Bangladesh

Country Name

  • Conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
  • Conventional short form: Bangladesh
  • Local long form: Gana Prajatantri Banladesh
  • Local short form: Banladesh
  • Former: East Bengal, East Pakistan

Capital: Dhaka
Currency: Bangladeshi taka
Population: 154.7 million (2012) World Bank
National anthem: Amar Sonar Bangla
Official language: Bengali Language

Etymology

  • “Bangladesh” literally translates to “Country of Bengal” in Bengali.

History

  • The present day Bangladesh was once part of the state of Bengal in India.
  • Bangladesh consists primarily of East Bengal and the Sylhet district of Assam.
  • In the 1000 century BC, the region was part of the Vanga (also called Banga) kingdom.
  • It was mainly dominated by the Buddhists.
  • By 10th century, Hinduism had gained popularity in the region.
  • When Bengal became part of the Mogul Empire in 1576, most Bengalis converted to Islam.
  • The British ruled India from 1757 to 1947.
  • During the partition of India, the Muslim population migrated to the regions which are now known as Pakistan and Bangladesh (formerly known as East and West Pakistan).
  • For 25 years after independence, Bangladesh was considered as an extended part of Pakistan.
  • Islam was the dominant religion in both countries.
  • Due to the geographical distance, there were significant differences in culture, ethnicity and economy.
  • In 1949, Bengali nationalist Sheik Mujibur Rahman led the Awami League to seek independence from West Pakistan.
  • Although 56% of the population resided in East Pakistan, the West dominated the economy and politics.
  • In 1970, East Pakistanis secured a majority of the seats in the national assembly.
  • East Pakistan seceded and the independent state of Bangladesh was proclaimed on March 26, 1971.
  • This led to a civil war broke out which was mediated by the Indian troops.
  • East Pakistan defeated West Pakistan on Dec. 16, 1971.
  • The war led to a large number of causalities and many people fled to India as refugees.
  • Violence erupted when President Ahmed took over as the head of a caretaker administration in Oct. 2006.
  • An alliance of parties decided to boycott the Jan. 2007 elections on grounds of corruption.
  • An emergency was declared in January 2007 and elections were postponed.
  • Fakhruddin Ahmed became the interim head of the government.
  • The government intensified its anti-corruption drive, in 2008 June.

Bangladesh Flag

Demographics:

  • Bangladesh is the seventh most populous country in the world.
  • It is ranked amongst the highest in terms of population density.
  • 60% of the population falls within the 0-25 age group.
  • Bengali people form the ethnic majority (98%) in Bangladesh.
  • Minorities comprise of Bihari migrants and native tribal groups.
  • The main tribal groups are: the Chakmas, the Santhals, the Garos (Achiks), Kaibartta, Mundas, Oraons, and Zomi.
  • Bangla or Bengali is the official and most widely spoken language.
  • Bengali belongs to the Indo-Aryan group of languages and has its origins in Sanskrit.
  • Bengali also has its own distinct script.
  • Water borne diseases and health problems are common in the country.

Government and Politics

  • Bangladesh is run by a parliamentary democratic government.
  • The country is divided into six administrative divisions namely:
    • Barisal
    • Chittagong
    • Dhaka
    • Khulna
    • Rajshahi
    • Sylhet
  • Independence Day (26 March) and Victory Day (16 December) are observed as national holidays.
  • The Constitution was founded on 4 November 1972 and brought into effect on 16 December 1972.
  • It was suspended following a coup on 24 March 1982 and restored on 10 November 1986.
  • The legal system is based on English common law.
  • Bangladesh has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
  • President Iajuddin Ahmed is the chief of state since 6 September 2002.
  • The country is currently under a caretaker government until a general election is held.
  • The Chief Caretaker Advisor, Fakhruddin Ahmed is roughly equivalent to a prime minister.
    The president is elected by National Parliament for a five-year term.
  • The leader of the party that wins the most seats in a legislative election is usually appointed prime minister by the president.
  • The legislative branch is represented by a unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad.
  • The National Parliament consists of 300 seats and members are elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies to serve five year terms.
  • The judicial branch is represented by the Supreme Court.
  • The chief justices and other judges are appointed by the president.

Airports in Bangladesh

Barisal Airport Jessore Airport Patenga Airport Saidpur Airport Sirajganj Airport
Comilla Airport Khulna Airport Rajshahi Airport Sandwip Airport Thakurgaon Airport
Ishurdi Airport Osmani International Airport Rangpur Airport Shamshernagar Airport Zia International Airport

Culture:

  • Bangladeshi culture is a blend of old and new elements.
  • Bengali language has a rich literary history especially in terms of religious texts.
  • The earliest literary text in Bangla can be found in the “Charyapada” which dates back to the eighth century.
  • Bangla literature was the most productive during the  nineteenth century.
  • Bangladesh also has a rich collection of folk literature which includes Maimansingha Gitika, Thakurmar Jhuli or stories related to Gopal Bhar.
  • The music is primarily lyric based (Baniprodhan) with minimal instrumental accompaniment.
  • The Baul tradition is a unique heritage of Bangla folk music.
  • Other traditional musical forms Gombhira, Bhatiali and Bhawaiya .
  • Ektara, a one-stringed musical instrument is an important component of folk music.
  • Other musical instruments are dotara, dhol, flute, and tabla.
  • Bangladesh also has an active heritage in North Indian classical music.
  • The dance forms are a blend of tribal forms as well as classical Indian dance traditions.
  • The Bangladeshi film industry is also quite active.
  • The cuisine is similar to Indian and Middle Eastern styles but has a few unique components.
  • Rice with curry and sweetmeats like Rôshogolla, Chômchôm and Kalojam are popular.
  • Women mostly wear sari or salwar kameez while most men dress up in western attire.
  • The kurta-paejama  and lungi are also worn by men on some occasions.
  • Eids, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha are the largest festivals in the Islamic calendar.
  • The most important secular festival in Bangladesh is the “Pohela Baishakh” or Bengali New Year.

Economy:

  • Bangladesh is one of the most poor, over-populated and inefficiently governed nations.
  • Most of the economy is dependant on the service sector and the agricultural sector.
  • Rice is the most important agricultural product.
  • Garment exports and remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas also contribute to the economic growth.
  • The GDP (purchasing power parity): as calculated in 2007 was $206.7 billion.
  • 45% of the population is below poverty line.
    Agricultural products include rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk and poultry.
  • The main industries are cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering and sugar.
  • Export commodities include garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood.
  • Import commodities include machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs, petroleum products and cement.

Infrastructure:

  • Telecommunication in Bangladesh is insufficiently developed and limited.
  • There is less than one line per 100 people.
  • Mobile cellular services are comparatively better with 13 connections per 100 people.
  • There are 30 radio broadcast stations and 15 television broadcast stations.
  • Internet facilities are also limited.
  • Bangladesh has 16 airports of which 15 have paved runways.
  • The railways spread over a distance of 2,768 km.
  • Roadways span over 239,226 km.
  • The merchant marines are equipped with 41 ships.
  • Major ports and terminals are located at Chittagong and Mongla Port.

Education:

  • Bangladesh education system is three-tiered and highly subsidized by the government.
  • Education is largely funded by the government at primary, secondary and higher secondary levels.
  • It also partially subsidizes the funding for many private schools.
  • The government operates more than 15 state universities through the University Grants Commission.
  • In the past, education in Bangladesh was primarily delivered in English and was a domain of the upper-class.
  • Now, efforts are being made to make education accessible to all sections of the society.
  • Bangladesh fully conforms to the Education For All (EFA) objectives, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and international declarations.
  • Education is free for children upto the age of 10.

Neighboring Countries:

Bangladesh is surrounded by:

  • India (north, east, west)
  • Burma (southeast)
  • Bay of Bengal (south)

Geographical Settings:

  • Bangladesh is located in Southern Asia between Burma and India.
  • Its geographical co-ordinates are 24 00 N, 90 00 E.
  • The total area of the country is 144,000 sq km.
  • The coastline is 580 km long.
  • The climate is mostly tropical with mild winter and hot and humid summer.
  • Monsoons are heavy, warm and humid.
  • The terrain mostly constitutes of flat alluvial plains and  hills in the southeast.
  • The highest point is Keokradong standing at 1,230 m.
  • Natural resources include natural gas, arable land, timber and coal.
  • 55.39% of the land is arable.
  • Droughts, cyclones and monsoon floods are a few natural hazards that afflict the country.
  • Most of the country is situated on a delta formed by large rivers flowing from the Himalayas.

Freedom:

  • East Pakistan gained independence from West Pakistan on 26 March 1971.
  • The state of Bangladesh was officially created on 16 December 1971.

Notable People:

  • Rabindranath Tagore (poet)
  • Kazi Nazrul Islam (poet)
  • Taslima Nasreen (writer)
  • Mohammed Yunus (Social worker, Founder of Gramin Bank micro credit card, Nobel Laureate)

Famous For:

  • Nakshikatha is a traditional stitching pattern of Bangladesh.
  • The country is also rich in natural beauty.

Total Population:

  • According to a 2008 census, the total population was estimated to be 153,546,901.
  • The annual population growth rate is 2.022% (2008 est.)
  • Birth rate: 28.86 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
  • Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Bangladesh Related Topics:

» Colleges and Universities in Bangladesh » Sports in Bangladesh » Bangladesh Airports » List of Shipping Companies in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Tourist Attractions:

  • Lalbagh Fort
  • Sixty Dome Mosque
  • Ahsan Manzil
  • Liberation War Museum
  • Bangladesh National Museum
  • Dhaka Zoo
  • Sonargaon
  • Star Mosque
  • Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban
  • New Market