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22:49, Saturday August 30, 2014 (UTC) • 4:49, Sunday August 31, 2014 (BST) • Bhadro 16, 1421

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Emblem of Bangladesh
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Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on three sides and Myanmar to the southeast; the Bay of Bengal forms the southern coastline. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it comprises the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means "Country of Bengal" and is written in Bengali as বাংলাদেশ and pronounced [ˈbaŋlad̪eʃ]. The exact origin of the word Bangla or Bengal is unknown.

The borders of Bangladesh were set by the Partition of India in 1947, when it became the eastern wing of Pakistan (East Pakistan), separated from the western wing by 1,600 km (1,000 miles). Despite their common religion, the ethnic and linguistic gulf between the two wings was compounded by an apathetic government based in West Pakistan. This resulted in the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 after a bloody war, supported by India. The years following independence have been marked by political turmoil, with thirteen different heads of government, and at least four military coups.

The population of Bangladesh ranks seventh in the world, but its area of approximately 144,000 km2 is ranked ninety-third. It is the third largest Muslim-majority nation, but has a slightly smaller Muslim population than the Muslim minority in India. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Geographically dominated by the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, the country has annual monsoon floods, and cyclones are frequent. Bangladesh is one of the founding members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), BIMSTEC, and a member of the OIC and the D-8.

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Shahbag (also Shahbaugh, Bengali: শাহবাগ Shabag; [ˈʃabaɡ]) is a major neighbourhood and a police precinct or Thana in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. It is also a major public transport hub, and serves as a junction between two contrasting sections of the city—Old Dhaka and New Dhaka—which lie, respectively, to its north and south. Developed in the 17th century during Mughal rule in Bengal, when Old Dhaka was the provincial capital and a centre of the flourishing muslin industry, the neighborhood was originally named Bagh-e-Badshahi (Persian: Garden of the Master Kings). In the mid-19th century, the construction of buildings in and around Shahbag ushered in the development of New Dhaka as a provincial centre of the British Raj and ended a century of decline brought on with the passing of Mughal rule.

Shahbag is home to the nation's leading educational and public institutions, including the University of Dhaka, the oldest and largest public university in Bangladesh, and the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, the largest public university for technological studies in the country. Shahbag hosts many street markets and bazaars, and since the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent country in 1971, the Shahbag area has become a venue for celebrating major festivals, such as the Bengali New Year and Basanta Utsab.

The Thana area, with Dhaka University at its centre, has seen the debut of some of the major political movements in the nation's history, including the All India Muslim Education Conference in 1905, the Bengali Language Movement in 1952 and the Six point movement in 1966. It was here, on March 7, 1971, that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered a historic speech calling for the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan, and here too, later that year, that the Pakistani Army surrendered in the Liberation War of Bangladesh. The area has since become a staging ground for protests by students and other groups. (more...)

Bangladesh News


  • Apr 5: Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus loses his final appeal in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh against his dismissal from his own Grameen micro-finance bank; the bank thought him too old for the job. (BBC)

Archive of old items

Where in Bangladesh...


Mahasthangarh is the earliest urban archaeological site so far discovered in Bangladesh. The site contains the remains of an ancient city which was called Pundranagara or Paundravardhanapura in the territory of Pundravardhana. A limestone slab bearing six lines in Prakrit in Brahmi script, discovered in 1931, dates Mahasthangarh to at least the 3rd century BC. Do you know where in Bangladesh is Mahasthangarh?
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The village Mahasthan is located in Shibganj thana of Bogra District under Rajshahi Division, in the North-easter region of the country.

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Ahsan Manzil, the official residential palace and seat of the Dhaka Nawab Family, situated on the banks of the Buriganga River. The palace is now a museum.
Photo credit: Adnandx
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Ship breaking in progress at Sitakunda

Selected biography


Bagha Jatin

Bagha Jatin (Bengali: বাঘা যতীন), born Jatindranath Mukherjee (Jotindrônath Mukhopaddhæe) was a Bengali Indian revolutionary philosopher against British rule. Jatin was born on 7 December 1879 in Kayagram, a village in the Kushtia subdivision of Nadia district in present day Bangladesh. Jatin spent his early life at in his ancestral home at Jhenaidah and in his maternal home at Kushtia. He moved to Calcutta after passing the Entrance examination. Several sources mention Jatin as being among the founders of the Anushilan Samiti in 1900. The Samiti activities subsequently spread to many of the districts of Bengal flourished particularly at Kushtia, where Jatindra Nath was the leader. In 1906 Jatin servived an attack by a Bengal Tiger and managed to kill the tiger with only a dagger. This act of heroism made him famous.

A few years later Jatin became the principal leader of the Yugantar party that was the central association of revolutionaries in Bengal. Having personally met the German Crown-Prince in Calcutta shortly before the World War I, he had obtained the promise of arms and ammunition from Germany; as such, he was responsible for the planned German Plot during World War I. Another of his original contributions was the indoctrination of the Indian soldiers in various regiments in favour of an insurrection. Bagha Jatin was injured by police bullets near Chashakhand in Balasore. He died in Balasore hospital on 10 September 1915. (more)