notable de la règle de compagnie était le règlement permanent, qui a établi le système féodal de zamindari.(82) Le pillage du Bengale a directement contribué à la révolution industrielle en Grande-Bretagne, avec le capital amassé du Bengale utilisé pour investir dans des industries britanniques telles que le textile et augmenter considérablement la richesse britannique, tout en conduisant en même temps à la désindustrialisation de l'industrie textile traditionnelle du Bengale.(83)(20) La mauvaise gestion économique a directement conduit à la famine du Grand Bengale de 1770, qui aurait causé la mort d'environ 10 millions de personnes,(84) un tiers de la population de la région touchée est morte de faim.(85) Plusieurs rébellions ont éclaté au début du XIXe siècle (dont une dirigée par Titumir), mais la domination britannique a remplacé la classe dirigeante musulmane. Un religieux islamique conservateur, Haji Shariatullah, a cherché à renverser les Britanniques en propageant le revivalisme islamique.(86) Plusieurs villes du Bangladesh ont participé à la rébellion indienne de 1857(87) et a prêté allégeance au dernier empereur moghol, Bahadur Shah Zafar, qui a ensuite été exilé en Birmanie voisine.
Le défi posé à la domination de l'entreprise par l'échec de la mutinerie indienne a conduit à la création de l'Empire britannique des Indes en tant que colonie de la Couronne. Les Britanniques ont créé plusieurs écoles, collèges et une université dans l'actuel Bangladesh. Syed Ahmed Khan et Ram Mohan Roy ont promu l'éducation moderne et libérale dans le sous-continent, inspirant le mouvement Aligarh(88) et la Renaissance du Bengale.(89) À la fin du XIXe siècle, des romanciers, des réformateurs sociaux et des féministes ont émergé de la société musulmane bengalie. L'électricité et les réseaux d'eau municipaux ont été introduits dans les années 1890; des cinémas ont ouvert dans de nombreuses villes au début du XXe siècle. L'économie des plantations du Bengale oriental était importante pour l'Empire britannique, en particulier son jute et son thé. Les Britanniques ont établi des ports fluviaux exempts de taxes, tels que le port de Narayanganj, et de grands ports maritimes comme le port de Chittagong.
Le Bengale avait le produit intérieur brut le plus élevé de l'Inde britannique.(90) Le Bengale a été l'une des premières régions d'Asie à disposer d'un chemin de fer. Le premier chemin de fer de l'actuel Bangladesh a été mis en service en 1862.(91) En comparaison, le Japon a vu son premier chemin de fer en 1872. Les principales compagnies de chemin de fer de la région étaient le chemin de fer du Bengale oriental et le chemin de fer de l'Assam Bengal. Les chemins de fer ont concurrencé le transport maritime pour devenir l'un des principaux moyens de transport.(92)
Soutenu par l'aristocratie musulmane, le gouvernement britannique a créé la province du Bengale oriental et de l'Assam en 1905; la nouvelle province a reçu des investissements accrus dans l'éducation, les transports et l'industrie.(93) Cependant, la première partition du Bengale a créé un tollé à Calcutta et au Congrès national indien. En réponse au nationalisme hindou croissant, la All India Muslim League a été formée à Dhaka lors de la conférence éducative All India Muhammadan de 1906. Le gouvernement britannique a réorganisé les provinces en 1912, réunissant le Bengale oriental et le Bengale occidental et faisant de l'Assam une deuxième province.
Le Raj a tardé à autoriser l'autonomie dans le sous-continent colonial. Il a établi le Conseil législatif du Bengale en 1862, et la représentation indigène bengali du conseil a augmenté au début du XXe siècle. La Ligue musulmane provinciale du Bengale a été créée en 1913 pour défendre les droits civils des musulmans bengalis dans un cadre constitutionnel. Au cours des années 1920, la ligue a été divisée en factions soutenant le mouvement Khilafat et favorisant la coopération avec les Britanniques pour parvenir à l'autonomie. Des segments de l'élite bengali ont soutenu les forces laïques de Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.(94) En 1929, la All Bengal Tenants Association a été formée au sein du Conseil législatif du Bengale pour contrer l'influence de la gentry foncière hindoue, et les mouvements d'indépendance indienne et pakistanais se sont renforcés au début du XXe siècle. Après les réformes Morley-Minto et l'ère de la diarchie dans les législatures de l'Inde britannique, le gouvernement britannique a promis une autonomie provinciale limitée en 1935. L'Assemblée législative du Bengale, la plus grande assemblée législative de l'Inde britannique, a été créée en 1937.
Bien qu'il ait remporté la majorité des sièges en 1937, le Congrès du Bengale a boycotté la législature. A. K. Fazlul Huq, du parti Krishak Praja, a été élu premier Premier ministre du Bengale. En 1940, Huq a soutenu la résolution de Lahore, qui envisageait des États indépendants dans les régions à majorité musulmane du nord-ouest et de l'est du sous-continent. Le premier ministère de Huq, une coalition avec la Ligue musulmane provinciale du Bengale, a duré jusqu'en 1941; il a été suivi par une coalition Huq avec le Hindu Mahasabha qui a duré jusqu'en 1943. Huq a été remplacé par Khawaja Nazimuddin, qui a lutté contre les effets de la campagne de Birmanie, la famine du Bengale de 1943, qui a tué jusqu'à 3 millions de personnes,(95) et le mouvement Quit India. En 1946, la Ligue musulmane provinciale du Bengale remporta les élections provinciales, remportant 113 des 250 sièges de l'assemblée (le plus grand mandat de la Ligue musulmane en Inde britannique). H. S. Suhrawardy, qui a fait un dernier effort futile pour un Bengale uni en 1946, était le dernier premier ministre du Bengale.
Partition du Bengale (1947)
Le 3 juin 1947, le plan Mountbatten décrivait la partition de l'Inde britannique. Le 20 juin, l'Assemblée législative du Bengale s'est réunie pour décider de la partition du Bengale. Lors de la réunion conjointe préliminaire, il a été décidé (120 voix contre 90) que si la province restait unie, elle devrait rejoindre l'Assemblée constituante du Pakistan. Lors d'une réunion séparée des législateurs du Bengale occidental, il a été décidé (58 voix contre 21) que la province devrait être divisée et que le Bengale occidental devrait rejoindre l'Assemblée constituante de l'Inde. Lors d'une autre réunion des législateurs du Bengale oriental, il a été décidé (106 voix contre 35) que la province ne serait pas divisée et (107 voix contre 34) que le Bengale oriental devrait rejoindre l'Assemblée constituante du Pakistan si le Bengale était partitionné.(96) Le 6 juillet, la région de Sylhet en Assam a voté lors d'un référendum pour rejoindre le Bengale oriental.
Cyril Radcliffe a été chargé de tracer les frontières du Pakistan et de l'Inde, et la ligne Radcliffe a établi les frontières du Bangladesh actuel.
Union avec le Pakistan
Le Dominion du Pakistan a été créé le 14 août 1947. Le Bengale oriental, avec Dhaka comme capitale, était la province la plus peuplée de la fédération pakistanaise de 1947 (dirigée par le gouverneur général Muhammad Ali Jinnah, qui a promis la liberté de religion et la démocratie laïque dans le nouveau Etat).(97)(98) Le Bengale oriental était également la province la plus cosmopolite du Pakistan, où vivent des peuples de confessions, de cultures et de groupes ethniques différents. La partition a donné des opportunités économiques accrues aux Bengalis de l'Est, produisant une population urbaine dans les années 1950.(99)(100)
Khawaja Nazimuddin était le premier ministre en chef du Bengale oriental avec Frederick Chalmers Bourne son gouverneur. La Ligue musulmane de tout le Pakistan Awami a été formée en 1949. En 1950, l'Assemblée législative du Bengale oriental a promulgué une réforme agraire, abolissant la colonie permanente et le système zamindari.(101) Le mouvement de la langue bengali de 1952 a été le premier signe de friction entre les ailes géographiquement séparées du pays. La Ligue musulmane Awami a été rebaptisée la Ligue Awami plus laïque en 1953.(102) La première assemblée constituante a été dissoute en 1954; cela a été contesté par son orateur du Bengali oriental, Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan. La coalition du Front uni a balayé la Ligue musulmane dans une victoire écrasante aux élections législatives de 1954 au Bengali oriental. L'année suivante, le Bengale oriental a été rebaptisé Pakistan oriental dans le cadre du programme One Unit et la province est devenue un élément vital de l'Organisation du Traité de l'Asie du Sud-Est.
Le Pakistan a adopté sa première constitution en 1956. Trois Bengalis étaient son Premier ministre jusqu'en 1957: Nazimuddin, Mohammad Ali de Bogra et Suhrawardy. Aucun des trois n'a terminé son mandat et n'a démissionné de ses fonctions. L'armée pakistanaise a imposé le régime militaire en 1958 et Ayub Khan a été l'homme fort du pays pendant 11 ans. La répression politique s'est intensifiée après le coup d'État. Khan a introduit une nouvelle constitution en 1962, remplaçant le système parlementaire pakistanais par un système présidentiel et gouvernemental (basé sur la sélection des collèges électoraux) connu sous le nom de démocratie de base. En 1962, Dhaka devint le siège de l'Assemblée nationale du Pakistan, un mouvement considéré comme apaisant le nationalisme bengali croissant.(103) Le gouvernement pakistanais a construit le controversé barrage de Kaptai, déplaçant le peuple Chakma de sa patrie indigène dans les Chittagong Hill Tracts.(104) Lors de l'élection présidentielle de 1965, Fatima Jinnah a perdu contre Ayub Khan malgré le soutien de l'alliance de l'opposition combinée (qui comprenait la Ligue Awami).(105) La guerre indo-pakistanaise de 1965 a bloqué les liaisons de transport transfrontalières avec l'Inde voisine dans ce qui est décrit comme une seconde partition.(106) En 1966, le chef de la Ligue Awami, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a annoncé un mouvement en six points pour une démocratie parlementaire fédérale.
According to senior World Bank officials, Pakistan practised extensive economic discrimination against East Pakistan: greater government spending on West Pakistan, financial transfers from East to West Pakistan, the use of East Pakistan's foreign-exchange surpluses to finance West Pakistani imports, and refusal by the central government to release funds allocated to East Pakistan because the previous spending had been under budget;(107) though East Pakistan generated 70 percent of Pakistan's export revenue with its jute and tea.(108) 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.(109) Cultural discrimination also prevailed, making East Pakistan forge a distinct political identity.(110) Pakistan banned Bengali literature and music in state media, including the works of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.(111) A cyclone devastated the coast of East Pakistan in 1970, killing an estimated 500,000 people,(112) and the central government was criticised for its poor response.(113) After the December 1970 elections, calls for the independence of East Bengal became louder; the Bengali-nationalist Awami League won 167 of 169 East Pakistani seats in the National Assembly. The League claimed the right to form a government and develop a new constitution but was strongly opposed by the Pakistani military and the Pakistan Peoples Party (led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto).
War of Independence
The Bengali population was angered when Prime Minister-elect Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was prevented from taking the office.(114)Civil disobedience erupted across East Pakistan, with calls for independence.(115) Mujib addressed a pro-independence rally of nearly 2 million people in Dacca (as Dhaka used to be spelled in English) on 7 March 1971, where he said, "This time the struggle is for our freedom. This time the struggle is for our independence." The flag of Bangladesh was raised for the first time on 23 March, Pakistan's Republic Day.(116) Later, on 25 March late evening, the Pakistani military junta led by Yahya Khan launched a sustained military assault on East Pakistan under the code name of Operation Searchlight.(117)(118) The Pakistan Army arrested Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and flew him away to Karachi.(119)(120)(121) However, before his arrest Mujib proclaimed the Independence of Bangladesh at midnight on 26 March which led the Bangladesh Liberation War to break out within hours. The Pakistan Army continued to massacre Bengali students, intellectuals, politicians, civil servants and military defectors in the 1971 Bangladesh genocide, while the Mukti Bahini and other Bengali guerrilla forces created strong resistance throughout the country.(122) During the war, an estimated 0.3 to 3 million people were killed and several million people took shelter in neighbouring India.(123) Global public opinion turned against Pakistan as news of the atrocities spread;(124) the Bangladesh movement was supported by prominent political and cultural figures in the West, including Ted Kennedy, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Victoria Ocampo and André Malraux.(125)(126)(127)The Concert for Bangladesh was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City to raise funds for Bangladeshi refugees. The first major benefit concert in history, it was organised by Harrison and Indian Bengali sitarist Ravi Shankar.(128)
During the Bangladesh Liberation War, Bengali nationalists declared independence and formed the Mukti Bahini (the Bangladeshi National Liberation Army). The Provisional Government of Bangladesh was established on 17 April 1971, converting the 469 elected members of the Pakistani national assembly and East Pakistani provincial assembly into the Constituent Assembly of Bangladesh. The provisional government issued a proclamation that became the country's interim constitution and declared "equality, human dignity, and social justice" as its fundamental principles. Due to Mujib's detention, Syed Nazrul Islam took over the role of Acting President, while Tajuddin Ahmad was named Bangladesh's first Prime Minister. The Mukti Bahini and other Bengali guerrilla forces formed the Bangladesh Forces which became the military wing of the provisional government. Led by General M. A. G. Osmani and eleven sector commanders, the forces held the countryside during the war and conducted wide-ranging guerrilla operations against Pakistani forces. As a result, almost the entire country except the capital Dacca was liberated by Bangladesh Forces by late November.
This led the Pakistan Army to attack neighbouring India's western front on 2 December 1971. India retaliated in both the western and eastern fronts. With a joint ground advance by Bangladeshi and Indian forces, coupled with air strikes by both India and the small Bangladeshi air contingent, the capital Dacca was liberated from Pakistani occupation in mid-December. During the last phase of the war, both the Soviet Union and the United States dispatched naval forces to the Bay of Bengal in a Cold War standoff. The nine month long war ended with the surrender of Pakistani armed forces to the Bangladesh-India Allied Forces on 16 December 1971.(129)(130) Under international pressure, Pakistan released Rahman from imprisonment on 8 January 1972 and he was flown by the British Royal Air Force to a million-strong homecoming in Dacca.(131)(132) Remaining Indian troops were withdrawn by 12 March 1972, three months after the war ended.(133)
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.(134)
People's Republic of Bangladesh
First parliamentary era
The constituent assembly adopted the constitution of Bangladesh on 4 November 1972, establishing a secular, multiparty parliamentary democracy. The new constitution included references to socialism, and Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman nationalised major industries in 1972.(135) A major reconstruction and rehabilitation program was launched. The Awami League won the country's first general election in 1973, securing a large majority in the "Jatiyo Sangshad", the national parliament. Bangladesh joined the Commonwealth of Nations, the UN, the OIC and the Non-Aligned Movement, and Rahman strengthened ties with India. Amid growing agitation by the opposition National Awami Party and Jashod, he became increasingly authoritarian. Rahman amended the constitution, giving himself more emergency powers (including the suspension of fundamental rights). The Bangladesh famine of 1974 also worsened the political situation.(136)
Presidential era and coups (1975–1991)
Zia and Ershad were the country's strongmen between 1975–1981 and 1982–1990 respectively
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.(137) Tajuddin Ahmad, the nation's first prime minister, and four other independence leaders were assassinated on 4 November 1975. Chief Justice Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem was installed as president by the military on 6 November 1975. Bangladesh was governed by a military junta led by the Chief Martial Law Administrator for three years. In 1977, the army chief Ziaur Rahman became president. Rahman reinstated multiparty politics, privatised industries and newspapers, established BEPZA and held the country's second general election in 1979. A semi-presidential system evolved, with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) governing until 1982. Rahman was assassinated in 1981, and was succeeded by Vice-President Abdus Sattar. Sattar received 65.5 percent of the vote in the 1981 presidential election.(138)
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 latter was boycotted by the opposition BNP and Awami League. Ershad pursued administrative decentralisation, dividing the country into 64 districts, and pushed Parliament to make Islam the state religion in 1988.(139) A 1990 mass uprising forced him to resign, and Chief Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed led the country's first caretaker government as part of the transition to parliamentary rule.(138)
Current parliamentary era (1991–present)
After the 1991 general election, the twelfth amendment to the constitution restored the parliamentary republic and Begum Khaleda Zia became Bangladesh's first female prime minister. Zia, a former first lady, led a BNP government from 1990 to 1996. In 1991 her finance minister, Saifur Rahman, began a major program to liberalise the Bangladeshi economy.(136)
In February 1996, a general election was held which was boycotted by all opposition parties giving a 300 (of 300) seat victory for BNP. This election was deemed illegitimate, so a system of a caretaker government was introduced to oversee the transfer of power and a new election was held in June 1996, overseen by Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman, the first Chief Adviser of Bangladesh. The Awami League won the seventh general election, marking its leader Sheikh Hasina's first term as Prime Minister. Hasina's first term was highlighted by the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord and a Ganges water-sharing treaty with India. The second caretaker government, led by Chief Adviser Justice Latifur Rahman, oversaw the 2001 Bangladeshi general election which returned Begum Zia and the BNP to power.
The second Zia administration saw improved economic growth, but political turmoil gripped the country between 2004 and 2006. A radical Islamist militant group, the JMB, carried out a series of terror attacks. The evidence of staging these attacks by these extremist groups have been found in the investigation, and hundreds of suspected members were detained in numerous security operations in 2006, including the two chiefs of the JMB, Shaykh Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai, who were executed with other top leaders in March 2007, bringing the militant group to an end.(142)
In 2006, at the end of the term of the BNP administration, there was widespread political unrest related to the handover of power to a caretaker government. As such, the Bangladeshi military urged President Iajuddin Ahmed to impose a state of emergency and a caretaker government, led by technocrat Fakhruddin Ahmed, was installed.(136) Emergency rule lasted for two years, during which time investigations into members of both Awami League and BNP were conducted, including their leaders Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia.(143)(144) In 2008 the ninth general election saw a return to power for Sheikh Hasina and the Awami League led Grand Alliance in a landslide victory. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled martial law illegal and affirmed secular principles in the constitution. The following year, the Awami League abolished the caretaker-government system.
Citing the lack of caretaker government the 2014 general election was boycotted by the BNP and other opposition parties, giving the Awami League a decisive victory. The election was controversial with reports of violence and an alleged crackdown on the opposition in the run-up to the election and 153 seats (of 300) went uncontested in the election. Despite the controversy, Hasina went on to form a government that saw her return for a third term as Prime Minister. Due to strong domestic demand, Bangladesh emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.(145) However, human rights abuses increased under the Hasina administration, particularly enforced disappearances. Between 2016 and 2017, an estimated 1 million Rohingya refugees took shelter in southeastern Bangladesh amid a military crackdown in neighbouring Rakhine State, Myanmar.
In 2018, the country saw major movements for government quota reforms and road-safety. The 2018 Bangladeshi general election was marred by allegations of widespread vote rigging.(146) The Awami League won 259 out of 300 seats and the main opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front secured only 8 seats, with Sheikh Hasina becoming the longest-serving prime minister in Bangladeshi history.(147) Pro-democracy leader Dr. Kamal Hossain called for an annulment of the election result and for a new election to be held in a free and fair manner.(148) The election was also observed by European Union observers.(149)
Bangladesh is a small, lush country in South Asia; located on the Bay of Bengal. It is surrounded almost entirely by neighbouring India—and shares a small border with Myanmar to its southwest, thought it lies very close to Nepal, Bhutan, and China. The country is divided between three regions. Most of the country is dominated by the fertile Ganges Delta, the largest river delta in the world.(150) The northwest and central parts of the country are formed by the Madhupur and the Barind plateaus. The northeast and southeast are home to evergreen hill ranges.
The Ganges delta is formed by the confluence of the Ganges (local name Padma or Pôdda), Brahmaputra (Jamuna or Jomuna), and Meghna rivers and their respective tributaries. The Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna, finally flowing into the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh is called the "Land of Rivers";(151) as it is home to over 57 trans-boundary rivers. However, this, makes the resolution of water issues politically complicated, in most cases, as the country is a lower riparian state to India.(152)
Bangladesh is predominantly rich fertile flat land. Most of it is less than 12 m (39 ft) above sea level, and it is estimated that about 10% of its land would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by 1 m (3.3 ft).(153) 17% of the country is covered by forests and 12% is covered by hill systems. The country's haor wetlands are of significance to global environmental science.
In southeastern Bangladesh, experiments have been done since the 1960s to 'build with nature'. Construction of cross dams has induced a natural accretion of silt, creating new land. With Dutch funding, the Bangladeshi government began promoting the development of this new land in the late 1970s. The effort has become a multi-agency endeavour, building roads, culverts, embankments, cyclone shelters, toilets, and ponds, as well as distributing land to settlers.(154) Years of collaboration with donors and global experts in water resources management has enabled Bangladesh to formulate strategies to combat the impacts of climate change. In Sep 2018, Bangladesh Government approved Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, a combination of long-term strategies and subsequent interventions for ensuring long-term water and food security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability.(155) The formulation of the plan was led by the General Economics Division of the Ministry of Planning, and supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, bringing together cross-sectoral expertise from the Netherlands and Bangladesh.(156)
With an elevation of 1,064 m (3,491 ft), Saka Haphong (also known as Mowdok Mual) near the border with Myanmar, is claimed to be the highest peak of Bangladesh.(157) However, it is not yet widely recognised as the highest point of the country, and most sources give the honor to Keokradong.(7)
Bangladesh is divided into eight administrative divisions,(158)(7)(159) each named after their respective divisional headquarters: Barisal (officially Barishal(160)), Chittagong (officially Chattogram(160)), Dhaka, Khulna, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Sylhet.
Divisions are subdivided into districts (zila). There are 64 districts in Bangladesh, each further subdivided into upazila (subdistricts) or thana. The area within each police station, except for those in metropolitan areas, is divided into several unions, with each union consisting of multiple villages. In the metropolitan areas, police stations are divided into wards, which are further divided into mahallas.
There are no elected officials at the divisional or district levels, and the administration is composed only of government officials. Direct elections are held in each union (or ward) for a chairperson and a number of members. In 1997, a parliamentary act was passed to reserve three seats (out of 12) in every union for female candidates.(161)
Noakhali Bivag Chai
|Division||Capital||Established||Area (km2)(162)||2016 Population(162)||Density(162)|
|Barisal Division||Barisal||1 January 1993||13,225||9,145,000||691|
|Chittagong Division||Chittagong||1 January 1829||33,909||31,980,000||943|
|Comilla Division (Proposed)||Comilla|
|Faridpur Division (Proposed)||Faridpur|
|Dhaka Division||Dhaka||1 January 1829||20,594||40,171,000||1,951|
|Khulna Division||Khulna||1 October 1960||22,284||17,252,000||774|
|Mymensingh Division||Mymensingh||14 September 2015||10,584||12,368,000||1,169|
|Rajshahi Division||Rajshahi||1 January 1829||18,153||20,412,000||1,124|
|Rangpur Division||Rangpur||25 January 2010||16,185||17,602,000||1,088|
|Sylhet Division||Sylhet||1 August 1995||12,635||11,291,000||894|
Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladesh's climate is tropical with a mild winter from October to March, and a hot, humid summer from March to June. The country has never recorded an air temperature below 0 °C (32 °F), with a record low of 1.1 °C (34.0 °F) in the north west city of Dinajpur on 3 February 1905.(164) A warm and humid monsoon season lasts from June to October and supplies most of the country's rainfall.
Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores occur almost every year,(165) combined with the effects of deforestation, soil degradation and erosion. The cyclones of 1970 and 1991 were particularly devastating, the latter killing some 140,000 people.(166)
In September 1998, Bangladesh saw the most severe flooding in modern world history. As the Brahmaputra, the Ganges and Meghna spilt over and swallowed 300,000 houses, 9,700 km (6,000 mi) of road and 2,700 km (1,700 mi) of embankment, 1,000 people were killed and 30 million more were made homeless; 135,000 cattle were killed; 50 km2 (19 sq mi) of land were destroyed; and 11,000 km (6,800 mi) of roads were damaged or destroyed. Effectively, two-thirds of the country was underwater.
The severity of the flooding was attributed to unusually high monsoon rains, the shedding of equally unusually large amounts of melt water from the Himalayas, and the widespread cutting down of trees (that would have intercepted rain water) for firewood or animal husbandry.(167) As a result of various international and national level initiatives in disaster risk reduction, human toll and economic damage from floods and cyclones have come down over the years.(168) A similar country wide flood in 2007, which left five million people displaced, had a death toll around 500.(169)
Bangladesh is recognised to be one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change.(170)(171) Over the course of a century, 508 cyclones have affected the Bay of Bengal region, 17 percent of which are believed to have caused landfall in Bangladesh.(172) Natural hazards that come from increased rainfall, rising sea levels, and tropical cyclones are expected to increase as the climate changes, each seriously affecting agriculture, water and food security, human health, and shelter.(173) It is estimated that by 2050, a 3 feet rise in sea levels will inundate some 20 percent of the land and displace more than 30 million people.(174) To address the sea level rise threat in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 has been launched.(156)(175)
Bangladesh ratified the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on 3 May 1994.(176) As of 2014(update), the country was set to revise its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.(176)
Bangladesh is located in the Indomalayan realm, and lies within four terrestrial ecoregions: Lower Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests, Mizoram–Manipur–Kachin rain forests, Sundarbans freshwater swamp forests, and Sundarbans mangroves.(177) Its ecology includes a long sea coastline, numerous rivers and tributaries, lakes, wetlands, evergreen forests, semi evergreen forests, hill forests, moist deciduous forests, freshwater swamp forests and flat land with tall grass. The Bangladesh Plain is famous for its fertile alluvial soil which supports extensive cultivation. The country is dominated by lush vegetation, with villages often buried in groves of mango, jackfruit, bamboo, betel nut, coconut and date palm.(178) The country has up to 6000 species of plant life, including 5000 flowering plants.(179) Water bodies and wetland systems provide a habitat for many aquatic plants. Water lilies and lotuses grow vividly during the monsoon season. The country has 50 wildlife sanctuaries.
Bangladesh is home to much of the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest, covering an area of 6,000 km2 in the southwest littoral region. It is divided into three protected sanctuaries–the South, East and West zones. The forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The northeastern Sylhet region is home to haor wetlands, which is a unique ecosystem. It also includes tropical and subtropical coniferous forests, a freshwater swamp forest, and mixed deciduous forests. The southeastern Chittagong region covers evergreen and semi-evergreen hilly jungles. Central Bangladesh includes the plainland Sal forest running along the districts of Gazipur, Tangail and Mymensingh. St. Martin's Island is the only coral reef in the country.
Bangladesh has an abundance of wildlife in its forests, marshes, woodlands and hills.(178) The vast majority of animals dwell within a habitat of 150,000 km2.(180) The Bengal tiger, clouded leopard, saltwater crocodile, black panther and fishing cat are among the chief predators in the Sundarbans.(181) Northern and eastern Bangladesh is home to the Asian elephant, hoolock gibbon, Asian black bear and oriental pied hornbill.(182)
The Chital deer are widely seen in southwestern woodlands. Other animals include the black giant squirrel, capped langur, Bengal fox, sambar deer, jungle cat, king cobra, wild boar, mongooses, pangolins, pythons and water monitors. Bangladesh has one of the largest populations of Irrawaddy dolphins and Ganges dolphins. A 2009 census found 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins inhabiting the littoral rivers of Bangladesh.(183) The country has numerous species of amphibians (53), reptiles (139), marine reptiles (19) and marine mammals (5). It also has 628 species of birds.(184)
Several animals became extinct in Bangladesh during the last century, including the one-horned and two-horned rhinoceros and common peafowl. The human population is concentrated in urban areas, hence limiting deforestation to a certain extent. Rapid urban growth has threatened natural habitats. Although many areas are protected under law, a large portion of Bangladeshi wildlife is threatened by this growth. Furthermore, access to biocapacity in Bangladesh is low. In 2016, Bangladesh had 0.4 global hectares(185) of biocapacity per person within its territory, or about one fourth of the world average. In contrast, in 2016, they used 0.84 global hectares of biocapacity – their ecological footprint of consumption. As a result, Bangladesh is running a biocapacity deficit.(185)
The Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act was enacted in 1995. The government has designated several regions as Ecologically Critical Areas, including wetlands, forests, and rivers. The Sundarbans tiger project and the Bangladesh Bear Project are among the key initiatives to strengthen conservation.(182)
Politics and government
Bangladesh is a de jure representative democracy under its constitution, with a Westminster-style unitary parliamentary republic that has universal suffrage. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is invited to form a government every five years by the President. The President invites the leader of the largest party in parliament to become Prime Minister of the world's fifth-largest democracy.(186) Bangladesh experienced a two party system between 1990 and 2014, when the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) alternated in power. During this period, elections were managed by a neutral caretaker government. But the caretaker government was abolished by the Awami League government in 2011. The BNP boycotted the next election in 2014, arguing that it would not be fair without a caretaker government. The BNP-led Jatiya Oikya Front participated in the 2018 election and lost. The election saw many allegations of irregularities. Bangladesh has a prominent civil society since the colonial period. There are various special interest groups, including non-governmental organisations, human rights organisations, professional associations, chambers of commerce, employers' associations and trade unions.(187)
One of the key aspects of Bangladeshi politics is the "spirit of the liberation war" which refers to the ideals of the liberation movement during the Bangladesh Liberation War.(188) The Proclamation of Independence enunciated the values of "equality, human dignity and social justice". In 1972, the constitution included a bill of rights and declared "nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularity" as the principles of government policy. Socialism was later de-emphasised and neglected by successive governments. Bangladesh has a market-based economy. To many Bangladeshis, especially in the younger generation, the spirit of the liberation war is a vision for a society based on civil liberties, human rights, the rule of law and good governance.(189)
The Government of Bangladesh is overseen by a cabinet headed by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The tenure of a parliamentary government is five years. The Bangladesh Civil Service assists the cabinet in running the government. Recruitment for the civil service is based on a public examination. In theory, the civil service should be a meritocracy. But a disputed quota system coupled with politicisation and preference for seniority have allegedly affected the civil service's meritocracy.(190) The President of Bangladesh is the ceremonial head of state(191) whose powers include signing bills passed by parliament into law. The President is elected by the parliament and has a five-year term. Under the constitution, the president acts on the advice of the prime minister. The President is the Supreme Commander of the Bangladesh Armed Forces and the chancellor of all universities.
The Jatiya Sangshad (National Assembly) is the unicameral parliament. It has 350 Members of Parliament (MPs), including 300 MPs elected on the first past the post system and 50 MPs appointed to reserved seats for women's empowerment. Article 70 of the Constitution of Bangladesh forbids MPs from voting against their party. However, several laws proposed independently by MPs have been transformed into legislation, including the anti-torture law.(192) The parliament is presided over by the Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad, who is second in line to the president as per the constitution. There is also a Deputy Speaker. When a president is incapable of performing duties (i.e. due to illness), the Speaker steps in as Acting President and the Deputy Speaker becomes Acting Speaker. A recurring proposal suggests that the Deputy Speaker should be a member of the opposition.(193)
The Supreme Court of Bangladesh is the highest court of the land followed by the High Court and Appellate Divisions. The head of the judiciary is the Chief Justice of Bangladesh, who sits on the Supreme Court. The courts have wide latitude in judicial review and judicial precedent is supported by Article 111 of the constitution. The judiciary includes district and metropolitan courts, which are divided into civil and criminal courts. Due to a shortage of judges, the judiciary has a large backlog. The Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission is an independent body responsible for judicial appointments, salaries, and discipline.
Bangladesh's legal system is based on common law and its principal source of laws are acts of Parliament.(194) The Bangladesh Code includes a list of all laws in force in the country. The code begins in 1836 and most of its listed laws were crafted under the British Raj by the Bengal Legislative Council, the Bengal Legislative Assembly, the Eastern Bengal and Assam Legislative Council, the Imperial Legislative Council and the Parliament of the United Kingdom. One example is the 1860 Penal Code. From 1947 to 1971, laws were enacted by Pakistan's national assembly and the East Pakistani legislature. The Constituent Assembly of Bangladesh was the country's provisional parliament until 1973, when the first elected Jatiyo Sangshad (National Parliament) was sworn in. Although most of Bangladesh's laws were compiled in English, after a 1987 government directive laws are now primarily written in Bengali. While most of Bangladeshi law is secular; marriage, divorce, and inheritance are governed by Islamic, Hindu and Christian family law. The judiciary is often influenced by legal developments in the Commonwealth of Nations, such as the doctrine of legitimate expectation.
The Bangladesh Armed Forces have inherited the institutional framework of the British military and the British Indian Army.(195) It was formed in 1971 from the military regiments of East Pakistan. In 2018 the active personnel strength of the Bangladesh Army was around 157,500,(196) excluding the Air Force and the Navy (24,000).(197) In addition to traditional defence roles, the military has supported civil authorities in disaster relief and provided internal security during periods of political unrest. For many years, Bangladesh has been the world's largest contributor to UN peacekeeping forces. In February 2015, the country made major deployments to Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Golan Heights, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia and South Sudan.(198)
The Bangladesh Navy has the third-largest fleet of countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal, including guided-missile frigates, submarines, cutters and aircraft. The Bangladesh Air Force is equipped with several Russian multi-role fighter jets. Bangladesh cooperates defensively with the United States Armed Forces, participating in the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercises. Ties between the Bangladeshi and the Indian military exist with high-level visits by the military chiefs of both countries.(199)(200) Most of Bangladesh's military equipment comes from China.(201) In 2019, Bangladesh ratified the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.(202)
The first major intergovernmental organisation joined by Bangladesh was the Commonwealth of Nations in 1972. The country joined the United Nations in 1974, and has been elected twice to the UN Security Council. Ambassador Humayun Rashid Choudhury was elected president of the UN General Assembly in 1986. Bangladesh relies on multilateral diplomacy in the World Trade Organization. It is a major contributor to UN peacekeeping, providing 113,000 personnel to 54 UN missions in the Middle East, the Balkans, Africa and the Caribbean in 2014.(203)
In addition to membership in the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations, Bangladesh pioneered regional co-operation in South Asia. Bangladesh is a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), an organisation designed to strengthen relations and promote economic and cultural growth among its members. It has hosted several summits and two Bangladeshi diplomats were the organisation's secretary-general.
Bangladesh joined the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1973. It has hosted the summit of OIC foreign ministers, which addresses issues, conflicts and disputes affecting Muslim-majority countries. Bangladesh is a founding member of the Developing 8 Countries, which is a bloc of eight Muslim-majority republics.
The neighbouring country of Myanmar (Burma) was one of the first countries to recognise Bangladesh.(204) Despite common regional interests, Bangladesh-Myanmar relations have been strained by the Rohingya refugee crisis and the isolationist policies of the Myanmar military. In 2012, both countries came to terms at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea over maritime boundaries in the Bay of Bengal.(205) In 2016 and 2017, relations with Myanmar were strained once again as over 700,000 Rohingya refugees illegally entered Bangladesh fleeing persecution, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and other atrocities in Myanmar. The parliament, government, and civil society of Bangladesh have been at the forefront of international criticism against Myanmar for military operations against the Rohingya, which the United Nations has described as ethnic cleansing.(206)(207)
Bangladesh's most politically important bilateral relationship is with neighbouring India. In 2015, major Indian newspapers called Bangladesh a "trusted friend".(208) Bangladesh and India are South Asia's largest trading partners. The countries are collaborating in regional economic and infrastructure projects, such as a regional motor-vehicle agreement in eastern South Asia and a coastal shipping agreement in the Bay of Bengal. Indo-Bangladesh relations often emphasise a shared cultural heritage, democratic values and a history of support for Bangladeshi independence. Despite political goodwill, border killings of Bangladeshi civilians and the lack of a comprehensive water-sharing agreement for 54 trans-boundary rivers are major issues. In 2017, India joined Russia and China in refusing to condemn Myanmar's atrocities against the Rohingya, which contradicted with Bangladesh's demand for recognising Rohingya human rights.(209) However, the Indian air force delivered aid shipments for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.(210) The crackdown against cattle smuggling in India has also affected Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi beef and leather industries have seen increased prices due to the Indian BJP government's campaign against the export of beef and cattle skin.(211)
Pakistan and Bangladesh have a US$550 million trade relationship,(212) particularly in Pakistani cotton imports for the Bangladeshi textile industry. Although Bangladeshi and Pakistani businesses have invested in each other, diplomatic relations are strained because of Pakistani denial of the 1971 Bangladesh genocide. The execution of a Jamaat-e-Islami leader in 2013 on committing of war crimes during the liberation war was opposed in Pakistan and led to further strained ties.(213)
Sino-Bangladesh relations date to the 1950s and are relatively warm, despite the Chinese leadership siding with Pakistan during Bangladesh's war of independence. China and Bangladesh established bilateral relations in 1976 which have significantly strengthened and the country is considered a cost-effective source of arms for the Bangladeshi military.(214) Since the 1980s 80 percent of Bangladesh's military equipment has been supplied by China (often with generous credit terms), and China is Bangladesh's largest trading partner. Both countries are part of the BCIM Forum.
Japan is Bangladesh's largest economic-aid provider in the form of loans and the countries have common political goals.(215)(216) The United Kingdom has longstanding economic, cultural and military links with Bangladesh. The United States is a major economic and security partner, its largest export market and foreign investor. Seventy-six percent of Bangladeshis viewed the United States favourably in 2014, one of the highest ratings among Asian countries.(217)(218) The United States views Bangladesh as a key partner in the Indo-Pacific.(219) The European Union is Bangladesh's largest regional market, conducting public diplomacy and providing development assistance.
Relations with other countries are generally positive. Shared democratic values ease relations with Western countries and similar economic concerns forge ties to other developing countries. Despite poor working conditions and war affecting overseas Bangladeshi workers, relations with Middle Eastern countries are friendly and bounded by religion and culture. More than a million Bangladeshis are employed in the region. In 2016, the king of Saudi Arabia called Bangladesh "one of the most important Muslim countries".(220) However, Bangladesh has not established diplomatic relationship with Israel(221) in support of a sovereign Palestinian state and "an end to Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine".(222)
Bangladeshi aid agencies work in many developing countries. An example is BRAC in Afghanistan, which benefits 12 million people in that country.(223) Bangladesh has a record of nuclear nonproliferation as a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT),(224) and is also a member of Non-Aligned Movement since 1973. It is a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Bangladeshi foreign policy is influenced by the principle of "friendship to all and malice to none", first articulated by Bengali statesman H. S. Suhrawardy in 1957.(215)(225) Suhrawardy led East and West Pakistan to join the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, CENTO and the Regional Cooperation for Development.
A list of fundamental rights is enshrined in the country's constitution. The drafter of the constitution in 1972, Dr. Kamal Hossain, was influenced by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.(226) Bangladesh also recognises the third gender.(227) However, Homosexuality is outlawed by section 377 of the criminal code (a legacy of the colonial period), and is punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment.(228)(229)Judicial activism has often upheld human rights. In the 1970s, judges invalidated detentions under the Special Powers Act, 1974 through cases such as Aruna Sen v. Government of Bangladesh et Abdul Latif Mirza v. Government of Bangladesh. In 2008, the Supreme Court paved the way for citizenship for the Stranded Pakistanis, who were an estimated 300,000 stateless people.(230) Despite being a non-signatory of the UN Refugee Convention, Bangladesh has taken in Rohingya refugees since 1978 and the country is now home to a million refugees. Bangladesh is an active member of the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 1972. It has ratified 33 ILO conventions, including the seven fundamental ILO conventions.(231) Bangladesh has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.(232)(233) In 2018, Bangladesh came under heavy criticism for its repressive Digital Security Act which threatened freedom of speech. The photojournalist Shahidul Alam was jailed and tortured for criticising the government.(234) Alam was featured in the 2018 Time Person of the Year issue.
The National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh was set up in 2007. Notable human rights organisations and initiatives include the Centre for Law and Mediation, Odhikar, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council and the War Crimes Fact Finding Committee.
Successive governments and their security forces have flouted constitutional principles and have been accused of human rights abuses. Bangladesh is ranked "partly free" in Freedom House's Freedom in the World report,(235) but its press is ranked "not free".(236) According to the British Economist Intelligence Unit, the country has a hybrid regime: the third of four rankings in its Democracy Index.(237) Bangladesh was the third-most-peaceful South Asian country in the 2015 Global Peace Index.(238)Civil society and media in Bangladesh have been attacked by the ruling Awami League government and Islamic extremists.(239)
According to National Human Rights Commission, 70% of alleged human-rights violations are committed by law-enforcement agencies.(240) Targets have included Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, secularist bloggers and independent and pro-opposition newspapers and television networks. The United Nations is concerned about government "measures that restrict freedom of expression and democratic space".(239)
Bangladeshi security forces, particularly the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), have received international condemnation for human-rights abuses (including enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings). Over 1,000 people have been said to have been victims of extrajudicial killings by RAB since its inception under the last Bangladesh Nationalist Party government.(241) The RAB has been called a "death squad" by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International,(242)(243) which have called for the force to be disbanded.(242)(243) The British and American governments have been criticised for funding and engaging the force in counter-terrorism operations.(244)
The Bangladeshi government has not fully implemented the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord.(245) The Hill Tracts region remains heavily militarised, despite a peace treaty with indigenous people forged by the United People's Party of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.(246)
Secularism is protected by the constitution of Bangladesh and religious parties are barred from contesting elections; however, the government is accused of courting religious extremist groups. Islam's ambiguous position as the de facto state religion has been criticised by the United Nations.(247) Despite relative harmony, religious minorities have faced occasional persecution. The Hindu and Buddhist communities have experienced religious violence from Islamic groups – notably the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing (Shibir). However, Islamic groups are losing popular support – Islamic far-right candidates peaked at 12 percent of the vote in 2001, falling to four percent in 2008.(248)
According to the 2016 Global Slavery Index, an estimated 1,531,300 people are enslaved in modern-day Bangladesh, or 0.95% of the population.(249) A number of slaves in Bangladesh are forced to work in the fish and shrimp industries.(250)(251)(252)
Like for many developing countries, institutional corruption is a serious concern for Bangladesh. Bangladesh was ranked 146th among 180 countries on Transparency International's 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index.(253) According to survey conducted by the Bangladesh chapter of TI, in 2015 bribes made up 3.7 percent of the national budget.(254) Land administration was the sector with the most bribery in 2015,(254) followed by education,(255) police(256)
and water supply.(257) The Anti Corruption Commission was formed in 2004, and it was active during the 2006–08 Bangladeshi political crisis, indicting many leading politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen for graft.(258)(259)(260)
Bangladesh has the world's 39th largest economy in terms of market exchange rates and 29th largest in terms of purchasing power parity, which ranks second in South Asia after India.(261) Bangladesh is also one of the world's fastest-growing economies and one of the fastest growing middle-income countries.(262) The country has a market-based mixed economy. A developing nation, Bangladesh is one of the Next Eleven emerging markets. According to the IMF, its per-capita income was US$1,906 in 2019, with a GDP of $317 billion.(263) Bangladesh has the second-highest foreign-exchange reserves in South Asia (after India). The Bangladeshi diaspora contributed $15.31 billion in remittances in 2015.(264) Bangladesh's largest trading partners are the European Union, the United States, Japan, India, Australia, China and ASEAN. Expat workers in the Middle East and Southeast Asia send back a large chunk of remittances. The economy is driven by strong domestic demand.(262)
During its first five years of independence, Bangladesh adopted socialist policies. The subsequent military regime and BNP and Jatiya Party governments restored free markets and promoted the country's private sector. In 1991, finance minister Saifur Rahman introduced a programme of economic liberalisation. The Bangladeshi private sector has rapidly expanded, with a number of conglomerates driving the economy. Major industries include textiles, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, steel, electronics, energy, construction materials, chemicals, ceramics, food processing, and leather goods. Export-oriented industrialisation has increased with fiscal year 2018–19 exports increasing by 10.1% over the previous year to $40 billion.(265) Most export earnings are from the garment-manufacturing industry.
|Share of world GDP (PPP)(266)|
However, an insufficient power supply is a significant obstacle to Bangladesh's economic development. According to the World Bank, poor governance, corruption and weak public institutions are also major challenges.(267) In April 2010, Standard & Poor's gave Bangladesh a BB- long-term credit rating, below India's but above those of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.(268)
Bangladesh is the seventh-largest natural gas producer in Asia, ahead of neighbouring Myanmar, and 56 percent of the country's electricity is generated by natural gas. Major gas fields are located in the northeastern (particularly Sylhet) and southern (including Barisal and Chittagong) regions. Petrobangla is the national energy company. The American multinational corporation Chevron produces 50 percent of Bangladesh's natural gas.(269) According to geologists, the Bay of Bengal contains large, untapped gas reserves in Bangladesh's exclusive economic zone.(270) Bangladesh has substantial coal reserves, with several coal mines operating in the northwest.
Jute exports remain significant, although the global jute trade has shrunk considerably since its World War II peak. Bangladesh has one of the world's oldest tea industries, and is a major exporter of fish and seafood.
Bangladesh's textile and ready-made garment industries are the country's largest manufacturing sector, with 2017 exports of $34.1 billion.(265) Leather-goods manufacturing, particularly footwear, is the second-largest export sector. The pharmaceutical industry meets 97 percent of domestic demand, and exports to many countries.(271)(272)Shipbuilding has grown rapidly, with exports to Europe.(273)
Steel is concentrated in the port city of Chittagong, and the ceramics industry is prominent in international trade. In 2005 Bangladesh was the world's 20th-largest cement producer, an industry dependent on limestone imports from northeast India. Food processing is a major sector, with local brands such as PRAN increasing their international presence. The electronics industry is growing rapidly with contributions from companies like the Walton Group.(274) Bangladesh's defense industry includes the Bangladesh Ordnance Factories and the Khulna Shipyard.
The service sector accounts for 51 percent of the country's GDP. Bangladesh ranks with Pakistan as South Asia's second-largest banking sector.(275) The Dhaka and Chittagong Stock Exchanges are the country's twin financial markets. Bangladesh's telecommunications industry is one of the world's fastest-growing, with 114 million cellphone subscribers in December 2013,(276) and Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi and BTTB are major companies. Tourism is developing, with the beach resort of Cox's Bazar at the center of the industry. The Sylhet region, home to Bangladesh's tea gardens, also hosts a large number of visitors. The country has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites (the Mosque City, the Buddhist Vihara and the Sundarbans) and five tentative-list sites.(277)
Following the pioneering work of Akhter Hameed Khan on rural development at Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development, several NGOs in Bangladesh including BRAC (the world's largest NGO),(278) and Grameen Bank, focused on rural development and poverty alleviation in the country. Muhammad Yunus successfully pioneered microfinance as a sustainable tool for poverty alleviation and others followed suit. As of 2015, the country had over 35 million microcredit borrowers.(279) In recognition of their tangible contribution to poverty alleviation, Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.(280)
Agriculture is the largest employment sector in Bangladesh, making up 14.2 percent of Bangladesh's GDP in 2017 and employing about 42.7 percent of the workforce.(281) The performance of this sector has an overwhelming impact on major macroeconomic objectives like employment generation, poverty alleviation, human resources development, food security, and other economic and social forces. A plurality of Bangladeshis earn their living from agriculture. Due to a number of factors, Bangladesh's labour-intensive agriculture has achieved steady increases in food grain production despite the often unfavourable weather conditions.(282) These include better flood control and irrigation, a generally more efficient use of fertilisers, and the establishment of better distribution and rural credit networks.(282)
Although rice and jute are the primary crops, maize and vegetables are assuming greater importance.(283) Due to the expansion of irrigation networks, some wheat producers have switched to cultivation of maize which is used mostly as poultry feed.(283) Tea is grown in the northeast.(283) Because of Bangladesh's fertile soil and normally ample water supply, rice can be grown and harvested three times a year in many areas.(283) The country is among the top producers of rice (fourth), potatoes (seventh), tropical fruits (sixth), jute (second), and farmed fish (fifth).(284)(285) With 35.8 million metric tons produced in 2000, rice is Bangladesh's principal crop. In comparison to rice, wheat output in 1999 was 1.9 million tonnes (1,900,000 long tons; 2,100,000 short tons).
Transport is a major sector of the economy. Aviation has grown rapidly, and is dominated by the flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines and other privately owned airlines. Bangladesh has a number of airports including three international and several domestic STOL (short takeoff and landing) airports. The busiest, Shahjalal International Airport connects Dhaka with major destinations.
Bangladesh has a 2,706-kilometre (1,681-mile) long rail network operated by the state-owned Bangladesh Railway. The total length of the country's road and highway network is nearly 21,000 kilometers (13,000 miles).
With 8,046 kilometres (5,000 miles) of navigable waters, Bangladesh has one of the largest inland waterway networks in the world.(286) The southeastern port of Chittagong is its busiest seaport, handling over $60 billion in annual trade (more than 80 percent of the country's export-import commerce).(287) The second-busiest seaport is Mongla. Bangladesh has three seaports and 22 river ports.(288)
Energy and infrastructure
This section needs to be updated.December 2020)(
Bangladesh had an installed electrical capacity of 20,000 megawatts in 2018, reaching 23,548 MW in 2020.(289)(290) About 56 percent of the country's commercial energy is generated by natural gas, followed by oil, hydropower and coal. Bangladesh has planned to import hydropower from Bhutan and Nepal.(291) A nuclear power plant is under construction with Russian support in the Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant project which will add 2160 MW when fully operational.(292) The country ranks fifth worldwide in the number of renewable energy green jobs, and solar panels are increasingly used to power urban and off-grid rural areas.(293)
An estimated 98 percent of the country's population had access to improved water sources by 2004(294) (a high percentage for a low-income country), achieved largely through the construction of hand pumps with support from external donors. However, in 1993 it was discovered that much of Bangladesh's groundwater (the source of drinking water for 97 percent of the rural population and a significant share of the urban population) is naturally contaminated with arsenic.
Another challenge is low cost recovery due to low tariffs and poor economic efficiency, especially in urban areas (where water revenue does not cover operating costs). An estimated 56 percent of the population had access to adequate sanitation facilities in 2010.(7)Community-led total sanitation, addressing the problem of open defecation in rural areas, is credited with improving public health since its introduction in 2000.(295)
Science and technology
The Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, founded in 1973, traces its roots to the East Pakistan Regional Laboratories established in Dhaka (1955), Rajshahi (1965) and Chittagong (1967). Bangladesh's space agency, SPARRSO, was founded in 1983 with assistance from the United States.(296) The country's first communications satellite, Bangabandhu-1, was launched from the United States in 2018.(297) The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission operates a TRIGA research reactor at its atomic-energy facility in Savar.(298) In 2015, Bangladesh was ranked the 26th global IT outsourcing destination.(299)
Bangladesh's tourist attractions include historical sites and monuments, resorts, beaches, picnic spots, forests and wildlife of various species. Activities for tourists include angling, water skiing, river cruising, hiking, rowing, yachting, and sea bathing.(300)(301)
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reported in 2019 that the travel and tourism industry in Bangladesh directly generated 1,180,500 jobs in 2018 or 1.9 percent of the country's total employment.(302) According to the same report, Bangladesh experiences around 125,000 international tourist arrivals per year.(302) Domestic spending generated 97.7 percent of direct travel and tourism gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012.(303) Bangladesh's world ranking in 2012 for travel and tourism's direct contribution to GDP, as a percentage of GDP, was 120 out of 140.(303)
|Source: OECD/World Bank(304)|
Estimates of the Bangladeshi population vary, but UN data suggests 161,376,708 (162.9 million) in 2017.(9)(dix) The 2011 census estimated 142.3 million,(305) much less than 2007–2010 estimates of Bangladesh's population (150–170 million). Bangladesh is the world's eighth-most-populous nation and the most densely-populated large country in the world, ranking 7th in population density even when small countries and city-states are included.(306)
The country's population-growth rate was among the highest in the world in the 1960s and 1970s, when its population grew from 65 to 110 million. With the promotion of birth control in the 1980s, Bangladesh's growth rate began to slow. Its total fertility rate is now 2.05,(307) lower than India's (2.58) and Pakistan's (3.07). The population is relatively young, with 34 percent aged 15 or younger and five percent 65 or older. Life expectancy at birth was estimated at 72.49 years in 2016.(7) According to the World Bank, as of 2016(update) 14.8% of the country lives below the international poverty line on less than $1.90 per day.(308)(309)
Bengalis are 98 percent of the population.(310) Of Bengalis, Muslims are the majority, followed by Hindus, Christians and Buddhists.
The Adivasi population includes the Chakma, Marma, Tanchangya, Tripuri, Kuki, Khiang, Khumi, Murang, Mru, Chak, Lushei, Bawm, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Khasi, Jaintia, Garo, Santal, Munda and Oraon tribes. The Chittagong Hill Tracts region experienced unrest and an insurgency from 1975 to 1997 in an autonomy movement by its indigenous people. Although a peace accord was signed in 1997, the region remains militarised.(311)
Bangladesh is home to a significant Ismaili community.(312) It hosts many Urdu-speaking immigrants, who migrated there after the partition of India. Stranded Pakistanis were given citizenship by the Supreme Court in 2008.(313)
Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh number at around 1 million, making Bangladesh one of the countries with the largest refugee populations in the world.
Dhaka is Bangladesh's capital and largest city and is overseen by two city corporations who manage between them the northern and southern part of the city. There are 12 city corporations which hold mayoral elections: Dhaka South, Dhaka North, Chittagong, Comilla, Khulna, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Barisal, Rangpur, Gazipur and Narayanganj. Mayors are elected for five-year terms. Altogether there are 506 urban centres in Bangladesh among which 43 cities have a population of more than 100,000.(314)
Largest cities or towns in Bangladesh
Population and Housing Census 2011(315)
The predominant language of Bangladesh is Bengali (also known as Bangla). Bengali is one of the easternmost branches of the Indo-European language family. It is a part of the Eastern Indo-Aryan languages in South Asia, which developed between the 10th and 13th centuries. Bengali is written using the Bengali script. In ancient Bengal, Sanskrit was the language of written communication, especially by priests. During the Islamic period, Sanskrit was replaced by Bengali as the vernacular language. The Sultans of Bengal promoted the production of Bengali literature instead of Sanskrit. Bengali also received Persian and Arabic loanwords during the Sultanate of Bengal. Under British rule, Bengali was significantly modernised by Europeans. Modern Standard Bengali emerged as the lingua franca of the region. A heavily Sanskritized version of Bengali was employed by Hindu scholars during the Bengali Renaissance. Muslim writers such as Kazi Nazrul Islam gave attention to the Persian and Arabic vocabulary of the language.
Today, the Bengali language standard is prescribed by the Bangla Academy in Bangladesh. More than 98 percent of people in Bangladesh speak Bengali as their native language.(316)(317) Bengali is described as a dialect continuum where there are various dialects spoken throughout the country. Currently there is a diglossia in which much of the population are able to understand or speak Standard Colloquial Bengali and in their regional dialect, such as Chittagonian or Sylheti, which some linguists consider as separate languages.(318) The Bengali Language Implementation Act, 1987 made it mandatory to use Bengali in all government affairs in Bangladesh.(319) Although laws were historically written in English, they were not translated into Bengali until the Bengali Language Implementation Act of 1987. All subsequent acts, ordinances and laws have been promulgated in Bengali since 1987.(320) English is often used in the verdicts delivered by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, and is also used in higher education.
The Chakma language is another native Eastern Indo-Aryan language of Bangladesh. It is written using the Chakma script. The unique aspect of the language is that it is used by the Chakma people, who are a population with similarities to the people of East Asia, rather than the Indian subcontinent. The Chakma language is endangered due to its decreasing use in schools and institutions.
Other tribal languages include Garo, Meitei, Kokborok and Rakhine. Among the Austroasiatic languages, the Santali language is spoken by the Santali tribe. Many of these languages are written in the Bengali script; while there is also some usage of the Latin script.
Urdu has a significant heritage in Bangladesh, in particular Old Dhaka. The language was introduced to Bengal in the 17th-century. Traders and migrants from North India often spoke the language in Bengal, as did sections of the Bengali upper class. Urdu poets lived in many parts of Bangladesh. The use of Urdu became controversial during the Bengali Language Movement, when the people of East Bengal resisted attempts to impose Urdu as the main official language. In modern Bangladesh, the Urdu-speaking community is restricted to the country's Bihari community (formerly Stranded Pakistanis); and some sections of the Old Dhakaiya population.(321)
The constitution grants freedom of religion and officially makes Bangladesh a secular state, while establishing Islam as the "religion of the Republic".(25)(323)(324)Islam is followed by 90 percent of the population.(325) Most Bangladeshis are Bengali Muslims, who form the largest Muslim ethnoreligious group in South Asia and the second largest in the world after the Arabs. There is also a minority of non-Bengali Muslims. The vast majority of Bangladeshi Muslims are Sunni, followed by minorities of Shia and Ahmadiya. About four percent are non-denominational Muslims.(326) Bangladesh has the fourth-largest Muslim population in the world, and is the third-largest Muslim-majority country (after Indonesia and Pakistan).(327)Sufism has an extensive heritage in the region.(328) Liberal Bengali Islam sometimes clashes with orthodox movements. The largest gathering of Muslims in Bangladesh is the apolitical Bishwa Ijtema, held annually by the orthodox Tablighi Jamaat. The Ijtema is the second-largest Muslim congregation in the world, after the Hajj. The Islamic Foundation is an autonomous government agency responsible for some religious matters under state guidance, including monitoring of sighting of the moon in accordance with the lunar Islamic calendar in order to set festival dates; as well as the charitable tradition of zakat. Public holidays include the Islamic observances of Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-al-Adha, the Prophet's Birthday, Ashura and Shab-e-Barat.
Hinduism is followed by 8.5 percent of the population;(325) most are Bengali Hindus, and some are members of ethnic minority groups. Bangladeshi Hindus are the country's second-largest religious group and the third-largest Hindu community in the world, after those in India and Nepal. Hindus in Bangladesh are evenly distributed, with concentrations in Gopalganj, Dinajpur, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Mymensingh, Khulna, Jessore, Chittagong and parts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The festivals of Durga's Return and Krishna's Birthday are public holidays.
Buddhism is the third-largest religion, at 0.6 percent. Bangladeshi Buddhists are concentrated among ethnic groups in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (particularly the Chakma, Marma and Tanchangya peoples), while coastal Chittagong is home to a large number of Bengali Buddhists. Although the Mahayana school of Buddhism was historically prevalent in the region, Bangladeshi Buddhists today adhere to the Theravada school. Buddha's Birthday is a public holiday. The chief Buddhist priests are based at a monastery in Chittagong.
Christianity is the fourth-largest religion, at 0.4 percent.(329) Roman Catholicism is the largest denomination among Bangladeshi Christians. Bengali Christians are spread across the country; while there are many Christians among minority ethnic groups in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (southeastern Bangladesh) and within the Garo tribe of Mymensingh (north-central Bangladesh). The country also has Protestant, Baptist, and Oriental Orthodox churches. Christmas is a public holiday.
The Constitution of Bangladesh declares Islam the state religion, but bans religion-based politics. It proclaims equal recognition of Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and people of all faiths.(330) In 1972, Bangladesh was South Asia's first constitutionally-secular country.(331) Article 12 of the constitution continues to call for secularism, the elimination of interfaith tensions and prohibits the abuse of religion for political purposes and any discrimination against, or persecution of, persons practising a particular religion.(332) Article 41 of the constitution subjects religious freedom to public order, law and morality; it gives every citizen the right to profess, practice or propagate any religion; every religious community or denomination the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions; and states that no person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or to take part in or to attend any religious ceremony or worship, if that instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.(333)
Bangladesh has a literacy rate of 72.9 percent as of 2018: 75.7% for males and 70.09% for females. The country's educational system is three-tiered and heavily subsidised, with the government operating many schools at the primary, secondary and higher secondary levels and subsidising many private schools. In the tertiary education sector, the Bangladeshi government funds over 45 state universities(334) through the University Grants Commission.
The education system is divided into five levels: primary (first to fifth grade), junior secondary (sixth to eighth grade), secondary (ninth and tenth grade), higher secondary (11th and 12th grade), and tertiary.(335) Five years of secondary education (including junior secondary) ends with a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination. Since 2009, the Primary Education Closing (PEC) examination has also been introduced. Students who pass the PEC examination proceed to secondary or matriculation training, culminating in the SSC examination.(335)
Students who pass the PEC examination proceed to three years of junior secondary education, culminating in the Junior School Certificate (JSC) examination. Students who pass this examination proceed to two years of secondary education, culminating in the SSC examination. Students who pass this examination proceed to two years of higher secondary education, culminating in the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) examination.(335)
Education is primarily in Bengali, but English is commonly taught and used. Many Muslim families send their children to part-time courses or full-time religious education in Bengali and Arabic in madrasas.(335)
Bangladesh conforms with UNESCO's Education For All (EFA) objectives, the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and other international declarations. Article 17 of the Bangladesh Constitution provides that all children between the ages of six and ten years receive a basic education free of charge.
Universities in Bangladesh are of three general types: public (government-owned and subsidised), private (privately owned universities) and international (operated and funded by international organisations). They are accredited by and affiliated with the University Grants Commission (UGC), created by Presidential Order 10 in 1973.(336) The country has 47 public,(334) 105 private(337) and two international universities; Bangladesh National University has the largest enrollment, and the University of Dhaka (established in 1921) is the oldest. University of Chittagong (established in 1966) is the largest University (Campus: Rural, 2,100 acres (8.5 km2)). Islamic University of Technology, commonly known as IUT, is a subsidiary of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC, representing 57 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America). Asian University for Women in Chittagong is the preeminent South Asian liberal-arts university for women, representing 14 Asian countries; its faculty hails from notable academic institutions in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.(338)
As in Bangladesh, the agriculture sector is the largest contributor (more than 20%) to GDP(339) and agricultural sciences are well developed.(340) It has 6 public research based agricultural university, and they are: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Sylhet Agricultural University, Khulna Agricultural University, Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University.(341)(342)(343)
BUET, CUET, KUET and RUET are Bangladesh's four public engineering universities. BUTEX and DUET are two specialised engineering universities; BUTEX specialises in textile engineering, and DUET offers higher education to diploma engineers. The NITER is a specialised public-private partnership institute that provides higher education in textile engineering. Science and technology universities include Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science & Technology University, Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, SUST, JUST, PUST, NSTU and PSTU. The country's first higher education institution on aerospace engineering, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University, has been established in 2019 and is expected to launch its on-campus academic activities from the start of 2021.(344)
Medical education is provided by 29 government and private medical colleges. All medical colleges are affiliated with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Bangladesh's 2015 literacy rate rose to 71 percent due to education modernisation and improved funding, with 16,087 schools and 2,363 colleges receiving Monthly Pay Order (MPO) facilities. According to then education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, 27,558 madrasas and technical and vocational institutions were enlisted for the facility. 6,036 educational institutions were outside MPO coverage, and the government enlisted 1,624 private schools for MPO in 2010.(345)(346)
Healthcare facilities in Bangladesh are considered less than adequate, although they have improved as poverty levels have decreased significantly. Findings from a recent study in Chakaria (a rural upazila under Cox's Bazar District) revealed that the "village doctors", practicing allopathic medicine without formal training, were reported to have provided 65% of the healthcare sought for illness episodes occurring within 14 days prior to the survey. Formally-trained providers made up only four percent of the total health workforce. The Future Health Systems survey indicated significant deficiencies in the treatment practices of village doctors, with widespread harmful and inappropriate drug prescribing.(347) Receiving health care from informal providers is encouraged.(348)
A 2007 study of 1,000 households in rural Bangladesh found that direct payments to formal and informal healthcare providers and indirect costs (loss of earnings because of illness) associated with illness were deterrents to accessing healthcare from qualified providers.(347) A community survey of 6,183 individuals in rural Bangladesh found a gender difference in treatment-seeking behaviour, with women less likely to seek treatment than to men.(349) The use of skilled birth attendant (SBA) services, however, rose from 2005 to 2007 among women from all socioeconomic quintiles except the highest.(350) A health watch, a pilot community-empowerment tool, was successfully developed and implemented in south-eastern Bangladesh to improve the uptake and monitoring of public-health services.(351)
Bangladesh's poor health conditions are attributed to the lack of healthcare provision by the government. According to a 2010 World Bank report, 2009 healthcare spending was 3.35 percent of the country's GDP.(352) Government spending on healthcare that year was 7.9 percent of the total budget; out-of-pocket expenditures totalled 96.5 percent.(352) According to the government sources, the number of hospital beds is 8 per 10,000 population (as of 2015).(353)
Malnutrition has been a persistent problem in Bangladesh, with the World Bank ranking the country first in the number of malnourished children worldwide.(354)(355) More than 54% of preschool-age children are stunted, 56% are underweight and more than 17% are wasted.(356) More than 45 percent of rural families and 76 percent of urban families were below the acceptable caloric-intake level.(357)
The recorded history of art in Bangladesh can be traced to the 3rd century BCE, when terracotta sculptures were made in the region. In classical antiquity, a notable school of sculptural Hindu, Jain and Buddhist art developed in the Pala Empire and the Sena dynasty. Islamic art evolved since the 14th century. The architecture of the Bengal Sultanate saw a distinct style of domed mosques with complex niche pillars that had no minarets. Mughal Bengal's most celebrated artistic tradition was the weaving of Jamdani motifs on fine muslin, which is now classified by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage. Jamdani motifs were similar to Iranian textile art (buta motifs) and Western textile art (paisley). The Jamdani weavers in Dhaka received imperial patronage.(65)(358)Ivory and brass were also widely used in Mughal art. Pottery is widely used in Bengali culture.
The modern art movement in Bangladesh took shape during the 1950s, particularly with the pioneering works of Zainul Abedin. East Bengal developed its own modernist painting and sculpture traditions, which were distinct from the art movements in West Bengal. The Art Institute Dhaka has been an important center for visual art in the region. Its annual Bengali New Year parade was enlisted as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2016.
Modern Bangladesh has produced many of South Asia's leading painters, including SM Sultan, Mohammad Kibria, Shahabuddin Ahmed, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Kafil Ahmed, Saifuddin Ahmed, Qayyum Chowdhury, Rashid Choudhury, Quamrul Hassan, Rafiqun Nabi and Syed Jahangir, among others. Novera Ahmed and Nitun Kundu were the country's pioneers of modernist sculpture.
In recent times, photography as a medium of art has become popular. Biennial Chobi Mela is considered the largest photography festival in Asia.(359)
The oldest evidence of writing in Bangladesh is the Mahasthan Brahmi Inscription, which dates back to the 3rd century BCE.(360) In the Gupta Empire, Sanskrit literature thrived in the region. Bengali developed from Sanskrit and Magadhi Prakrit in the 8th to 10th century. Bengali literature is a millennium-old tradition; the Charyapadas are the earliest examples of Bengali poetry. Sufi spiritualism inspired many Bengali Muslim writers. During the Bengal Sultanate, medieval Bengali writers were influenced by Arabic and Persian works. The Chandidas are the notable lyric poets from the early Medieval Age. Syed Alaol was a noted secular poet and translator from the Arakan region. The Bengal Renaissance shaped the emergence of modern Bengali literature, including novels, short stories and science fiction. Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-European laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature and is described as the Bengali Shakespeare.(361)Kazi Nazrul Islam was a revolutionary poet who espoused political rebellion against colonialism and fascism. Begum Rokeya is regarded as the pioneer feminist writer of Bangladesh.(362) Other renaissance icons included Michael Madhusudan Dutt and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
The writer Syed Mujtaba Ali is noted for his cosmopolitan Bengali worldview.(363)Jasimuddin was a renowned pastoral poet. Shamsur Rahman and Al Mahmud are considered two of the greatest Bengali poets to have emerged in the 20th century. Farrukh Ahmad, Sufia Kamal, Syed Ali Ahsan, Ahsan Habib, Abul Hussain, Shahid Qadri, Fazal Shahbuddin, Abu Jafar Obaidullah, Omar Ali, Al Mujahidy, Syed Shamsul Huq, Nirmalendu Goon, Abid Azad, Sanaul Haque Khan, Hasan Hafiz, Abdul Hye Sikder, Sayeed Abubakar, Jafar Ahmad Rashed are important figures of modern Bangladeshi poetry. Ahmed Sofa is regarded as the most important Bangladeshi intellectual in the post-independence era. Humayun Ahmed was a popular writer of modern Bangladeshi magical realism and science fiction. Notable writers of Bangladeshi fictions include Mir Mosharraf Hossain, Akhteruzzaman Elias, Alauddin Al Azad, Shahidul Zahir, Rashid Karim, Mahmudul Haque, Syed Waliullah, Shahidullah Kaiser, Shawkat Osman, Selina Hossain, Shahed Ali, Abul Khayer Muslehuddin, Razia Khan, Anisul Hoque, and Abdul Mannan Syed.
The annual Ekushey Book Fair and Dhaka Literature Festival, organised by the Bangla Academy, are among the largest literary festivals in South Asia.
Women in Bangladesh
Although, as of 2015(update), several women occupied major political office in Bangladesh, its women continue to live under a patriarchal social regime where violence is common.(365) Whereas in India and Pakistan women participate less in the workforce as their education increases, the reverse is the case in Bangladesh.(365)
Bengal has a long history of feminist activism dating back to the 19th century. Begum Rokeya and Faizunnessa Chowdhurani played an important role in emancipating Bengali Muslim women from purdah, prior to the country's division, as well as promoting girls' education. Several women were elected to the Bengal Legislative Assembly in the British Raj. The first women's magazine, Begum, was published in 1948.
In 2008, Bangladeshi female workforce participation stood at 26%.(366) Women dominate blue collar jobs in the Bangladeshi garment industry. Agriculture, social services, healthcare and education are also major occupations for Bangladeshi women, while their employment in white collar positions has steadily increased.
The architectural traditions of Bangladesh have a 2,500-year-old heritage.(367) Terracotta architecture is a distinct feature of Bengal. Pre-Islamic Bengali architecture reached its pinnacle in the Pala Empire, when the Pala School of Sculptural Art established grand structures such as the Somapura Mahavihara. Islamic architecture began developing under the Bengal Sultanate, when local terracotta styles influenced medieval mosque construction. The Adina Mosque of United Bengal was the largest mosque built on the Indian subcontinent.(368)
The Sixty Dome Mosque was the largest medieval mosque built in Bangladesh, and is a fine example of Turkic-Bengali architecture. The Mughal style replaced indigenous architecture when Bengal became a province of the Mughal Empire and influenced the development of urban housing. The Kantajew Temple and Dhakeshwari Temple are excellent examples of late medieval Hindu temple architecture. Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, based on Indo-Islamic styles, flourished during the British period. The zamindar gentry in Bangladesh built numerous Indo-Saracenic palaces and country mansions, such as the Ahsan Manzil, Tajhat Palace, Dighapatia Palace, Puthia Rajbari and Natore Rajbari.
Bengali vernacular architecture is noted for pioneering the bungalow. Bangladeshi villages consist of thatched roofed houses made of natural materials like mud, straw, wood and bamboo. In modern times, village bungalows are increasingly made of tin.
Muzharul Islam was the pioneer of Bangladeshi modern architecture. His varied works set the course of modern architectural practice in the country. Islam brought leading global architects, including Louis Kahn, Richard Neutra, Stanley Tigerman, Paul Rudolph, Robert Boughey and Konstantinos Doxiadis, to work in erstwhile East Pakistan. Louis Kahn was chosen to design the National Parliament Complex in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. Kahn's monumental designs, combining regional red brick aesthetics, his own concrete and marble brutalism and the use of lakes to represent Bengali geography, are regarded as one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. In more recent times, award-winning architects like Rafiq Azam have set the course of contemporary architecture by adopting influences from the works of Islam and Kahn.
Theatre in Bangladesh includes various forms with a history dating back to the 4th century CE.(369) It includes narrative forms, song and dance forms, supra-personae forms, performances with scroll paintings, puppet theatre and processional forms.(369) The Jatra is the most popular form of Bengali folk theatre.
The dance traditions of Bangladesh include indigenous tribal and Bengali dance forms, as well as classical Indian dances, including the Kathak, Odissi and Manipuri dances.
The music of Bangladesh features the Baul mystical tradition, listed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage.(370)Fakir Lalon Shah popularised Baul music in the country in the 18th century and it has been one of the most popular music genera in the country since then. Most modern Bauls are devoted to Lalon Shah.(371) Numerous lyric-based musical traditions, varying from one region to the next, exist, including Gombhira, Bhatiali and Bhawaiya. Folk music is accompanied by a one-stringed instrument known as the ektara. Other instruments include the dotara, dhol, flute, and tabla. Bengali classical music includes Tagore songs and Nazrul Sangeet. Bangladesh has a rich tradition of Indian classical music, which uses instruments like the sitar, tabla, sarod and santoor.(372)Sabina Yasmin and Runa Laila are considered the leading playback singers in the modern time, while musician Ayub Bachchu is credited with popularising Bengali rock music in Bangladesh.(373)
The Nakshi Kantha is a centuries-old embroidery tradition for quilts, said to be indigenous to eastern Bengal (i.e. Bangladesh). The sari is the national dress for Bangladeshi women. Mughal Dhaka was renowned for producing the finest Muslin saris, as well as the famed Dhakai and Jamdani, the weaving of which is listed by UNESCO as one of the masterpieces of humanity's intangible cultural heritage.(374) Bangladesh also produces the Rajshahi silk. The shalwar kameez is also widely worn by Bangladeshi women. In urban areas some women can be seen in western clothing. The kurta and sherwani are the national dress of Bangladeshi men; the lungi and dhoti are worn by them in informal settings. Aside from ethnic wear, domestically tailored suits and neckties are customarily worn by the country's men in offices, in schools and at social events.
The handloom industry supplies 60–65% of the country's clothing demand.(375) The Bengali ethnic fashion industry has flourished in the changing environment of the fashion world. The retailer Aarong is one of the most successful ethnic wear brands in South Asia. The development of the Bangladesh textile industry, which supplies leading international brands, has promoted the production and retail of modern Western attire locally, with the country now having a number of expanding local brands like Westecs and Yellow. Bangladesh is the world's second-largest garments exporter. Among Bangladesh's fashion designers, Bibi Russell has received international acclaim for her "Fashion for Development" shows.(376)
White rice is the staple of Bangladeshi cuisine, along with many vegetables and lentils. Rice preparations also include Bengali biryanis, pulaos, and khichuris. Mustard sauce, ghee, sunflower oil and fruit chutneys are widely used in Bangladeshi cooking. Fish is the main source of protein in Bengali cuisine. The Hilsa is the national fish and immensely popular across Bangladesh. Other kinds of fish eaten include rohu, butterfish, catfish, tilapia and barramundi. Fish eggs are a gourmet delicacy. Seafood holds an important place in Bengali cuisine, especially lobsters, shrimps and dried fish. Meat consumption includes chicken, beef, mutton, venison, duck and squab. In Chittagong, Mezban feasts are a popular tradition featuring the serving of hot beef curry. In Sylhet, the shatkora lemons are used to marinate dishes. In the tribal Hill Tracts, bamboo shoot cooking is prevalent. Bangladesh has a vast spread of desserts, including distinctive sweets like Rôshogolla, Rôshomalai, Chomchom, Mishti Doi et Kalojaam. Pithas are traditional boiled desserts made with rice or fruits. Halwa is served during religious festivities. Naan, paratha, luchi and bakarkhani are the main local breads. Milk tea is offered to guests as a gesture of welcome and is the most common hot beverage in the country. Kebabs are widely popular across Bangladesh, particularly seekh kebabs, chicken tikka and shashliks.
Bangladesh shares its culinary heritage with the neighbouring Indian state of West Bengal. The two regions have several differences, however. In Muslim-majority Bangladesh, meat consumption is greater; whereas in Hindu-majority West Bengal, vegetarianism is more prevalent. The Bangladeshi diaspora dominates the South Asian restaurant industry in many Western countries, particularly in the United Kingdom.
Pahela Baishakh, the Bengali new year, is the major festival of Bengali culture and sees widespread festivities. Of the major holidays celebrated in Bangladesh, only Pahela Baishakh comes without any pre-existing expectations (specific religious identity, culture of gift-giving, etc.) and has become an occasion for celebrating the simpler, rural roots of the Bengal. Other cultural festivals include Nabonno, and Poush Parbon both of which are Bengali harvest festivals.
The Muslim festivals of Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Milad un Nabi, Muharram, Chand Raat, Shab-e-Barat; the Hindu festivals of Durga Puja, Janmashtami and Rath Yatra; the Buddhist festival of Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, and Christian festival of Christmas are national holidays in Bangladesh and see the most widespread celebrations in the country. The two Eids are celebrated with long streak of public holidays and give the city-dwellers opportunity to celebrate the festivals with their families outside city.
Alongside are national days like the remembrance of 21 February 1952 Language Movement Day (declared as International Mother Language Day by UNESCO in 1999),(377)Independence Day and Victory Day. On Language Movement Day, people congregate at the Shaheed Minar in Dhaka to remember the national heroes of the Bengali Language Movement. Similar gatherings are observed at the National Martyrs’ Memorial on Independence Day and Victory Day to remember the national heroes of the Bangladesh Liberation War. These occasions are celebrated with public ceremonies, parades, rallies by citizens, political speeches, fairs, concerts, and various other public and private events, celebrating the history and traditions of Bangladesh. TV and radio stations broadcast special programs and patriotic songs, and many schools and colleges organise fairs, festivals, and concerts that draw the participation of citizens from all levels of Bangladeshi society.(378)
In rural Bangladesh, several traditional indigenous sports such as Kabaddi, Boli Khela, Lathi Khela and Nouka Baich remain fairly popular. While Kabaddi is the national sport(379)cricket is the most popular sport in the country followed by football. The national cricket team participated in their first Cricket World Cup in 1999 and the following year was granted Test cricket status. Bangladesh reached the quarter-final of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, the semi-final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and they reached the final of the Asia Cup 3 times – in 2012, 2016 and 2018. In February 2020, the Bangladesh youth national cricket team won the men's Under-19 Cricket World Cup, held in South Africa. This was Bangladesh's first World Cup victory.(380)(381)
Women's sports saw significant progress in the 2010s decade in Bangladesh. In 2018 the Bangladesh women's national cricket team won the 2018 Women's Twenty20 Asia Cup defeating India women's national cricket team in the final.(382)Bangladesh women's national football team has also registered some success at regional level, especially the Under-15 and Under-18 teams.
Football is a popular sport in Bangladesh, alongside cricket,(383) and is governed by the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF). Football tournaments are regularly organised in and outside Dhaka and football fever grips the nation during every FIFA World Cup. On 4 November 2018, Bangladesh national under-15 football team won the 2018 SAFF U-15 Championship, defeating Pakistan national under-15 football team in the final.(384) Bangladesh archers Ety Khatun and Roman Sana won several gold medals winning all the 10 archery events (both individual, and team events) in the 2019 South Asian Games.(385)
The National Sports Council regulates 42 sporting federations.(386) Athletics, swimming, archery, boxing, volleyball, weight-lifting and wrestling and different forms of martial arts remain popular. Chess is very popular in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has five grandmasters in chess. Among them, Niaz Murshed was the first grandmaster in South Asia.(387) In 2010, mountain climber Musa Ibrahim became the first Bangladeshi climber to conquer Mount Everest.(388) He climbed the top of the summit of Mount Everest.(389)Wasfia Nazreen is the first Bangladeshi climber to climb the Seven Summits, which are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents of the world.(390)
Bangladesh hosts a number of international tournaments. Bangabandhu Cup is an international football tournament hosted in the country. Bangladesh hosted the South Asian Games several times. In 2011, Bangladesh co-hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 with India and Sri Lanka. The 2014 ICC World Twenty20 championship was solely hosted by Bangladesh. Bangladesh hosted the Asia Cup Cricket Tournament in 2000, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Media and cinema
The Bangladeshi press is diverse, outspoken and privately owned. Over 200 newspapers are published in the country. Bangladesh Betar is the state-run radio service.(391) The British Broadcasting Corporation operates the popular BBC Bangla news and current affairs service. Bengali broadcasts from Voice of America are also very popular. Bangladesh Television (BTV) is the state-owned television network. There more than 20 privately owned television networks, including several news channels. Freedom of the media remains a major concern, due to government attempts at censorship and the harassment of journalists.
The cinema of Bangladesh dates back to 1898, when films began screening at the Crown Theatre in Dhaka. The first bioscope on the subcontinent was established in Dhaka that year. The Dhaka Nawab Family patronised the production of several silent films in the 1920s and 30s. In 1931, the East Bengal Cinematograph Society released the first full-length feature film in Bangladesh, titled the Last Kiss. The first feature film in East Pakistan, Mukh O Mukhosh, was released in 1956. During the 1960s, 25–30 films were produced annually in Dhaka. By the 2000s, Bangladesh produced 80–100 films a year. While the Bangladeshi film industry has achieved limited commercial success, the country has produced notable independent filmmakers. Zahir Raihan was a prominent documentary-maker who was assassinated in 1971. The late Tareque Masud is regarded as one of Bangladesh's outstanding directors for his critically acclaimed films on social issues.(392)(393) Masud was honoured by FIPRESCI at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival for his film The Clay Bird. Tanvir Mokammel, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, Humayun Ahmed, Alamgir Kabir, and Chashi Nazrul Islam are some of the prominent directors of Bangladeshi cinema. Bangladesh has a very active film society culture. It started in 1963 in Dhaka. Now around 40 Film Societies are active all over Bangladesh. Federation of Film Societies of Bangladesh is the parent organisation of the film society movement of Bangladesh. Active film societies include the Rainbow Film Society, Children's Film Society, Moviyana Film Society and Dhaka University Film Society.
Museums and libraries
The Varendra Research Museum is the oldest museum in Bangladesh. It houses important collections from both the pre-Islamic and Islamic periods, including the sculptures of the Pala-Sena School of Art and the Indus Valley Civilization; as well as Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian manuscripts and inscriptions. The Ahsan Manzil, the former residence of the Nawab of Dhaka, is a national museum housing collections from the British Raj. It was the site of the founding conference of the All India Muslim League and hosted many British Viceroys in Dhaka.
The Tajhat Palace Museum preserves artefacts of the rich cultural heritage of North Bengal, including Hindu-Buddhist sculptures and Islamic manuscripts. The Mymensingh Museum houses the personal antique collections of Bengali aristocrats in central Bengal. The Ethnological Museum of Chittagong showcases the lifestyle of various tribes in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh National Museum is located in Ramna, Dhaka and has a rich collection of antiquities. The Liberation War Museum documents the Bangladeshi struggle for independence and the 1971 genocide.
In ancient times, manuscripts were written on palm leaves, tree barks, parchment vellum and terracotta plates and preserved at monasteries known as viharas. The Hussain Shahi dynasty established royal libraries during the Bengal Sultanate. Libraries were established in each district of Bengal by the zamindar gentry during the Bengal Renaissance in the 19th century. The trend of establishing libraries continued until the beginning of World War II. In 1854, four major public libraries were opened, including the Bogra Woodburn Library, the Rangpur Public Library, the Jessore Institute Public Library and the Barisal Public Library.
The Northbrook Hall Public Library was established in Dhaka in 1882 in honour of Lord Northbrook, the Governor-General. Other libraries established in the British period included the Victoria Public Library, Natore (1901), the Sirajganj Public Library (1882), the Rajshahi Public Library (1884), the Comilla Birchandra Library (1885), the Shah Makhdum Institute Public Library, Rajshahi (1891), the Noakhali Town Hall Public Library (1896), the Prize Memorial Library, Sylhet (1897), the Chittagong Municipality Public Library (1904) and the Varendra Research Library (1910). The Great Bengal Library Association was formed in 1925.(395) The Central Public Library of Dhaka was established in 1959. The National Library of Bangladesh was established in 1972. The World Literature Center, founded by Ramon Magsaysay Award winner Abdullah Abu Sayeed, is noted for operating numerous mobile libraries across Bangladesh and was awarded the UNESCO Jon Amos Comenius Medal.
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NewPP limit report
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