Bangladesh at 50: Still a democracy? | The Stream

Al Jazeera English published this video item, entitled “Bangladesh at 50: Still a democracy? | The Stream” – below is their description.

Bangladesh is marking 50 years of independence this week, following the end of its Liberation War against Pakistan in 1971. But freedom celebrations are ringing hollow for some citizens, who worry that the country is giving up on two key principles enshrined in the constitution – democracy and secularism.

Democratic rule was short-lived in Bangladesh. Four years after its inception, the country’s founder and first president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was assassinated in a coup. Decades of military rule followed, in which secularism was removed from the preamble of Bangladesh’s constitution and Islam was made the official state religion.

Democracy was restored in 1990, but right groups say the country has not had a free and fair election in years. Longtime Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has countered criticism of her rights record by pointing out Bangladesh’s growing economy.

Widespread violence against women and girls continues, activists say, despite the passage of half a dozen laws to protect them.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at the state of Bangladesh’s democracy, its struggle to maintain secularism and efforts to boost women’s rights.

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About This Source - Al Jazeera English

The video item below is a piece of English language content from Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is a Qatari state-funded broadcaster based in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network.

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In This Story: Bangladesh

Bangladesh, officially the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 162 million people.

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

Dhaka, the capital and largest city, is the nation’s economic, political, and cultural hub. Chittagong, the largest seaport, is the second-largest city.

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Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It has a population exceeding 212.2 million, including the world’s second-largest Muslim population. It has an area of 881,913 square kilometres (340,509 square miles).

Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China to the northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.

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