|From East Bengal to Bangladesh
Dynamics and Perspectives
Shaikh Maqsood Ali
ISBN 984 70220 0012 7 2009 460pp 215x136mm HB Tk.750.00 US$33.00
Bangladesh emerged as an independent country in 1971 through a violent liberation war leading to the dismemberment of Former Pakistan (1947-1971). Former Pakistan came into existence when two Muslim majority areas of the British Indian Sub-Continent, East Bengal and Northwestern India (re-named as West Pakistan) formed one country. However, prior to that Union, for historical reasons, West Pakistan had developed itself as a feudal-military-tribal/caste dominated socio-political culture with clear preference for authoritarian and centralised rule while East Bengal had emerged as a significantly successful fighter, challenging its own feudal system with distinct preference for participatory democracy, vertical social mobility and further social change. The clash between the peoples of the two regions at two levels of historical development scale, therefore, seemed inevitable. This book explains the dismemberment of Former Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh in a wider canvas of historical challenges, struggles and dynamics that had constantly worked in the background. It is also hoped that the author’s approach to the transition of East Bengal to Bangladesh would give a deeper insight into its current predicament: the new social contradiction between its present conservative middleclass, who would like to hijack the nascent democracy in order to maintain their status quo and the determined effort of its socially conscious poor, with their supporting social catalysts, to trigger off new innovative pro-poor development paradigm out of their historically acquired dynamics.
This book is a part of Road to Bangladesh Series which is designed to present published accounts of the background to the emergence of Bangladesh. Books in the series should be an invaluable collection for those interested in South Asian affairs, particularly students and scholars of politics, economic development and social transformation.
Shaikh Maqsood Ali obtained MA (Econ) in 1956 from University of Dhaka, MA (Econ) in 1964 from University of Manchester, UK and Ph.D in 1972 from University of Leeds, UK. He taught economics at the University of Dhaka during 1957-1959. In 1959, he joined the Civil Service of Former Pakistan and served in several ministries, field administration, higher training institutions, and the Planning Commission in Bangladesh. During this period as well as after retirement (1992), he worked in several committees and commissions on planning, development and administration. In particular, he was a Member of Independent South Asian Commission for Poverty Alleviation and Convener, National Task Force for Poverty Alleviation in Bangladesh. His specialisation has been in the fields of Integrated Social Mobilisation, South Asian Values and Pro-Poor Development Paradigms. He has several publications in international books and journals on the areas of his specialisation.