Why Bangladesh Became an Independent State

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There are various reasons why Bangladesh became gained its independence from Pakistan and never became part of India. The first reason that fueled the need for Pakistan becoming an independent state was that there was forceful implementation of Urdu in East Pakistan (Rashid, 2015). The lingua franca in this case was Bengali and it had a rich history, in this relation, Bengali felt that the Punjabi were dominating the West Pakistan and were then forcing their will on East Pakistan. This degenerated into protests and deaths. The numerous protests against the enforced rule of Urdu on the people of Pakistan led to the need for the then East Pakistan to separate from West Pakistan in order for the East Pakistan to have their own leadership style (Jahan, 2013). This call led to the unity of the people of East Pakistan that then championed the fight for independence from West Pakistan to out an end to the new form of rule from the Westerners.

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The second reason why Bangladesh pulled away from Pakistan and became an independent state was that the political parties of Pakistan together with the Presidency were reluctant of accepting the results of the 1970 election (Sen, 2013). This was despite the fact that the Awami League of East Pakistan won the election as the single largest party. This gesture led to great dissent in East Pakistan which then forced President Yahya Khan to send army troops to control the situation in East Pakistan, the army then killed great numbers of East Pakistanis causing revolt. The genocide that followed as a result of troops being sent to East Pakistan prompted the population of East Pakistan to fight for their rights and deliver themselves from the discriminatory and the brutal rule of West Pakistan (Chowdhury et al., 2013). The East Pakistanis then solicited the assistance of India and for training and assistance to challenge the brutality of the army from West Pakistan. This led to the fight for their independence.

Finally, the reason why Bangladesh became independent but did not become part of India was that the India and Pakistan, both the East and West Pakistan, were divided along religious lines in the year 1947 with India being secular or Hindu and Pakistan being Muslims (Shewly, 2013). The then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, had a larger population that West Pakistan but all the power in the country was concentrated in East Pakistan because it was the historic seat of power. In this light, the East Pakistan were reluctant to allow universal suffrage because such a gesture would make power go to East Pakistan. Lack of denial of universal suffrage by West Pakistan and continued demand of the same by East Pakistan prompted the East Pakistan to seek assistance from India who then responded by assisting them. The war resulted into three countries; the modern day Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. India and Bangladesh on the other hand could not join to form one country because they had different religious beliefs and this would cause strains in their religious beliefs (Hasan, 2015). Understanding of the effects of political governance is of great importance in understanding the relevance of rules governing countries and how it affects the citizens. There is need for the political class to ensure that they enact the rules that are beneficial the citizens in general without any form of discrimination and that they champion political inclusivity in political governance.


Chowdhury, A. M. R., Bhuiya, A., Chowdhury, M. E., Rasheed, S., Hussain, Z., & Chen, L. C. (2013). The Bangladesh paradox: exceptional health achievement despite economic poverty. The Lancet, 382(9906), 1734-1745.

Feldman, S. (2016). The Hindu as Other: State, Law, and Land Relations in Contemporary Bangladesh. South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, (13).

Hasan, M. (2015). Present, past and future of nuclear medicine in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 17(1), 08-09.

Jahan, R. (2013). Genocide in Bangladesh. edited by Samuel Totten & William S. Parsons, Centuries of Genocide: Essays and Eyewitness Accounts, 249-278.

Rashid, A. (2015). Revisiting agency theory: Evidence of board independence and agency cost from Bangladesh. Journal of Business Ethics, 130(1), 181-198.

Sen, A. (2013). What's happening in Bangladesh?. The Lancet, 382(9909), 1966-1968.

Shewly, H. J. (2013). Abandoned spaces and bare life in the enclaves of the IndiaBangladesh border. Political Geography, 32, 23-31.

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