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History of Bangladesh

Posted by Valobasa on August 14, 2014 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Antiquity

Further information: History of Bengal, Mahajanapada, Vanga, Pundravardhana, Maurya Empire, Magadha, Samatata, Gupta Empire, Harikela, Pala Empire and Sena dynasty

Remnants of civilization in the greater Bengal region date back four thousand years to when the region was settled by ancient Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman and Austroasiatic peoples. The exact origin of the word "Bangla" or "Bengal" is unclear, though it is believed to be derived from Bang/Vanga, the Dravidian-speaking tribe that settled in the area around the year 1000 BCE.[9][10] Under Islamic rule, the region came to be known to the Muslim world in Persian as Bangalah.

 

The region was known to the ancient Greek and Roman world as Gangaridai or nation of Ganges. Though still largely unclear, the early history of Bengal featured a succession of city states, maritime kingdoms and pan-Indian empires, as well as a tussle between Hinduism and Buddhism for dominance. The ancient political units of the region consisted of Vanga, Samatata, Harikela and Pundravardhana. The Mauryan Empire led by Ashoka the Great conquered Bengal in the second century BCE. After the collapse of the Gupta Empire, a local ruler named Shashanka rose to power and founded the impressive Gauda kingdom. After a period of anarchy, the Bengali Buddhist Pala dynasty ruled the region for four hundred years, followed by the Hindu Sena Dynasty.

Islamic Bengal

Further information: Spread of Islam, Sufism, Delhi Sultanate, Bengal Sultanate, Baro-Bhuyan, Kingdom of Mrauk U, Sur Empire, Mughal Empire, Mughal Bengal and Nawabs of Bengal

Islam was introduced to the Bengal region during the 7th century by Arab Muslim traders and Sufi missionaries, and the subsequent Muslim conquest of Bengal in the 12th century lead to the rooting of Islam across the region.[11] Bakhtiar Khilji, a Turkic general, defeated Lakshman Sen of the Sena dynasty and conquered large parts of Bengal in the year 1204.

 

The region was ruled by the Sultanate of Bengal and the Baro-Bhuiyan confederacy for the next few hundred years. By the 16th century, the Mughal Empire controlled Bengal, and Dhaka became an important provincial centre of Mughal administration.

 

Bengal was probably the wealthiest part of the subcontinent until the 16th century. From 1517 onwards, Portuguese traders from Goa were traversing the sea route to Bengal. Only in 1537 were they allowed to settle and open customs houses at Chittagong. In 1577, the Mughal emperor Akbar permitted the Portuguese to build permanent settlements and churches in Bengal.[12]

Colonialism

See also: Portuguese settlement in Chittagong, Company rule in India, British Raj, Bengal Presidency and Eastern Bengal and Assam

The influence of European traders grew until the British East India Company gained control of Bengal following the Battle of Plassey in 1757.[14] The bloody rebellion of 1857—known as the Sepoy Mutiny—resulted in a transfer of authority to the crown with a British viceroy running the administration.[15] During colonial rule, famine racked South Asia many times, including the war-induced Great Bengal famine of 1943, which claimed 3 million lives.[16]

 

After the foundation of the British Indian Empire, Bengal was still under the heavy influence of British culture including architecture and art. The Indian Independence Movement was still underway in effort to overthrow the British Empire, and many Bengali people contributed to that effort. At the same time as the Islamic and Hindu conflicts occurred, Bengal would be split into two states. Between 1905 and 1911, an abortive attempt was made to divide the province of Bengal into two zones.[17]

East Pakistan

See also: Partition of British India, East Pakistan, Bengali Language Movement, United Front (East Pakistan) and Six Point Movement

 

Following the exit of the British Empire in 1947, Bengal was partitioned along religious lines, with the western part going to newly created India and the eastern part (Muslim majority) joining Pakistan as a province called East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan), with Dhaka as its capital.

In 1950, land reform was accomplished in East Bengal with the abolishment of the feudal zamindari system.[19] Despite the economic and demographic weight of the east, Pakistan's government and military were largely dominated by the upper classes from the west. The Bengali Language Movement of 1952 was the first sign of friction between the two wings of Pakistan.[20] Dissatisfaction with the central government over economic and cultural issues continued to rise through the next decade, during which the Awami League emerged as the political voice of the Bengali-speaking population. It agitated for autonomy in the 1960s, and in 1966, its president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Mujib), was jailed; he was released in 1969 after an unprecedented popular uprising. In 1970, a massive cyclone devastated the coast of East Pakistan, killing up to half a million people,[21] and the central government's response was seen as poor. The anger of the Bengali population was compounded when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whose Awami League had won a majority in Parliament in the 1970 elections,[22] was blocked from taking office.

 

After staging compromise talks with Mujibur Rahman, President Yahya Khan and military officials launched Operation Searchlight,[23] a sustained military assault on East Pakistan, and arrested Mujibur Rahman in the early hours of 26 March 1971. Yahya's methods were extremely bloody, and the violence of the war resulted in many civilian deaths.[24] Yahya's chief targets included intellectuals and Hindus, and about one million refugees fled to neighbouring India.[25] Estimates of those massacred throughout the war range from thirty thousand to three million.[26] Mujibur Rahman was ultimately released on 8 January 1972 as a result of direct US intervention.[27]

 

Awami League leaders set up a government-in-exile in Calcutta, India. The exile government formally took oath at Meherpur, in the Kustia district of East Pakistan, on 17 April 1971, with Tajuddin Ahmad as the first Prime Minister and Syed Nazrul Islam as the Acting President. The Bangladesh Liberation War lasted for nine months. A resistance force known as the Mukti Bahini was formed from the Bangladesh Forces (consisting of Bengali regular forces) in alliance with civilian fighters such as the Kader Bahini and the Hemayet Bahini. Led by General M. A. G. Osmani, the Bangladesh Forces were organized into eleven sectors and, as part of Mukti Bahini, conducted a massive guerrilla war against the Pakistan Forces. The war witnessed the 1971 Bangladesh genocide, in which the Pakistan Army and its allied religious militias carried out a wide-scale elimination of Bengali civilians, intellectuals, youth, students, politicians, activists and religious minorities. By winter, Bangladesh-India Allied Forces defeated the Pakistan Army, culminating in its surrender and the Liberation of Dhaka on 16 December 1971.

Cinema of Bangladesh

Posted by Valobasa on August 14, 2014 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The Bangladeshi film industry has been based in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, since 1956. As of 2004, it produced approximately 100 movies a year, with an average movie budget of about 20,000,000 Bangladeshi taka. The film industry is known as Dhallywood, a portmanteau of the words Dhaka and Hollywood. Bangladesh produces about 80 films a year

Festivals of Bangladseh

Posted by Valobasa on August 14, 2014 at 4:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the Bengali New Year, Independence day, Victory Day, the Hindu festivals of Durga Puja and Krishna Janmashtami, the Buddhist festival of Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, and Christmas, called Borodin (" the Great day"), are national holidays in Bangladesh and see the most widespread celebrations in the country.

 

Pohela Boishakh, the Bengali new year, is the major festival of Bengali culture and sees widespread festivities. Of the major holidays celebrated in Bangladesh, only Pohela Boishakh comes without any preexisting expectations (specific religious identity, culture of gift-giving, etc.). Unlike holidays like Eid al-Fitr, where dressing up in lavish clothes has become a norm, or Christmas where exchanging gifts has become an integral part of the holiday, Pohela Boishakh is really about celebrating the simpler, rural roots of the Bengal. As a result, more people can participate in the festivities together without the burden of having to reveal one's class, religion, or financial capacity. Other cultural festivals include Nabonno, and Poush porbon (festival of Poush), both Bengali harvest festivals.

 

Alongside these are national days like the remembrance of 21 February 1952 Language Movement Day (International Mother Language Day), 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, and at the Jatiyo Smriti Soudho on Independence Day and Victory Day to remember the national heroes of the Bangladesh Liberation War. These occasions are observed 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 in which citizens from all levels of society can participate.


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