For about 3,000 years, Bengal (Bangladesh and
the Indian state of West Bengal) has been part of
Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or British empire in South Asia.
In 1757, the British defeated the mogular army and
Bengal became a British crown colony in 1858. Two
British states were formed in 1947: India and Pakistan.
The Bengal was divided, the eastern part came to
Pakistan and called East Pakistan. In 1971, East
Pakistan broke away from West Pakistan with Indian
assistance and became the independent state of
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Bangladesh, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
Bengal emerged as a concept around the year 1000 BC.
The area has formed a northeastern part of the Buddhist,
Hindu, Muslim and British empires in South Asia. The
mountains of eastern and southeastern Bengal have been a
natural barrier to contacts further east.
Bengal was part of the Maurya Empire (c. 320-80 BC),
which also included today's India and Pakistan. Buddhist
doctrine then began to spread in the area, but it was
only during the Paladin dynasty (750-1505) that Buddhism
became established throughout Bengal. Thereafter, the
Hindu Senate dynasty ruled until Turkic Muslims
conquered the area in the 13th century.
In the 16th century, the area was incorporated with
the Mogul empire, which already covered the whole of
India. Bengal was the richest province in the empire and
served as a grain store and a source of supply for the
army of the great mogul. Agriculture and trade
flourished and Dhaka became one of South Asia's textile
centers, known for its muslin and silk production.
During the mogul era, Islam gradually became the
dominant religion in Bengal.
The British take over
As the mogul empire fell during the 17th and 18th
centuries, the British settled in the area. The British
East India Company conducted trading with the West
Bengal Calcutta (Kolkata) as a starting point. The
company took control of Bengal in 1757 by defeating the
mogul ruler here at the Battle of Plassey.
After an Indian uprising, today's Bangladesh,
Pakistan and India became a British crown colony in
1858. Bengal became the largest province of British
For the British, the colony was primarily a commodity
producer and a market for British goods. The famous
textile craft in Bengal competed out. Agriculture has
Under British rule, a Western-influenced and
well-educated middle class emerged, almost exclusively
of Hindus, who soon came to dominate the business,
education and administration. From this group a
nationalist movement emerged and in 1885 the Indian
National Congress was founded, which came to lead the
Indian freedom struggle.
The Bengals are divided
Between 1905 and 1911, Bengal was divided into a
western province with a Hindu majority and an eastern
part that was predominantly Muslim. During that period,
the All India Muslim League was formed in Dhaka. It was
a party aimed at defending the interests of Muslims; The
Indian National Congress was considered too
Hindu-dominated. In the 1930s, the idea of a separate
Muslim state, Pakistan, was born among Muslim
When the British era came to an end in 1947, two new
independent states, India and Pakistan, were formed,
mainly along religious lines. The richest and most
developed part of Bengal - with the important port city
of Calcutta (Kolkata) - came to India, while the poorer
East Bengal became Pakistan's eastern part. Both parts
of Pakistan were 160 kilometers apart.
Government, military and industry were initially
dominated by West Pakistan, which on the surface was
larger than East Pakistan but had fewer inhabitants. The
fact that Urdu was made into a national language
contributed to the dissatisfaction growing in East
Pakistan, where the main language was Bengali.
Pakistan is shattered
In the first free elections of 1970, the East
Pakistani Nationalist Party Awami Federation won a
landslide victory in the populous eastern country end.
This was sufficient for the majority of the Common
Parliament. Party leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman demanded
far-reaching self-determination for East Pakistan.
However, the President refused to convene Parliament,
which triggered mass protests in East Pakistan.
In March 1971, the army entered Dhaka to end the
protests, after which supporters of independence, led by
the Awami League, proclaimed the Free Republic of
Bangladesh. It led to civil war, and about 10 million
people fled to India. In December 1971, India intervened
in the conflict and within two weeks the West Pakistan
was forced to capitulate.
The first ICT trial begins
The first trial in the newly established War Criminal Tribunal begins. The
defendant is Delwar Hossain Sayadee, a member of Jamaat-e-Islami.
Strike against secularism
GDP and a number of Islamist parties are calling for a general strike in
protest against the reintroduction of secularism into the constitution. It is
the seventh general strike GDP has organized since the 2008 elections.
The BNP leader's son is sentenced for money laundering
Khaleda Zia's son Arafat Rahman is sentenced in his absence for money
laundering under the mother's rule, to six years in prison and $ 5.2 million in
The system of transitional governments is abolished
The Parliament, dominated by the Awami League, approves amendments to the
constitution which partly means that the country again becomes secular
(non-religious state) and partly that the arrangement of transitional
governments before parliamentary elections is abolished (see Political system).
The number of seats in Parliament reserved for women is simultaneously increased
from 45 to 50. The decision is followed by large demonstrations organized by
Over 650 border guards are sentenced to prison
More than 650 border guards are sentenced on the same day to prison for
participation in the border guard myth (see February 2009).
New law on increased equality
Parliament adopts a new law that gives women equal rights as men in
education, work, healthcare, inheritance and ownership; Islamists protest and
say that the law violates the Qur'an regarding inheritance rights.
New rattles among textile workers
New violent riots erupt among textile workers when another major stock market