Government and Politics in South Asia

By Craig Baxter; Yogendra K. Malik et al. | Go to book overview

14 Political Culture and Heritage

BANGLADESH'S INDEPENDENCE from Pakistan in 1971 was seen by many as the logical division of two disparate wings of a country united only by Islam, a mutual concern about India, and--partly facetiously-- the routes of Pakistan International Airline, but divided by language and social customs. Pakistan had fought to keep alive the fiction that all Muslims in the subcontinent belonged to a separate nation, distinct from Hindus, that should be united under a separate government and had struggled to retain its unity, preserving the ties between the two wings in the face of vast cultural differences that could not be covered up by the single thread of Islam. Indeed, the cultural differences between East and West Pakistan were so great that the division might be described as a second "Two-Nation Theory," based this time on culture rather than religion as in 1947. 1 To a few outsiders the Pakistani leadership in 1971 seemed to be acting as Abraham Lincoln had done in the United States in the 1860s to preserve the Union; to others, surely a majority, the leadership was seen as emulating George III, but in a singularly vicious manner. In this chapter we will discuss the society of Bangladesh and the causes of its demand for separation from Pakistan. As we will discover, there are vast differences between Bangladesh and Pakistan that, in themselves, contribute to cultural differences.


Land and Water: Ecology and Economy of a Delta

Much of Bangladesh is in the delta of two of the world's major river systems: the Ganges (called the Padma in Bangladesh) and the Brahmaputra ( Jamuna). Both arise in the Himalayas: the Brahmaputra on the northern slopes in Tibet and the Ganges in India on the southern side of the moun-

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Government and Politics in South Asia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Illustrations ix
  • Preface to the Fourth Edition xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 4
  • 1 - The Governance of South Asia Under the British 5
  • Suggested Readings 18
  • Part One - INDIA 19
  • 2 - Political Culture and Heritage 21
  • Suggested Readings 52
  • 3 - Political Institutions and Governmental Processes 55
  • Suggested Readings 90
  • 4 - Political Parties and Political Leaders 92
  • Suggested Readings 120
  • 5 - Groups and Multiple Demands on the System 122
  • Suggested Readings 139
  • 6 - Conflict Mediation 140
  • Suggested Readings 150
  • 7 - Modernization and Development: Prospects and Problems 151
  • Suggested Readings 159
  • Part Two - PAKISTAN 161
  • 8 - Political Culture and Heritage 163
  • Suggested Readings 174
  • 9 - Government Structure 175
  • Suggested Readings 183
  • 10 - Political Parties and Political Leaders 184
  • Suggested Readings 200
  • 11 - Conflict and Mediation 202
  • Suggested Readings 212
  • 12 - Policy Issues 213
  • Suggested Readings 223
  • 13: Modernization and Development 224
  • Part Three - BANGLADESH 231
  • 14 - Political Culture and Heritage 233
  • Suggested Readings 246
  • 15 - Government Institutions 247
  • Suggested Readings 257
  • 16 - Elections, Parties, and Interest Groups 259
  • Suggested Readings 279
  • 17 - Conflicts and Resolution 281
  • Suggested Readings 291
  • 18 - Modernization and Development: Prospects and Problems 292
  • Suggested Readings 299
  • Part Four - SRI LANKA 301
  • 19: Political Culture and Heritage 303
  • 20: Government Structure 316
  • 21: Political Parties and Interest Groups 331
  • 22: Conflict Mediation 346
  • 23: The Search for Prosperity 352
  • 24 - Modernization and Development: Prospects and Problems 358
  • Suggested Readings 362
  • Part Five - SOUTH ASIA 365
  • 25 - Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives 367
  • Suggested Readings 381
  • 26 - South Asia as a Region and in the World System 382
  • Suggested Readings 402
  • 27 - Conclusion: Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia 404
  • Suggested Readings 411
  • Statistical Appendix 413
  • Index 415
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