It is very difficult to give a historical account of ancient Bengal. Being situated in the extreme east of India, Bengal served as the connecting land link between the sub-continent, Burma, South China and the Malay Peninsula and Indo-China.The name Vanga or Banga was abhorred by the Aryans who succeeded the Senas, and avoided by the Palas and Sena rulers, but it became the sole identity of Bengal under Muslim rule. When Bakhtiar Khilji, a Turk, conquered Bengal in 1204 it became known as Banga and Gaura. During the period of the Mughal emperor Akbar Bengal became known as 'Subah Bangla' and the Europeans who came to India at that time called the land Bengala which eventually became Bengal. Bengal was ruled by the British from 1757 to 1947.
After the end of British rule in 1947 the land was divided along religious lines, creating a central, predominantly Hindu, India, and a separate independent state of Pakistan. As the majority of Muslims lived in the extreme east and west of the country, the British decided to split Pakistan into two geographical parts -East and West-with a single government (housed in Lahore, in the West)
Present day Bangladesh was then known as East Pakistan. But the movement for autonomy started within a couple of years because of linguistic, cultural and economic disparity between the two wings. The seeds of independence were sown through the Language Movement of 1952 that established Bangla as the state language.
After the military crackdown by the Pakistan army since the night of March 25, 1971, A bloody fighting grew between the Pakistani army and the Bengali Mukti Bahini(Ã¢â‚¬Å“freedom fightersÃ¢â‚¬Â), which continued for nine months and an estimated thirty million Bengalis were sacrificed their lives for the independence of Bangladesh. On December16, 1971, Pakistani forces surrendered and Bangladesh was finally established.
The country is the pioneer in micro-credit concept for poverty elimination, which brought the Noble Prize in Peace for the country in 2006. The founder of the world reputed Grameen Bank; Professor Dr. Muhammad Yunus is the Nobel laureate.