Bangladesh (Modern World Nations) by Charles F. Gritzner

By Charles F. Gritzner

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The Turks who took control of Bengal were not from Turkey; rather, they were from Turkmenistan in Central Asia. Eighty years of Turkish rule followed Lakhmanasena’s death in 1204. This era was marked by infighting among Turk generals, during which time twelve different sultans (Turkish leaders) ruled in the first 50 years. Five of these sultans were killed by other Turks. After this era of political turmoil and transition, leaders began to rule for longer periods of time. In 1227, the Turk leadership in Bengal was forced to accept subjugation to the Delhi Sultanate in India, which had been established in 1206.

He then proceeded to conquer Siraj’s forces and killed the Bengali leader only a year after he had come to power. Earlier Clive had cut a deal with Siraj’s uncle, Mir Jafar, which would allow Jafar to become nawab upon the death of Siraj. In return, Clive received a huge amount of money from Jafar that instantly made him one of the richest people in Britain. British control 028-041_MWN-BANG_03 1/26/07 3:43 PM Page 39 Bangladesh Through Time British major-general Robert Clive gained notoriety by conquering Bengal in the 1750s, but he also became one of the richest men in Great Britain by extracting revenue from the citizens and rulers of the provinces that the East India Company had conquered.

Foreign aid sent to the country was held in West Pakistan, and little trickled through to East Pakistan. In 1966, the leader of the Awami League, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (who was usually referred to as Mujib), issued a six-point political and economic program for East Pakistan. The key idea in his agenda was to increase the autonomy of East Pakistan. President Mohammad Ayub Khan of Pakistan was trying to push the country in the opposite direction, toward integration of East and West Pakistan. Mujib was arrested by the government in 1968.

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