Social Structure of Bangladesh Introduction Bangladesh officially the People’s Republic of Bangladesh is a country in South Asia. The name Bangladesh means “Country of Bengal” in the official Bengali language. The borders of present-day Bangladesh were established with the partition of Bengal and India in 1947, when the region became the eastern wing of the newly-formed Pakistan. However, it was separated from the western wing by 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) across India.
Political and linguistic discrimination as well as economic neglect led to popular agitations against West Pakistan, which led to the war for independence in 1971 and the establishment of Bangladesh, with the help of India. In 2000, Bangladesh was estimated to be one of the ten most highly populated countries with an estimated population of just under 130 million. Nowadays it scored above 140 Million. This makes the population density of about 875 people per sq km (2,267 people per sq mi) higher than other countries.
Almost 90 percent of this population lives in the rural areas and 80 percent of our population are still depends on agriculture for a livelihood. With the successful lowering of total fertility and growth rates over the past few years, the crude birth rate stands at 22. 4 per 1000 persons, with a total fertility rate 3. 0 per women. The rural birth rate was estimated to be 36. 3 birth per 1000 persons according to the 1985 census. On the other hand, the crude death rate stands at 8. 2 per 1000 persons with the rural death rate found to be 12. 9 per 1000 persons. Also the child death rate is 70 per 1000 live births in the rural areas.
Most of the population is young with about 60 percent under the age of 25, with only about 3 percent over the age of 65 (life expectancy is 61 years). Twenty percent of the population was deemed to be urban in 1998, making Bangladesh’s population predominantly rural. |National symbols of Bangladesh | |Anthem |Amar Shonar Bangla | |Animal |Royal Bengal Tiger | |Bird |Oriental Magpie Robin | |Fish |Hilsa | |Flower |White Water Lily | |Fruit |Jackfruit | Sport |Kabadi | Although urbanization is proceeding rapidly, agriculture employs about two-thirds of the labor force and accounts for 35 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), remains Bangladesh’s primary sector. Bangladesh has predominantly remained rural and agrarian. Since more than 50 percent of the population, which has increased, depends on agriculture for sustenance and employment; peasant economy is the main mode of production in Bangladesh. The village is the peasant’s world and to understand the village community one must study the peasantry and their relationship with the nation at large.
Being a citizen of this country, one simply cannot ignore the prevalent poverty and unemployment in the rural sector and the consequential rise in the number of unemployment in the urban areas as well. Villages play a very important role for Bangladesh. Without these villages economic development of this country is not possible. This paper will clearly indicate the rural life, society and social class, culture, education, occupation, religion, economic and political institutions, beliefs, and the way of living in Bangladesh. Social Composition The Main and Basic stratification between the rich landlords and the poor farmers.
Here the class system is based on money and prestige, which is highly flexible. None has the fixed class here. All can have mobility to any direction if he or she manages to get that. Those who have enough Land they are more respected. Beside this Rural people of Bangladesh are stratified by other reasons related to their religion- Society in village is not strictly stratified; rather, it is open, fluid, and diffused, without a solid social organization and social structure. Social class distinctions are mostly functional and there is considerable mobility among classes.
Even the structure of the Hindu caste system in Bangladesh is relatively loose because most Hindus belonged to the lower castes. Ostensibly, egalitarian principles of Islam were the basis of social organization. Unlike in other regions of South Asia, the Hindu caste- based social system had a very limited effect on Bangladeshi Muslim social culture. Fairly permeable classes based on wealth and political influence existed both in the cities and in the villages. Traditional Muslim class distinctions had little importance in Bangladesh.
The proscription against marriage between individuals of high-born and low-born families, once an indicator of the social gap between the two groups, had long ago disappeared; most matrimonial alliances were based on wealth and power and not on the ties of family distinction, and the same condition belongs to the village. Although Hindu society is formally stratified into caste categories, caste did not figure prominently in the Bangladeshi Hindu community. About 75 percent of the Hindus in Bangladesh belonged to the lower castes, notably namasudras (lesser cultivators), and the remainder belonged primarily to outcaste or untouchable groups.
Some members of higher castes belonged to the middle or professional class, but there was no Hindu upper class. With the increasing participation of the Hindus in nontraditional professional mobility, the castes were able to interact in wider political and socioeconomic arenas, which caused some erosion of caste consciousness. Although there is no mobility between Hindu castes, caste distinctions did not play as important a role in Bangladesh as in they did in the Hindu-dominated Indian state of West Bengal.
Bangladeshi Hindus seemed to have become part of the mainstream culture without surrendering their religious and cultural distinctions. Culture Language and Literature More than 95 percent of the people of Bangladesh speak Bengali which is one of the earliest modem languages of the subcontinent. It originates from the eastern Prakrit group of the Indo- Aryan family of languages. Early Bengali, in its lyrical form, originated in the 7th century. Its mediaeval period underlined a steady upsurge of poesy having strong devotional and romantic overtones.
Since the early decades of this century, modem Bengali literature swept into the mainstream of world culture through the works of such geniuses as Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rabindranath Tagore and the rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam while poet Jasimuddin’s austere lyrical anecdotes depicting rural life with its joys and sorrows, romance and patrol kept alive the link with the toiling masses. With this heritage to draw inspiration from, contemporary Bengali literature of Bangladesh has been throbbing with the creative impulses of a new generation of poets, novelists, playwrights and essayists.
Many of their works have earned fame beyond the frontiers of the country. Music [pic] The rich tradition of music of Bangladesh can be divided into three distinct categories -classical, folk and modern. The tradition of classical music, whether vocal or instrumental, is rooted in the ancient history of this subcontinent. It has been cultivated with great patience and passion by devoted musicians over the centuries. Internationally known sarod players Ustad Alauddiri Khan and Ustad Ayet Ali Khan hail from the soil of this country. Folk music, nurtured through the ages by village bards. s the most popular and timeless form of music in Bangladesh. Rich in devotional mysticism and love ores, folk music exudes authentic flavor and charm of the soil. The most well- known forms are bhatia1i, baul, marfati, murshidi, bhaoaiya and gombhira. Some of the greatest exponents of our mystic and devotional songs were Lalan Fakir, Hasan Raja and Abbasuddin Ahmed. Dances Dancing in Bangladesh draws freely from the sub continental classical forms as well as the folk, tribal, ballet and Middle Eastern strains. Of the tribal dances, particularly popular are Manipuri and Santhal.
The Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA), set up in Dacca in the early fifties, played a pioneering role in the promotion of dances in the country. A number of other cultural organizations have helped in popularizing the art. No cultura1 evening in this country is complete without a dance number. The cinema has also popularized dancing. With the recent creation of the Academy of Performing Arts in Dacca dancing in Bangladesh is expected to gain further impetus. Jatra (Folk Drama) is another vital chapter of Bengali culture. It depicts mythological episodes of love and tragedy.
Legendary plays of heroism are also popular, particularly in the rural areas. In near past jatra was the biggest entertainment means for the rural Bangalees and in that sense for 80% of the population since the same percentage of the population lived in rural Bangladesh. Now-a-days jatra has been placed in the back seat in the entertainment era. Gradually western culture is occupying the place of traditional culture like Jatra. Different types of Drama are also popular in this society. Bangladesh Religion [pic] [pic] Islam, the state religion, is the faith of 88 percent of the population, almost all of whom adhere to the Sunni branch.
Hindus make up most of the remainder, and the country has small communities of Buddhists, Christians and animists. Bangladesh is one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. Most Bangladeshi Muslims are Sunnis, but there is a small Shia community. Among religious festivals of Muslims Eidul Fitr, Eidul Azha, Eiday Miladunnabi, Muharram etc. are prominent. The contention that Bengali Muslims are all descended from lower-caste Hindus who were converted to Islam is incorrect; a substantial proportion are descendants of the Muslims who reached the subcontinent from elsewhere.
Hinduism is professed by about 12 percent of the population. Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Kali Puja etc. are Hindu festivals. Hindus in Bangladesh are almost evenly distributed in all regions, with concentrations in Khulna, Jessore, Dinajpur, Faridpur, and Barisal. Biharis, who are not ethnic Bangalees, are Urdu-speaking Muslim refugees from Bihar and other parts of northern India. They numbered about 1 million in 1971 but now had decreased to around 600,000. They once dominated the upper levels of the society. They sided with Pakistan during the 1971 war.
Hundreds of thousands of Biharis were repatriated to Pakistan after the war. Tribal race constitutes less than 1 percent of the total population. They live in the Chittagong Hills and in the regions of Mymensingh, Sylhet, and Rajshahi. The majority of the tribal population live in rural areas. They differ in their social organization, marriage customs, birth and death rites, food, and other social customs from the people of the rest of the country. They speak Tibeto-Burman languages. In the mid-1980s, the percentage distribution of tribal population by religion was Hindu 24, Buddhist 44, Christian 13, and others 19.
Major tribes are the Chakmas, Maghs (or Marmas), Tipras, Murangs, Kukis and Santals. The tribes tend to intermingle and could be distinguished from one another more by differences in their dialect, dress, and customs than by tribal cohesion. Only the Chakmas and Marmas display formal tribal organization. They are of mixed origin but reflect more Bengali influence than any other tribe. Unlike the other tribes, the Chakmas and Marmas generally live in the highland valleys. Most Chakmas are Buddhists, but some practice Hinduism or Animism. Economic Institution
Many industries in Bangladesh are still primitive by modern standards. Despite continuous domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains a developing nation. Jute was once the economic engine of the country. Its share of the world export market peaked in the Second World War and the late 1940s at 80% and even in the early 1970s accounted for 70% of its export earnings. However, polypropylene products began to substitute for jute products worldwide and the jute industry started to decline. Bangladesh grows very significant quantities of rice(chal), tea (Cha) and mustard.
More than three quarters of Bangladesh’s export earnings come from the garment industry, which began attracting foreign investors in the 1980s due to cheap labour and low conversion cost. In 2002, the industry exported US$5 billion worth of products. The industry now employs more than 3 million workers, 90% of whom are women. A large part of foreign currency earnings also comes from the remittances sent by expatriates living in other countries. One significant contributor to the development of the economy has been the widespread propagation of microcredit by Muhammad Yunus (awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2006) through the Grameen Bank.
By the late 1990s, Grameen Bank had 2. 3 million members, along with 2. 5 million members of other similar organizations. In order to enhance economic growth, the government set up several export processing zones to attract foreign investment. These are managed by the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority. AGRICULTURE [pic] Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world with an annual per capita income of US$160. The agricultural sector provides the principal livelihood of the people in the country and is the main blood vessel of the national economy.
According to statistics in 1990-1991, agriculture accounts for 46% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 59% of total employment. Agricultural productivity (yield per acre) is extremely low though, and Bangladesh continues to be a food-deficit country. The average annual deficit ranges between 1. 5 million and 2. 5 million tons. To achieve self-sustained agricultural growth, several policies have been formulated. Keeping these policies in mind, agricultural management policies have been devised, and interventions have been made. However, these have not necessarily yielded the anticipated results.
In Bangladesh, the vast majorities of people are landless and work as agricultural laborers (66% of the rural population are landless, agricultural laborers, according to the latest statistics). Although they are the single largest portion of the total population, they are the poorest, most deprived, helpless and neglected. Presently 45% of agricultural laborers have no work at all, and those who do get work have no job security or reliable income; there is no period of employment specified no fixed wage. Most of the time they are poorly paid. They are not registered and do not have any trade union rights, no chance of bargaining.
Agricultural laborers in Bangladesh also have no basic human rights. A huge percentage of them are inadequate or no housing, no educational opportunities and no rationing facility. Administrative and social oppression upon the land laborers is a common phenomenon. In addition to these concerns, Bangladesh is now facing various types of socio-economic and political problems. Among these, the most difficult, complicated and probably the most important issue is the agrarian question. One of the fundamental features of the economic backwardness of the agrarian question is very relevant for Bangladesh like any other poor country of Asia.
If the agrarian question is addressed properly, the path of national economic development can be found. Land, no doubt, constitutes the most significant basis of sociopolitical power and the common factor of production for the overwhelming majority of the people. Today in Bangladesh the land problem remains as the main social problem: it is the main problem affecting the greatest number of people. Ownership of the land, its possession and cultivation, has sociopolitical overtones and economic implications, both simultaneously and mutually reacting around and reinforcing each other.
Thus, an approach to locate the problems relating to land and their solution has to be, of necessity, comprehensive, multidimensional and dynamic. As the agricultural sector in Bangladesh has already experienced, these problems, and very recently the path and methods of alternative agriculture, are being talked about. This alternative thinking is often called “regenerative,” “sustainable,” “ecological,” “organic” or “natural agriculture,” which are more or less based on the following principles: ? Ensure as much or more productivity as chemical agriculture; ?
Do not disturb the natural environment; ? Ensure sustainability; ? Put less dependence on external inputs. Beside Agriculture there are several jobs that are done by rural people of our country now a days. Few jobs are related to Agriculture, These jobs are: ? Rearing Cattle, Goat, Sheep. ? Poultry Business ? Dairy business ? Fishery Related Jobs ? Village Teacher ? Quack Doctor ? Kamar [Black Smith] ? Kumar [Pot Maker] ? Swarnakaar [Gold Smith] ? Sweeper ? Tanti [Weaver] Political institution [pic]
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is a unitary, independent and sovereign republic comprising three basic organs the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. The President is the Head of State and is elected by the members of Parliament. The President acts in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister and the supreme command of the Armed Forces rests with him. The executive power of the Republic is exercised by or on the advice of the Prime Minister who commands the support of the majority members of Parliament and is appointed by the President.
Other Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister nominates the cabinet members from among Parliament members and one-tenths of the total members are from outside of the Parliament. The cabinet is collectively accountable to the Parliament. The Government is unitary in structure and parliamentary in form. Conclusion Finally we can conclude that Village Life is full of Loving Caring and Belonging. We can find here Peace Happiness chance to meet with our relatives smell and feel our culture and Tradition.
That’s why every year thousands of people run for the Village leaving their Urban Life in their Religious Occasions. Living in urban Life but we have to depend on this village people for food and other product which they produce in the fields. Lastly we can say that every people of our country have to visit their Village simultaneously so that the people and their Generation will always attach with the village Life and Village Culture. And If the Young Generation will Plan to Recover or develop our Village Life than We think that Bangladesh will see Prosperity very soon.
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