Bangladesh Culture

Bangladesh Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Bangladesh

According to HOMOSOCIETY.COM, Bangladesh is a country located in Asia. In Bangladesh, some fifty daily newspapers are published, most of which, however, have very small editions. The newspaper spread is 53 newspaper sex. per 1,000 residents (2000). In Dhaka, newspapers are published in both Bengali and English. The largest is the Bengali-speaking Ittefaq (founded in 1953) with an edition of about 200,000 items. The English-speaking Bangladesh Observer (founded in 1949) has about 40,000 copies.

State-controlled radio and television broadcasts (Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television) are conducted under the leadership of the National Broadcasting Authority (NBA). TV is broadcast in two channels; in the second channel, programs are retransmitted from eg. BBC, CNN and Iran’s state television. There are 49 radio and 7 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ANIMALERTS, Bengal (Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal) has a strong literary tradition. Not least in drama, there are strong traditions in Bangladesh. In the villages, popular theater, so-called jatra, is often played, especially during harvest time.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Hindu writer Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) dedicated to Bengal a number of poems, including the text of what became Bangladesh’s national anthem. Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. The 20th century Muslim poet Kazi Nazrul Islam’s work is permeated by Bengali nationalism and a pursuit of social justice.

During the 1990s, the writer Taslima Nasrin became aware of the fact that she was threatened with the deaths of fundamentalists who believed that she had forged Islam. The government gave way to demands that Nasrin be tried, but she succeeded in escaping to Sweden in 1994. She has subsequently lived in a country escape in different countries. Taslima Nasrin, who is also a doctor, has written about the woman’s difficult situation in Bangladesh. She has been awarded a wide range of international awards, both for her works and for her work on human rights.

Another leading author and social critic, Humayun Azad, also aroused the anger of fundamentalists through his criticism of Islamic fanaticism. He survived a brutal assault at Dhaka University in 2004, but died later that year. Azad wrote over 70 novels, poetry collections, children’s books and other works.

The architecture has mainly been designed during the heyday of the Muslim sultans and the powerful moguls (see Ancient History). Typical of Bengali architecture is the use of bricks as well as the vaulted roofs which later became popular also in northwestern India.

Bangladesh also has some of the best preserved early remains of Buddhist monastic architecture.

Songs and instruments such as banshi (bamboo flute), ectara and dotara (stringed instrument) and dhola (wooden drums) play a big role in the country’s classical music tradition, which is largely the same as in India. Alauddin Khan is an internationally recognized 20th century musician who played a wide range of instruments and taught, among others, the world famous Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar.



Rohingya group is forced to close

December 6

Bangladeshi authorities are ordering the Rohingya human rights group ARSPH (Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights) to close its premises and cease operations. ARSPH was formed in 2017 to gather evidence in order to prove the charges of genocide in rohingyer in Rakhine 2017. The group also became renowned when it engaged 200 000 rohingyska refugees in camps in Bangladesh in a march to mark the second anniversary of the expulsion of Myanmar. However, the group’s operations have caused great concern among Bangladeshi living near the camps, which is why the authorities are now stopping ARSPH’s activities.


Seven are sentenced to death for terrorist acts against cafe 2016

November 27th

Seven militant Islamists are sentenced to death for the terrorist act at Holey Artisan Café in Dhaka, which claimed the lives of 22 people (see July 2016). Eighteen of the victims were foreign nationals, most Italians and Japanese. An eighth defendant is released by the court, which states that the purpose of the attack was to destabilize the country and turn it into an Islamic state. The perpetrators are said to belong to the banned Bangladeshi Islamist group JMB (Jamaat-ul-Mujahedin Bangladesh).


Girl is burned alive, sixteen are sentenced to death

October 24th

Sixteen people have been sentenced to death for burning a teenage girl to death after refusing to bring back allegations of sexual harassment that she directed at her principal. The perpetrators drowned the girl in gasoline and then set fire to her. Among those sentenced to death are the rector who, according to the court in the coastal city of Feni, ordered the murder. Among those sentenced to death are also members of the government party Awami Association and students from the girl’s school, including two other girls.


Rohingy marks “Genocide Day”

August 23rd

Between 100,000 and 200,000 Rohingyans (data in the media varies) gather in one of the refugee camps in south-eastern Bangladesh to mark the two-year anniversary of what they call “Genocide Day”, that is, the start of the mass exodus from Myanmar in August 2017 (see also Myanmar, The situation of the Rohingy). A representative of the people’s group says they will not return to their homeland until Myanmar authorities listen to their demands: Myanmar citizenship, a safe life in their home country, and the right to return to their old villages and not in refugee detention camps.

Repatriation of Rohingyas again fails

22 August

A second attempt to get Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to voluntarily move back to Myanmar’s home country fails when not a single refugee shows up at the buses and trucks that Bangladesh has made available for the return journey. (A first unsuccessful attempt was interrupted in November 2018.) The refugees say they do not want to return to Myanmar as long as their security cannot be guaranteed there. The stateless Rohingya also want guarantees that they will be granted Myanmar citizenship when they leave Bangladesh.


Death sentence for 25-year-old assault on Hasina

July 3

Nine GDP supporters are sentenced to death for an attack on a train in which the current Prime Minister Hasina (then opposition leader) traveled in 1994. Twenty-five other GDP supporters are sentenced to life imprisonment while 13 party members are jailed for ten years each. Thirty-four of the defendants are present in the courtroom when the judges fall, while the others are sentenced in their absence when they have lived in exile for years. Representatives of GDP say the judges are meant to crack the opposition. The convicted must have attacked the train with, among other things, molotov cocktails. Several people in Hasina’s vicinity were injured in the attack.


Attachments to web sites are increasing

May 19th

Authorities are blocking one of the country’s largest news portals on the Internet,, according to the portal’s editor-in-chief. Media sources say one of the country’s security services has ordered the closure since Muslim groups have reacted outraged to an article about a newspaper ad against violent Islamism. Since the turn of the year, the authorities have closed 54 news portals and websites for security reasons. Several notable arrests have also been made by bloggers and other writers. The restrictions are made with the support of a new strict cyber security law.

A quarter of a million Rohingy people get ID documents

May 17

UNHCR has registered over 270,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Many of them have thus received their first ID documents in life. With these documents, the refugees can prove their right to return to Myanmar once the security situation there has improved. About 740,000 Rohingyas fled Myanmar during a military offensive in the state of Rakhine in August 2017, settling in refugee camps in Bangladesh, where 300,000 Rohingyans were already located. UNHCR estimates the number of Rohingy in the Bangladeshi refugee camps at present at around 900,000. According to UNHCR, registration work should be quite clear in November. The UNHCR also says that the registration will be of great help in the fight against human smuggling. A few days earlier, the police shot dead two suspected Rohingya smugglers in the camps.


GDP ends boycott

April 29

The opposition party GDP begins to participate in Parliament’s work, four months after the ruling Awami League has been declared victorious in an election surrounded by violence and harassment and indictment (see December 2018). Representatives of the BNP say that the party still believes that the election should have been made, but that the party is now ending its boycott of Parliament to fight for the restoration of democracy instead.


Five opposites are sentenced to death

March 28

Bangladesh’s heavily criticized War Criminal Tribunal (ICT) sentenced five men with links to opposition parties to death in their absence. The men must have committed murder, abduction, looting, arson and rape during the civil war of 1971. Four of those convicted have ties to Jamaat-e-Islami and one to GDP. ICT has been criticized by human rights organizations for essentially judging opposition politicians and for not living up to international standards.


Stop for refugees from Myanmar

February 28

Bangladesh informs the UN Security Council that the country is no longer able to receive more refugees from Myanmar. In 2017, some 740,000 Rohingyas fled from persecution in the Myanmar state of Rakhine and have since been living in refugee camps in Bangladesh. A relocation agreement has been stalled, partly because the UN believes it is not safe for the Rohingya to return to Rakhine yet. Bangladesh appeals to the UN to act “decisively” on this issue.

New refugee stream from Myanmar

6th of February

Bangladesh calls itself Myanmar’s ambassador to the country and protests that a new wave of refugees is being created when thousands of Rakhine residents flee to Bangladesh from new fighting. Bangladeshi authorities warn that refugees are queuing again at the border. The UN estimates that around 5,200 Buddhist Arakanes have moved to neighboring countries.

Bangladeshi miners to Saudi Arabia

February 3

On a visit to Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh’s army chief announces that his country will send 1,800 soldiers to Saudi Arabia to clear mines at the border with Yemen.


Thousands of strikers are dismissed

January 29th

Nearly 5,000 textile workers are laid off after striking for higher wages for several days. The strikers work at factories that knit clothes for international clothing companies such as H&M and Walmart. Police say the workers who have been laid off have been guilty of looting and vandalism. In Ashulia, an industrial city outside Dhaka, a worker is killed and more than 50 injured in connection with violence.

Bangladesh Culture

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