Shadhinotar Itihash: Part 6
The history of Bangladesh has been one of extremes, of turmoil and peace, prosperity and destitution. It has thrived under the glow of cultural spiendour and suffered under the ravages of war. The earliest mention of Bangladesh is found in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata (the story of Great Battle-9th century B.C). Evidence also suggests that there was a strong Mongoloid presence as well. Soon after, in the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. came the Aryans from Central Asia and the Dravidians from Western India. Then came the Guptas, Palas, Senas, who were Buddhist and Hindus.
From the 13th century A.D. the flood of Muslim invaders and the tide of Islam swamped the Buddhist and Hindus untold 8th century. Sometimes there were independent rulers like the Hussain Shahi and Ilyas Shahi dynasties while at other times they ruled on behalf of the imperial seat of Delhi. From 15th century the Europeans, namely; Portuguese, Dutch, French and British traders exerted an economic influence over the region. British political rule over the region began in 1757 A.D. when the last Muslim ruler of Ben. gal was defeated at Palassey. In 1947 the country was partitioned into India and Pakistan. Present Bangladesh becomes the Eastern Wing of the then Pakistan. But the movement for autonomy for East
Pakistan started within a couple of years because of language and cultural difference and economic disparity between the two wings. The seeds of independence were sown through the Language Movement of 1952 to recognize Bangla as a state language. Ultimately the then East Pakistan emerged as a sovereign and independent state of Bangladesh in 1971 after nine month - long war of Liberation (starting on 26 March 1971) in which 3 million people courted martyrdom.