Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a country in South Asia, emerged as an independent country in 1971. Bangladesh has a largely homogeneous society, in which people of different race and religion live in harmony and peace. It is a democratic country, providing broad and non-partisan political support for market-oriented reforms. That also works as active encouragement for foreign investors.
The history of the country is as old as it is eventful. Bangladesh has a four thousand years old history. In the ancient age the region was settled by Dravidian, Tibeto-Burman and Austro-Asiatic peoples. It is believed that the word 'Bangla' or 'Bengal' derived from the word BANG, the Dravidian speaking tribe that settled in the area around the year 1000 BC. The origin of Bangladesh consist the kingdom of Gangaridai that was formed in the 7th century BC. Bengal was later the part of Gupta Empire and Harsha Empire from 3rd to 6th centuries CE. Later on, in 12th century, Arab Muslim merchants established Islam in Bengal. By the 16th century, the Mughal Empire controlled Bengal, and Dhaka became an important provincial centre of Mughal administration.
The British ruled Bengal till the partition period of 1947 and the partition divided the Bengal in two parts, East Pakistan and West Pakistan. Dhaka was the capital of the East Pakistan. Pakistan 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 two wings of Pakistan. Dissatisfaction with the central government over economic & cultural issues continued to rise through the next decade. In 1971, after nine months of liberation war Pakistan surrendered and Bangladesh become an independent country on 16 December in 1971.
Bangladesh is the second largest river basin in the world (after the Amazon). The country is mainly flat, with 90% of its landmass less than 10 meters above sea level. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Myanmar (Burma) to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south. Bangladesh includes colorful tribal life of Hill Tracts, world's largest and longest sea beach at Cox's Bazar, have some other famous beaches such as Kuakata sea beach and Parky sea beach, Foy's Lake, Dulahajra safari park, Sitakundo Echo Park at Chittagong, century old historical sites at Dhaka, Paharpur, Moinamati, Mohastangar. Also, Sundarban the home of Royal Bengal Tiger and world's largest mangrove forest is one of the natural assets of this country, followed by lush green tea gardens of Sylhet. The surrounding riverside life enhances the beauty of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is noted for the ethnic homogeneity of its population. Over 98 percent of the people are Bengalis, predominantly Bangla-speaking peoples. During the pre-Islamic period people spoke Sanskrit, Dravidian and later Arabic, Persian, and Turkic languages also have contributed to the linguistics characteristics of the region. A member of the Indo-European family of languages, Bangla (sometimes called Bengali) is the official language of Bangladesh. Bangladeshis closely identify themselves with their national language. Bangla has a rich cultural heritage in literature, music, and poetry, and at least two Bengali poets are well known in the West: Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel laureate; and Kazi Nazrul Islam, who is known as the "voice of Bengali nationalism and independence." Bangla has been enriched by several regional dialects. The dialects of Sylhet, Chittagong, and Noakhali have been strongly marked by Arab-Persian influences. English, whose cultural influence seemed to have crested by the late 1980s, remained nonetheless an important language in Bangladesh.Finally, Bangladesh can be denoted as a melting pot of races. She, therefore, has a mixed culture. Her deep rooted heritage is fully reflected in her architecture, literature, dance, drama, music and painting. Bangladeshi culture is influenced by three great religions- Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam in successive order, with Islam having the most pervading and lasting impact. Like a colorful montage, the cultural tradition of the country is a happy blending of many variants, unique in diversity but in essence greatly symmetrica.
After independence in 1971, Bangladesh was established as a parliamentary democracy. The country was under military rule for some years, but a democratically elected government was re-established in 1991. Bangladeshis have long appreciated their democratic system and culture of secularism. Although, there are frictions, the country has made remarkable progress towards freedom of speech and politics. Therefore, with a sound economic growth Bangladesh is living a mature political stage where the reflection of an improved nation is visible all over.