GLOSSARY -- Bangladesh
- Awami League (People's League)
- Political party of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Founded in 1949; won
absolute majority in putative Pakistan Constituent Assembly in
1970, an event leading to 1971 civil war and Bangladesh
- Official language of Bangladesh; often referred to as Bengali
before 1971. An Indo-European language.
- Bangladesh National Party
- Political party of Ziaur Rahman (Zia). Founded in 1978 and
became majority party during Zia's presidency.
- Formerly province of British India, now encompasses India's
state of West Bengal and all of Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan-
-q.v.) During Mughal period (1526-1858) a province, later
governed by a president of the British East India company, and
during the British Raj (q.v.), a state.
- Bengali calendar
- Year begins on April 15 of the Gregorian calendar; based on
Muslim, or hijra (q.v.) calendar and used widely in
- British Raj
- Period of British colonial rule (1858-1947) over India,
including those parts of British India that were to become Pakistan
(on August 15, 1947) and Bangladesh (on December 16, 1971).
- Chittagong Hill Tracts
- Commonly used name for area comprising Rangamati, Khagrachari,
and Bandarban regions in southeastern Bangladesh.
- In Bangladesh, as elsewhere in South Asia, large numerical
units are usually expressed in crores; a crore is 10 million.
- Delhi Sultanate
- period of early Indian-based Islamic rule of Bengal (1206-
1341). The Delhi Sultanate continued in India proper until 1526.
- zila in Bangla (q.v.). One of major
administrative subdivisions in Bangladesh; an average of three
districts make up each of the twenty-one regions of Bangladesh. In
1988 there were sixty-four districts in Bangladesh.
- East Bengal
- Eastern part or East Wing of Pakistan from August 15, 1947, to
December 16, 1971. Another name for East Pakistan (q.v.).
- East Pakistan
- From August 15, 1947, to December 16, 1971, the eastern part,
or East Wing, of united Pakistan. Seceded in 1971 to become
- East Wing
- See East Pakistan.
- fiscal year (FY)
- July 1 through June 30.
- freedom fighters
- See Mukti Bahini.
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- A value measure of the flow of domestic goods and services
produced by an economy over a period of time, such as a year. Only
output values of goods for final consumption and investment are
included because the values of primary and intermediate production
are assumed to be included in final prices. GDP is sometimes
aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning that indirect taxes
and subsidies are included; when these have been eliminated, the
result is GDP at factor cost. The word gross indicates
that deductions for depreciation of physical assets have not been
made. See also gross national product.
- gross national product (GNP)
- Gross domestic product (q.v.) plus the net income or
loss stemming from transactions with foreign countries. GNP is the
broadest measurement of the output of goods and services of an
economy. It can be calculated at market prices, which include
indirect taxes and subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies
are only transfer payments, GNP is often calculated at factor cost
by removing indirect taxes and subsidies.
- Tradition, based on the precedent of the Prophet Muhammad's
nondivinely revealed deeds and words, that serves as one of the
sources of Islamic law (sharia--q.v.).
- Literally, to migrate, to sever relations, to leave one's
tribe. Throughout the Muslim world, hijra refers to the migration
of Muhammad and his followers to Medina in A.D. 622, marking the
start of the Muslim era. In this sense, the word has come into
European languages as "hegira" and is usually and somewhat
misleadingly translated as "flight."
- In general use, means the leader of congregational prayers,
implying no ordination or special spiritual powers beyond
sufficient education to carry out this function. The word is also
used figuratively by many Sunni Muslims to mean the leader of the
Islamic community. Among Shia Muslims, it indicates the particular
descendant of the House of Ali who is believed to have been God's
designated repository of the spiritual authority inherent in that
line. The identity of this individual and the means of ascertaining
his identity have been the major issues causing divisions among the
- International Monetary Fund
- Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945,
the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations
and is responsible for stabilizing international exchange loans to
its members (including industrialized and developing countries)
when they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans
frequently carry conditions that require substantial internal
economic adjustments by the recipients, most of which are
- Jatiyo Party
- Political party of Hussain Muhammed Ershad. Established in 1985
and won majority control of Parliament in 1986 and 1988 elections.
- The struggle to establish the law of God on earth, often
interpreted to mean "holy war."
- Mukti Bahini
- Literally, liberation force, frequently taken to mean freedom
fighters; the pro-Awami League (q.v.) military forces that
led civil war against the Pakistani Army in 1971.
- Islamic law.
- Shia (or Shiite, from Shiat Ali, the Party
- A member of the smaller of the two great divisions of Islam.
The Shias support the claims of Ali and his line to presumptive
right to the caliphate and leadership of the Muslim community, and
on this issue they remain divided from the Sunnis (q.v.).
Shias revere twelve imams, the last of whom is believed to be
hidden from view.
- See Shia.
- South Asian Association for Regional
- comprises the seven nations of South Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan,
India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka; founded at a
meeting of foreign ministers in New Delhi on August 1-2, 1983;
inaugural meeting of heads of state and government in Dhaka on
December 7-8, 1986. The goal is to effect economic, technical, and
cultural cooperation and to provide a forum for discussion of South
Asian political problems.
- upazila in Bangla (q.v.). A rural
administrative subdivision of a district (q.v.). In 1988
there were 460 subdistricts in Bangladesh.
- Comes from suf, the Arabic word for "wool." The term
derives from the practice of wearing a woolen robe, a sign of
dedicating oneself to the mystical life, known in Islam as becoming
a Sufi. Sufis seek mystical union with God and were condemned by
some Sunni (q.v.) legal schools.
- See Sufi.
- Come from sunna meaning "custom" and giving connotation of
orthodoxy. A member of the larger of the two great divisions of
Islam. The Sunnis supported the traditional method of election to
the caliphate and accepted the Umayyad line. On this issue they
divided from the Shias (q.v.) in the first great schism
- Sunni Islam
- See Sunni. Sometimes given as Sunnite Islam.
- Bangladesh's unit of currency adopted in 1971, derives from the
word tonka, the Iranian coinage used during the Delhi
Sultanate (q.v.). In September 1988, the official exchange
rate was US$1 equals Tk34.20. One hundred paisas constitute 1 taka;
there are 1-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, and 100-paisa coins and banknotes
in 1-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, and 500-taka denominations. Ten million
takas equals 1 crore (q.v.) takas.
- Man trained in Islamic theology.
- A rural administrative unit, subdivision of a subdistrict
(upazila--q.v.). In 1988 there were 4,401 unions
- See subdistrict.
- World Bank
- Informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated
international institutions: the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International
Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance
Corporation (IFC). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary
purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive
projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by
the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the
poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of
conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the
activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance designed
specifically to encourage the growth of productive private
enterprises in the less developed countries. The president and
certain senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the
IFC. The three institutions are owned by the governments of the
countries that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World
Bank group, member states must first belong to the International
Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.).
- Landlord, but particularly of the group of landlords and the
zamindar system that emerged after the British Permanent Settlement
(Landlease) Act of 1793. In essence, the former tax collectors of
the Mughal period (1526-1858) became landlords under the British.
Zamindar tenure was abolished in 1950.
- See district.