Government and Politics in South Asia

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

15
Government Institutions

BANGLADESH HAS UNDERGONE a variety of regimes since it became independent in 1971. Amendments to the constitution of 1972 have changed the form of government from the original parliamentary system to a presidential system in 1975 and back to a parliamentary system in 1991. The goal of the newly independent state was to establish a socialist, democratic regime, but this goal proved short-lived as Mujibur Rahman became increasingly authoritarian and the experiment ended in a one- party, single-leader government under him. His assassination in 1975 brought a weak government for a brief period, followed by a military government that gradually liberalized the political system under Ziaur Rahman ("Zia"). In turn, Zia's assassination in 1981 was followed by a weak government and a further dose of military rule that was unable to transform itself into something resembling an open democratic system. The collapse of that government in 1990 was followed by free and fair elections and the return to a parliamentary system in 1991. The party of Ziaur Rahman, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), won the 1991 election, but the party of Mujibur Rahman ( Awami League) won the election of 1996. Table 15.1 presents a list of heads of government in Bangladesh along with their respective titles.


The Progress of Government

The Democratic Regime of Mujibur Rahman

The surrender of the Pakistan army to the Indian army on December 16, 1971, was largely an Indian matter, but it led to the creation of Bangladesh as a state. Absent from the initial weeks of independence was Mujibur Rahman ("Mujib"), who was a prisoner of the Pakistanis. The surrender was accompanied by the fall of the regime of Yahya Khan in Pakistan. His successor, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, released Mujib and permitted him to return to Bangladesh via London and, at Mujib's choice, New Delhi. There the leader met with Indira Gandhi, whose ideas on the political, social,

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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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