chapter  14
17 Pages

Political Culture and Heritage

WithRobert C. Oberst, Yogendra K. Malik, Charles H. Kennedy, Ashok Kapur, Mahendra Lawoti, Syedur Rahman, Ahrar Ahmad

This chapter examines the emergence of Bangladesh, its historical evolution and challenges, and the nature of its society and culture. Bangladesh is bordered on the west, north, and east by India. The Bangladeshi cultural and political heritage is drawn from a wide variety of sources. If the ancient culture of modern Bangladesh was more Buddhist than Hindu, the advent of Islam in the thirteenth century further transformed the country and posed the challenge of how to merge the social customs of the region with the religious practices of Islam. Prior to the Pakistan period, Bengal was an ethnically separate region of India, and the ebb and flow of its independence depended on Bengal's ability to ward off the central authority of those in power in India. Bengali nationalism and social issues came to the forefront of East Pakistan's political culture.