Photo: Officials in New Delhi release 5th batch of 25 declassified files relating to 1945 death of Bengali freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose, which some claim to have been part of conspiracy - @PIB_India
Bangladesh (/ˌbæŋɡləˈdɛʃ/; /ˌbɑːŋɡləˈdɛʃ/; বাংলাদেশ, pronounced: [ˈbaŋlad̪eʃ], lit. "The country of Bengal"), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh (গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ Gônôprôjatôntri Bangladesh), is a sovereign country in South Asia. It forms the largest and eastern portion the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. Located at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh is bordered by India and Myanmar and is separated from Nepal and Bhutan by the narrow Siliguri Corridor. Bangladesh is the world's eighth-most populous country, the fifth most populous in Asia and the third-most populous among Muslim-majority countries. The official Bengali language is the tenth most spoken language in the world, which Bangladesh shares with the neighboring Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura.
Three of Asia's largest rivers, the Ganges (locally known as the Padma), the Brahmaputra (locally known as the Jamuna) and the Meghna, flow through Bangladesh and form the fertile Bengal delta- the largest delta in the world. With rich biodiversity, Bangladesh is home to 700 rivers, most of the world's largest mangrove forest; rainforested and tea-growing highlands; a 600 km (370 mi) coastline with one of the world's longest beaches; and various islands, including a coral reef. Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, ranking alongside South Korea and Monaco. Urban centers are spread across the country, with the capital Dhaka and the port city Chittagong being the most prominent. The predominant ethnic group are Bengalis, along with numerous minorities, including Chakmas, Garos, Marmas, Tanchangyas, Bisnupriya Manipuris, Santhals, Biharis, Oraons, Tripuris, Mundas, Rakhines and Rohingyas.
Greater Bengal was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Gangaridai. The people of the delta developed their own language, script, literature, music, art and architecture. A thalassocracy and an entrepôt of the historic Silk Road, Ancient Bengal established colonies on Indian Ocean islands and in Southeast Asia; influenced the cultures of Tibet and China; and had strong trade links with Persia, Arabia and the Mediterranean that focused on its lucrative cotton muslin textiles. Islam, introduced in the first millennium, was adopted under the Delhi Sultanate as an official religion. Bengal was absorbed into the Muslim world and the achievements of pre-Islamic civilizations were embraced by the new polity. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Bengal Sultanate emerged as a regional power in Asia. By the 16th and 17th centuries, the Mughal Empire controlled the region and its Bengal Subah province became a prosperous hub of trade. British colonial conquest took place in the late-18th century. Nationalism, social reforms and the arts developed under the British Raj in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the region was a hotbed of the anti-colonial movement in the subcontinent.
The first British partition of Bengal in 1905, that created the province of Eastern Bengal and Assam, set the precedent for the Partition of British India in 1947, when East Bengal joined the Dominion of Pakistan and was renamed as East Pakistan in 1955. It was separated from West Pakistan by 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) of Indian territory. East Pakistan was home to the country's demographic majority and its legislative capital. The Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as a new republic with a secular multiparty parliamentary democracy. A short-lived one party state and several military coups in 1975 established a presidential government. The restoration of the parliamentary republic in 1991 led to improved economic growth and relative stability. However, Bangladesh continues to face challenges of poverty, corruption, polarized politics, human rights abuses by security forces, overpopulation and global warming. The country has achieved notable human development progress, including in health, education, gender equality, population control and food production. The poverty rate has reduced from 57% in 1990 to 25.6% in 2014.
Considered a middle power in international affairs and a major developing country, Bangladesh is listed as one of the Next Eleven. It is a unitary state with eight administrative divisions and an elected parliament called the Jatiyo Sangshad. Bangladesh has the third-largest economy and military in South Asia after India and Pakistan. It is a founding member of SAARC and hosts the permanent secretariat of BIMSTEC. The country is the world's largest contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations. It is a member of the Developing 8 Countries, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Group of 77, the Non Aligned Movement, BCIM, the Indian Ocean Rim Association and BBIN. The country has significant natural resources, including natural gas, limestone and coal. Agriculture mainly produces rice, jute and tea. Bangladesh's major trading partners include Japan, the United States, the European Union and the other nearby Asian nations of China, Malaysia and India.