Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Bangladesh is a small country in South Asia on the Bay of Bengal, bordered by India and Myanmar (Burma). It has an area of 144,000 square kilometers and a population of 138.4 million (July 2003 estimate). It is extremely susceptible to flooding because it is located on the flood plains and delta of the Ganges (Padma), Brahmaputra (Jamuna), and Meghna rivers and their tributaries. The economy is primarily based on agriculture (rice and jute), although growing industrialization, particularly garment production, is an increasingly important part of the economy. Bangladesh, a parliamentary democracy, was created in 1971. It had been part of the Indian province of Bengal, which was colonized by Britain. After decolonization in 1947, Bengal was divided along ethnic lines. Although not geographically contiguous, the Muslim areas became Pakistan (divided as East and West Pakistan). Relations between the two were strained in part because of cultural and linguistic differences ...