People's Republic of Bangladesh
Amar Shonar Bangla
My Golden Bengal
and largest city
|Common languages||Bengali (state language), English|
|Ethnic groups |
|Government||Unitary parliamentary democracy|
|Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury|
|Syed Mahmud Hossain|
|26 March 1971|
• Current constitution
|4 November 1972|
|148,460 km2 (57,320 sq mi) (92th)|
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
|964.42/km2 (2,497.8/sq mi) (9th a)|
|GDP (PPP)||2018 estimate|
|$758 billion (29th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
• Per capita
|HDI (2018)|| 0.603|
medium · 136th
|Time zone||UTC+6 (BST)|
|ISO 3166 code||BD|
Bangladesh (officially called People's Republic of Bangladesh) is a country in South Asia. To its west is West Bengal in India. To its northeast is Northeast India and to its southeast is the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar. Bangladesh's capital and largest city is Dhaka (formerly "Dacca"). Countries that are near Bangladesh include the People's Republic of China, Bhutan, and Nepal. To the south of Bangladesh is the Bay of Bengal.
Bangladesh became an independent country in 1971, breaking away from Pakistan after fighting a war in which over a million people died. Most people in Bangladesh are Muslim. Bangladesh has an area of 57,320 mi² or (142,576 km²). It is slightly smaller than Tajikistan. It ranks 92 out of 195 sovereign countries by area. There are two main rivers in Bangladesh: The Ganges and the Brahmaputra River (called Padma and Jamuna in Bangladesh). They are among the most important sources of economy, also they are sacred to Hindu people. There are often floods in Bangladesh because of these two rivers.
For much of its history, Bangladesh was simply the eastern part of Bengal and was considered a part of India. The Bengal delta has been ruled by Hindu rulers, Muslim rulers, and the British empire. People have lived in Bangladesh for thousands of years. Farming developed in Bangladesh very early on. By 500 BC, people grew rice there. Farming lead to the development of urban areas like cities. Early houses in Bangladesh were likely built of wood and mud, and adobe. Because Bangladesh has monsoons, there is not a lot of evidence of ancient people living there. From about 300 BC to the 1700s AD, technology like writing and the Bengali language developed. During this time, many religions were popular and many states were founded. By the 1500s, the area was rich and even peasants had plenty to eat.
Bengal under Mughal rule
In the 13th century, Turkic armies took over the Bengal delta. During this time, the delta was ruled by Hindu leaders. In 1202, the last major Hindu Sena leader was pushed out from his capital in Western Bengal, but they stayed for a short time in East Bengal.
In 1206, a Muslim kingdom called the Delhi Sultanate was founded. The rulers of the Bengal delta became friendly with the sultanate, and to stay separately ruled the Bengal rulers would pay tribute to the sultanate using war elephants. In 1341, Bengal became independent from Delhi, and Dhaka became the capital of independent Bengal. In 1576, Bengal was taken over by Akbar the Great, a Mughal emperor. Bengal stayed part of the Mughal Empire until the eighteenth century.
When the Mughals ruled the Bengal, they began to make Bengal part of India politically. Bengal, however, was too far away from the Mughal capital in Delhi. Because it was hard to talk to Bengal, local governors found it easy to ignore what the Mughals wanted for Bengal. Although Bengal remained a province, religious leaders and scientists from Mughal-ruled Bengal have been famous throughout India.
As Bengal was part of their empire, the Mughals helped it grow. They built a road from Delhi to Dhaka, started a postal service, and helped make their calendar better. This calendar is still used in Bangladesh today. The Mughals also collected taxes in Bengal. Soon, Bengal was the richest province and was called the "Breadbasket of India". The Mughals used Bengali resources to help maintain their army, but they did not help protect the Bengali people from pirates. This made the Bengali people angry, and the Mughals had to appoint powerful generals to help rule Bengal. Despite this, Bengal became a center of the textile trade in South Asia.
In 1704, the capital of Bengal was moved from Dhaka to Murshidabad. In 1707, Aurangzeb, who people think is the last great Mughal emperor, died. After this, governors in Bengal still paid tribute to the Mughal empire, but were mostly left alone. These governors protected Bengal from Hindu Marathas during the eighteenth century. When the Mughal governor Alivardi died in 1756, he left rule of Bengal to his grandson, who would lose Bengal to the British in 1757.
Bengal under British rule
Bengal as East Pakistan
In 1947, East Bengal and the Dominion of Pakistan were separated from India, becoming Pakistan. Pakistan was cut in half, its east and west parts separated by 930 miles (1,500 km) of India. In 1949, the Bangladesh Awami League formed, wanting the east and west parts of Pakistan separated. In 1955, East Bengal was renamed East Pakistan, with Dacca becoming the capital. The people living in East Pakistan were mostly ethnically Bengali, spoke Bengali, and had a different culture compared to the people of western Pakistan. These differences eventually led to the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Independence from Pakistan
Bangladesh declared itself as independent from Pakistan in 1971 after a liberation war in which over a million people died. After Indian military intervention, the provisional government returned from exile in Calcutta, Bengal (India). After the Instrument of Surrender, the Bengali peoples became a sovereign nation.
After Bangladesh became independent, Bengali replaced Urdu and English as the only national and official language. Bengali is used in government, business, and schools. Private English-language schools for upper-class students existed into the 1980s. English is now taught in higher education and is offered as a university subject.
At first, people began to stop speaking Arabic in Bangladesh. In 1983, after Bangladesh strengthened its ties with Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich countries, people tried to make Arabic a required language to learn in school. Arabic is widely studied today in Madrassas and Islamic schools so people can understand Islamic texts better.
Despite gaining independence in 1971, Bangladesh is a poor country and has problems with political corruption. Presently, more than half the population can read and write.
The President of Bangladesh acts as Head of state, but the Prime Minister of Bangladesh acts as Head of government. The president is elected by lawmakers every 5 years, and has limited powers. The presidency is largely ceremonial, but sometimes the president has do more than usual. This is called a Caretaker government.
The prime minister is chosen by the president and must be a member of parliament (MP). The Cabinet is made up of people chosen by the prime minister, and is appointed by the president.
Bangladesh's parliament is called the House of the Nation, or the Jatiya Sangsad, and has only one chamber. The Jatiya Sangsad has 300 members who are elected by popular vote, and they have 5-year terms of office. The highest judiciary body in Bangladesh is the Supreme Court, whose members are chosen by the president.
After famines in 1973 and 1974, the prime minister of Bangladesh instituted a one-party socialist state. After this, a military junta ruled Bangladesh until 1990. Since then, Bangladesh has become a parliamentary democracy. In 2007, a caretaker government was appointed to help end corruption in Bangladeshi politics. Many politicians were arrested on corruption charges. Again in 2008, Bangladesh came under a parliamentary rule.
Bangladesh is in the Ganges Delta. This is where the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna come together. Most parts of Bangladesh are less than 12 m (39.4 ft) above the sea level. The highest point in Bangladesh is in Mowdok range at 1,052 m (3,451 ft) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to the southeast of the country. Cox's Bazar, south of the city of Chittagong, has a beach that is uninterrupted over 120 km (75 mi).
Bangladesh has heavy cyclones and natural disasters, due to this many lives are often lost. The country is one of the most densely populated in the world. Cyclones are very common in the Bay of Bengal during the middle of the year, particularly in the south of country in areas like Sundarban, Chittagong, Cox's Bazaar, or in neighboring Myanmar and Republic of India. Despite the many storms, Bangladesh does not have a very effective storm prevention system, and cyclones usually inflict heavy damage.
Bangladesh is divided into eight administrative divisions: Barisal (বরিশাল), Chittagong (চট্টগ্রাম), Dhaka (ঢাকা), Khulna (খুলনা), Rajshahi (রাজশাহী), Sylhet (সিলেট), Mymensingh (ময়মনসিংহ) and Rangpur (রংপুর).
Divisions are divided into districts. There are 64 districts in Bangladesh.
Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. Other major cities include Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Barisal, Bogra, Comilla, Mymensingh and Rangpur. For more locations see List of settlements in Bangladesh.
|City||City population (2019)||Metro population (2008 estimate)|
The main religion in Bangladesh is Islam at (91.57%), while the second largest religion is Hinduism at (7.26%). Most Muslims in Bangladesh are Sunni. Islam was made the state religion in the 1980s. Buddhists and Christians together make up 1% of the population.
The earliest literary text in Bengali is the 8th century Charyapada. Medieval Bengali literature was often either religious or from other languages. The 19th century had poets such as Rabindranath Tagore, Michael Madhusudan Dutt and Kazi Nazrul Islam.
The musical tradition of Bangladesh is lyrics-based with few instruments. Folk music is often accompanied by the ektara, an instrument with only one string. Bangladeshi dance forms are from folk traditions.
The sari is popularly worn by Bangladeshi women. The salwar kameez (shaloar kamiz) is also commonly worn. In urban areas, many people wear western clothing.
Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha are major religious festivals in Bangladesh. Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, and Christmas, called Bôŗodin (Great day), are both national holidays. The most important non-religious festival is Pohela Boishakh or Bengali New Year, the beginning of the Bengali calendar year.
Cricket is the most popular sport in Bangladesh. Next is football (soccer). The national cricket team was in their first Cricket World Cup in 1999. In 2011, Bangladesh successfully co-hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 with India and Sri Lanka.
State symbols of Bangladesh
The National symbols of the Bangladesh are made of symbols to represent Bengali traditions and ideals that show the different aspects of the cultural life and history of the country.
|State aquatic marine mammal|
- Bangladesh at the Olympics
- Bangladesh national football team
- List of rivers of Bangladesh
- Bangladesh War
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