The history of Bangladesh, the “country of the Bengal”, is closely linked to that of India today. Long before Islam entered the territory of what is now Bangladesh with the Delhi Sultanate in the 13th century, the country was dominated by the Buddhist Maurja dynasty and the Hindu Gupta empire. In the 16th century, the first European influences came to Bengal with the Portuguese seafarers, and from the middle of the 18th century the country was under British rule. Until India gained independence, Bangladesh belonged to British India.
Territorial reorganizations meant that West and East Bengal developed more and more apart. In West Bengal, the Hindus began to gain influence by coming to terms with British rule. An anti-British and anti-Hindu leadership emerged in East Bengal. Already in 1940 there were concrete plans regarding the division of British India upon independence: India (with West Bengal as part) was to become a Hindu state,Pakistan (with East Bengal) as a Muslim-dominated country.
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When the British colonial rule ended in August 1947, this division was carried out. According to AbbreviationFinder, East Bengal, now Bangladesh, became East Pakistan, even though it was more than 1,500 km away from this country. The two parts of the country differed significantly both in terms of structure and in terms of population, but they only had religion in common, Islam. The division of the country also took place in the Pakistani parliament as a whole: the Muslim League represented the western part of Pakistan, the nationalist Awami League in East Pakistan. In 1962, East Pakistan was given its own parliament and more independence, but the Awami party demanded full independence. When it became the strongest party in the December 1970 elections and the other side delayed the formation of Parliament and martial law, There were riots in East Pakistan again.
On March 26, 1971, the leader of the Awami Party, Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman, declared the country of Bangladesh to be an independent state. The subsequent civil was decided in favor of Bangladesh, not least because India sided with the new state. Bangladesh became a member of the British Commonwealth in 1972, and two years later Pakistan recognized the sovereignty of the new country. Until 1982 domestic political instability and social tensions prevailed in Bangladesh: flood disasters, which caused homelessness, famines and great discontent among the population, led to the dissolution of the parliament in 1975 and Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman to establish presidential rule.Only in the first half of the 1980s under the rule of General Muhammed Ershed did the situation seem to calm down somewhat: martial law was abolished and the constitution was reinstated (1986). In June 1988, Islam was declared the state religion. A new constitution came into force in 1991, in which Bangladesh reoriented itself towards parliamentary democracy and the powers of the President were severely restricted.
From 1996 to 2001 Hasina Wajed was prime minister of Bangladesh. In June 1999, she signed an agreement with India’s Atal Behari Vajpayee to expand trade relations between the two countries, which included India’s loan to Bangladesh. In March 2000, Bangladesh became the first South Asian country to sign the Nuclear Test Stop Agreement. Wajed was replaced by opposition leader Khaleda Zia after an election campaign with bloody riots. Zia relies on a coalition of the Bangladesh National Party and the radical Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, which had a large increase in votes in the 2001 parliamentary elections.
Despite extensive foreign aid, Bangladesh was and is still one of the poorest countries in the world. Corruption in politics and a desolate economic situation, which is due to the constantly recurring environmental catastrophes and the strong population growth, prevent the situation from improving significantly for the population. International initiatives such as the so-called Flood Action Plan (FAP) should at least protect the country from further flood disasters: This is a coastal protection project that is to be implemented by 2015 and which tries to protect the country from flooding with dams to preserve.
Elections should have taken place in Bangladesh in early 2007, but there was serious unrest under the leadership of the opposition Awami League; President Iajuddin (since 2002) declared a state of emergency on February 11, 2007. Since then there has been a transitional government headed by Fakhruddin Ahmed.