By Ali Riaz
Bangladesh is a rustic of paradoxes. The 8th such a lot populous state of the realm, it has attracted enormous cognizance from the overseas media and western policy-makers in recent times, frequently for the inaccurate purposes: corruption, usual mess ups as a result of its precarious geographical place, and unstable political occasions with numerous army coups, following its independence from Pakistan in 1971. Institutional corruption, becoming spiritual intolerance and Islamist militancy have mirrored the weak spot of the kingdom and undermined its potential. but the rustic has established major fiscal power and has completed successes in parts reminiscent of lady schooling, inhabitants keep watch over and discount rates in baby mortality. Ali Riaz right here examines the political techniques which engendered those paradoxical traits, making an allowance for the issues of democratization and the results this has had, and should proceed to have, within the wider South Asian sector. This accomplished and specific evaluation of political and old advancements in Bangladesh for the reason that 1971 will supply crucial analyzing for observers of Bangladesh and South Asia.
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Additional info for Bangladesh: A Political History since Independence
In contrast to the Germanic peoples who were in need of legitimation and thus of continuing what they displaced, the Muslim Arab had his centre of gravity within himself. His people were chosen and rule belonged as of right to the elect. Neither his faith nor the law by which he lived needed to be imposed on the subjects. Rather did he feel a certain reluctance to admit the nonArab to a full share in heaven and earth. A small caste of saved warriors and their kin, possessors of the last word God was to address to humankind and cultivating a spiritual arrogance which, together with their power, fascinated rather than repelled the exploited, the early Muslims had eliminated the hegemony of the christianized world-view of the ancient universe before they had ever realized its implications, not to say its existence.
Beyond the great avenues, the original city centres were generally spared and the introduction of modernity is primarily marked by the development of new towns beside the old. The former centres are gradually abandoned by the middle classes for the newer districts and fall into rapid social devaluation, taking on a proletarian character which radically transforms the social balance of the city. The ethnic and cultural divisions of former days favoured a mingling of the classes and hence a certain harmony in social relations; the new segregation is based on wealth.
The human material for this spatial expansion has certainly been supplied to a great extent by the constant demographic surplus of the older centres of population. Their survival in any appreciable numbers is rendered more and more precarious through the progressive colonization of the marginal areas which still offer opportunities for cultivation; this deprives them of their most attractive grazing grounds and pushes them back towards the desert. Settlement is their only recourse, permitting an incomparably higher proportion of human beings to use a given area of land.
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