Bengal (Bangladesh and the Indian state of
West Bengal) has a strong literary tradition. Not least
in drama, there are strong traditions in Bangladesh. In
the villages, popular theater, so-called jatra, is often
played, especially during harvest time.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Hindu
writer Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) dedicated to
Bengal a number of poems, including the text of what
became Bangladesh's national anthem. Tagore was awarded
the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. The 20th century
Muslim poet Kazi Nazrul Islam's work is permeated by
Bengali nationalism and a pursuit of social justice.
Latest population statistics of Bangladesh, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
During the 1990s, the writer Taslima Nasrin became
aware of the fact that she was threatened with the
deaths of fundamentalists who believed that she had
forged Islam. The government gave way to demands that
Nasrin be tried, but she succeeded in escaping to Sweden
in 1994. She has subsequently lived in a country escape
in different countries. Taslima Nasrin, who is also a
doctor, has written about the woman's difficult
situation in Bangladesh. She has been awarded a wide
range of international awards, both for her works and
for her work on human rights.
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Bangladesh. Artists and albums are also included.
Another leading author and social critic, Humayun
Azad, also aroused the anger of fundamentalists through
his criticism of Islamic fanaticism. He survived a
brutal assault at Dhaka University in 2004, but died
later that year. Azad wrote over 70 novels, poetry
collections, children's books and other works.
The architecture has mainly been designed during the
heyday of the Muslim sultans and the powerful moguls
(see Ancient History). Typical of Bengali architecture
is the use of bricks as well as the vaulted roofs which
later became popular also in northwestern India.
Bangladesh also has some of the best preserved early
remains of Buddhist monastic architecture.
Songs and instruments such as banshi (bamboo flute),
ectara and dotara (stringed instrument) and dhola
(wooden drums) play a big role in the country's
classical music tradition, which is largely the same as
in India. Alauddin Khan is an internationally recognized
20th century musician who played a wide range of
instruments and taught, among others, the world famous
Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar.
Rohingya group is forced to close
Bangladeshi authorities are ordering the Rohingya human rights group ARSPH
(Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights) to close its premises and
cease operations. ARSPH was formed in 2017 to gather evidence in order to prove
the charges of genocide in rohingyer in Rakhine 2017. The group also became
renowned when it engaged 200 000 rohingyska refugees in camps in Bangladesh in a
march to mark the second anniversary of the expulsion of Myanmar. However, the
group's operations have caused great concern among Bangladeshi living near the
camps, which is why the authorities are now stopping ARSPH's activities.
Seven are sentenced to death for terrorist acts against cafe 2016
Seven militant Islamists are sentenced to death for the terrorist act at
Holey Artisan Café in Dhaka, which claimed the lives of 22 people (see
July 2016). Eighteen of the victims were foreign nationals, most
Italians and Japanese. An eighth defendant is released by the court, which
states that the purpose of the attack was to destabilize the country and turn it
into an Islamic state. The perpetrators are said to belong to the banned
Bangladeshi Islamist group JMB (Jamaat-ul-Mujahedin Bangladesh).
Girl is burned alive, sixteen are sentenced to death
Sixteen people have been sentenced to death for burning a teenage girl to
death after refusing to bring back allegations of sexual harassment that she
directed at her principal. The perpetrators drowned the girl in gasoline and
then set fire to her. Among those sentenced to death are the rector who,
according to the court in the coastal city of Feni, ordered the murder. Among
those sentenced to death are also members of the government party Awami
Association and students from the girl's school, including two other girls.
Rohingy marks "Genocide Day"
Between 100,000 and 200,000 Rohingyans (data in the media varies) gather in
one of the refugee camps in south-eastern Bangladesh to mark the two-year
anniversary of what they call "Genocide Day", that is, the start of the mass
exodus from Myanmar in August 2017 (see also Myanmar, The situation of the
Rohingy). A representative of the people's group says they will not return to
their homeland until Myanmar authorities listen to their demands: Myanmar
citizenship, a safe life in their home country, and the right to return to their
old villages and not in refugee detention camps.
Repatriation of Rohingyas again fails
A second attempt to get Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to voluntarily move
back to Myanmar's home country fails when not a single refugee shows up at the
buses and trucks that Bangladesh has made available for the return journey. (A
first unsuccessful attempt was interrupted in November 2018.) The refugees say
they do not want to return to Myanmar as long as their security cannot be
guaranteed there. The stateless Rohingya also want guarantees that they will be
granted Myanmar citizenship when they leave Bangladesh.
Death sentence for 25-year-old assault on Hasina
Nine GDP supporters are sentenced to death for an attack on a train in which
the current Prime Minister Hasina (then opposition leader) traveled in 1994.
Twenty-five other GDP supporters are sentenced to life imprisonment while 13
party members are jailed for ten years each. Thirty-four of the defendants are
present in the courtroom when the judges fall, while the others are sentenced in
their absence when they have lived in exile for years. Representatives of GDP
say the judges are meant to crack the opposition. The convicted must have
attacked the train with, among other things, molotov cocktails. Several people
in Hasina's vicinity were injured in the attack.
Attachments to web sites are increasing
Authorities are blocking one of the country's largest news portals on the
Internet, poriborton.com, according to the portal's editor-in-chief. Media
sources say one of the country's security services has ordered the closure since
Muslim groups have reacted outraged to an article about a newspaper ad against
violent Islamism. Since the turn of the year, the authorities have closed 54
news portals and websites for security reasons. Several notable arrests have
also been made by bloggers and other writers. The restrictions are made with the
support of a new strict cyber security law.
A quarter of a million Rohingy people get ID documents
UNHCR has registered over 270,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Many of
them have thus received their first ID documents in life. With these documents,
the refugees can prove their right to return to Myanmar once the security
situation there has improved. About 740,000 Rohingyas fled Myanmar during a
military offensive in the state of Rakhine in August 2017, settling in refugee
camps in Bangladesh, where 300,000 Rohingyans were already located. UNHCR
estimates the number of Rohingy in the Bangladeshi refugee camps at present at
around 900,000. According to UNHCR, registration work should be quite clear in
November. The UNHCR also says that the registration will be of great help in the
fight against human smuggling. A few days earlier, the police shot dead two
suspected Rohingya smugglers in the camps.
GDP ends boycott
The opposition party GDP begins to participate in Parliament's work, four
months after the ruling Awami League has been declared victorious in an election
surrounded by violence and harassment and indictment (see December 2018).
Representatives of the BNP say that the party still believes that the election
should have been made, but that the party is now ending its boycott of
Parliament to fight for the restoration of democracy instead.
Five opposites are sentenced to death
Bangladesh's heavily criticized War Criminal Tribunal (ICT) sentenced five
men with links to opposition parties to death in their absence. The men must
have committed murder, abduction, looting, arson and rape during the civil war
of 1971. Four of those convicted have ties to Jamaat-e-Islami and one to GDP.
ICT has been criticized by human rights organizations for essentially judging
opposition politicians and for not living up to international standards.
Stop for refugees from Myanmar
Bangladesh informs the UN Security Council that the country is no longer able
to receive more refugees from Myanmar. In 2017, some 740,000 Rohingyas fled from
persecution in the Myanmar state of Rakhine and have since been living in
refugee camps in Bangladesh. A relocation agreement has been stalled, partly
because the UN believes it is not safe for the Rohingya to return to Rakhine
yet. Bangladesh appeals to the UN to act "decisively" on this issue.
New refugee stream from Myanmar
6th of February
Bangladesh calls itself Myanmar's ambassador to the country and protests that
a new wave of refugees is being created when thousands of Rakhine residents flee
to Bangladesh from new fighting. Bangladeshi authorities warn that refugees are
queuing again at the border. The UN estimates that around 5,200 Buddhist
Arakanes have moved to neighboring countries.
Bangladeshi miners to Saudi Arabia
On a visit to Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh's army chief announces that his
country will send 1,800 soldiers to Saudi Arabia to clear mines at the border
Thousands of strikers are dismissed
Nearly 5,000 textile workers are laid off after striking for higher wages for
several days. The strikers work at factories that knit clothes for international
clothing companies such as H&M and Walmart. Police say the workers who have been
laid off have been guilty of looting and vandalism. In Ashulia, an industrial
city outside Dhaka, a worker is killed and more than 50 injured in connection