People's Republic of Bangladesh: A Country Study SSG Jeremy D. Butler Advanced Leader Course: 35F30-12-102 March 23, 2012 SGL: SFC Trump

West Bengal is comprised of a majority of Nepali speakers. Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated nations in the world with 900 people per square kilometer (560 square mile). Bengali is the main language spoken in Bengal but English is often used for official work.22 percent literacy rate. Urdu. Bangladesh only just recently emerged as a state in 1971 (Heitzman & Worden. With a population of 250 million people. and extremist views and terrorism (Sisson & Rose. Bangladesh had remained a frontier. Life expectancy is around 63 years old. economic flux. and is almost same for the men and women (Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. Around 2 68 percent of the populace lives in Bangladesh and the remainder in West Bengal (Novak.5 percent (Heitzman & Worden. Chakma. 1993). 1989). About 20. 1990). in truth. 2012). There was nothing preordained about this emergence. and the Chittagong Hill Tracts on the southeastern border with Burma and India.BANGLADESH People's Republic of Bangladesh: A Country Study Until the last few centuries. In terms of literacy. Poverty levels are high. 1989). The Sundarbans. The purpose of this short country study is to depict the history of Bangladesh fraught with turmoil and paint the picture of a newborn state that today is vulnerable to natural disaster. an agricultural flood plain originally known as the Bengal Delta and later as East Pakistan.The areas around Dhaka and Comilla are the most densely settled. an area of coastal tropical jungle in the southwest and last wild home of the Bengal tiger. temporary islands formed by the deposition of sediments eroded off . it took most people by surprise. are the least densely populated. and in Bangladesh the rate is approximately 53. Minority languages include Hindi. and 48% is Hindu (Heitzman & Worden.000 people live on chars. West Bengal leads with 69. the proportion of people living below the poverty line is more than 30 percent. 1989). Fifty percent of the total Bengali population is Muslim. In fact. and several tribal languages are found.

more than three quarters of Bangladesh’s export earnings come from the garment industry. no identification documents are issued to char-dwellers who in turn cannot benefit from health care and barely survive due to very poor sanitation. Since 1990. In 2002. and it is estimated that only thirty percent of the population entering the labor force in the future will be absorbed into agriculture. a frontier of cultivation. Consequently. Urbanization is proceeding rapidly. in West Bengal. 2011). a state frontier.This part of the population is also prevented from immigrating to the mainland to find jobs when they turn 14 years old ((UNDP).The middle class and the consumer industry have seen some growth and the country has seen a sharp increase in foreign direct investment. The industry now employs more than 3 million workers. and landscape for language change. which began attracting foreign investors in the 1980s due to cheap labor and low conversion cost. Although two-thirds of Bangladeshis are farmers. cultivation expanded gradually across the lowlands Bengalian rainforests slowly were cleared to make room for irrigated crop lands to the point of destruction creating an agrarian crisis by the nineteenth . although many will likely find other kinds of work in rural areas. Bangladesh has achieved an average annual growth rate of five percent according to The World Bank Group (2012) despite the hurdles. 2012). The inhabitants of chars are not recognized by the Government of West Bengal on the grounds that it is not known whether they are Bengalis or Bangladeshi refugees. 2011). The history of Bangladesh is a history of multiple frontiers.BANGLADESH 3 the banks of the Ganges. a religious frontier. often disappear in the monsoon season. In the delta. the natural gas sector being a priority. the industry exported US$5 billion worth of products (The World Bank Group. On a particular char it was reported that 13 percent of women died at childbirth (Lewis. These islands made of very fertile soil. 90 percent of whom are women.

This occupation of regions inhabited by other ethnic groups initiated a political dynamic that later was troublesome for Bangladeshi immigrants. Unprecedented effects of Islam in the region eventually gave rise to the majority of the population adopting the religion. Small unstable alliances between villages and from the lowlands emerged statlets and chiefdoms. 1993). The twenty-first-century state of . This gave rise to the neo-colonial domination and Indian Mughal rule until the ousting of British rulers in 1947 and subsequent Pakistan state in 1971. 2011). In June of 1757.BANGLADESH century. Other forms of rule prevailed in parts of the delta in the surrounding hills. This state fragmentation frontier did not close until British Imperialism spread its large colonial shadow over the entire region. Jainsim and Hinduism all appear to have coexisted in the delta for centuries as part of the eastward expansion of Sanskritic culture (Schendel. States first emerged in the south and west and gradually spread to cover the delta. Settlers moved into far eastern areas beyond the Bengal delta into areas of modern day India and Burma. thousands of men fought in a famous turning-point battle in the history of South Asia from which the British East India Company emerged as the new territorial overlord over Bengal (Heitzman & Worden. Brahmanical Hinduism grew in popularity among Bengali-speakers until sometime in 1243-1244 CE when bands of several hundred Turkish cavalry arrived bringing with them the message of Islam which was dispatched with violence (Bangladesh Student Association. The early history of religious identities in Bangladesh is poorly understood. 2009). Scarce land resulted in creative cultivation of crops and it pressed farmers into areas 4 once thought too dangerous. chars (islands in the big rivers) or out in the Bay of Bengal. Buddhism. 1989). This Sultanate period remained up to the colonial British invasion (Novak.

a course it has not deviated from since.. Bangladesh was in economic crisis and in danger of slipping into anarchy. Zia’s first act was to ban political parties and crack 5 down on the leftist party that had inspired radical soldiers to carry out recent coup attempts in the name of revolution (Schendel.BANGLADESH Bangladesh is largely in existence due to the majority of Muslims in the population (Schendel. The latest version of the Bangladesh Constitution from 1972 (which was amended recently in 2004) allows for voters at age 18 to participate in national elections (Bangladesh Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division (BLPA). presently (2012) the Honorable Mr. 2010). 1993). Zillur Rahman. The people of Bangladesh yearned for a parliamentary democracy. the prime minister. Following its independence from Pakistan in 1971. however the political system was evolving. Except for a brief step backward to a military backed government in 2006. and in 1990 Bangladesh adopted a Parliamentary democracy (Lewis. rshad continued to build upon Zia’s concentration on military might. 2011). the legislative cabinet is . The constitution also provides the structure of government: the Executive branch consists of the president. From 1975 to 1981 Ziaur Rahman bolstered the private sector and export-oriented growth (Novak. By 1975 the revolutionary path was abandoned all together and the man who emerged as The People’s Republic of Bangladesh ruler was Major-General Ziaur Rahman (popularly known as Zia). 2009). 2002). 2009). Bangladesh has had open elections amidst violence and political turmoil. Md. He set in place projects to boost agriculture and policy that pushed Bangladesh down the much-needed path of liberalization. Zia was assassinated in a botched coup attempt giving rise to the regime of General Hussain Muhammad Ershad. who is currently Sheikh Hasina. critics believed that Bangladesh was in dire need of a social revolution (Sanctuary. In 1982.

The Bangladesh Navy is mostly limited to coastal patrolling within the Bay of Bengal and participates in international exercises. and the Jamaat-e-Islami Party (Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. presently. A Coast Guard exists to address anti-smuggling. A centerpiece of the bilateral relationship is a large United States aid program. totaling about $163 million for 2011 (The World Bank Group. 2011). and poor service delivery.BANGLADESH comprised of 345 members. Despite porous borders. and Air Force are composed of volunteer military members. the Supreme Court. Based along British lines the army is similar to other armies on the Indian subcontinent. especially at the United Nations (Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. United States and Bangladesh relations are excellent. 2012). the High Court Division and the Appellate Division based on the 6 British model ((UNDP). however. anti- . 2012). 2012). and noncommissioned officer educational systems (Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). and the judicial branch which is comprised of the civil court systems. 2012). Bangladesh has become a valuable United States ally in global efforts to defeat terrorism by addressing problems of money laundering and weak border controls to ensure the country does not become a terrorist safe-haven. ungoverned spaces. Initially the United States relationship with Bangladesh was troubled due to strong ties with Pakistan. Bangladesh pursues a moderate foreign policy that places heavy reliance on multinational diplomacy. The Bangladesh Army. training management techniques. the Awami League (AL). the military is frequently called on to provide support to civil authorities for disaster relief and internal security. Navy. the largest of which include the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). In addition to traditional defense roles. Bangladesh’s strong national identity and moderate Islamic tradition help it serve as a key player in combating extremism. the army is attempting to adopt United States Army tactical planning procedures. the Jatiya Party. Presently there are 30 to 40 active political parties.

the infantile state of Bangladesh’s democracy is a target for extremist views and influences. and other development initiatives will help to ensure Bangladesh continues on the pathway to becoming an emerging key player in Asia and world as a peacekeeper. however. 2011). and protection of offshore resources. Despite a considerable fundamentalist presence. The events of that day prompted an intensified crackdown on extremist groups. . and the emergent problem of terrorism affect the security 7 environment. trends are changing. military training. 2012). Bangladesh offers strategic advantages on the war on terror. 2005. Street crime. especially in cities.. In conclusion. Inc. Widespread poverty has contributed to high levels of violent and nonviolent crime. The United States’ involvement will continue as a nation-building effort in order to ensure Bangladesh does not end as a failed state. The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). On August 17. economic contributor. Security conditions are generally poor throughout Bangladesh. The Bangladesh wing of the Harkat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HuJI) has presumably played a role in a number of attacks in India and several other extremist groups remain active in the country. civil unrest. and ally to the United Nations and United States. the group that claimed responsibility for the serial bombings. has staged a number of subsequent attacks. but the terrorism problem persists.. Islamist-inspired terrorism has not been an historical problem.BANGLADESH piracy. Economic boosts. Pakistan still bears the red marks of defeat and relations between the countries are strained. Political and labor unrest cause significant disruptions many in the form of violent protest. inadequate law enforcement. Islamist extremists were responsible for almost 500 small bombings throughout the country (iJet International. Bangladesh has been the second-largest troop contributor to international peacekeeping operations (Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Inc. including suicide bombings. (iJet International. 2011).

8 The Flag . the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice to achieve independence.BANGLADESH ANNEX A. A variation depicts the country. Emblem of the government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh The President of Bangladesh Flag Bangladesh National Emblem .Green field with a large red disk shifted slightly to the hoist side of center. the green field symbolizes the lush vegetation of Bangladesh.

.BANGLADESH ANNEX B. Present Day Bangladesh. 9 Profile – Bangladesh West and East Pakistan – created by the British in 1947.

Mr. he reelected as MP in the 7th Parliament and became a Minister. Rural Development & Cooperatives. 2010). he successfully performed the duties of Deputy Leader in the Parliament till 2001. He presided over a student gathering held in the historic Amtala (Mango grove) of Dhaka University on 19 February 1952 on demand of Bangla as the State Language. His father late Meher Ali Mian was a renowned lawyer. he got his M. Zillur Rahman further elected MP in the 8th Parliament in 2001 (Bangladesh Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division (BLPA). B. MD. ZILLUR RAHMAN. 1929. He was elected Member of Parliament (MP) in 1973 and 1986 from his constituency. B. In 1972. In 1996.) certificate from Dhaka Intermediate College. the Chairman of the then Mymensingh Local Board and the Member of the District Board. was born in a respectable Muslim family under Bhairab Thana of Kishoreganj district on March 09. A. Mr. . just after our victory in the war of liberation. High School in 1945 and obtained Intermediate of Arts (I. He held the portfolio of the Ministry of Local Government. In 1954. Zillur Rahman played an active role in the great Language Movement in 1952. He 10 passed Matriculation from Bhairab K. L.A. Zillur Rahman started his academic life at the district town of Mymensingh.BANGLADESH ANNEX C. the 19th President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. degree from the University of Dhaka. he as a Member of Bangladesh Constituent Assembly actively took part in formation of the Constitution of Bangladesh. Mr. Besides. with Honors in History and L. MR.

Bangladesh in 1999. Sheikh Hasina adopted a number of pragmatic policies for overall development of the nation including poverty alleviation. . was born on 28 September. India in 1999. Prime Minister of Bangladesh. the founder of independent Bangladesh. and Humane Letters from Japan in 1997. Dhaka University. 2010). 1947 at Tungipara under Gopalganj district. 2010). Brussels.BANGLADESH ANNEX C. After becoming the Prime Minister. Sheikh Hasina has been awarded seven Honorary Doctorate degrees in Literature. signing of historic peace Accord on Chittagong Hill Tracts and inauguration of the Bangabandhu Bridge on the river Jamuna (Bangladesh Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division (BLPA). Belgium in 2000. Sheikh Hasina was conferred Degree of Doctor of Law by the Boston University of the USA on 6 February 1997. and the United States in 2000 (Bangladesh Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division (BLPA). 11 SHEIKH HASINA. United Kingdom in 1997. She is the eldest of five children of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. West Bengal. Law. During the last four years her government achieved laudable success including signing of the historic 30 year Ganges Water Sharing Treaty with India.

2012. from The Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh: http://bdlaws. 2012. Department of State: Diplomacy in Action: http://www. (2012. from BBC News Country Profiles: South Asia: http://www.state. January 6).php?option=com_content&task=view&id=135&Itemid=20 8 Bangladesh Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division (BLPA). Retrieved March 17. Retrieved March 14. Retrieved March 17.S.php?id=367&vol=15&search=1972 Bangladesh Student Association. History of Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.htm British Broadcasting Company (BBC). (2011).co. (2011).uk/news/worldsouth-asia-12650940 Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.orgs.minlaw. 2012. (2010). 2012. 2012. The ( from MyStateDepartment: http://www.bangladesh. Bangladesh Retrieved March 20.BANGLADESH References (UNDP). Retrieved March 17. from National Web Portal of Bangladesh: 12 http://www. from U. (2012. from Association of Bangladeshi Students and Scholars : http://www. U. March 6).htm#profile . Retrieved March 17.state. Background: Bangladesh. 2012. March 6). Government Structure.

Bangladesh: Politics. V. 2012.BANGLADESH Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Novak. Washington D. Cambridge: Cambridge Universtiy Press.cia. Retrieved March 15. Retrieved March 17. Inc. (1989).bbc. from The World Factbook (CIA): https://www. (2011).uk/2/hi/south_asia/377916. & Rose. from Institute for Conflict Management: South Asia Terrorism Portal: http://www.satp. W. iJet International.htm . Retrieved March 13 19. Sanctuary. from BBC News: World Edition: http://news. A History of Bangladesh.: Federal Research Division.claytonconsultants. & Worden. Retrieved March 17. J. Oxford: University of California January 4). South Asia. (. (1993). 2012.html Heitzman. (2009)..stm Schendel. (2012. ( Lewis. War and Secession: Pakistan. Security overview for bangladesh.claytonconsultants. (1990). and Civil Society. South Asia: Bangladesh. R. Economy. C. from L. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.. 2012.C. and the creation of Bangladesh. W. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. March). India. (2012). South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP). D. http://www. Bangladesh Assessment 2012. (2011). Ltd. Sisson. Bangladesh: Reflections on the Water. Bangladesh: A Country Study.

March). Retrieved March . 2012. from The World Bank: Working for a World Free of Poverty: http://data.BANGLADESH 14 The World Bank Group. (2012. Bangladesh Data.

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