Bangladesh

ISBN 9780199068531
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This book covers in detail the political developments that led to the emergence of an independent Bangladesh. The post-independence challenges described here are a valuable source of information on different aspects of state building. Kamal Hossain gives a vivid eyewitness account of his own involvement in the different phases of the political struggles, from personal associations, as legal defence for freedom of the media and victims of repression in the sixties and, in particular, the Agartala Conspiracy case. His later association with the Awami League’s team at Ayub’s Round Table Conference and with Yahya Khan in 1971 provides valuable historical insights into the events leading to the war of independence.

After independence, as Minister of Law, Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (1972) and later Minister of Foreign Affairs, and of Petroleum and Minerals (1973–1975), Kamal Hossain focuses on the challenges of state building and political transformation. He offers thoughtful analyses of how a country, ravaged by war and deprived of resources, gave itself a secular, democratic constitution, won the respect of the world, gained membership of the United Nations and actively pursued peace and stability in the region.

Bangladesh’s pursuit of democracy was short-lived as representative governance and secular democratic politics were stifled by military rule. This book offers critical insights into the processes of state formation in the initial years of Bangladesh’s independence.