Sei sulla pagina 1di 51

4

A BRIEF HISTORY OF
VANGA, BENGAL,
EAST PAKISTAN
AND BANGLADESH

Prof. Bijon Behari Sarma

CONTENTS
PAGE

INTRODUCTION
HISTORY OF VANGA, BENGAL AND EAST PAKISTAN
PERIODS OF HISTORY

07
07

CHAPTER ONE
PHASE 01 : EARLY AGE (From unknown past to 313 BC)
01.01. HOW THE ANCIENT KINGDOMS WERE ESTABLISHED
01.02. ANCIENT KINGDOMS (Source : MYTHOLOGICAL BOOKS)
PAUNDRA NAGAR (other name : Paundra Bardhan Bhukti)

08
08
08:

CHAPTER TWO
PHASE 02 : HINDU BUDDHIST RULE (313 BC to 1229 AD).
02.01 HINDU-BUDDHIST RULE
02.02 VANGA, SAMATATA, HARIKEL, KARNASUBORNA, LAKKHANABATI
KINGDOMS (507 AD to 1223 AD)
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE KINGDOMS :
02.03 NOTABLE PERSONALITIES : (01) BALLAL SEN (02) LAKKHAN SEN
02.04 FORCES AND TECHNIQUES USED BY THE RULERS
02.05 PEOPLE'S LIFE AND LIVING DURING THE HINDU BUDDHIST RULE

10
10
10
10
13
14
14

CHAPTER THREE
PHASE 03 : MUSLIM RULE (1229 AD to 1757 AD. Total : 529 years)
03.01. MUSLIM RULE IN BENGAL
3.2.
BENGAL UNDER TURK, KHALJI AND TUGHLUQ EMPERORS OF
DELHI (1229-1338)
03.03. SEMI-INDEPENDENT BENGAL UNDER TUGHLUQ AND LODHI
EMPERORS OF DELHI : (1338-1538 AD)
3.3.
BENGAL UNDER AFGHAN AND MUGHAL EMPERORS OF DELHI
(1538 to 1757 )
03.05. BARO BHUIYANS OF BENGAL
3.6
SOME SMALL KINGDOMS : (01) CHANDRADWIP (BAKLA ),
(02) KHALIFATABAD :
03.07. NOTABLE PERSONALITIES :
(01) IKTIYAR UDDIN MUHAMMAD BIN BAKHTIYAR KHILJI
03.08. FORCES AND TECHNIQUES USED BY THE RULERS
03.09. LIFE AND LIVING OF PEOPLE UNDER MUSLIM RULE

00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00

CHAPTER FOUR
PHASE 04 : BRITISH RULE (1757 to 1947 - 190 years)
04.01. BRITISH RULE
04.02. BENGALS ROLE IN THE STRUGGLE FOR THE INDEPENDENCE OF INDIA
04.03. FORCES AND TECHNIQUES USED BY THE BRITISH
04.04. SALIENT FEATURES OF THE BRITISH RULE
04.05. COMPARISON BETWEEN THE BRITISH AND THE EARLIER RULERS
04.06. PEOPLE'S LIFE AND LIVING UNDER BRITISH RULE

00
00
00
00
00
00
00

CHAPTER FIVE
PHASE 05 : EAST PAKISTAN (1947-1971 - 24 years)
05.01. EAST PAKISTAN
05.02. RULERS OF EAST PAKISTAN
05.03. .IMPORTANT POLITICAL EVENTS
(01) LANGUAGE MOVEMENT OF 1952
(02) SIX POINT PROGRAM OF AWAMI LEAGUE (1966)

00
00
00
00
00
00

6
05.04. PEOPLE'S LIFE AND LIVING IN EAST PAKISTAN

00

CHAPTER SIX
PHASE 06 : LIBERATION OF BANGLADESH (March 25, 1971 to
December 16, 1971)
06.00 LIBERATION WAR
06.01 WAKE UP CALL BY SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN (March 07, 1971)
6.2
CRACKDOWN AND ATROCITIES BY THE PAKISTAN ARMY
(March 25, 1971)
6.3
CALL FOR RESISTANCE : MESSAGE OF SHEIKH MUJIBUR
RAHMAN READ BY ABDUL HANNAN (March 26, 1971)
6.4
MESSAGE OF SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN READ BY ABUL
QUASEM SANDWIP (March 26, 1971)
6.5
CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION BY ZIAUR
RAHMAN (March 27, 1971)
06.06 OPERATION BLITZ BY THE PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT
06.07 PLIGHT OF MEN TO INDIA
06.08 SWADHIN BANGLA BETAR KENDRA
6.9
INVOLVEMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND
OPERATION CACTUS LILY
06.10 EXILE GOVERNMENT OF BANGLADESH (April 17, 1971)
6.10 OATH OF THE EXILE GOVERNMENT, PROCLAMATION OF
INDEPENDENCE OF BANGLADESH (April 17, 1971)
06.12 FIGHT FOR LIBERATION
6.13 DOCUMENT OF SURRENDER OF PAKISTANI
ARMY (December 16, 1971)
06.14 HONOR FOR THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS
06.15 WHY PAKISTAN WAS DEFEATED AND BANGLADESH WON

00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00

CHAPTER SEVEN
PHASE 07 : INDEPENDENT BANGLADESH (From 1971 - date)
07.00 PERIODS OF POLITICAL ADMINISTRATION (1971-2001)
7.1
RULERS, ADMINISTRATORS
07.02. IMPORTANT PERSONALITIES
7.3. PEOPLES LIFE AND LIVING

00
00
00
00
00

List of tables
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table

01
02
03
04.
05.
06
07
08.
09.
10
11

PHASES OF THE HISTORY OF BANGLADESH


EARLY KINGDOMS OF BENGAL
CHRONOLOGICAL ACCOUNT OF KINGDOMS AND DYNASTIES :
MUSLIM RULERS IN BENGAL : 1229 AD TO 1338
MUSLIM RULERS IN BENGAL : 1338 AD TO 1538 AD.
KINGDOMS AND THEIR CAPITALS DURING MUSLIM PERIOD (1538 AD 1757 AD)
MUSLIM RULERS IN BENGAL : 1229 AD TO 1338 AD.
BARO BHUYANS OF BENGAL : (ABOUT 1771 AD TO 1757 AD)
BRITISH AND LOCAL RULERS OF BENGAL
RULERS OF EAST PAKISTAN (1947 AD to 1971 AD)
RULERS OF BANGLADESH (1971 TO DATE )

Appendix 01
Appendix 02

00
00

BIBLIOGRAPHY

00

INTRODUCTION
HISTORY OF VANGA, BENGAL AND EAST PAKISTAN :
The geographical land now under Bangladesh has got a history of about three thousand years. The
country that is now identified as independent Bangladesh was under Pakistan (with name: East Pakistan)
before 1971, and part of Bengal under Indian sub-continent before 1947. For simplicity of narration we
shall refer to this land as Bangladesh, even though the same would at times mean Bengal and at times
East Pakistan depending upon the time frame. The known part of the history of Bangladesh spans more
than two thousand years. Even though the history of much older periods could have been adequately
documented in other regions of India, it is a pity that the same could not be done in case of Bangladesh.
In absence of written records what acts as sources of ancient history are : writings of foreign travelers,
old buildings and structures, inscriptions, coins etc. The known history of Bangladesh starts from 313
BC, which is the explored date of an inscription discovered at Mahasthangarh, the oldest urbanized city
in the country.
Even though there is no dearth of ancient religious and mythological books on this region most of these
contain stories so fictitious and fabulous in nature that those cannot be considered as reliable source of
information. It was customary for the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim rulers of this land to mint gold coins in scribing their names and year of ascending throne. Numerous such coins have been discovered in
various regions of Bangladesh. In these coins the rulers used Shakabda or Hijri year and not Christian
era. The study of these coins (numismatic) was of immense help in reconstructing the ancient history of
Bangladesh. Study of old ruins, books written by the travelers, sculptures, idols, artifacts etc. also were of
help in such re-construction.
PERIODS OF HISTORY :
Depending on the rulers the known Political life of Bangladesh may be divided in to the following six
phases :
Table : 01 PHASES OF THE HISTORY OF BANGLADESH
PHASE IDENTIFICATION
EXTENT
01 :
Early age
Unknown past to 313 BC
02 :
Hindu Buddhist Rule : 313 BC to 1229 AD
03 :
Muslim Rule
:
1229 AD to 1757 AD
04 :
British Rule
:
1757 AD to 1947 AD
05 :
East Pakistan :
1947 AD to1971 AD
06 :
Independent Bangladesh : March 26, 1971 to date.

DURATION
-----1542 years
529 years
191 years
25 years

The country attained independence in a nine-month long liberation war from March 25, 1971 to
December 15, 1971. In this book the history of the land of Bangladesh will be discussed from early age to
Victory day (December 16, 1971). The history of independent Bangladesh and its Architecture will be
discussed in another volume.

CHAPTER ONE
PHASE 01 : EARLY AGE
(From unknown past to 313 BC)
01.01. HOW THE ANCIENT KINGDOMS WERE ESTABLISHED :
When the Aryans invaded the Dravidian settlements in the west and central India in about 1500 BC, one
group of the Dravidians fled towards the east. The main stream of the Ganges guided them up to the
coast of the Bay of Bengal, on the south end of present 24 Parganas. In this place there was a
concentration of people, who are credited for the establishment of the earliest known political entity,
settlement, state or kingdom in this land. The name of this kingdom as found in ancient literature, writing
of travelers and iron pillar of the Gupta kings is 'Vanga'. (Vanga is a Bengali word meaning broken.
Probably the irregular shape of sea shore tempted them to use this name. Later, the settlers crossed the
rivers and creeks, approached eastward and established their second state, Samatat in the present
districts of Satkhira, Khulna and Bagerhat. What lay on further east were some new islands and the wide
mouth of the river Meghna. In such a situation, the settlers proceeded towards the north and established
the third state, Harikel. Later they annexed Comilla, Noakhali, Chittagong etc. with this kingdom. There
was a time when the entire region comprising of these states came under the Gaur kingdom of West
Bengal.
01.02. ANCIENT KINGDOMS (Source : MYTHOLOGICAL BOOKS) :
We find the mention of the following ancient states or kingdoms in the mythological and religious books
and old coins :
i.

Names (1) Sumha or Radha or Tamralipti state in West Bengal and (2) Vanga in Bengal,
mentioned in mythological and religious books, Ramayana, Mahabharata and Raghubangsha.

ii.

Names of kingdoms : Vanga, Pundra and Sumha, mentioned in the religious book, Aitareya
Aranyaka.

iii.

A very powerful state in or around present Bangladesh in the first and second century: mentioned
by Ptolemy.

iv.

Mention of two kingdoms, Gandaridal (or Gangaridai) and Prasioi by the Greek and Latin
historians, in connection with the narration of Alexander's invasion of India.

Alexander invaded India in 329 BC. It has been mentioned in history that he was afraid to hear of the
strength of 'Gangaridae' state 'on the Ganges'. The mention of 'on the Ganges' led some historians to
think 'Gangaridae' state was Vanga. But this was erroneous. In fact Alexander was reported of
Magadha. The river flowing by Magadha was not Ganges. The confusion arose because in that period
any big river in central India was known by the name Ganges.
We do not have records of any ancient city, settlement or civilization of the Aryan period in the
geographical region of present Bangladesh. The land under present Bangladesh was formed by silts
carried by two mighty rivers Ganges and Jamuna. In that distant past, there existed a few small tracts of

9
mounds at places (i) in the north : Dinajpur Rangpur districts, (ii) center : Gazipur district and (iii) east :
Comilla, Chittagong Hill tracts districts. These were in fact part of the volcanic soil of Chota Nagpur
Plateau. The rest of the country was under deep water. Later land was formed here by the sedimentary
deposits brought by the rivers Ganges, Bramhaputra and their numerous tributaries. In as early as 1500
BC most of the land of Bangladesh was under water, excepting the tracts of volcanic soil and occasional
growths of new islands and jungles. By every likelihood, no human race came to settle here in that
period. It was natural that habitations were first established in the raised lands in West Bengal and
Assam of the neighboring country and Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Savar, Comilla of this region. Some of those
later turned to small kingdoms. We do not have detail or authentic account about these settlements.
However, there are concrete evidences that there existed a city (administrative outpost) named Paundra
Nagar at the site of Mahasthangarh of Bogra district of Bangladesh earlier to 313 BC.
PAUNDRA NAGAR (other name : Paundra Bardhan Bhukti) : In the 4th century BC the strong Mauryan
emperors of Magadha expanded their empire up to Tamralipti, in the present Birbhum and Bardhaman of
West Bengal. They managed to cross the river Ganges at this point and established an administrative
outpost at Mahasthangarh of Bogra district. The name of this out post was 'Paundra Nagar'.
In 1931 an inscription written in Bramhilipi was discovered at Mahasthangarh. In this inscription directive
was given to the local representative of the emperor at 'Paundra Nagar' 'to give rice, money etc. to the
progeny in view of the hazardous situation and to take back the same after the situation became normal'.
The inscription implies that probably there happened some hazard in that region for which, the emperor
was afraid, the local people were going to suffer. In order to minimize their sufferings the emperor
directed his representative to give material help and to take those back after the hard days were over.
The inscription is a proof that there was a habitation in as early as 313 BC in the geographical region of
Bangladesh. The experts came to the decision that the inscription was by emperor Ashoke. Excavation at
Mahasthangarh is still going on and there is possibility of discovery of habitation of earlier period also.

CHAPTER TWO
PHASE 02 : HINDU BUDDHIST RULE
(313 BC to 1229 AD).
02.01. HINDU-BUDDHIST RULE :
The Hindu and Buddhist kings ruled this country not in the style of one group after another, rather
simultaneously at various regions. So, while making chronological account it has not been possible to
show the two types independently. For the same reason the name of the period have been combined and
mentioned as Hindu-Buddhist period. In the list the religions of the rulers have been mentioned where
available.

10
Even though we know of the existence of Vanga, Samatata, Harikel, Karna Suborno etc. in and around
Bangladesh from mythological stories and writings of the travelers, we have no authentic document to
prove the exact date of establishment of the kingdoms. We came to know of the Vanga kingdom ever
since it was occupied by the Gupta rulers of central India. From the available old coins and numismatic
studies we come to know the earliest year of existence of Vanga and kingdoms as shown in the following
table :
Table 02 : EARLY KINGDOMS OF BENGAL
KINGDOM
Paundra Nagar Bhukti
:
Vanga Kingdom
:
Vanga-Harikel Kingdom
:
Vanga-Harikel-Samatata Kingdom :
Karna Suborno Kingdom
:

FIRST KNOWN YEAR OF EXISTENCE


earlier to 313 BC
507 AD
650 AD
740 AD
750 AD.

From numismatic studies, the historians also came to know the names of some rulers and the extent of
their reigns. The information, however, could not reconstruct a continuous account of the dynasties.
02.02. VANGA, SAMATATA, HARIKEL, KARNASUBORNA, LAKKHANABATI KINGDOMS
(507 AD to 1223 AD) :
The incomplete account of the historical kingdoms Vanga, Samatata, Harikel and Karnasuborna have
been presented chronologically in the following table. It may be seen that there are some overlapping
and missing in the periods of their reign. It happened so due to non-availability of information. In that age
there was no proper demarcation of kingdom. So the geographical location mentioned here should be
taken as probable. The term unknown has been used in cases where filler information for continuity
was not available.
Table 03 CHRONOLOGICAL ACCOUNT OF KINGDOMS AND DYNASTIES :
PERIOD

NAME (location/capital)

DYNASTY/RULERS

DURATION (When known)

507 to 650 : Vanga Kingdom ( South of District 24 Parganas of West Bengal)


Gupta dynasty :
Bainya Gupta
(507 AD to 525)
Gopachnadra
(unknown )
Dharmaditya
(unknown )
Samachardeva
(unknown )
Prithujabir
(unknown )
Sudhanya
(unknown to 598)
Bhadra dynasty
(600 to 650)
Names of kings not known.
650 to 740 : Vanga-Harikel Kingdom (Southern districts of Bangladesh and West Bengal)
Kharga dynasty
Khargadeva
(650 - unknown)
Khargaraj
(unknown)
Rajbhatta
(unknown to 710)
Chandra dynasty
Gobinda Chandra
(710 - unknown)
Lalit Chandra
(unknown to 740 AD)
740-1045 AD : Vanga-Harikel-Samatata Kingdom : (South of Bangladesh and West Bengal)
Deva dynasty
Sree Kantideva
(unknown)
Sree Birdeva
(unknown)
Sree Anandadev
(unknown)

10

11

Harikel dynasty
Chandra dynasty

Sree Bhabadev
(800-900) :
Troilakya Chandra
Sree Chandra
Kalyan Chandra
Lahar Chandra
Gobinda Chandra

(unknown)
Details of kings not known
(900-930)
(930-975)
(975-1000)
(1000-1020)
(1030-1045)

750-1043 : Karna Suborno Kingdom : (Murshidabad, Bardhaman, Birbhum of West Bengal).


Pala dynasty :
Go Pala
(about 750-781)
Dharma Pala
(781-821)
Deva Pala
(821- 861)
Sura Pala I or Vigraha Pala I (861-866)
Narayana Pala
(866-920)
Rajya Pala
(920-952)
Go Pala-II
(952-969)
Vigra Pala II
(969-995)
Mahi Pala-I
(995-1043)
1045-1078 AD: Karna Suborno Kingdom with Vanga, Samatata and Harikel : (Murshidabad,
Bardhaman, Birbhum of West Bengal and Rajshahi and Dinajpur of Bangladesh)
Pala dynasty :
Naya Pala
(1045-1058)
Vigra Pala III
(1058-1075)
Mahi Pala II
(1075-1078)
1075-1150 AD : Samatata-Harikel kingdom : (Land under previous Samatata and Harikel states).
Barmana dynasty :
Jata Barmana
(1075 to 1121)
Hari Barmana
(1121 to unknown)
Shyamal Barmana
(unknown)
Bhoj Barmana
(unknown to 1121)
1150 to 1204 AD : Lakkhanabati Kingdom under Sen's : (Murshidabad, Bardhaman, Birbhum etc. of
West Bengal and Rajshahi and Dinajpur districts of Bangladesh. Capital :
Lakkhanabati).
Sen dynasty :
Bijoy Sen
(1097-1160)
Ballal Sen
(1160-1178)
Lakkhan Sen
(1178-1204)
1204 to 1223 : Samatata-Harikel Kingdom under Sen's :
(Vanga, Samatata and Harikel.
Capital : Bikrampur).
Sen dynasty :
Lakkhan Sen
(1204-1206)
Bishwarupa Sen
(1206-1220)
Keshava Sen
(1220-1223)
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE KINGDOMS : A brief description of the above kingdoms, as obtained
from various sources, are given hereunder.
(01). VANGA KINGDOM (300 AD to 750 AD) : The kingdom was located at the southern part of present
24 Parganas district of West Bengal and adjacent area. The name of the capital was Talokmondal. The
rulers were dictatorial king in nature and Hindu in religion. They had the titles Gupta and Bhadra. The
names and duration of reign of the rulers has been given in Table above.
Vanga kingdom was in existence earlier to the second century BC, but we have no record of that period.
The available numismatic studies reveal its existence only from 300 AD. Vanga is a Bengali word,
meaning broken. The coastline of this kingdom with the Bay of Bengal was extremely broken and might

11

12
have been the reason for this name. There is an iron pillar at the Qutub complex at old Delhi. The pillar
with the head of Garur bird was established by the Gupta kings at Mathura to commemorate their victory
of over the king of Vanga. The date has been calculated to have been 435 AD. The army of the Gupta
king later marched and stayed at Paundra Nagar kingdom and their vigilance over Vanga ceased. Later
the Gupta kings had to remain busy in fight with the Hun invaders. This created a scope for their deputy
at Vanga to act independently. The kings of Gupta dynasty ruled up to 598. In this year Chalukya king
Kirtibarma attacked and defeated king Sudhanya of Vanga. After Kirtibharma left, Bhadra dynasty rose to
power and ruled up to about 650. Later, emperor Shashanka of Northern India conquered land on the
west of Vanga and established Karna Suborno kingdom with its capital at Karna Suborno.
(02) VANGA-HARIKEL KINGDOM

(650 AD to 710 AD) : Located near present Satkhira, Khulna,

Bagerhat, Faridpur and Dhaka districts of Bangladesh and 24 Parganas of West Bengal, the capital of
Vanga-Harikel kingdom was near Faridpur. The ruins recently discovered at Kotalipara of Faridpur are
believed to have been of this capital. The rulers were from Kharga and Chandra dynasties and Buddhist
in religion. The names and duration of reign of the rulers have been given in table given above.
Samatata was an old kingdom on the east of Vanga, in and around present Bagerhat and Barisal
districts. The Harikel state, comprising of present Faridpur and Dhaka districts was on the north of
Samatata. In about 650 King Khargadev of Vanga kingdom conquered Harikel and part of Samatata and
shifted his capital from Talokmondal to Dhaka-Faridpur region. After him, the rulers of Chandra dynasty
rose to power.
(03)

VANGA-HARIKEL-SAMATATA KINGDOM (740 AD-1045 AD) :Located in and around present

Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Faridpur,

Dhaka, Comilla and Tripura districts of

Bangladesh and 24

Parganas of West Bengal, the capital of Vanga-Harikel-Samatata kingdom was near Comilla. The Hindu
kings from Deva and Chandra dynasties ruled here. The names and duration of reign of the rulers have
been given in table given above.
Some people believe that Go Pala was the first king to have been selected by popular demand in
Bengal. The time when Go Pala became the ruler of Karna Subarna, Samatata and Harikel were
independent kingdoms. Karna Suborno kingdom was located outside Bangladesh with no control over
this land, till its ruler Naya Pala conquered Vanga in 1045 AD.
(04) KARNA SUBORNO KINGDOM WITH VANGA, SAMATATA AND HARIKEL (1045 -1078 AD):
Karna Suborno kingdom was located at Murshidabad, Bardhaman, Birbhum (West Bengal) and Rajshahi
and Dinajpur districts (Bangladesh). The capital of the kingdom was also known by the same name. In
1045 AD, Naya Pala, the ruler of Karna Suborno conquered Vanga, Samatata and Harikel kingdoms. The
Pala kings were dictatorial in nature and Buddhist in religion. The names and duration of reign of the
dynasties have been given in table given above.

12

13
(05)

SAMATATA-HARIKEL KINGDOM (1075 -1150 AD) : In around 1075, the fishermen community of

Vanga and Samatata revolted against the Pala kings. One of their leader, Jata Barmana (son of Bajra
Barmana) conquered part of Vanga, Harikel and Samatata and established Samatata-Harikel Kingdom.
The capital of the kingdom was at Bikrampur. The rulers were dictatorial in nature and Hindu by religion.
The names and duration of reign of the dynasties have been given in the table above.
(06) LAKKHANABATI (1150 AD to 1204 AD) : Bijoy Sen of Karna Suborno conquered Vanga, Samatata
and Harikel in 1150 AD. After him his son Ballal Sen became the ruler and he was succeeded by his son,
Lakkhan Sen. During this time the kingdom came to be known as Lakkhanabati and the capital also was
known by the same name. The rulers were dictatorial in nature and Hindu in religion. In 1204 AD, Iktiyar
Uddin Muhammad son of (Bin) Bakhtiyer Khilji conquered the capital of Lakkhan Sen. Lakkhan Sen fled
to Bikrampur and established his capital there. The names and duration of reign of this dynasty have
been given above.
(07)

VANGA-SAMATATA KINGDOM under Sen's (1204 AD to 1223 AD) : After Lakkhan Sen came to

Bikrampur from Lakkhanabati, he and his descendants reigned in Vanga Samatata till the Muslims
conquered their kingdom in 1223 AD. The names and duration of reign of their dynasty are given in the
above table.
02.03. NOTABLE PERSONALITIES :
(01) BALLAL SEN : Ballal Sen is infamous in history for creation of discrimination by declaring (i)
honorable and un-honorable and (ii) touchable and untouchable among various castes of the Hindus.
By utilizing his political power he declared Sen, his own caste, the Brahmins and few other castes to
have been higher and others, as lower. This is an historical proof that discrimination in between
various castes of the Hindu religion was not an outcome of religion, it was the political decision imposed
by Ballal Sen in the 12th C AD. The negative culture Ballal Sen introduced later entered deep inside Hindu
religion. Since then the society of the Hindus has been profusely bleeding from this fatal wound.
(02) LAKKHAN SEN : When the Muslims attacked Lakkhanabati in 1204 AD, Lakkhan Sen fled away
without even trying to resist. In Bangladesh Lakkhan Sen is looked as a symbol of cowardice.
02.04. FORCES AND TECHNIQUES USED BY THE RULERS :
The Hindu and Buddhist rulers used to apply various types of forces and techniques to administer and
control the people. Some of these are :
(i) Muscle power : Armed forces and muscle men were used to resist external attack and internal revolt.
In the city, guards, watchmen and patrol parties were engaged to keep watch on the
inhabitants.
(ii) Justice and punishment : The rulers himself acted as the judge for offence or wrong doing of the
peasants. Reward was given for good deeds. Brutal punishment including death was
applied to the offender.
(ii) Mystic (religious) power : Both the Hindu and Buddhist rulers made ample use of mystic and religious
faith to gain popularity among the common people. The rulers used to enjoy

13

14
endorsement of the religious leaders by gratifying the priests and donating money for
religious activities.
(iii) Entertainment : For entertaining the common people the rulers used to arrange bull race, horse race,
chariot race, village fair, sports, athletic competition, religious festivals, celebration of
their important days, gambling (game of chance) etc.
(v) Diplomacy : As for diplomatic technique, the rulers employed secret spies and agents to collect
information.
02.05 PEOPLE'S LIFE AND LIVING DURING THE HINDU BUDDHIST RULE :
The name of the Hindu and Buddhist rulers and duration of their dynasties were finalized after the
discovery of coins in their names. However, little has been known about the political life of the people
under them. The little we know about them from old literature, mythology and writing of foreign travelers
has been given here under :
(a) The duty of the ruler was to protect his kingdom from external attack and internal revolt of the
peasants. For this purpose they maintained a strong contingent of muscle men or army inside the
country and in the outskirts. They also maintained spy or informer to collect information from home
and abroad.
(b) In order to maintain law and order and ensure peace the rulers appointed guards in the cities. Watch
guards were posted also in the highways to protect the citizens and travelers from the attack of the
miscreants. In case of dispute, the ruler acted as the supreme judge. At times severe torture and
death sentence was used as punishment.
(c) There were attempts to ensure maximum comfort and luxury for the rulers, their family members,
relatives and friends.
(d) The rulers encouraged and preached their own religions. They profusely spent for the construction of
religious buildings (temples, in case of Hindu rulers and Monasteries and Bihars, in case of
Buddhist) throughout the kingdom.
(e)

The ruler appointed a commander in chief for the armed forces. Also a number of powerful
executives called Mantries (Ministers) were appointed to look after important matters.

The

commander in chief and the ministers could be discharged at any time at the rulers sweet will.
(f)

The common people were permitted to meet the ruler with any complain or appeal. The ruler listened
to the advice of his ministers, but he was not liable to take their advise.

(g) By nature the common people were of submissive type and did not revolt against the ruler.
(h)

The rule of the land was, after the death of one ruler his son became the next ruler. In rare case,
specially when the ruler had no issue, one of the ministers, the commander in chief or any powerful
person snatched away power. The people were generally loyal to the person, who could manage the
armed forces. However, there were two notable exceptions of this trend.
(i) In about 780 AD, the people of Karna Suborno kingdom became dissatisfied with their ruler and
selected Go Pal from among the common men. This is considered as the first case of selection of
ruler by the common people in this land.
(ii) During this period it was the normal practice for one ruler to occupy the kingdom of another. In
1075 AD there was a gross variation of this trend in Bengal. In this year a group of fishermen under

14

15
the leadership of Jat Barmana attacked the capital with their meager arms and conquered the throne
of Samatata-Harikel kingdom. This may be regarded as the first case of peoples rebellion in Bengal.

CHAPTER THREE
PHASE 03 : MUSLIM RULE
(1229 AD to 1757 AD. Total : 529 years).
03.01 MUSLIM RULE IN BENGAL :
The Map of India during the period of Muslim rulers has been shown at the Appendix. At the beginning,
the Muslims who came from abroad used to rule this land as deputy of the Muslim emperor reigning at
capital city, Delhi. As days went on, many local people were converted to Muslim religion. Due to their
religious affinity, all the local rulers or deputies were converted Muslims. Since capital Delhi was far away
from Bengal and transport was hazardous, quite often their deputies in Bengal ruled as independent
rulers and at times, they even revolted. On the basis of the consistency of central control and type of
rulers, this period is divided into the following three sub-periods:
(01).

BENGAL UNDER STRICT CONTROL OF TURK, KHALJI AND TUGHLUQ EMPERORS


OF DELHI : (1229 - 1338), 109 years
(02). BENGAL AS SEMI-INDEPENDENT STATE UNDER TUGHLUQ AND LODHI EMPERORS
OF DELHI : (1338-1538), 200 years
(03). BENGAL UNDER THE AFGHAN AND MUGHAL EMPERORS OF DELHI : (1538 to
1757), 219 years
03.02 BENGAL UNDER TURK, KHALJI AND TUGHLUQ EMPERORS OF DELHI (1229-1338) :
In 1204 Iktiyar Uddin Muhammad, son of (Bin) Bakhtiyer Khilji conquered Lakkhanabati, the kingdom of
Sen dynasty. He named it Gaur. Lakkhan Sen, the ruler fled to the east and established his new capital at
Bikrampur, near Dhaka. He and his descendants continued their rule there with the capital at Bikrampur.
In 1229 Malik Saifuddin Aibok, the Governor of emperor Iltutmish of Delhi conquered Vanga and
appointed his deputy at Sonargaon. From 1229 to 1338 Bengal was ruled by the deputies of the Turk,
Khalji and TUGHLUQ emperors of Delhi. The Muslim rulers used to call this land Bangla or Sube
Bangla. During this period (covering 109 years), the capital or seat of administration was shifted several
times at : Gaur, Pandua, Hazrat Pandua and Sonargaon. The names and duration of reigns of twentynine rulers of this period are given in the following table. .
Table : 04. MUSLIM RULERS IN BENGAL : 1229 AD TO 1338
PERIOD :

RULER

DURATION

ORIGIN OF RULER (where known)

1229 to 1338 : Gaur State (Murshidabad. Capital :Gaur, Pandua etc.)


Malik Saifuddin Aibok
(1229 to 1232) Turk. Kara-Khitai tribe. Slave .
Aor Khan
(short period) Turk, Kara-Khitai tribe.
Tugral Tugan Khan
(1236-1245)
Turk. Kara-Khitai tribe. Slave
Malik Tamar Khan Kiran
(1245-1247)
Turk.
Malik Jalaluddin Masud Jani
(1247-1251)
Turk.
Malik Iktiyar Uddin Yujbuk
(1251-1257): Turk.
Ijjuddin Balban Yujbuki
(1257-1259) Turk Slave of Iltutmish
Malik Taj Uddin Arsalan Khan
(1259-1265) Turk. Slave of Iltutmish

15

16
Tatar Khan
(1265-1268) Turk
Sher Khan
(1268-1272) Turk
Amin Khan
(1272 for a short while) Turk.
Sultan Mugis Uddin Tugril
(1272-1281) Turk. Mamluk.
Sultan Nasir Uddin Mahmud Bugra Khan (1281-1291) Turk.
Sultan Rukun Uddin Kaykaus
(1291-1301)
Sultan Shams Uddin Firoz Shah
(1301-1322)
Sultan Giyas Uddin Bahadur
(1322-1328)
Bahram Khan
(1328-1338)
Kadar Khan at Lakkhanabati
(1325-1338)
Malik Ijuddin Yahiya at Satgaon
(1325-1338)
The emperors of Delhi used to send their dependable companions to rule Bengal. Most of them were
eunuch Abyssinian slaves. However, on some occasions some of these slaves killed their masters and
themselves became the rulers. As deputies of the emperor, these rulers had to send annual and
occasional honorarium to Delhi. Since Bengal was quite far from Delhi, these rulers revolted against the
emperors whenever they got a scope. For protecting the boundary or its expansion, they also fought with
the rulers of the neighboring kingdoms. At times the emperor of Delhi instructed one of his deputies to
fight against the rebellious one. The time when emperor Kaykobad was the ruler of Delhi, his father,
Sultan Nasir Uddin Mahmud Bugra Khan (1281-1291 AD) was appointed ruler of Gaur. When the father
revolted the son came to fight against him and there was a truce. In order to be farther away from Delhi,
the deputies shifted their capital from Gaur and Pandua to Sonargaon near Dhaka in 1338. During the
time of Sultan Shams Uddin Firoz Shah (1301-1322 AD) a factory for minting coins (Indian name
Takshal) was constructed at Sonargaon.
03.03. SEMI-INDEPENDENT BENGAL UNDER TUGHLUQ AND LODHI EMPERORS OF DELHI :
(1338-1538 AD) :
During this period most of the deputies posted in Bengal disregarded the emperor of Delhi ruled
independently. Within this long reign of Muslim rule, King Ganesh (or Kans), a Hindu king rose to power
for a short while between 1414 to 1418 AD. During this period, the seats of administration were
Sonargaon, Gaur, Pandua and Hazrat Pandua. The names and duration of reigns of these rulers have
been given in the following table.
Table : 05. MUSLIM RULERS IN BENGAL : 1338 AD TO 1538 AD.
PERIOD :

RULER

DURATION

ORIGIN

1338 to 1538 : Sube Bangla ( Capital : Sonargaon, Gaur, Pandua etc. )


Sultan Fakar Uddin Mubarak Shah
(1338-1349) Sonargaon : Turk
Sultan Iktiyar Uddin Gazi Shah
(1349-1352) Sonargaon : Turk
Sultan Shams Uddin Ilyas Shah
(1352-1357) Gaur :
Turk
Sultan Sikandar Shah
(1357-1393)
Turk
Sultan Ghiyas Uddin Azam Shah
(1393-1410/11)
Turk
Sultan Shams Uddin Hamza Shah
1410/11-1411/12)
Turk
Sultan Shihab Uddin Bayazid Shah
1411/12-1414 )
Turk
Sultan Ala Uddin Firoz Shah
(for a short while)
Turk
King Ganesh
(1414/15-1418)
Hindu
King Mahendradev
(for two months )
Hindu
King Jadu Sen, later Jalal Uddin Muhammad Shah (1418-33)
Local Muslim
Sultan Ahmed Shah
(1433-1435/36)
Local Muslim

16

17
Sultan Nasir Uddin Mahmud shah
Sultan Rukun Uddin Barbak Shah
Sultan Shams Uddin Yusuf Shah
Sultan Jalal Uddin Fateh Shah
Sultan Shahjada Barbak Shah
Sultan Saifuddin Firoz Shah
Sultan Nasir Uddin Mahmud Shah II
Sultan Shams Uddin Muzaffar Shah
Sultan Ala Uddin Hossain Shah
Sultan Nasir Uddin Nasrat Shah
Sultan Ala Uddin Firoz Shah
Sultan Giasuddin Mahmud Shah

(1435/36-1459/60)
Non-local Muslim
(1460-1474)
Non-local Muslim
(1474-1481)
Non-local Muslim
(1481-1487)
Non-local Muslim
(6 months)
Non-local Abyssinian slave
(1487-1490)
Non-local Abyssinian slave
(1490-1491)
Non-local Abyssinian slave
(1491-1493)
Non-local Abyssinian slave
(1493-1519)
Non-local Muslim
(1519-1531)
Non-local Muslim
(1532-1533)
Non-local Muslim
(1533-1538)
Non-local Muslim

Twenty-four independent or semi-independent deputies ruled Bengal from 1338 to 1538 AD. Of them only
4 were of local origin and the rest 20, non-local Muslims. Also there were 4 Abyssinian eunuch slaves
and 16 Turk (Afghan) among the rest.
Some notable revealing the nature and mentality of the rulers of this period are mentioned hereunder :
(i) The first ruler of local origin was King Ganesh. He came from the family of a local feudal lord of
Bhaduria.
(ii) Sultan Fakar Uddin Mubarak Shah and Sultan Iktiyar Uddin Gazi Shah, who shifted the seat of
administration to Sonargaon of East Bengal ruled almost independently. The emperor of Delhi
instructed Sultan Shams Uddin Ilyas Shah (emperors deputy at Gaur) to conquer Sonargaon. He did
that and with this the seat of administration of Bengal was again transferred to Gaur and Sonargaon
remained as an administrative out post.
(iii) Sultan Ghyas Uddin Azam Shah, the deputy at Sonargaon revolted against Shams Uddin Ilyas Shah,
his father and the ruler of Gaur. Ghyas Uddin Azam Shah defeated and killed his father in this fight.
(iv) In 1487 AD Sultan Shahjada Barbak Shah, the Abyssian eunuch slave assassinated his master, Jalal
Uddin Fateh Shah and became the ruler. He was assassinated by his eunuch slave Sultan Saifuddin
Firoz Shah, who became the following ruler. This man was killed by his eunuch slave Sultan Nasir
Uddin Mahmud Shah II and he, by his slave and he, by Sultan Shams Uddin Muzaffar Shah. In
Bengal the period 1487 to 1493 AD is known as the period of slave dynasty.
(v) The slave dynasty came to an end by another assassination, through which Sultan Ala Uddin Hossain
Shah rose to power.

However, his son, Nasir Uddin Nasrat Shah, the following ruler was

assassinated in 1531.

His son Sultan Ala Uddin Firoz Shah was assassinated by his uncle

Giasuddin Mahmud Shah.


03.04. BENGAL UNDER AFGHAN AND MUGHAL EMPERORS OF DELHI ( 1538 to 1757 ) :
Pathan king Sher Khan conquered Bengal in 1538. With this Bengal came under direct rule of Afghan
and Mughal emperors of Delhi, that continued till the end of Muslim rule in 1757. Even though there were
many attempts of rebellion against Delhi during this period, none was successful. During this period the
name of the kingdom and the seat of administration were changed several times, as may be seen in the
following table.

17

18
Table : 06 KINGDOMS AND THEIR CAPITALS DURING MUSLIM PERIOD (1538 AD 1757 AD)
NAME OF KINGDOM :
i. GAUR (1539-1541).
ii. GAUR (1545-1576)
(Bengal came under Gaur in 1545)
iii. SUBE BANGLA (1576-1639).
iv. SUBE BANGLA and ORISSA
(1639-1717).
v. BANGLA, BIHAR and ORISSA

SEAT OF ADMINISTRATION
Pandua or Hazrat Pandua
Pandua and Sonargaon

DURATION
3 years
32 years

(i) Sonargaon (1576-1594)


19 years
(ii) Rajmahal (1594-1608)
24 years
(iii) Dhaka (1608-1639)
32 years
(i) Rajmahal (1639-1660)
22 years
(ii) Jahangir Nagar (1660-1771) 12 years
Murshidabad (1771-1757)
7 years

The chronological list of the rulers of this period along with durations of reign have been given in the
following table.
Table 07

MUSLIM RULERS IN BENGAL : 1229 AD TO 1338 AD.

PERIOD :

RULER

DURATION

1539 to 1576 :

ORIGIN OF RULER

Gaur. Capital : Pandua or Hazrat Pandua


Jahangir Kuli Beg
(1539-1540)
Non-local Afghan
Khijir Khan
(1540-1541)
Non-local Afghan
Shams Uddin Muhammad Sur
(1545-1555)
Deputy of Mughal
Sultan Giasuddin Bahadur Shah I
(1556-1560)
Sultan Giasuddin Jalal Shah
(1560-1563)
Sultan Giasuddin
(1563-1564)
Sultan Taj Karrani
(1564-1565)
Sulaiman Khan Karrani
(1565-1572)
Daud Khan Karrani
(1572-1576)
1576-1594 :
Sube Bangla (Capital : Sonargaon)
Subedar Hossain Kuli
(1576-78)
Subedar Muzaffar Khan Turbati
(1579-80)
Subedar Khan I Azam Mirza Aziz Koka (1581-83)
Subedar Shahbaz Khan
(1583-85)
Subedar Sadek Khan
(1585-86)
Subedar Wazir Khan
(1586-87)
Subedar Sayed khan
(1587-94)
1594-1608 : Sube Bangla (Capital : Rajmahal or Akbar Nagar)
Subedar Raja Man Singh
(1594-1606) Hindu
Subedar Sheikh Kutub Uddin Khan Koka (1606-1607)
Subedar Jahangir Kuli
(1607-1608)
1608-1639 :
Sube Bangla (Capital : Islamabad or Dhaka)
Subedar Sheikh Ala Uddin Islam Khan (1608-1613)
Subedar Sheikh Kasim Khan Chisti
(1613-1617)
Subedar Ibrahim Khan Fateh Jung
(1617-1624)
Subedar Darab Khan
(1624-1625)
Subedar Mohabbat Khan
(1625-1626)
Subedar Sheikh Mukarram Khan Chisti (1626-1627)
Subedar Hedayet Ullah Fidai Khan
(1627-1628)
Subedar Kasim Khan Juiny
(1628-1632)
Subedar Meer Muhammad Bakar Azam Khan (1632-1635)
Subedar Islam Khan Mashadi
(1635-1639)
1639 to 1660 : Sube Bangla and Orissa. (Capital Rajmahal)
Subedar Shahjada Suja,(son of Shah Jahan)
(1639-1660)
1660 to 1717 : Sube Bangla and Orissa. (Capital : Jahangir Nagar alias Dhaka)
Subedar Meer Jumla
(1660-1663)
Subedar Shaesta Khan
(1663-1678)
Subedar Fidai Khan
(1678- for a short while )

18

19

1771-1757 :

Subedar Shahjada Muhammad Azam


(1678-1679)
Subedar Shaesta Khan (second time)
(1679-1688)
Subedar Khan E Jahan
(1688-1689)
Subedar Ibrahim Khan
(1689-1697)
Subedar Azimusshan
(1697-1712)
Subedar Khan E Alam
(1712-1713)
Subedar Meer Jumla II
(1713-1717)
Bangla, Bihar and Orissa. (Capital : Murshidabad).
Nawab Subedar Murshid Kuli Khan
(1717-1727)
Nawab Subedar Suja Uddin Muhammad Khan (1727-1739)
Nawab Subedar Sarfaraz Khan
(1739-1740)
Nawab Subedar Alibardy Khan
(1740-1756)
Nawab Siraj Uddowla
(1756-1757)

03.06 : BARO BHUIYANS OF BENGAL : After the Mughal emperor rose to power in Delhi they did not
have confidence in the Turks, Afghans, Abyssinians etc. who earlier ruled the land with ample record of
revolts and assassinations. The Mughals engaged their reliable persons at places, Pandua or Hazrat
Pandua, Murshidabad, Rajmahal (or Akbar Nagar), Jahangir Nagar (Dhaka) and Sonargaon. Instead of
employing deputies under these deputies, they appointed independent local rulers (known as Subeders)
under them at suitable locations. They conferred administrative and tax collecting power to a number of
influential local men belonging to both Muslim and Hindu religions. (The Mughals followed similar policy
in other regions of India also). As a consequence, these families turned to feudal lords and came to be
known as Bhuiyans (meaning feudal lords). Since twelve (local name Baro) such Bhuyans were
appointed at the beginning they became famous as Baro Bhuiyan. Later, however, their number
increased. The names of Baro Bhuiyan and their seats of administration are given in the following table.
Table : 08.

BARO BHUYANS OF BENGAL : (ABOUT 1771 AD TO 1757 AD)

PERIOD :

RULER

(1771-1757) :

Baro Bhuyians of Bangla


(1) Musa Khan, (2) Daud Khan,
(3) Abdullah Khan, (4) Mahmud Khan
(5) Ilyas Khan
Dhaka, Mymensingh, Tripura.
(6) Bahadur Gazi and his family
Bhawal of Dhaka district
(7) Sheikh Peer, son of Hazi Bakul
Not known
(8) Masum Kabuli and his son (9) Mirza Mumin Chatmohar, Pabna
(10) Kedar Roy (Hindu)
Bikrampur and Sreepur, Dhaka
(11) Modhu Roy (Hindu)
Khalsi of Pabna district
(12) Binod Roy (Hindu)
Chand Pratap of Dhaka
(13) Pahalwan of Matanga
North of Sarail
(14) Khaza Usman and his family
Bokai Nagar, Mymensingh & Sylhet
(15) Anwar Khan and (16) Hossain KhanBaniachang, Sylhet
(17) Bayezid Karrani and (18) Yusuf Karrani
Middle and north Sylhet
(18) Chief Majlish Kutub of Fatehabad
Faridpur district.

LOCATION OF ADMINISTRATION

During the British period that followed immediately after this one, the large landlords turned into
enclaves (local states or protectorate under Maharajas) and the smaller ones, into Zamindari (under
Rajas). The affluent persons also could purchase Zamindari and become Zaminders.

19

20

03.07 SOME SMALL KINGDOMS :


(01) CHANDRADWIP (BAKLA ) : Without being a Bhuyan of the Mughals, the Chandra family of
Madhab Pasha (near Barisal district) became affluent and influential and came to be known as Raja
(king). The last king of this dynasty was Raja Nipendra Chandra. The ruins of their Palaces, tanks and
temples can be seen at Madhab Pasha.
(02) KHALIFATABAD : It was established on the ruined site of Buddhist and Hindu settlements at
present Bagerhat. The Mughal emperors of Delhi appointed Subedar here. Also it was one of their mint
cities. One influential person known as Khan -E-Jahan (in the inscription on his tomb the name is written
as Ulugh Khan E Jahan) reigned here. He is credited for the construction of numerous mosques, tanks
and roads
03.08 NOTABLE PERSONALITIES :
(01) IKTIYAR UDDIN MUHAMMAD BIN BAKHTIYER KHILJI : Iktiyar Uddin Muhammad son of (Bin)
Bakhtiyer Khilji is looked as a man of courage and heroism, because he is said to have conquered the
capital city of Lakkhan Sen. After this success he attempted to conquer Tibet and met severe failure,
causing deaths of most of his soldiers. As a consequence he was highly rebuked by the relatives of the
dead soldiers. He was assassinated by one of their relative. A considerable number of people in
Bangladesh know him as Bakhtiyer Khilji. This is erroneous. Bakhtiyer Khilji was the name of his father.
His name was Iktiyar Uddin Muhammad and Khilji was their family title.
03.09 FORCES AND TECHNIQUES USED BY THE RULERS :
During the Muslim period the rulers used to apply various types of forces and techniques similar to those
applied by the earlier rulers. While the pre-Mughal rulers patronized people of their own religion only, as a
great exception, the Mughal emperors patronized Hindus also.
(i) Muscle power : The rulers employed armed forces and muscle men to resist external attack and
internal revolt. They also appointed city guards, watchmen and patrol parties to keep
watch on the inhabitants. The rulers acted as judge for the offenders. Later a judge under
name Kazi was appointed to do this job. Brutal punishments including death were in
practice.
(ii) Mystic (religious) power : The rulers spent profusely for preaching Islam. There were numerous
religious conversions due to the rulers patronization. Another strong reason of conversion
in Bengal was the discrimination created earlier by Ballal Sen.
(iii) Entertainment : For entertaining the common people the rulers encouraged Muslim religious
festivals, celebrations, village fair etc.
(v) Diplomacy : Like their predecessors the Muslim rulers also employed spies and agents.

03.10 LIFE AND LIVING OF PEOPLE UNDER MUSLIM RULE :


The basic systems of administration followed by the Muslim rulers were like those of the earlier kings.
However, since they were stranger or 'alien' in this land, they took some additional measures to ensure
safety and establish control over the local people. Some of these are :

20

21
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)

Indiscriminant use of cruel punishment including death.


Religious conversion
Introduction of religious judge ( Kazi ).
Living in forts or fort like palaces

The alien Muslim rulers rose to power by dint of their armed forces. Naturally the common people
treated them as 'hostile'. Unlike the earlier rulers, they were in need of being cautious about the local
people, even from their own relatives, servants and friends.
(a) Alike the previous rulers the alien kings maintained strong army to protect the kingdom from external
attack and internal rebellion. They appointed one or more commander in chiefs whose duty was to
resist external attacks and conquer neighboring countries. They also appointed guards in the cities
and highways. They also appointed secret informers or spies to collect information about the people
in and around the kingdom.
(b) As a great deviation, in order to check probable in-house rebellion the rulers now engaged spies to
collect information about the members of their families and friends also.
(c)

At the beginning the rulers themselves acted as judge. But later, they kings appointed judge with
title 'Kazi'. Punishments were given for crime and reward, for good deeds. Capital punishment was
not rare.

(d) Attempts were made to ensure maximum comfort and luxury for the king, his family members,
relatives and friends.
(e) The rulers encouraged the preaching of their religion. They spent profusely for the construction of
religious institutions like Mosques, Madrasas (school for religious teaching) etc. throughout the
kingdom.
(f) The rulers administered the country with the help of a number of associates known as 'Ameer' and
'Omrah'. The Islamic religious leader was given very high position in the royal court. The ruler
listened to the suggestions of the Ameers and Omrahs, but he was not liable to abide by those.
(g) During the Hindu and Buddhist regime there was a tradition that after the death of a king his son was
to be the following king. During Muslim period there was great deviation of this trend. During their
rule ascending to the throne was a matter of confidence of the emperor of Delhi or confidence of the
army. There was no place for 'family image' in this affair. As a consequence, there arose an
unhealthy competition for seizing power. The commander in chief of the army, rulers close
relatives and even his servant endeavored to capture power by killing the ruler. Thus story of
assassination of the ruler by the close relative and servant became a common affair.

21

22

CHAPTER FOUR
PHASE 04 : BRITISH RULE
(1757 to 1947 - 190 years)
04.01 BRITISH RULE :
In the 16th century the British East India Company came to Sube Bangla for trading. In the name of selfsecurity they organized their own army. In 1757 AD they defeated Siraj Uddowla, the Nawab of Bangla,
Bihar and Orrissa in a battle at a place named Palashi. This paved the way to their rise to power of
Bangla-Bihar-Orissa and later, entire India. The British mentioned Bangla as Bengal. Henceforth we also
shall use this term. The map of India under British rule has been shown at Appendix. The list of the rulers
or their deputies ruling Bengal and the adjoining land has been presented in the following table.
Table : 09.
PERIOD
1757-1765 :

1765 1774 :

1774-1833 :

1833-1856 :

BRITISH AND LOCAL RULERS OF BENGAL


RULER
BANGLA, BIHAR AND ORISSA
(under Dual rule : Nawab with capital
at Murshidabad and British East India
Company with office at Sutanati, Kolkata)
Nawab Meer Jafar Ali Khan
Nawab Meer Kashem Ali Khan
Nawab Meer Jafar Ali Khan (2nd time )

DURATION OF REIGN

(1757-1760)
(1760-1763)
(1763-1765)

BANGLA, BIHAR AND ORISSA


(under British East India Company
with office at Fort William, Kolkata)
Governor Lord Clive
(1765-1767)
Governor Lord Verelest
(1767-1769)
Governor Lord Curtier
(1769-1772)
Governor Lord Warren Hestings
(1772-1774)
BANGLA, BIHAR AND ORISSA
(British Governor General under
Regulating Act 1773 with office at
Fort William, Kolkata)
Governor General Warren Hestings (Joining date)
(1774-1786)
Governor General Lord Cornwallis.
(1786-1793)
Governor General Sir John Shore
(1793-1798)
Governor General Lord Wellesley
(1798-1805)
Governor General Lord Cornwallis (2nd term)
(1805-3 months)
Governor General Sir George Barlow
(1805-1807)
Governor General Lord Mintoo
(1807-1813)
Governor General Lord Moira or Marques of Hestings
(1813-1823)
Governor General John Adam
(January 1823)
Governor General Baron East Amherst
(August 1823-1828)
Governor General W.B. Bailey
(March 1828-1833)
BANGLA, BIHAR AND ORISSA
(British Governor Generals under
Governors General of India, Charter Act
1833 with office at Fort William, Kolkata)
Governor General Lord Bentinc
(1833-1835)
Governor General Sir Charles Metcalf (Joining date)
(March 1835-1836)
Governor General Lord Auckland
(March 1836-1842)
Governor General Lord Allen borough
(February 1842-1844)
Governor General W.W. Bard
(June 1844 )
Governor General Sir Henry Hardinge
(July, 1844-1848)
Governor General Lord Dollhouse
(January, 1848-1856)

22

23
1851-1912 :

BENGAL
(under British Lieutenant Governor
with office at Fort William, Kolkata)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Frederick James Holliday (Joining date) (May 1, 1851)
Lieutenant Governor Sir John Peter Grant
(May 1 1859)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Cecil Beadon
(April 23, 1862)
Lieutenant Governor Sir William Grey
(April 23, 1887)
Lieutenant Governor Sir George Campbell
(March 1, 1871)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Richard Temple
(April 9, 1874)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Ashley Eden
(January 8, 1877)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Stuart Colvin Bayley
(April 2, 1887)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Augustus Rivers Thompson
(April 24, 1882)
Lieutenant Governor Mr. Horace Abel Cockerel
(August 11, 1885)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Stuart Colvin
(April 2, 1887)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Charles Alfred Elliot
(December 17, 1890)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Anthony Patrice MacDonnell
(May 30, 1893)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Alexander Mackenzie
(December 18, 1895)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Charles Cecil Stevens
(June 22, 1897)
Lieutenant Governor Sir John Woodburn
(November 1898)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Andrew Fraser
(1902-1908)
Lieutenant Governor Sir Edward Baker
(April 1,1908-1912)

1912-1947 :

BENGAL
(under British 'Governors of the Presidency
of Fort William in Bengal' )
Governor Baron Carmichael of Skirting (Joining date)
Governor Earl of Ronald shay
Governor Earl of Litton
Governor Sir H.L. Stephenson
Governor Sir F. Stanley Jackson
Governor Sir J. Anderson
Governor Sir J.A. Woodhead
Governor Sir J. Anderson
Governor Baron Brabourne
Governor Sir R.N. Reid
Governor Sir J.A. Woodhead
Governor Lt. Col./ Sir J.A. Herbert
Governor Sir T.G. Rutherford
Governor Rt. Hon. R.G. Casey
Governor Sir H.J. Twynam
Governor Sir F.J. Burrows

(April 1,1912)
(March 26, 1917)
(March 28, 1922)
(June 10, 1926)
(March 28,1927)
(March 29, 1932)
(August 10, 1934)
(April 1, 1937)
(November 27, 1937)
(June 25, 1938)
(June 12, 1939)
(November 18, 1939)
(September 6, 1943)
(January 22, 1944)
(September 13, 1945)
(Feb. 19, 1946 to Aug.14, 1947)

Some details of the British rule in India have been discussed in the chapter on History of India. In this
chapter we shall discuss matters having special reference to Bengal. The administration of Bengal under
the British may be broadly classified into the following divisions :
(a) BENGAL UNDER DUAL RULE : 1757-1765 (08 years) : Bengal was under Dual Rule of (01) the
Muslim Dewans (deputies) under the emperor of Delhi and (02) representatives of the East India
Company. It took place in two phases :
(b) BENGAL UNDER THE BRITISH GOVERNORS : 1765-1774 (09 years) : Bengal was ruled by the
British Governors Generals from their office at Fort William, Kolkata.
(c) BENGAL UNDER THE BRITISH GOVERNOR GENERALS UNDER REGULATING ACT : 1774-1833
(59 years). In 1774, the 'Regulating Act 1773' came in to effect. From this year up to 1833, eleven
Governor Generals ruled from their office at Fort William, Kolkata.

23

24
(d) BENGAL UNDER THE BRITISH GOVERNOR GENERALS UNDER REGULATING ACT :1883-1912
(29 years) : In 1833, the 'Governors General of India, Charter Act 1833' came in to effect. From this
time to 1912 Bengal was ruled by seven Governor Generals. However, during the period 1851-1912,
there was a post of British Lieutenant Governor for exclusive administration of Bengal. Also the seat
of administration of the Lieutenant Governor was transferred to Dhaka in 1905.
(e) BENGAL UNDER THE BRITISH GOVERNORS : 1912-1947 (35 years) In 1912 Bengal came under
the rule of British Governors of the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal' and sixteen Governors
ruled up to 1947 AD.
The religion of the British rulers was Christianity and their administration was necessarily colonial in
nature. After the end of the Second World War in 1944, the British Empire found it difficult to maintain
colonies, especially those at distant locations and they decided to abandon the same. It was a
coincidence that the people of India begun fighting for independence few decades earlier to this time.
Even if there was no such struggle, the independence of India was inevitable, specially in the wake of the
international scene after the second world war. However, in India the independence of the country is
looked upon as the outcome of the peoples fight against the British government. What is more
interesting is, if compared with the rest of India, the people of Bengal may be found to have played
pragmatic role in this fight.
04.02 BENGALS ROLE IN THE STRUGGLE FOR THE INDEPENDENCE OF INDIA :
With the defeat of Nawab Siraj Uddowla on June 23, 1757, Bengal along with Bihar and Orissa came
under the rule of the British East India Company. During the first few years the common people could not
find any remarkable difference due to this change of the rules. Earlier they were not happy under the
Nawabs. The Muslims were specially unhappy because the Muslim rulers were no more in power. The
non-Muslim people became happy for the same reason. They accepted this change as a good sign and
endeavored to cooperate with the new government. The British were in need of help from the local
people. Thus privileged, the Hindus soon grew influential, powerful and wealthy. However, the common
people could feel the bitterness of the new administration when, among many others, they discovered the
following :
(i) Whenever they got a chance, the people of the ruling class (the British) and their associates (indigoplanters and Zaminders) used to snatch away the wealth and women of the common people.
(ii) The indigo-planters forced the peasants to cultivate indigo in their fertile paddy field.
(iii) The government imposed torture and heavy punishment for violation of the rules, specially regarding
payment of taxes.
Naturally and gradually a repulsive force started to grow against the establishment. This force had three
broad straits, viz.
(01) In the eastern region, i.e. Bengal there grew secret organizations who adopted a hit and run policy
against the ruling class and their associates.

24

25
(02) In the central and western region of India there arose political awareness. They organized formal
and informal protest, non-cooperation etc. against the British.
(03) The rich business elites created some leaders of their own, such that they could have participation
in the government of the independent India.
The government urged their employees and collaborators to work in the interest of the British
government. When they introduced new education system, the non-Muslim people in general accepted it,
but the Muslims did not. They thought, this education was harmful for their religion. However, after being
educated, enlightened and conscious about the society the non-Muslim people discovered many reasons
to dislike the British rule. They initiated programs for the independence of their motherland. At this
juncture the British utilized religion as a weapon. They appointed Muslims in increasing number in the
law enforcing and espionage department and used them against the Hindus engaged in antiestablishment activities.
Before the British came to this land there were cases of religious conversions and atrocities by the
Muslim rulers. Even though it was not a palatable matter for the Hindus, they did not hold the common
Muslims responsible for it. So, the Hindu-Muslim relation in the level of the common people was fairly
good. At the beginning the British rule, the British endeavored to maintain this state by strictly controlling
religious extremities. But the time when they discovered the Hindus to go rebellious against them, they
made use of religion in the manner mentioned above. As a consequence, there serious misunderstanding
was generated between the people of the two religions resulting in rivalry. During this period, there grew
people with five distinctively different mentalities and characteristics. Some of these were :
(a) SELFISH COLLABORATOR : They were the people who cooperated with the British in activities
harmful for the people of their country and community. The people who betray the interest of the
motherland are known by a term Meer Jafar, because the man with this name is considered as the
legendary figure of betrayer.
(b)

IDEOLOGIST : They were the people who took advantage of British education. In place of
cooperating with the British they however, enlightened the common people about their oppression.
These people even risked their lives to go against the rulers. (Example : Chitta Ranjan Das)

(c) IMPATIENT YOUNG MEN : Some people grew impatient due to the activities of the rulers and
wanted immediate solution. Investigation however reveal, most of such young men were instigated
to follow this path due to preaching of the ideologists and cooperation of the Zaminders, who
discovered some actions of the British government to go against their interest. They initiated hit and
run warfare. (Example : Khudiram, Surya Sen).
(d) COMMON PEOPLE : Most of the people, however, did not belong to any of the above groups. They
preferred a wait and see policy and were hesitant to indulge in direct action. However, as days went
on, and the British started torturing the common people for the alleged offense committed by the
liberation group, the common people became sympathetic towards the ideologists and impatient
men, who, they discovered, were working for the independence.

25

26

Bengal was fortunate that only a fraction of the common people turned to selfish collaborator. The
Second World War created so unfavorable situation for the British that they had to seek cooperation from
the local people. In return, the Indian politicians demanded independence. At this stage some Muslim
leaders thought that (i) Muslim interest might not be safe in the hand of Congress, and/or (ii) they would
not get good positions under the Congress government. So, they raised the demand for a separate
homeland for the Muslims. In order to prove that the men belonging to these two religions could not live
together, they initiated communal riot in Kolkata. Soon it spread in other regions of Bengal and India.
Their actions prepared the ground for the division of India. The British Government declared the birth of
Pakistan on August 14, and the independence of India on August 15, 1947.
04.03 FORCES AND TECHNIQUES USED BY THE BRITISH :
The British rulers used various forces and techniques to control the people of Bengal. Some these are :
Muscle power : Strong armed forces, modern arms (cannon, gun etc), city guards, watchmen and patrol
parties were used for security.
Judgment and punishment : They introduced the European system of judgment and punishment by
imprisonment.
Diplomacy :
The British used spies and secret agents to collect information. They used the Divide
and rule policy on the basis of religion. They created group of supporters (psychopaths)
by giving them privileges over others.
Entertainment : The previous means of peoples entertainment like bull race, village fair, festivals etc.
were replaced by the western dance and music, western liquor, celebrations of days
important to the British, game of chance or lottery, gambling by horse-race etc.
Decentralization and delegation of power : The British rulers established local government authorities
with personnel selected by the government and some peoples representative.

04.04 SALIENT FEATURES OF THE BRITISH RULE :


The British rulers ruled this country as the representative of the British monarchy in United Kingdom. By
all consideration, their rule was colonial. However, a careful study might reveal that their system of
administration, process of documentation, strategy for development and maintenance etc. were not cent
percent colonial in nature. Rather it appears as if those were planned and designed for permanent
administration and development of ones own country. It is true that the East India Company transferred
wealth worth millions of Rupees every year, and that the British introduced better transportation for the
sake of their business. But activities like surveying the entire country, introduction of secular and
European system of judiciary, land holding rules, education, health care facilities, large development
scheme in agro-production, establishing processing industries, monitoring educational and cultural
activities, documentation and renovation of archaeological wealth of the land etc. indicate something
different from colonial attitude. The British brought and introduced European technology and ideas in this
land. The rulers were Christian in religion, but under their rule the people of this land for the first time in
history got the taste of religious neutrality or secularism. They practiced secularism in all fields including
education, administration and judiciary.
The British Government introduced a unique system for collection of revenue, as outlined here under :

26

27
(i). The entire country was surveyed and potential sources of income were identified. Those were
branded under names : (a) agricultural land (Bhumi, to be quantified by Pargana, Dihi, Mouza etc.),
(b) forests (Ban-Mahal), (c) rivers and large water bodies (Jal Mahal ), (d) mines, (e) trading (f)
commercial areas (Hat Bazar, Ferry ghat ) etc.
(ii). The minimum yearly rent for each source was fixed and rich people were called upon to participate in
the bid. The highest bidder was given yearly lease of one or more items. Land in large chunk was
leased to the feudal lord called Zamindar.
Such a system, however, gave birth to a new class of privileged persons like feudal lords (Zaminders),
money lenders (Mahajans) etc. Even though these men were in general considered as money-sucker
by the common people, some of them were benevolent and spent profusely for the welfare and
entertainment of the people. Some Zaminders constructed palatial buildings after the style of the
buildings constructed by the British. Many of these buildings are now considered as prestigious
architectural heritage of Bangladesh. The British Government constructed numerous buildings throughout
the country to be used as office, hospital, school, residence, rail station, factory, warehouse etc. These
later came to be of immense help for the later governments.
04.05. COMPARISON BETWEEN THE BRITISH AND THE EARLIER RULERS :
While comparing the British rule with the rules of the earlier rulers of this land, we find the following
notable similarities and dissimilarities :
(i). During British rule, for the first time in history religion ceased to play any important role in
administration and people came to learn secularism.
(ii). The British introduced a system of judiciary, acceptable to all religions.
(iii). For offense, endeavor for correction in correction house or prison was introduced instead of
punishment only.
(iv). The various objectives of the British rule as were evident in various fields were : (a) Economic - to
attain maximum economic gain for the ruling government. For this purpose they chalked out
programs for increase in agricultural production and trading (b) Political - to establish a strong and
long lasting base for the British in this land. (c) Cultural - to induce western (or European) culture
here etc. (d) Industrial to keep this land basically agro-producer and dependent on consumer
goods manufactured by the European countries. (e) Education western education was introduced
in the country. The previous rulers did not have any program for education, other than religious
education.
(v). Even though Christianity was the religion of the rulers and some of the rulers patronized the same,
the administration in principle maintained neutrality.
04.06 PEOPLE'S LIFE AND LIVING UNDER BRITISH RULE :
After the British rose to power in 1757, the Muslims no more remained the ruler. This realization turned
them hostile to the British. They avoided their education, disagreed to serve under them and engaged
themselves mostly in agriculture. On the other hand, the Hindus who earlier retained a feeling of

27

28
oppression under the Muslim rulers cooperated with the British. In return they were aptly rewarded by the
government in the form of jobs, trading and business facilities etc. But still, when the educated and
enlightened Indians expressed the need for independence the common people extended hands and the
great movement for freedom had a start. In this movement the people of Bengal played exceptionally
bright role. Their activities ranged from secret policy making to mass mobilization and hazardous
execution with the risk of life. A number of high ranking British officials lost lives due to the terrorist
activities of the freedom fighters. In retaliation the British hanged some freedom fighters. By this time
some Muslim leaders could realize that the development of Muslim community highly depended on
western education and cooperation with the rulers. At this juncture the British adopted a divide and rule
policy by using religion. They started appointing Muslims in large numbers in the law and order and
espionage jobs and used them in harassing the freedom fighters. This act helped to grow distrust among
the two communities. In the meantime the politicians became successful in organizing the people and
negotiating with the British rulers in favor of independence. Coincidentally, the Second World War
brought insurmountable problems for the British. Finally, India got independence and was divided into two
independent states, India and Pakistan.

CHAPTER FIVE
05.00 PHASE 05 : EAST PAKISTAN
(1947-1971 - 24 years)
05.01 EAST PAKISTAN :
When India got independence in 1947, the present geographical area of Bangladesh came under
Pakistan with the name 'East Pakistan'. On 23 rd March, 1956 Pakistan was declared Peoples Republic.
The population of East Pakistan was more than that of the western wing. The leaders of Muslim League
who earlier bargained with the British government for independence hailed from the west. After
independence they seized important posts in the countrys administration. Taking this advantage, from
the very beginning they initiated discriminatory activities like :
(I) Transfer of wealth from the east to the west,
(ii) Spending less money on development in the east,
(iii) Employing less people in administration, army and judiciary from the east and so on.
In spite of the declared policies of republic and democracy the role played by them was, in practice
colonial in nature.
The discriminatory role of the West Pakistanis infuriated the people of East Pakistan and they burst into
protests and demonstrations. Whenever there was such unrest, in order to divert peoples attention, the
Pakistani government reacted in the following ways :
(01) They alleged that India was on the verge of attacking Pakistan and

28

29
(02) They incited a section of people (mostly Bihari from India) to start atrocities on the Hindus.
The first act of the government resulted in over-strengthening of the armed forces that further resulted in :
(a) A war with India in 1965 and (b) Frequent capture of political power by the army. Out of a span of 24
years rule, Pakistan was under the rule of the army generals for about 13 years (1958 to 1971). Also the
communal riots initiated by the Pakistani government compelled millions of Hindus to leave East
Pakistan.
05.02 RULERS OF EAST PAKISTAN :
A list of the 18 rulers (British -2, West Pakistani - 8, East Pakistani - 8), who ruled East Pakistan during
the period 1947-1971 has been given in the following table.
Table : 10 RULERS OF EAST PAKISTAN (1947 AD to 1971 AD)
Province : EAST PAKISTAN (under Pakistan) with capital in Dhaka
RULERS
DURATION
ORIGIN
Governor Sir Frederick Borne
1947-49
Britain
Governor Malik Firoz Khan Noon
1950-53
West Pakistan
Governor Chowdhury Khaliquzzaman 1953-54
West Pakistan
Governor Iskander Mirza
1953-54
West Pakistan
Governor Thomas Hobart Alice
1954-55
Britain
Governor Mohammed Shahabuddin
1955
East Pakistan
Governor Amiruddin Ahmed
1955-56
East Pakistan
Governor A. K. Fazlul Haque
1956-58
East Pakistan
Governor Sultan Uddin Ahmed
1958
East Pakistan
Governor Zakir Hossain
1958-60
West Pakistan
Governor Azam Khan
1960-62
West Pakistan
Governor Golam Faruq
1962
West Pakistan
Governor Abdul Monem Khan
1962-69
East Pakistan
Governor Mirza Nurul Huda
1969 (3 days) East Pakistan
Governor Muzaffar Uddin
1969
East Pakistan
Governor S.M. Ahshan
1969-71
West Pakistan
Governor Tikka Khan
1971
West Pakistan
Governor Abdul Motalib Malik
1971
East Pakistan

05.06 .IMPORTANT POLITICAL EVENTS :


(01) LANGUAGE MOVEMENT OF 1952 : According to the statistics of 1947, in Pakistan 54.6% people
spoke in Bangla, 27.1% in Punjabi, 6.1% in Postu, 4.8% in Sindhi, 1.4% in English and 6% in Urdu. Still
Muhammad Ali Zinnah, the Governor General of Pakistan declared that Urdu and Urdu only would be
the state language of Pakistan. In 1952, Governor General Nazim Uddin declared the same in Dhaka.
The people of East Pakistan instantly protested and that initiated the Movement for State Language.
The government among other oppressive measures declared 144 section, banning congregation of
people not exceeding four. On February 21, 1952 the students violated this section and the police
opened fire killing many people, notable among them being Rafique, Barkat, Jabbar and Salam. Due to
this action the people became so agitated and furious that the government had to bend down and declare
Bengali as one of the state languages. This one was the first out-burst of the Bangalees against unjustified decision of the establishment. It established a good instance that peoples movement could out
successful through courageous steps and sacrifice of blood.

29

30
(02) SIX POINT PROGRAM OF AWAMI LEAGUE (1966) : In order to counter the exploitation of East
Pakistan by the west, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, leader of the political party Awami League declared a
Six-point program on February 21, 1966. These points are :
(01). Pakistan must be formed as a federation by constitution on the basis of the historic Lahore
proposal. The government would be of parliamentary type, election would be held on the basis of
adult franchise and the parliament would be sovereign.
(02). Only Defense and Foreign ministry shall remain with the Federal Government. All other ministries
shall be with the states.
(03). There would be two different currencies under two State Banks in the East and West Pakistan and
the currency of one wing would not be allowed to be transferred to the other.
(04). The state governments shall collect taxes and certain percent of this tax shall be deposited in the
Federal treasury.
(05).

In foreign trade (a) the two wings shall work independently, (b) the state governments shall
independently maintain their respective foreign currencies, (c) the foreign currency required by the
federal government shall be supplied by the states equally, or as per constitution, (d) goods of one
wing shall be allowed in the other wing without taxes, (e) the state governments shall retain their
rights to enter into trade agreements, establish trade missions and conduct export and import
businesses.

(06). A militia or para-militia force shall be formed for the defense of East Pakistan.
05.07 PEOPLE'S LIFE AND LIVING IN EAST PAKISTAN :
Pakistan was born with the slogan of two nation theory and ensuring the interest of the Muslims. Later,
Muhammad Ali Zinnah declared equal rights for people of all religions. In practice, however, the country
continued discriminatory policies not only for the people of two religions, but also for the people of the two
wings with the same religion. In order to live in a Muslim country numerous Muslims migrated from Bihar
to East Pakistan. They were given privileges and refugee status. Later they were used by the Pakistan
government against the people of this wing. The discriminatory role of the Pakistan government gave
birth to protests by the people. In order to divert attention the Pakistan government used to preach of
fictitious attacks by India. They also engaged the Bihari refugees against the East Pakistanis and
initiated religious riots. The Pakistanis believed that the East Pakistanis inherited the zeal of movement
from the Bangalees, who played glorious role during the Anti-British movement in India. They
considered the culture of the East Pakistanis as pro-Hindu culture and endeavored to replace that with
pseudo-Islamic culture.
The above mentioned factors created a situation in East Pakistan that may be summarized as follows :
(i) The people were dissatisfied due to the discriminatory rule of the central government,
(ii) They were under frequent martial law where the authority was in the hands of the army who were
mostly from West Pakistan,
(iii) They had to suffer from communal riots and other atrocities by the Biharis, and

30

31
(iv) There were frequent interferences on their cultural activities.
The first major protest by the East Pakistanis took place in 1952, when Mohammad Ali Zinnah, the
governor general and the father of the Pakistani nation declared Urdu as the only state language of
Pakistan. The movement for declaring Bengali as one state language rose to the extreme. After the
police opened fire on the protesters and general people, the movement was irresistible and finally the
rulers had to give way. The success created great confidence to the East Pakistanis. In the countrywide
election in 1970, Awami League, the largest political party of East Pakistan won 167 out of a total 310
seats. As per constitution, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the leader of Awami League was scheduled to
become the prime minister of Pakistan. But Zulfiquer Ali Bhutto, leader of Pakistan Peoples Party
disagreed. The military ruler was reluctant to handover power to someone fro East Pakistan and that
initiated the movement for liberation in 1971.
The objective of Pakistani rulers in the erstwhile East Pakistan may be seen as a game of enriching the
people as a whole and a number of families in particular of the West Pakistan, by utilizing the wealth of
the country, specially that of the eastern wing. For achieving this goal they used such policies and
activities like : (i) Divide and rule policy, (ii) Espionage acts, (iii) Using religious sentiment, (iv) Creating
collaborators and finally, (iv) Using the armed force.

CHAPTER SIX
PHASE 06 : LIBERATION OF BANGLADESH
(March 25, 1971 to December 16, 1971)
06.00 LIBERATION WAR :
Awami League, the political party headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman achieved a landslide victory in the
general election of Pakistan held in 1970. Instead of handing over power the Pakistani military
government was indulged in suspicious activities. They postponed the pre-declared date of assembly of
the parliament and asked the leader of the majority party to negotiate with the other leader. Such acts
enraged the people of the east.
06.01 WAKE UP CALL BY SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN (March 07, 1971) :
On March 07, 1970, in his largest public meeting at Race Course, Dhaka Sheikh Mujibur Rahman among
others declared the following :
. We have given out our blood in 1952. In 1954 we won in election, but we were not given the
power. In 1958 Ayub Khan declared Martial Law and during the following ten years treated us like slaves.
In 1966 when we declared six-point program our children were killed by firing. .....

31

32
May I ask, the purpose of arranging meeting of the parliament ? With whom shall we sit in the assembly ?
They have caused blood-shed of my people. Why should I talk with them ? I cannot go to the assembly,
by walking over the blood of the martyrs. The first thing they would have to do, they must withdraw
Martial Law. The military personnel must return to the barrack. They would have to investigate why and
how my brothers were killed. Then and then only we shall think, whether or not we shall go to the
assembly. They are trying to bring peril to the people of this land. My fellow Bangalee brothers, its time
for you to act very cautiously. I advise you to form committee of the freedom fighters in each and every
village and ward under the banner of Awami League. You must get yourselves prepared with whatever
you may find around. Keep in mind, since we have sacrificed blood, we shall make further sacrifice if
need arises. But we must achieve independence for the people of this land. May Allah help us. This one
is our fight for liberation, this one is our war for independence.
06.02 CRACKDOWN AND ATROCITIES BY THE PAKISTAN ARMY (March 25, 1971) :
On the night of March 25, 1971, there was a military crack down in Dhaka city resulting in mass killing,
arson and arrests. Sheikh Mujib was taken into custody. This compelled the people of East Pakistan to
look for the lone solution, cessation from West Pakistan. During the nine-month long fight for liberation
that followed as a consequence of the policy of the Pakistan government resulted in the deaths of three
million people, raping of three hundred thousand women and migration of over twelve million people.
06.03 CALL FOR RESISTANCE : MESSAGE OF SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN READ BY
ABDUL HANNAN (March 26, 1971) :
On March 26 at 2.00 P.M. Abdul Hannan, District Chairman of Awami League read out the following
message from Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from the Chittagong Radio Station at Kalur Ghat:
The Pakistani Army suddenly attacked East Pakistan Rifles regiment at Peelkhana, Police Line at
Rajarbagh and have killed many citizens. Direct confrontations are going on in the roads of Dhaka and
Chittagong. I do hereby appeal to the nations of the world for help. Our freedom fighters are fighting
gallantly for liberating our motherland. I, in the name of Allah, the almighty, do appeal to you. Also I am
giving you order to continue fighting for the liberation of the country till the last drop of your blood. Please
request the Police, EPR (East Pakistan Rifles), Bengal Regiment and Ansar to come and join in your
fight. We shall not compromise and win is a must. We must drive away the last enemy from our sacred
soil. Please convey this message to all Awami League leaders, workers and other patriotic and freedomloving people. Let Allah help you. Joy Bangla (meaning, long live Bengal). Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
06.04 MESSAGE OF SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN READ BY ABUL QUASEM SANDWIP (March 26,
1971) :
The above message was again read out on March 26, 1971 from the same place at 7.40 P.M. by Abul
Quasem Sandwip, Vice Principal of Fatickchhari College, Chittagong.

32

33
06.05 CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION BY ZIAUR RAHMAN (March 27, 1971) :
On March 27, Major General Ziaur Rahman read out the following message from Chittagong Radio
Station asking for international recognition :
We, on behalf of the Government of the Sovereign State of Bangladesh and our great leader Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman, the Supreme Commander of Bangladesh, do hereby proclaim the independence of
Bangladesh. The government headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has already been formed. It is further
proclaimed that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the sole leader of the elected representatives of seventy five
million people of Bangladesh and the Government headed by him is the only legitimate government of
the people of the independent sovereign state of Bangladesh. The government is legally and
constitutionally formed and is worthy of getting recognition of all countries of the world. I, on behalf of our
great leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, therefore, appeal to the Governments of all the democratic
countries of the world, specially the big powers and the neighboring countries to recognize the legitimate
government of Bangladesh and to take effective measures to immediately stop the awful genocide, now
being carried by the army of the occupation forces from Pakistan........ The guiding principle of the new
state will be, Number one : neutrality, Number Two : : Peace and Number Three : Friendship to all and
enmity to none. May Allah help you. Joy Bangla.
06.06 OPERATION BLITZ BY THE PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT :
With the above declarations the nine month long war for liberation of Bangladesh had a start. On March
25, 1971 the Military regime of Pakistan initiated a military operation named they named Operation
Blitz. In this operation their first target of attack was the barrack of military and paramilitary personnel of
East Pakistan and the students hostels of universities. The surviving armed personnel left their barracks
and joined the students and common people, who were busy in erecting resistance for the Pakistani
army. The common people deserted large cities and headed towards villages. With them the story of
atrocity of the Pakistani army became known all over the country. After a few days, the army also started
moving to villages. Now their targets of attack were the workers of Awami League and the Hindus. In
such a context Chhatra League, the students wing of Awami League was the first to organize the
common people for resistance against the army.
06.07 PLIGHT OF MEN TO INDIA :
The panicked men in hundreds started running towards villages for security. The Awami League leaders
and the Hindus left the country en masse and took shelter in India. Some personnel, mostly from the
armed forces endeavored to resist the scrambling of the Pakistani army at strategic locations. But soon
most of these resistances failed. The armies continued approaching forward. In this program they got
sincere help from the students of Islamic schools and two political parties, Jamat e Islami and Muslim
League. As advised by the head quarter their first targets were the Awami League workers and the
Hindus. Their atrocities included killing, raping, arson, looting and ruthless torture. Their activities
panicked the common people. At this time the common people came to know that India was providing
shelter to all, irrespective of religion. This tempted them to start the plight to India. Soon the number of

33

34
asylum-seekers crossed ten millions. By this time the Pakistan army came to realize the blunder in their
program, which was atrocity on the common people. They revised their program to re-assure the
common people about their safety. But their endeavor did not work because of two major reasons :
Number one, the para-militia they brought from West Pakistan lacked in discipline and number two : by
this time the people lost confidence in them. At this time India, burdened with ten million refugees, was
busy in handling one of their severest problems.
06.08 SWADHIN BANGLA BETAR KENDRA :
Few weeks after the military crack down, a radio station with the name Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra
started functioning from India. This station, through its lively broadcast added new life-blood to the
liberation movement. It used to broadcast news of resistance by the freedom fighters, life in the liberated
areas (mukto-anchal), tips regarding how to resist the enemy, warning for the collaborators, reactions
from the international media and notable personalities, patriotic songs, drama etc. It also broadcast the
messages and calls previously broadcast from Chittagong radio station. This radio station played very
important role in the fight for freedom.
06.09 INVOLVEMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND OPERATION CACTUS LILY :
The Government of India could realize, the only way of easing the heavy burden of refugees was to
create in East Pakistan an environment conducive to their living. Accordingly they undertook the following
program :
(a) To assist the elected Awami League leaders to form exile government of Bangladesh.
(b) To keep the world bodies, international news medias and the super powers informed about the
situation in East Pakistan such that the freedom fighters may gain moral support and the
government, material help for the refugees.
(c) To ensure material and moral support for the freedom fighters.
(d) To train up the students and young men from East Pakistan for guerilla warfare.
(d) To receive and disburse relief and rehabilitation materials to the refugees.
(e) To initiate a military operation under the name Operation Cactus Lily.
06.10 EXILE GOVERNMENT OF BANGLADESH (April 17, 1971) :
On April 17, 1971 the Exile government of Bangladesh was formed in presence of the parliament
members elected in the 1970 election in the then East Pakistan. The following persons were the officebearers :
OFFICE BEARERS OF 1971 EXILE GOVERNMENT OF BANGLADESH
President
Vice President

:
:

Prime Minister
Foreign Affairs, Parliament and Law
Finance, Trade and Industry
Home Affairs, Relief and Rehabilitation
Freedom Fighters (Mukti Bahini)
Commander in Chief

:
:
:
:

Banga Bandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman


Syed Nazrul Islam (the Vice president was
to act as President in his absence)
Taj Uddin Ahmed
Khondakar Mustaque Ahmed
M. Mansur Ali
A.H.M. Kamaruzzaman

Col. Md. Ataul Gani Osmani

34

35
Chief of Staff

Col. Abdur Rob.

06.11 OATH OF THE EXILE GOVERNMENT, PROCLAMATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF


BANGLADESH (April 17, 1971) :
The exile government of Bangladesh took oath under Prof. Yusuf Ali on April 17, 1971 in a mango grove
at Baidyanath Tala (later named Mujib Nagar) in Bangladesh. After the oath, Syed Nazrul Islam, the Vice
president and acting as President proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh. It was declared on 17
April, 1971, but it was given retrospective effect on and from the 26 th March, 1971.
INDEPENDENCE OF BANGLADESH : THE PROCLAMATION
Mujib Nagar, Bangladesh
Dated 17th day of April, 1971
Whereas a free and fair election was held in Bangladesh from 7th December 1970 to 17th January 1971,
to elect representatives for the purpose of framing a constitution,
AND, whereas at these elections the people of Bangladesh elected 167 out of 169 representatives
belonging to Awami League,
AND, whereas General Yahiya Khan summoned the elected representatives of the people to meet on the
3rd March, 1971 for the purpose of framing a constitution,
AND, whereas the Assembly so summoned was arbitrarily and illegally postponed for indefinite period,
AND, whereas instead of fulfilling their promise and while still conferring with the representatives of the
people of Bangladesh, Pakistan authorities declared an unjust and treacherous war,
AND, whereas in the facts and circumstances of such treacherous conduct Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman, the undisputed leader of the 75 million people of Bangladesh, in due fulfillment of the legitimate
right of self determination of the people of Bangladesh, duly made a declaration of independence at
Dhaka on March 26, 1971, and urged the people of Bangladesh to defend the honor and integrity of
Bangladesh,
AND, whereas the conduct of a ruthless and savage war the Pakistani authorities committed and are still
continuously committing numerous acts of genocide and unprecedented tortures, amongst others on the
civilian and unarmed people of Bangladesh,
AND, whereas the Government by levying an unjust war and committing genocide and by other
repressive measures made it impossible for the elected representatives of the people of Bangladesh to
meet and frame a Constitution, and give to themselves a Government,
AND, whereas the people of Bangladesh by their heroism, bravery and revolutionary fervor have
established effective control over the territories of Bangladesh,
We the elected representatives of the people of Bangladesh, as honor bound by the mandate given to us
by the people of Bangladesh whose will is supreme, duly constituted ourselves into a Constituent
Assembly, and having held mutual consultations, and in order to ensure for the people of Bangladesh
equality, human dignity and social justice.

35

36
Declare and constitute Bangladesh to be sovereign Peoples Republic and there by confirm the
declaration of independence already made by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and
Do hereby affirm and resolve that till such time as Constitution is framed, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman shall be the President of the Republic and that Syed Nazrul Islam shall be the Vice President of
the Republic, and that the President shall be the Supreme Commander of all Armed forces of the
Republic, shall exercise all the Executive and Legislative powers of the Republic including the power to
grant pardon.
Shall have the power to appoint a Prime Minister and such other Ministers as he considers necessary,
shall have the power to levy taxes and expend moneys, shall have the power to summon and adjourn the
Constituent Assembly, do all other things that may be necessary to give to the people of Bangladesh and
orderly and just Government,
We, the elected representatives of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh do further resolve that in the
event of there being no President or the President being unable to enter upon his office or being unable
to exercise his powers and duties due to any reason whatsoever, the Vice President shall have and
would exercise all powers, duties and responsibilities herein conferred on the President,
We further resolve that we undertake to observe and give effect to all duties and obligations that devolve
upon us as a member of the family of the nations and under the Charter of United Nations.
We further resolve that this proclamation of independence shall be deemed to have come into effect from
26th day of March, 1971.
We further resolve that in order to give effect to this instrument we appoint Prof. Yusuf Ali, our duly
constituted potentiary and to give the President and the Vice President oaths of office.
Sd/ (M. Eusuf Ali)
With the above proclamation the people of Bangladesh achieved three important things :
(01) The government of Bangladesh was formed with the elected representatives of 1970 election.
(02) The date of proclamation of independence of Bangladesh was amended as March 26, 1971.
(03) The government took official oath to work for the independence of Bangladesh.
With the above proclamation, the formal struggle for independence under an organized government
started on and from April 17, 1971. By this time, trained freedom fighters were engaged in guerrilla
warfare inside the occupied land. The common people, excepting few collaborators extended all sorts
of cooperation for the freedom fighters. At times they did it with great risk. The guerrillas attacked the
establishments and shelters of the Pakistani army in the hit and run policy. They destroyed structures
like bridges, warehouse, power station etc. to disrupt communication chain of the Pakistani army. The

36

37
Pakistan Army formed a number of collaborating forces under names, Shanti Bahini, Rajakar, Al Badar, Al
Shams etc. The men included in these forces were from two political parties, (Jamat-e-Islami and Muslim
League) and students from religious schools (Madrasas). A number of the religious schools were used by
the Pakistan army as forts and concentration camps. The freedom fighters soon made the collaborators
as target of their attack. There were cases where the freedom fighter son killed his father, because the
father was a collaborator. The Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra operating from India played quadruple
roles, viz. (01) organizing the freedom fighters, (02) keeping up the moral of the Bangladeshis, (03)
scaring the Pakistan army and their collaborators and (04) drawing the sympathy of the foreigners and
Bangladeshis living abroad. In the international scene, the common people of all the countries of the
world with the exception of the Gulf countries turned sympathetic to the freedom fighters. The
government of USSR extended their support. The governments of China and USA stood against the
peoples fight and continued helping Pakistan with arms and moral supports.
Due to the whole-hearted assistance of the common people, dare-devil fighting of the freedom fighters,
moral degradation of the Pakistani army and their collaborators and assistance of the governments of
India and USSR, by October, 1971 it was clear that Pakistan army was going to face defeat. Now the
question before Pakistan was not to win the war, but how to take back the soldiers from this land.
Cornered in such a situation, in a desperate move, on December 03, 1971 the Pakistan government
attacked India. On this day, at 5.47 P.M. the Pakistan air force bombed the Indian air bases Immediately
after this, there broke out full-fledged war between Pakistan and India. It created the scope for the Indian
army to officially enter Bangladesh. Since Pakistan was losing the war, USA raised the proposal for
immediate cease fire in the United Nations. But the intention of USA could not come out successful,
because USSR applied veto. As their last resort, the USA sent the 7th fleet to threaten India and
Bangladesh. Nothing, however, worked as planned and Pakistan faced a defeat.
06.12 FIGHT FOR LIBERATION :
The contingent for fight for liberation was formed under the leadership of Bangalee military and
paramilitary personnel from the Pakistani armed forces. On the top was a Head Quarter with name
Bangladesh Forces (BDF) formed with the following 19 personnel : (01) Gen. MAG Osmani, (02) AK
Khondakar, (03) Abdur Rob, (04) Nurul Islam, (05) ATM Salauddin, (06) Shamsul Alam, (07) AM Osman
Chowdhury, (08) M. Enamul Hoque, (09) M. Abdul Malek Molla, (10) Badrul Alam, (11) Fazlur Rahman,
(12) Fatah Chowdhury, (13) Ahmed Reza, (14) Shamsul Alam, (15) Sued Mainuddin Ahmed, (16)
Mohammad Ali, (17) Sheikh Kamal, (18) Matiur Rahman and (19) Anwar Hossain.
For conducting warfare inside the country, the country was divided into eleven sectors, and armies
divided into 11 nos. of sectors were assigned for each sector. These sectors are : Sector 01 : Major Ziaur
Rahman (April-May) and Major Rafiqul Islam (June-Dec.), Sector 02: Major Khaled Mosharraf (AprilSept), Major ATM Haider (Sept.-Dec.), Sector 03: Major KM Shafiulla (April-Sept.), Maj. AN Nuruzzaman
(Sept.-Dec.), Sector 04: Maj. C.R. Datta, Sector 05: Maj. Meer Showkat Ali, Sector 06. Wing Com. M.
Bashar, Sector 07 : Maj. Kazi Nuruzzaman, Sector 08: Maj. Abu Osman Chowdhury (April-Aug.). Maj.

37

38
M.A. Manjur (Aug.-Dec.), Sector 09: Maj. M.A. Jalil. Sector 10: This sector was formed with the Naval
Officers. Sector 11: Maj. Abu Taher (Aug.-Nov.), Flight Lt. M. Hamidullah (Nov-Dec).
After a few months the LIBERATION FORCE was formed with the name Mukti-Bahini with the following
organogram :
MUKTIBAHINI

Three Forces :

POST
Commander in Chief
Air Force Chief
Chief of staff

PERSON
Gen. Ataul Gani Osmani,
Group Captain A. K. Khondakar,.
Colonel Abdur Rob,

S-Force chief
Z-Force chief
K Force chief

Lt. Col. K.M. Shafiullah,


Lt. Col. Ziaur Rahman,
Lt. Col. Khaled Mosharraf.

06.13 DOCUMENT OF SURRENDER OF PAKISTANI ARMY (December 16, 1971) :


On December 16, 1971 (time : 4.21 PM) Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, commander of
the Eastern command of Pakistan army with his over 91,549 soldiers surrendered to Lieutenant General
Jagjit Singh Aurora, General Officer Commanding in Chief and Indian and Bangladesh Forces in the
Eastern theatre by signing the following document :
DOCUMENT OF SURRENDER OF PAKISTAN ARMY
TO INDIAN AND BANGLADESH FORCES
The PAKISTAN Eastern Command agree to surrender all PAKISTAN Armed Forces in BANGLADESH to
Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA, General Officer Commanding Chief of the Indian and
BANGLA DESH forces in the Eastern Theatre. This surrender includes all PAKISTAN land, air and naval
forces as also all para-military forces and civil armed forces. These forces will lay down their arms and
surrender at the places where they are currently located to the nearest regular troops under the
command of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA.
The PAKISTAN Eastern Command shall come under orders of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH
AURORA as soon as this instrument has been signed. Disobedience of orders will be regarded as a
breach of the surrender terms and will be dealt with in accordance with the accepted laws and usage of
war. The decision of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA will be final, should any doubt arise as
to the meaning and interpretation of the surrender terms.
Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA gives a solemn assurance that personnel who surrender
shall be treated with dignity and respect that soldiers are entitled to in accordance with the provisions of
the GENEVA Convention and guarantees the safety and well-being of all PAKISTAN military and paramilitary forces who surrendered. Protection will be provided to foreign nationals, ethnic minorities and
personnel of WEST PAKISTAN origin by the forces under the command of Lieutenant General JAGJIT
SINGH AURORA.

38

39
Sd/.. (JAGJIT SINGH AURORA), Lieutenant-General, General Officer Commanding in Chief. Indian and
BANGLA DESH Forces in the Eastern Theatre. 16 December 1971.
Sd/...(AMIR ABDULLAH KHAN NIAZI), Lieutenant-General, Martial Law Administrator Zone B,
Commander Eastern Command (Pakistan), 16 December 1971.
In Bangladesh 16th December is observed as Victory Day. On September 17, 1974 Bangladesh became
the 136th member of the United Nations in a unanimous decision.
06.14 HONOR FOR THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS :
After the war for liberation was over, for their extra-ordinary heroism, the following Honor-titles were
conferred to 676 persons : BIR-SHRESTHA (meaning Greatest Hero), BIR-UTTAM (meaning Excellent
Hero), BIR-BIKRAM (meaning Gallant Hero) and BIR-PRATIK (meaning Ideal Hero).
The distribution by Regular Force, Peoples Force (designated as Ganabahini, Gana Muktibahini etc.)
and posthumous among the total 676 recipients are as follows :
HONOR-TITLE

REGULAR FORCE

PEOPLES FORCE

TOTAL

POSTHUMOUS

Bir-shrestha nos.

07

00

07

(all)

Bir-uttam

63

05

68

23

Bir-bikram

138

37

175

77

Br-pratik

300

126

426

47

The seven Bir-Shresthas are : (01). Mohiuddin Jahangir (posthumous), (02) Munshi Abdur Rob
(posthumous), (03) Hamidur Rahman (posthumous), (04) Mohammad Mustafa (posthumous), (05)
Mohammad Ruhul Amin (posthumous) , (06) Matiur Rahman (posthumous) and (07) Nur Mohammad
(posthumous). Only one lady named Mosammat Taramun Begum (this was the name published in the
gazette. Later the name was known as Taramon Bibi) got Bir-pratik title.
06.15 WHY PAKISTAN WAS DEFEATED AND BANGLADESH WON :
The war for liberation of Bangladesh was initiated when the people of East Pakistan became convinced
that, even though Awami League got majority-seats in the parliament the West Pakistanis wont hand
over power to their leader. Their protests were challenged by military crackdown that made panicked
people to rush to remote villages and then to India. This created a scope for India to participate in the
conflict. The Pakistani force that was scheduled to counter the people of East Pakistan was constituted
predominantly by the military personnel from West Pakistan. The role of West Pakistani government
personnel working in East Pakistan was mostly limited to advisory level or execution at top level. These
officials and the military high command did not have in-depth knowledge about the attitude, liking or
reaction of the East Pakistanis in various situations. They knew the general rule that the soldiers follow
world-wide as part of the war-tactics, which is : crush the resistance, imprison the rebels, torture and kill
the prisoners. In addition the Pakistani soldiers were infamous for : Anti-Indian mentality and Raping.

39

40
During this war they substituted the supporters of Awami League and the Hindus as enemies and dealt
them accordingly. No art and technique of convincing people, organizing civil administration, ensuring
production, continuing development work etc. was ever included in their education or training. In such a
reality they identified the following as their enemies : (i) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (ii) Bengali military and
para-military personnel, (iii) Students reading in Universities, (iv) Poor slum dwellers (The Pakistanis
discovered these people to take part in precessions and demonstrations), (vi) Workers of Awami League
and (vii) the Hindus.
Accordingly, the Pakistani army in administration prepared the following action plan :
(a) Arresting Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (They did it at the very outset on the assumption that the arrest of
the hero of liberation movement might stop the rebellion)
(b) Destroying the resistances and barricades placed by the students and common people in Dhaka (It
was necessary for their easy movement in the city)
(c) Destroying the military and para-military barracks with East Pakistani personnel (This job was done
on the first night of crackdown on the assumption that in this land they were the only personnel with
arms-training)
(d) Killing the students staying in University halls. (This was done on the assumption that they were the
prime organizers of rebellion. Ferocious attack on Hindu hostels was expression of their communal
mentality)
(e) Burning and destroying slums (This was done on the assumption that the slum dwellers were active
workers of the Awami League).
After these were done and the frightened people flung the national flag of Pakistan in place of the flag of
Bangladesh they assumed, the first victory was won. However, the immediate consequences of their
actions were :
(i) The panicked people moved to the remote villages and with them their hatred for the Pakistanis and
determination for cessation scuttled throughout the country. Within a fortnight it became clear that
there was no scope for the people of this land to live under Pakistan.
(ii) The military and para-military people who could avert death realized, the only way left before them
was to fight or perish. Similar was the situation with the students, especially those who actively
participated in political activities.
(iii) The members of the Awami League had the realization that the only way for survival was to organize
resistance. The Hindus had the realization that they were safe only if they could cross the border.
(iv) At the beginning of military crack down only Hindus and leaders of Awami League moved to India.
The common people and the Muslims, in general were skeptical about the attitude of India towards
them. But later, when they came to learn of warm welcome by the Indians, millions of them started
the journey.

40

41
(v) India understood that the millions of refugees, specially the Hindus would not return unless and until
conducive situation for their living can be ensured in East Pakistan.
After attaining the first victory the task before the government of Pakistan was to restore normalcy in the
country. To their fortune, most of the Bangalee civil officers were inside the country because they could
not escape. But to their great misfortune, most of these officials were with the freedom fighters and
whenever they got a chance they acted against the interest of the Pakistanis. The history of Bengal
reveals the existence of both patriots and betrayers in this land. This time also the Meer Jafars (this
word is used in Bangladesh to denote the betrayers) got rebirth and appeared as collaborators under
names, Shanti Bahini, Rajakar, Al Badar, Al Shams etc. They whole-heartedly helped the Pakistan
government. The young groups of the collaborators were the students of the religious schools. They did
not have adequate knowledge about the mental set up, aspirations and thoughts of the common people.
As a consequence, even though their activities created unfathomable miseries and sufferings for the
common people and the freedom fighters, they came to little use of the Pakistan army.
By studying the activities and reactions of various sections of people East Pakistan during the war for
liberation, it is possible to grossly categorize them into the following major straits :
(i). Active Freedom Fighters in the field : They were the military and paramilitary personnel, students,
workers of political parties (mostly of Awami League, Chhatra League and Chhatra Union) who had
undergone military training and took part in the fight.
(ii). Active Freedom Fighters at the Back-stage : They are the men who did not fight in the field, but
participated through other modes. They fought through writings, stage performances (music, dance,
drama, lecture, paintings etc.) and so on. Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra acted as excellent media
for such persons.
(iii). Passive Freedom Fighters : All people excepting the active collaborators and freedom fighters fall in
this group. They wanted independence by heart and soul, but could not take active part because of
one reason or the other. Whenever they got a chance, they did their best to serve the cause of
independence. By experience the common people were aware, every attack on the Pakistan army
was to be retaliated by burning the adjacent areas. But still they ignored their selfish interest and
invited them. The rural people encouraged, sheltered and helped the freedom fighters for such
attacks.
(iv). Silent Collaborators : They were the people who secretly helped the Pakistanis for selfish gain. As
soon as Pakistan was defeated in the fight these people changed their faces.
(v). Active Collaborators : They were the people from the religious schools and workers of Jamat e Islami
and Muslim League. They devoted their hearts and souls by forming Shanti Bahini, Al Bader, Al
Shams, Rajakar etc.
A few months after the beginning of the fight the Pakistanis could understood that they wont be able to
run the country or avoid the involvement or interference of India unless they could bring back the

41

42
refugees from India. But by this time that possibility was nipped in the bud. The people did not believe in
their words, that they incessantly broadcast from Radio Pakistan. In the mean time the fight for freedom
achieved new dimension due to the involvement of India and sympathy from the socialist countries.
Finally the victory was won on December 16, 1971.

CHAPTER SEVEN
PHASE 07 : INDEPENDENT BANGLADESH
(From 1971 - date)
07.00 PERIODS OF POLITICAL ADMINISTRATION (1971-2001) :
The part of history of Bangladesh for the period 1971 to 2000 AD can be broadly divided into the
following 00 sub-phases :
Phase A :
Phase B :
Phase C :
Phase D :

1971-1975 (New Democracy) :


1975-1982 (First Martial Law, Democracy under the Army)
1982- 1991 (Second Martial Law, Democracy under the army)
1991-2000 (contd..) Democracy)

Phase A : NEW DEMOCRACY (1971-1975 AD) :


During this period extreme anomalies and anarchy prevailed in the war-stricken country. The big powers
who did not endorse the countrys liberation continued non-cooperation. After returning fro Pakistan
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman became prime minister (January 12, 1972). A draft constitution was formed
(October 12, 1972) with the provisions (i) unicameral legislature, (ii) a prime minister with his cabinet of
ministers and advisors, (iii) a president as head of state and (iv) provision for election on the basis of
universal franchise (age 18 years). The constitution was approved by the assembly (November 4, 1972)
and came into effect from December 16, 1972. On March 7, 1973, election for the new parliament was
held. In this election Awami League won 292 out of 300 National Assembly seats. The government,
however, could not solve the internal problems of the country and the opposition threatened for disstability. In spite of the governments repeated calls the illegal arms (during the time of the war) could not
be surrendered. The government's 250,000-man militia was unable to maintain the peace.
Pakistan recognized Bangladesh on February 22, 1974. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman released more than
30,000 "Pakistani collaborators" and agreed not to put on trial 195 prisoners of war, but Pakistan did not
agree to return Bangladeshs share in Pakistans property. This initiated the image crisis of Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman. The pro-liberation people started loosing confidence in him, and at the same time
various political factions like Marxist rebels and pro-Pakistani Muslim fanatics rose against him. The
government decided to establish peace by applying force which they did through uncontrolled power
exercise of Rakkhi Bahini, a paramilitary force packed with Awami League supporters. Panic was created
all through without any improvement of the governments image.

42

43
On December 28, 1974 President Mohammad Ullah declared state of emergency and suspending all
fundamental rights conferred by the constitution. There was another amendment and Sheikh Mujib
became President of a single party (Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League or BKSAL) with no
political opposition (February 24, 1974). He declared plan to introduce compulsory cooperatives in
65,000 villages and to upgrade the 60 political subdivisions into districts. The government intervened and
lowered the number of daily newspapers from 22 to 4 and that of periodicals to 122. The situation was
ripe for a coup de tat. On August 15, 1974 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his wife, sons, daughters-in-law,
brother, and nephews were assassinated in a coup de tat led by six young army majors. One of them,
Major Shariful Huq Dalim announced from Dacca radio station that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed "in
the greater interest of the country."
Phase B : FIRST MARTIAL LAW AND DEMOCRACY UNDER THE ARMY (1975-1982) :
There was a Coup de tat immediately after the killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. From this time up to
1982 the country was practically under the rule of one army personnel. Even though there were political
parties, election and voting, all were carefully planned to keep one man in power. During this period the
persons who held the position of president were : Khondakar Mustak Ahmed (1975), Justice ASM
Sayeem (1975-1977) and Ziaur Rahman (1977-1981). During this period the country had established
good relations with the countries who earlier opposed the independence of Bangladesh. During this
period, for all practical purposes the power was in the hands of Major General Ziaur Rahman. At times he
ruled as martial law administrator and at times as leader of his own political party. He accumulated
political leaders and formed several parties, the last one being Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Even
though there were elections, none of those reflected the aspirations of the common men. He dropped
secularism from the constitution. He was assassinated in August 1982.
Phase C : SECOND MARTIAL LAW, DEMOCRACY UNDER THE ARMY (1982- 1991) :
The persons who acted as president during this period were : Justice Abdus Satter (1981-1982), Justice
Ahshan Uddin Chowdhury (1982-1983), Hossain Muhammad Ershad (1983-1991). During this period for
all practical purposes the power was in the hand of Lieutenant General H.M. Ershad. Like his
predecessor he ruled as Martial Law administrator for some time, then formed political party by name
Jatiya Party and arranged several election where peoples were never reflected. He introduced Islam as
state religion. In 1991 he was removed from power by peoples movement.
Phase D : DEMOCRACY (1991-2000 AD contd..) :
1991 ELECTION UNDER CARETAKER GOVERNMENT : The 1991 election was held under caretaker
government in which Bangladesh Nationalist Party came to power. Begum Khaleda Zia became the
Prime Minister and persons like Shahabuddin Ahmed, by constitutional provision (1991), Abdur Rahman
Biswas (1991-1996), Justice Habibur Rahman, Chief Advisor (1996), Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed, Chief
advisor of caretaker government acted as the head of state.
1996 ELECTION UNDER BNP : The BNP government disagreed to hold election under caretaker
government. A election was held under BNP government in which the party won most of the seats. Due

43

44
to gross irregularities this government was not accepted to the people and the government was over
thrown after twelve days due to peoples movement.
1996 ELECTION UNDER CARETAKER GOVERNMENT : After the fall of BNP government, election was
held under the care taker government on June 12, 1996. In this election Awami League won 146 seats
out of 300 seats and BNP 116. Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman became the Prime
Minister.
2001 ELECTION UNDER CARETAKER GOVERNMENT : In the 2001 election under caretaker
government BNP won and Khaleda Zia became the Prime Minister.
07.01 THE RULERS/ ADMINISTRATORS :
Bangladesh emerged out as an independent state on March 26, 1971. December 16, 1971 was the day
of surrender of Pakistani army and victory of the nine-month freedom-fight. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,
released from Pakistani prison returned to independent Bangladesh on January 10, 1972. We present
hereunder a list of the rulers/administrators/presidents/chief executives etc. who ruled the country from
that time till 2001(say).
Table : 11 RULERS OF BANGLADESH (1971 TO DATE )
Independent country BANGLADESH.
President Syed Nazrul Islam (acting)
President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
President Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury
President Muhammad Nurul Ullah
President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
President Khondakar Mustak Ahmed
President Justice ASM Sayeem
President Ziaur Rahman
President Justice Abdus Satter
President Justice Ahshan Uddin Chowdhury
President Hossain Muhammad Ershad
President Shahabuddin Ahmed
President Abdur Rahman Biswas
Chief Advisor Justice Habibur Rahman
President Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed

Capital : Dhaka.
1971
Elected by Parliament
1971
Elected by Parliament
1972
Elected by Parliament
1972-1975
Elected by Parliament
1975
Constitutional Amendment
1975
Coup detat
1975-1977
1977-1981
1981-1982
1982-1983
1983-1991
1991
Constitutional
1991-1996
Elected by Parliament
1996 Chief advisor of caretaker government
1996-2001
Elected by Parliament

07.02 IMPORTANT POLITICAL PERSONALITIES :


(01). SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN: For his immense contribution towards organizing the entire nation
for liberation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been given title Bangabandhu (meaning friend of Bengal) and
is known as father of the Bangalee nation. For his uncompromising attitude in point of liberation of
Bangladesh he was considered by the rulers of Pakistan as target of oppression. In order to put an end to
the exploitation of West Pakistan over the east Mujib, in 1966 declared the Six-point program, in which
he proposed for autonomy for East Pakistan and sharing of central power. The military rulers Pakistan
put him behind bars. In 1968 they raised a fabricated allegation known as Agartala conspiracy case
against him and acquitted in special court. People turned so furious that the government had to release
him from the jail. After getting a land slide victory in the general election on December 07, 1970, Mujib

44

45
was preparing to hold the post of prime minister of Pakistan. But in place of handing power, the
government applied military crack down on the protesting people. Mujib was arrested, but the people
initiated non-cooperation and fight for independence. Mujib was in the prison of Pakistan army for nine
months and during this time the war for liberation continued in his name. After independence Mujib
became the President of Bangladesh. In 1975, he with most of his family members were killed by a group
of rebel army personnel. Mujib is the legendary figure in Bangladesh and is remembered with honor for
his devotion and life long sacrifice, that immensely help to realize the dream of independence of the
Bangalees.
(02) MOWLANA ABDUL HAMID KHAN BHASANI : Mowlana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani started his
political career as a peasant leader. Even though Communism as a system was secular in nature and
Islam had no endorsement for it, Bhasani endeavored to combine the two. He was an excellent orator
with the capability of perplexing and exciting his audience. In East Pakistan he initiated and energized a
lot of anti-establishment movements. But the time when those rose to the apex, he expressed reluctance
to continue. During the war for liberation his activities were mysterious and the Indian government was to
keep watch. As a man he was very simple and honest and lived the life of a poor man. In Bangladesh he
is considered as a hero by the people who dream to see the impossible combination of Islam and
communism.
(03) ZIAUR RAHMAN : After the crack down of Pakistan military forces begun in Dhaka city on March
25, 1971, a number of Awami League leaders in Chittagong prepared a write-up for the declaration for
independence (Abul Quasem Sandwip, Vice Principal, Fatickchhari College, Chittagong is said to have
prepared this write up). They were in need of a army personnel to read it and they could persuade Major
General Ziaur Rahman to do it from Chittagong Radio Station. That was how Ziaur Rahman entered in
the war for liberation. During the war he was in charge of Z-Force (one of the four contingents of army).
He fought gallantly in a number of fights in Chittagong and Noakhali districts. On August 15, 1975
President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family was killed by a group of rebel army officers. Khondakar
Mustaque Ahmed was found to have enjoyed the benefit of this coup. Later, there were two more coups
and finally, Major Ziaur Rahman came to power. For the first few years, he continued as Military
president. Then he declared and really made politics difficult for the politicians who did not want to join
his party. After ensuring his victory in this manner he arranged election and became elected President.
He alleged of several coup attempts against him and killed a number of soldiers in court-marshal. On
June 30, 1982 he was assassinated by a rebel group of army in Chittagong.
(04) HUSSEIN MUHAMMAD ERSHAD : In 1982 President Ziaur Rahman was assassinated. Those in
connection with this killing were tried secretly and hanged. So it was never disclosed who were behind
the plot. After this killing Major Gen. Hussein Muhammad Ershad, the then Commander in Chief of the
army came to power. He followed exactly the same path followed by Ziaur Rahman. He became elected
President through manipulated elections. He introduced a system of decentralization of power and quick
disbursement of fund for development activities in a process, called Upazilla System in which the

45

46
previous system of delegation of power through the long chain of capital to division, division to district,
district to thana was replaced by the shorter route capital to thana (thana was renamed as Upazilla).
In Bangladesh this system was proved quite effective. Like other corrupt military rulers Ershad adopted
the policy of collection of booty from state business and civil construction. His moral character, specially
the illicit relation with women was criticized. He was removed from power due to peoples movement in
1990.
07.03 PEOPLE'S LIFE AND LIVING IN BANGLADESH : The war for independence of Bangladesh
initiated because the military rulers of Pakistan was not willing to handover power to the leader of the
east, who was elected by the majority. And the independence was won because people in huge number
fled to India due to atrocities and gave India a scope to become a party. The war against Pakistani
army was first initiated by the ex-military personnel and common people. Later however, the young men
trained by India and still later the Indian army joined the fight. During war, arms were indiscriminately
distributed among the common people. When the war was over, the first problem envisaged by the new
government was the taking back of the arms. Many arms were already in the hands of the miscreants
and mischievous activities in the country were on increase. The time when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
returned from Pakistan, the administration of the previous regime was completely broken down. The
officials from Pakistan were gone, many Bangalee officials were killed or missing, office premises were
ransacked, documents destroyed and so on so forth. Due to damage of roads and bridges the
communication and transport networks were disrupted. Industrial production came to a stand still due to
(i) heavy damage of factories, (ii) dislocation or killing of the owners and management staff (iii) nonfunctioning of the financial institutions, (iv) lack of transport etc Agricultural growth was also hampered
due to dislocation of concerned producers and non-availability of supplies. In 1974 there broke out a
famine and the government failed to tackle the situation. All sectors including education, healthcare and
delivery services, trade and business, state maintenance works, development projects etc. tremendously
suffered. In the international scene the big powers sympathetic to Pakistan continued their hostilities to
the new Government. The Islamic countries did endorse the birth of a secular country. Inside the country
the Pakistani collaborators in disguise were endeavoring to destroy the interest of the new country. The
greedy people were looking how to grab the uncared wealth like buildings, shops, industries etc.
abandoned by the Pakistanis.
In such a difficult and vulnerable situation the Government of Awami League headed by Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman declared all abandoned industries to be nationalized. This attempt made the greedy people
furious. Some Government servants working on deputation as administrators were assigned to manage
the industries. These men neither had the experience of managing income-based organization, nor they
had strong moral character. The result was heavy and still heavier loss in this sector.
For establishing law and order, in addition to the normal forces the government formed two paramilitary
forces viz. (i) Mujib Bahini and (ii) Rakkhi Bahini. These forces were given authorities to arrest and punish
the miscreants. Since these were formed hastily and without proper selection procedure, by their chaotic

46

47
actions they soon earned disgrace for the government. Many personnel working in these forces were the
freedom fighters whose relatives had been killed by the local collaborators of Pakistan army. Naturally
they were after taking revenge. The extra rudeness expressed by them created panic in the country.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman used to live in his own house with inadequate security arrangement. On the
night of August 15, 1975, a number of army officials attacked his house and killed the entire family. After
this incident Bangladesh followed the Pakistani tradition of rule of the generals. Major General Ziaur
Rahman became the martial law administrator. He rehabilitated the previous allies and collaborators of
Pakistan. In reward he achieved friendship of the previously hostile countries. He turned politics difficult
for the politicians inside the country. He collected notable and potential political leaders to join the
political party he formed. At first this party was named Janadal, then Jago Dal and finally Bangladesh
Nationalist Party, abbreviated as BNP. Many politicians abandoned politics and others joined due to
greed or to save their lives. His method of killing the probable opponents in the army by alleged attempt
of coup de tat was known to all. He extended state patronization to the militant student fraction of his
party. After he was killed in the successful coup in 1982, Major General Hussein Muhammad Ershad
came to power and followed the path of his predecessor. As an extra element he added religious flavor
with state administration.
H. M. Ershad was removed from power due to peoples movement in 1990. Power was handed over to
Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed, who acted as chief advisor of the care-taker government. In a free and fair
election BNP, under the leadership of Begum Khaleda Zia, wife of ex-president Ziaur Rahman came to
power in March, 1991. From this time peoples democracy was re-established gained in the country.

APPENDIX : 01 CHRONOLOGICAL RULERS* OF BANGLADESH**


PERIOD

NAME (location/capital)

DYNASTY

RULERS

DURATION (When known)

507 to 650 : Vanga Kingdom ( South of District 24 Parganas of West Bengal)


Gupta dynasty :
Bainya Gupta
(507 AD to 525)
Gopachnadra
(unknown )
Dharmaditya
(unknown )
Samachardeva
(unknown )
Prithujabir
(unknown )
Sudhanya
(unknown to 598)
Bhadra dynasty
(600 to 650)
Details of kings not known.
650 to 740 : Vanga-Harikel Kingdom (Southern districts of Bangladesh and West Bengal)
Kharga dynasty
Khargadeva
(650 - unknown)
Khargaraj
(unknown)
Rajbhatta
(unknown to 710)
Chandra dynasty
Gobinda Chandra
(710 - unknown)
Lalit Chandra
(unknown to 740 AD)
740-1045 AD : Vanga-Harikel-Samatata Kingdom : (South of Bangladesh and West Bengal)
Deva dynasty
Sree Kantideva
(unknown)
Sree Birdeva
(unknown)
Sree Anandadev
(unknown)
Sree Bhabadev
(unknown)
Harikel dynasty
(800-900) :
Details of kings not known
Chandra dynasty
Troilakya Chandra
(900-930)

47

48
Sree Chandra
Kalyan Chandra
Lahar Chandra
Gobinda Chandra

(930-975)
(975-1000)
(1000-1020)
(1030-1045)

750-1043 : Karna Suborno Kingdom : (Murshidabad, Bardhaman, Birbhum of West Bengal).


Pala dynasty :
Go Pala
(about 750-781)
Dharma Pala
(781-821)
Deva Pala
(821- 861)
Sura Pala I or Vigraha Pala I (861-866)
Narayana Pala
(866-920)
Rajya Pala
(920-952)
Go Pala-II
(952-969)
Vigra Pala II
(969-995)
Mahi Pala-I
(995-1043)
1045-1078 AD : Karna Suborno Kingdom with Vanga, Samatata and Harikel : (Murshidabad,
Bardhaman, Birbhum of West Bengal and Rajshahi and Dinajpur of Bangladesh)
Pala dynasty :
Naya Pala
(1045-1058)
Vigra Pala III
(1058-1075)
Mahi Pala II
(1075-1078)
1075-1150 : Samatata-Harikel kingdom : (Land under previous Samatata and Harikel states).
Barmana dynasty :
Jata Barmana
(1075 to 1121)
Hari Barmana
(1121 to unknown)
Shyamal Barmana
(unknown)
Bhoj Barmana
(unknown to 1121)
1150 to 1204 AD : Lakkhanabati Kingdom under Sen's : (Murshidabad, Bardhaman, Birbhum etc. of
West Bengal and Rajshahi and Dinajpur districts of Bangladesh. Capital : Lakkhanabati).
Sen dynasty :
Bijoy Sen
(1097-1160)
Ballal Sen
(1160-1178)
Lakkhan Sen
(1178-1204)
1204 to 1323 : Samatata-Harikel Kingdom under Sen's : (Vanga, Samatata and Harikel.
Capital : Bikrampur).
Sen dynasty :
Lakkhan Sen
(1204-1206)
Bishwarupa Sen
(1206-1220)
Keshava Sen
(1220-1223)
1229 to 1338 : Gaur State (Murshidabad. Capital :Gaur, Pandua etc.)
Malik Saifuddin Aibok
(1229 to 1232) Turk. Kara-Khitai tribe. Slave .
Aor Khan
(short period)
Turk, Kara-Khitai tribe.
Tugral Tugan Khan
(1236-1245)
Turk. Kara-Khitai tribe. Slave
Malik Tamar Khan Kiran
(1245-1247)
Turk.
Malik Jalaluddin Masud Jani
(1247-1251), Turk.
Malik Iktiyar Uddin Yujbuk
(1251-1257): Turk.
Ijjuddin Balban Yujbuki
(1257-1259) Turk Slave of Iltutmish
Malik Taj Uddin Arsalan Khan
(1259-1265) Turk. Slave of Iltutmish
Tatar Khan
(1265-1268) Turk
Sher Khan
(1268-1272) Turk
Amin Khan
(1272 for a short while) Turk.
Sultan Mugis Uddin Tugril
(1272-1281) Turk. Mamluk.
Sultan Nasir Uddin Mahmud Bugra Khan
(1281-1291) Turk.
Sultan Rukun Uddin Kaykaus
( 1291-1301)
Sultan Shams Uddin Firoz Shah
(1301-1322)
Sultan Giyas Uddin Bahadur
(1322-1328)
Bahram Khan
(1328-1338)
Kadar Khan at Lakkhanabati
(1325-1338)
Malik Ijuddin Yahiya at Satgaon
(1325-1338)
1338 to 1538 : Sube Bangla ( Capital : Sonargaon, Gaur, Pandua etc. )
Sultan Fakar Uddin Mubarak Shah
(1338-1349) Sonargaon : Turk
Sultan Iktiyar Uddin Gazi Shah
(1349-1352) Sonargaon : Turk
Sultan Shams Uddin Ilyas Shah
(1352-1357) Gaur : Turk
Sultan Sikandar Shah
(1357-1393)
Turk
Sultan Ghyas Uddin Azam Shah
(1393-1410/11) Turk

48

49
Sultan Shams Uddin Hamza Shah
1410/11-1411/12) Turk
Sultan Shihab Uddin Bayazid Shah
1411/12-1414 ) Turk
Sultan Ala Uddin Firoz Shah
(for a short while) Turk
King Ganesh
(1414/15-1418) Hindu
King Mahendradev
(for two months ) Hindu
King Jadu Sen, later Jalal Uddin Muhammad Shah (1418-33) Local Muslim
Sultan Ahmed Shah
(1433-1435/36) Local Muslim
Sultan Nasir Uddin Mahmud shah
(1435/36-1459/60) Non-local Muslim
Sultan Rukun Uddin Barbak Shah
(1460-1474)
Non-local Muslim
Sultan Shams Uddin Yusuf Shah
(1474-1481)
Non-local Muslim
Sultan Jalal Uddin Fateh Shah
(1481-1487)
Non-local Muslim
Sultan Shahjada Barbak Shah
(6 months) Non-local Abyssinian slave
Sultan Saifuddin Firoz Shah
(1487-1490) Non-local Abyssinian slave
Sultan Nasir Uddin Mahmud Shah II
(1490-1491) Non-local Abyssinian slave
Sultan Shams Uddin Muzaffar Shah
(1491-1493) Non-local Abyssinian slave
Sultan Ala Uddin Hossain Shah
(1493-1519)
Non-local Muslim
Sultan Nasir Uddin Nasrat Shah
(1519-1531)
Non-local Muslim
Sultan Ala Uddin Firoz Shah
(1532-1533)
Non-local Muslim
Sultan Giasuddin Mahmud Shah
(1533-1538)
Non-local Muslim
1539 to 1576 :

Gaur. Capital : Pandua or Hazrat Pandua


Jahangir Kuli Beg
Khijir Khan
Shams Uddin Muhammad Sur
Sultan Giasuddin Bahadur Shah I
Sultan Giasuddin Jalal Shah
Sultan Giasuddin
Sultan Taj Karrani
Sulaiman Khan Karrani
Daud Khan Karrani

1576-1594 : Sube Bangla (Capital : Sonargaon)


Subedar Hossain Kuli
Subedar Muzaffar Khan Turbati
Subedar Khan I Azam Mirza Aziz Koka
Subedar Shahbaz Khan
Subedar Sadek Khan
Subedar Wazir Khan
Subedar Sayed khan

(1539-1540)
(1540-1541)
(1545-1555)
(1556-1560)
(1560-1563)
(1563-1564)
(1564-1565)
(1565-1572)
(1572-1576)

Non-local Afghan
Non-local Afghan
Deputy of Mughal

(1576-78)
(1579-80)
(1581-83)
(1583-85)
(1585-86)
(1586-87)
(1587-94)

1594-1608 : Sube Bangla (Capital : Rajmahal or Akbar Nagar)


Subedar Raja Man Singh
(1594-1606)
Subedar Sheikh Kutub Uddin Khan Koka
(1606-1607)
Subedar Jahangir Kuli
(1607-1608)

Hindu

1608-1639 : Sube Bangla (Capital : Islamabad or Dhaka)


Subedar Sheikh Ala Uddin Islam Khan
(1608-1613)
Subedar Sheikh Kasim Khan Chisti
(1613-1617)
Subedar Ibrahim Khan Fateh Jung
(1617-1624)
Subedar Darab Khan
(1624-1625)
Subedar Mohabbat Khan
(1625-1626)
Subedar Sheikh Mukarram Khan Chisti
(1626-1627)
Subedar Hedayet Ullah Fidai Khan
(1627-1628)
Subedar Kasim Khan Juiny
(1628-1632)
Subedar Meer Muhammad Bakar Azam Khan (1632-1635)
Subedar Islam Khan Mashadi
(1635-1639)
1639 to 1660 : Sube Bangla and Orissa. (Capital Rajmahal)
Subedar Shahjada Suja,(son of Shah Jahan) (1639-1660)
1660 to 1717 : Sube Bangla and Orissa. (Capital : Jahangir Nagar)
Subedar Meer Jumla
(1660-1663)
Subedar Shaesta Khan
(1663-1678)
Subedar Fidai Khan
(1678- for a short while )
Subedar Shahjada Muhammad Azam
(1678-1679)
Subedar Shaesta Khan (second time)
(1679-1688)
Subedar Khan E Jahan
(1688-1689)

49

50
Subedar Ibrahim Khan
Subedar Azimusshan
Subedar Khan E Alam
Subedar Meer Jumla II

(1689-1697)
(1697-1712)
(1712-1713)
(1713-1717)

1771-1757 : Bangla, Bihar and Orissa. (Capital : Murshidabad).


Nawab Subedar Murshid Kuli Khan
(1717-1727)
Nawab Subedar Suja Uddin Muhammad Khan (1727-1739)
Nawab Subedar Sarfaraz Khan
(1739-1740)
Nawab Subedar Alibardy Khan
(1740-1756)
Nawab Siraj Uddowla
(1756-1757)
(1771-1757) : Baro Bhuyians of Bangla
Musa Khan, Daud Khan,
Abdullah Khan, Mahmud Khan & Ilyas Khan :
Bahadur Gazi and his family
:
Sheikh Peer, son of Hazi Bakul
:
Masum Kabuli and his son Mirza Mumin :
Kedar Roy
:
Modhu Roy
:
Binod Roy
:
Pahalwan of Matanga
:
Khaza Usman and his family
:
Anwar Khan and Hossain Khan
:
Bayezid Karrani and Yusuf Karrani :
Chief Majlish Kutub of Fatehabad :

Dhaka, Mymensingh, Tripura.


Bhawal of Dhaka district
Not known
Chatmohar, Pabna
Bikrampur and Sreepur, Dhaka
Khalsi of Pabna district
Chand Pratap of Dhaka
North of Sarail
Bokai Nagar, Mymensingh & Sylhet
Baniachang, Sylhet
Middle and north Sylhet
Faridpur district.

1757-1796 : Bangla, Bihar and Orissa under Dual rule : (Nawab with capital at Murshidabad. British East
India Company with office : Sutanati, Kolkata)
Nawab Meer Jafar Ali Khan
(1757-1760)
Nawab Meer Kashem Ali Khan
(1760-1763)
Nawab Meer Jafar Ali Khan ( 2nd time )
(1763-1765)
Nawab Nazim Nazamuddowla
(1765-1766, May)
Nawab Nazim Saifuddowla
(1766-1770)
Nawab Mubarak Uddowla
(1770-1796, last Nawab)
1765 1774 : Bangla, Bihar and Orissa (British East India Company. Office :Fort William, Kolkata)
Governor Lord Clive
(1765-1767)
Governor Lord Verelest
(1767-1769)
Governor Lord Curtier
(1769-1772)
Governor Lord Warren Hestings
(1772-1774)
1774-1833 : Bangla, Bihar and Orissa (British Governor General under Regulating Act 1773.
Office : Fort William, Kolkata)
Governor General Warren Hestings (Joining date)
(1774-1786)
Governor General Lord Cornwallis.
(1786-1793)
Governor General Sir John Shore
(1793-1798)
Governor General Lord Wellesley
(1798-1805)
Governor General Lord Cornwallis (2nd term)
(1805-3 months)
Governor General Sir George Barlow
(1805-1807)
Governor General Lord Mintoo
(1807-1813)
Governor General Lord Moira or Marques of Hestings (1813-1823)
Governor General John Adam
(January 1823)
Governor General Baron East Amherst
(August 1823-1828)
Governor General W.B. Bailey
(March 1828-1833)
1833-1856 : Bangla, Bihar and Orissa ( British Governor Generals under 'Governors General of India,
Charter Act 1833. Office : Fort William, Kolkata)
Governor General Lord Bentinc
(1833-1835)
Governor General Sir Charles Metcalf (Joining date)
(March 1835-1836)
Governor General Lord Auckland
(March 1836-1842)
Governor General Lord Allen borough
(February 1842-1844)
Governor General W.W. Bard
(June 1844 )
Governor General Sir Henry Hardinge
(July, 1844-1848)
Governor General Lord Dollhouse
(January, 1848-1856)
1851-1912 : Bengal (under British Lieutenant Governor. Office : Fort William, Calcutta)

50

51
Lieutenant Governor Sir Frederick James Holliday (Joining date)
Lieutenant Governor Sir John Peter Grant
Lieutenant Governor Sir Cecil Beadon
Lieutenant Governor Sir William Grey
Lieutenant Governor Sir George Campbell
Lieutenant Governor Sir Richard Temple
Lieutenant Governor Sir Ashley Eden
Lieutenant Governor Sir Stuart Colvin Bayley
Lieutenant Governor Sir Augustus Rivers Thompson
Lieutenant Governor Mr. Horace Abel Cockerel
Lieutenant Governor Sir Stuart Colvin
Lieutenant Governor Sir Charles Alfred Elliot
Lieutenant Governor Sir Anthony Patrick MacDonnell
Lieutenant Governor Sir Alexander Mackenzie
Lieutenant Governor Sir Charles Cecil Stevens
Lieutenant Governor Sir John Woodburn
Lieutenant Governor Sir Andrew Fraser
Lieutenant Governor Sir Edward Baker

(May 1, 1851)
(May 1 1859)
(April 23, 1862)
(April 23, 1887)
(March 1, 1871)
(April 9, 1874)
(January 8, 1877)
(April 2, 1887)
(April 24, 1882)
(August 11, 1885)
(April 2, 1887)
(December 17, 1890)
(May 30, 1893)
(December 18, 1895)
(June 22, 1897)
(November 1898)
(1902-1908)
(April 1,1908-1912)

1912-1947 : Bengal (under British 'Governors of the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal' )
Governor Baron Carmichael of Skirting (Joining date)
(April 1,1912)
Governor Earl of Ronald shay
(March 26, 1917)
Governor Earl of Litton
(March 28, 1922)
Governor Sir H.L. Stephenson
(June 10, 1926)
Governor Sir F. Stanley Jackson
(March 28,1927)
Governor Sir J. Anderson
(March 29, 1932)
Governor Sir J.A. Woodhead
(August 10, 1934)
Governor Sir J. Anderson
(April 1, 1937)
Governor Baron Brabourne
(November 27, 1937)
Governor Sir R.N. Reid
(June 25, 1938)
Governor Sir J.A. Woodhead
(June 12, 1939)
Governor Lt. Col./ Sir J.A. Herbert
(November 18, 1939)
Governor Sir T.G. Rutherford
(September 6, 1943)
Governor Rt. Hon. R.G. Casey
(January 22, 1944)
Governor Sir H.J. Twynam
(September 13, 1945)
Governor Sir F.J. Burrows
(February 19, 1946 to August 14, 1947)
1947 to 1971 : East Pakistan (under Pakistan. Capital Dhaka)
Governor Sir Frederick Borne
1947-49
Governor Malik Firoz Khan Noon
1950-53
Governor Chowdhury Khaliquzzaman
1953-54
Governor Iskander Mirza
1953-54
Governor Thomas Hobart Alice
1954-55
Governor Mohammed Shahabuddin
1955
Governor Amiruddin Ahmed
1955-56
Governor A. K. Fazlul Haque
1956-58
Governor Sultan Uddin Ahmed
1958
Governor Zakir Hossain
1958-60
Governor Azam Khan
1960-62
Governor Golam Faruq
1962
Governor Abdul Monem Khan
1962-69
Governor Mirza Nurul Huda
1969 (3 days)
Governor Mozaffar Uddin
1969
Governor S.M. Ahshan
1969-71
Governor Tikka Khan
1971
Governor Abdul Motalib Malik
1971
1971- date : Bangladesh. Capital : Dhaka.
President Syed Nazrul Islam (acting)
President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
President Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury
President Muhammad Nurul Ullah
President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
President Khondakar Mustak Ahmed
President Justice ASM Sayeem
President Ziaur Rahman
President Justice Abdus Satter

1971
1971
1972
1972-1975
1975
1975
1975-1977
1977-1981
1981-1982

51

Britain
West Pakistan
West Pakistan
West Pakistan
Britain
East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan
West Pakistan
West Pakistan
West Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan
West Pakistan
West Pakistan
East Pakistan
Elected by Parliament
Elected by Parliament
Elected by Parliament
Elected by Parliament
Constitutional Amendment
Coup detat

52
President Justice Ahshan Uddin Chowdhury 1982-1983
President Hossain Muhammad Ershad
1983-1991
President Shahbuddin Ahmed
1991
Constitutional
President Abdur Rahman Biswas
1991-1996
Elected by Parliament
Chief Advisor Justice Habibur Rahman
1996
Chief advisor of caretaker government
President Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed
1996-2001
Elected by Parliament
* Rulers
: King, Sultan, Dewan, Nawab, Nazim, Subeder, Bhuiyan, President etc.
*** Bangladesh
: the geographical in and around present Bangladesh, i.e. Vanga, Samatata,
Harikel, Karna Suborno, Gaur, Sube Bangla, Bengal, East Pakistan
and Bangladesh

APPENDIX 2 :

FORCES AND TECHNIQUES USED BY THE RULERS FOR RULING

i. AGE OF THE DRAVIDIANS (before the coming of the Aryans) :


Muscle power : a. Armed forces and contingent of strong men
b. Savage system of judgment and punishment
Mystic power :

a. Spreading own mystic or religious faith


b. Patronization of mystic and religious faith for getting support from the leaders
c. Proclamation of king as the representative of God

Entertainment :

Bull race, athletic competition, sports and games, festivals, celebrations etc.

ii. AGE OF THE ARYANS :


Muscle power : a. Strong armed forces
b. City guards, watchmen and patrol parties
c. Savage system of judgment and brutal punishment
Mystic power :

Diplomacy :

a. Spreading own religious faith ( they told that people could achieve wealth in this
world and peace in heaven after death by performing certain religious cult named
Jagya. The concept of hell or a place for torture in the after-life world was added
later )
b. Patronization of religious faith
c. Managing the support of the religious leaders by gratification
Creation of four castes (Brahmin, Khatriya, Baishya and Sudra) and discrimination between
them.

Entertainment :

Bull race, horse race, chariot race, athletic competition, sports and games, festivals,
game of chance or gambling, etc.

iii. AFTER THE TEACHINGS OF GAUTAMA BUDDHA :


Muscle power : Less use of muscle power
Mystic power : a. Spreading mystic or religious faith (mostly of Buddha)
b. Patronization of mystic and religious faith for getting support from the leaders
c. Managing the support of Buddhist religious leaders through gratification
Diplomacy :
Employing agents for convincing people towards certain religious faith
Entertainment : Religious festivals, celebrations and conferences. Visiting countries with stalwarts and
spreading religious faith. (Parading the street with Buddhas replica on horse or man
pulled cart was introduced in the later years. During this period the institution of family
was denounced and young people turned towards asceticism).
iv. IN THE MINI- STATES OF BENGAL (up to 1078 AD, i.e. before the rise of Barmana kings ) :
Muscle power.
a. Armed forces and muscle men
b. City guards, watchmen and patrol parties
c. Savage system of judgment and brutal punishment
Mystic (religious) power : a. Patronization of mystic and religious faith ( both Hinduism and Buddhism )
b. Managing the support of the religious leaders by force or gratification
Entertainment : Bull race, village fair, athletic competition, sports and games, religious festivals,
celebrations of important days of the ruler or of the state, game of chance, gambling etc.
v. IN THE MINI- STATES OF BENGAL ( during the Barmana kings ) :

52

53
Muscle power :

a. Strong armed forces


b. City guards, watchmen and patrol parties
c. Savage system of judgment and brutal punishment
Organizing power : organizing the fellow people and mobilizing towards warfare
Diplomacy :
Employing spies and secret agents
Entertainment : Bull race, horse race, chariot race, village fair, athletic competition, sports and games,
religious festivals, celebrations, game of chance or gambling etc.
vi. IN BENGAL ( During Muslim Kings )
Muscle power : a. Strong armed forces
b. City guards, watchmen and patrol parties
c. Brutal torture and punishment
Mystic power :
Spreading own religious faith ( Islam )
Diplomacy :
Employing spies and secret agents
Entertainment :
Village fair, religious festivals, celebrations, game of chance, gambling etc.
vii. BENGAL AND INDIA ( under British colonial rule ) :
Muscle power : a. Strong and armed forces
b. City guards, watchmen and patrol parties
c. European system of judgment and punishment in jail
Technology :
Modern equipments in battle ( cannon and gun ), technology and machinery in
development, transportation etc.
Diplomacy :
a. Spies and secret agents
b. Divide and rule policy through religion
c. Creating a group of supporters by giving privileges
Entertainment : Bull race, horse race, village fair, festivals, dance and drinking, celebrations, game of
chance or lottery, gambling, etc.
Decentralization and delegation of power : Formation of local government authorities by government
personnel and peoples representative.
viii. PAKISTAN :
Muscle power :

a. Strong armed forces


b. City guards, watchmen and patrol parties
c. Brutal punishment (during rule of the army )
Diplomacy :
a. Employing spies and secret agents
b. Divide and rule policy between major religions (practiced in East Pakistan to divert the
attention of common people from discrimination)
Mystic power (religion ) : a. Spreading and patronizing state religion
b. Patronization of religious leaders for enjoying their support
Power of popularity : Peoples support as qualification for ruling
Entertainment : Bull race, horse race, village fair, athletic competition, sports and games, festivals,
religious celebrations, game of chance or gambling, lottery, etc.
Decentralization and delegation of power : Formation of local government authorities by government
personnel and peoples representative.

ix. BANGLADESH :
Muscle power :

a. Strong armed forces


b. City guards, watchmen and patrol parties
Power of popularity
: Peoples support as qualification for ruling
Mystic power (religion) : (a) Patronizing selected religious leaders for getting their support
(b) Generous donation to religious institutions to manipulate religious sentiment
(Used by some military dictators for some period )
Diplomacy :
Spies and secret agents
Entertainment :
Village fair, athletic competition, sports and games, festivals, celebrations, game of
chance, gambling, lottery, etc.
Decentralization and delegation of power : Formation of local government authorities by government
personnel and peoples representative.

53

54
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Singh, Gobind :
A Book of Sikh Studies. National Book Shop. Chandni Market, Delhi, 1989.
Zakaria, AKM :
Protnotatya (Archaeology). Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, 1984.
Agarwal, D.P. :
Copper Bronze Age of India, New Delhi, 1971
Allchin, B.R. :
The Birth of Indian Civilization. Harmondsworth, 1968.
Despande, Madhab M (ed) : Aryan and Non-Aryan in India. Ann Arbor, 1979
Bhanderkar, R.G. : B Vaishnaui
Aiyangar, S.K. :
Ancient India and South Indian History and Culture, 1941
Basak, R.G.
The History of North-Eastern India, 1934
Basam, A.L. :
The Wonder that was India, 1975
Bose, A.N. :
Social and Rural Economy of Northern India, 2 vols,., 1967
Chattopadhyaya, Sudhakar : Early History of North India, 1958
Chaudhury, Shahi Bhushion : Ethnic Settlements of Northern India, 1955
Cunningham, A. :
The Ancient Geography of India, 1924
Ghoshal, U.N. :
The Agrarian System in Ancient India, 1930
Ghoshal, U.N. :
Studies in Indian History and Culture, 1965
Habibullah, A.B.M. :
Foundation of Muslim Rule in India, 1961
Kosambi, D.D. :
The Culture and Civilization of Ancient India, 1972
Majumder, R.C. :
Ancient India.
Majumder, R.C. :
The History of Culture of Indian People, (Edited),
Majumder, R.C. :
Vol-1 :The Vedic Age, 1971
Majumder, R.C. :
Vol-2 :The Age of the Imperial Unity, 1968
Majumder, R.C. :
Vol-3 : The Classical Age, 1970
Majumder, R.C. :
Vol-IV : The Age of Imperial Kanauj, 1964
Majumder, R.C. :
Vol. V : The Struggle for Empire, 1957
Majumder, R.C. and Altekar, A.S. (Edited) : A New History of the Indian People, Vo. VI- The VakatakaGupta Age, 1946
Majumder, R.C. and Dasgupta, KK : (Edited) A Comprehensive History of India, Vol III, Part I , 1982
Majumder, Raychoudhury and Datta : Advanced History of India, 1981
Mookerji Radha Kumud : Ancient India, 1956
Pannikar, K.M. :
Geographical Factors in Indian History, 1959
Rapson, E.J. :
(Edited) Cambridge History of India, Vol. I 1922
Ray, H.C. :
The Dynastic History of Northern India, Vol. 1 & II, 1931, 1936
Raychaudfhury, H.C. : Political History of Ancient India, 1950
Smith, V.A. :
Early History of India, 1924
Smith, V.A. :
(Edited) The Oxford History of India, 1976
Sastri, K.A.N. :
A History of South India, 1966
Sastri, K.A.N. :
Age of Nandas and Mauryas, 1952
Sastri, K.A.N. :
(Edited) A Comprehensive History of India, Vol. II 1957
Sastri, K.A.N. and Srinivaschari : Advanced History of India, 1970
Singhal, D.P. :
India and World Civilization, 2 Vols. 1969
Thakur Upendra (Edited) ; The Heritage of India, 1978
Tripathi Ramashankar : History of Ancient India, 1977

54