ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fifty Years of Independent Bangladesh

The Bangladesh model shows how mutually reinforcing economic and social policies foster inclusive growth.


Bangladesh, which separated from Pakistan in 1971 after a quarter century of coexistence, is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. The country, once labelled as a basket case, has slowly manoeuvred itself into what economists term as the take-off stage. This is a surprising achievement for a nation with a tumultuous history for decades. Right from the beginning, various groups have resisted Bangladesh’s secular constitution and forced the adoption of Islam as the state religion in 1988, which continues, even though the Supreme Court restored the secular label. And the country has witnessed much political turmoil during the first four decades with occasional coups and assassination of two Presidents.

Adding to the woes was the huge population, the eighth largest in the world, and the limited land and other natural resources. With 1,240 persons per square kilometre, which is almost three times that of India, Bangladesh was dependent on food imports for a fairly long stretch till 2012 when it achieved self-sufficiency in rice. Another major hazard for Bangladesh is its location in a cyclone-prone zone, which devastated large regions in 1970, 1991, 2007 and 2009.

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Updated On : 17th Apr, 2021
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