British rule in bengal

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  • 1. Bangladesh Studies British Rule in BengalHimadri Bhowmic08-02886
  • 2. British Rule in BengalDuring British rule, two devastating famines were instigated costing millions of lives in 1770and 1943. Scarcely five years into the British East India Companys rule, the catastrophic Bengalfamine of 1070 one of the greatest famines of history occurred. Up to a third of the populationdied in 1770 and subsequent years. The Indian Mutiny of 1857 replaced rule by the Companywith the direct control of Bengal by the British crown.A centre of rice cultivation as well as fine cotton called muslin and the worlds main source ofjute fibre, Bengal, from the 1850s became one of Indias principal centres of industry,concentrated in the capital Kolkata (known as Calcutta under the British, always called Kolkatain the native tongue of Bengali) and its emerging cluster of suburbs. Most of the populationnevertheless remained dependent on agriculture, and despite its leading role in Indian politicaland intellectual activity, the province included some very undeveloped districts, especially in theeast. In 1877, when Victoria took the title of "Empress of India", the British declared Calcuttathe capital of the British Raj.Indias most popular province (and one of the most active provinces in freedom fighting), in1905 Bengal was divided by the British rulers for administrative purposes into anoverwhelmingly Hindu west (including present-day Bihar and Orissa) and a predominantlyMuslim east (including Assam) (1905 Partition of Bengal). Hindu - Muslim conflict becamestronger through this partition. While Hindu Indians disagreed with the partition saying it was away of dividing a Bengal which is united by language and history, Muslims supported it bysaying it was a big step forward for Muslim society where Muslims will be majority and theycan freely practice their religion as well as their culture. But owing to strong Hindu agitation, theBritish reunited East and West Bengal in 1912, and made Bihar and Orissa a separate province.Another major famine occurred during the second world war, the Bengal famine of 1943, inwhich an estimated 3 million people died.Bengal famine of 1770The Bengal famine of 1770 (Chhiattōrer monnōntór; lit The Famine of 76) was a catastrophicfamine between 1769 and 1773 (1176 to 1180 in the Bengali calendar) that affected the lowerGangetic plain of India. The famine is estimated to have caused the deaths of 10 million people(one out of three, reducing the population to thirty million in Bengal, which included Bihar andparts of Orissa). The Bengali names derives from its origins in the Bengali calendar year 1176.BackgroundThe famine occurred in the territory which was called Bengal, then ruled by the British EastIndia Company. This territory included modern West Bengal, Bangladesh, and parts of Assam,Orissa, Bihar, and Jharkhand. It was originally a province of the Mughal empire from the 16thcentury and was ruled by a Nawab, or governor. The Nawab had become effectivelyindependent by the beginning of the 18th century, though in theory was still a tributary power ofthe Great Mughal in Delhi.In the 17th century the British East India Company had been given a grant on the town ofCalcutta by the Mughal emperor Akbar. At this time the Company was effectively anothertributary power of the Mughal. During the following century the company obtained sole tradingrights for the province, and went on to become the dominant power in Bengal. In 1757, at the 2
  • 3. battle of Plassey, the British defeated the-then Nawab Siraj Ud Daulah and plundered theBengali treasury. In 1764 their military control was reaffirmed at Buxar. The subsequent treatygained them the Diwani, that is, taxation rights: the Company thereby became the de facto rulerof Bengal. About ten million people[5][6], approximately one-third of the population of theaffected area, are estimated to have died in the famine. The regions in which the famineoccurred included especially the modern Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal, but the faminealso extended into Orissa and Jharkhand as well as modern Bangladesh. Among the worstaffected areas were Birbhum and Murshidabad in Bengal, and Tirhut, Champaran and Bettiah inBihar.A partial shortfall in crops, considered nothing out of the ordinary, occurred in 1768 and wasfollowed in late 1769 by more severe conditions. By September 1769 there was a severedrought, and alarming reports were coming in of rural distress. These were, however, ignored bycompany officers. By early 1770 there was starvation, and by mid-1770 deaths from starvationwere occurring on a large scale. Later in 1770 good rainfall resulted in a good harvest and thefamine abated. However, other shortfalls occurred in the following years, raising the total deathtoll.As a result of the famine large areas were depopulated and returned to jungle for decades tocome, as the survivors migrated in mass in a search for food. Many cultivated lands wereabandoned—much of Birbhum, for instance, returned to jungle and was virtually impassable fordecades afterwards. From 1772 on, bands of bandits and thugs became an established feature ofBengal, and were only brought under control by punitive actions in the 1780s.East India Company responsibilitiesFault for the famine is now often ascribed to the British East India Companys policies inBengal.As a trading body, the first remit of the company was to maximise its profits and withtaxation rights the profits to be obtained from Bengal came from land tax as well as trade tariffs.As lands came under company control, the land tax was typically raised fivefold what it hadbeen – from 10% to up to 50% of the value of the agricultural produce. [7] In the first years of therule of the British East India Company, the total land tax income was doubled and most of thisrevenue flowed out of the country. [8] As the famine approached its height in April of 1770, theCompany announced that the land tax for the following year was to be increased by a further10%.Sushil Chaudhury writes that the destruction of food crops in Bengal to make way for opiumpoppy cultivation for export reduced food availability and contributed to the famine. [9] However,this claim has been disputed on the grounds that the total area under opium poppy cultivation inthe Bengal region constituted less than two percent of all the land. The company is alsocriticised for forbidding the "hoarding" of rice. This prevented traders and dealers from laying inreserves that in other times would have tided the population over lean periods, as well asordering the farmers to plant indigo instead of rice. By the time of the famine, monopolies ingrain trading had been established by the company and its agents. The company had no plan fordealing with the grain shortage, and actions were only taken insofar as they affected themercantile and trading classes. Land revenue decreased by 14% during the affected year, butrecovered rapidly (Kumkum Chatterjee). According to McLane, the first governor-general ofBritish India, Warren Hastings, acknowledged "violent" tax collecting after 1771: revenuesearned by the Company were higher in 1771 than in 1768. Globally, the profit of the companyincreased from fifteen million rupees in 1765 to thirty million in 1777. 3
  • 4. The Indian Rebellion of 1857The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Companysarmy on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon erupted into other mutinies and civilianrebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilitiesconfined to present-day Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, northern Madhya Pradesh, and the Delhi region.The rebellion posed a considerable threat to Company power in that region, and it was containedonly with the fall of Gwalior on 20 June 1858.[3] The rebellion is also known as Indias FirstWar of Independence, the Great Rebellion, the Indian Mutiny, the Revolt of 1857, theUprising of 1857, the Sepoy Rebellion, and the Sepoy Mutiny.Other regions of Company-controlled India—Bengal province, the Bombay Presidency, and theMadras Presidency—remained largely calm. [3] In Punjab, the Sikh princes backed the Companyby providing both soldiers and support. The large princely states, Hyderabad, Mysore,Travancore, and Kashmir, as well as the smaller ones of Rajputana did not join the rebellion.[5]In some regions, such as Oudh, the rebellion took on the attributes of a patriotic revolt againstEuropean presence.Rebel leaders, such as the Rani of Jhansi and Rani of Tulsipur IshworiKumari Devi of Tulsipur-State, became folk heroes in the nationalist movement in India half acentury later; however, they themselves "generated no coherent ideology" for a new order. Therebellion led to the dissolution of the East India Company in 1858, and forced the British toreorganize the army, the financial system, and the administration in India.[8] India was thereafterdirectly governed by the Crown in the new British Raj.Bengal famine of 1943The Bengal famine of 1943 is one among several famines that occurred in British-administeredBengal. It is estimated that around three million people died from starvation and malnutritionduring the period making the number of Indian deaths higher than the two world wars, the entireindependence movement and the massive carnage that followed the Partition of India.Background and Possible causesThe Second World War began simultaneously with a series of crop failures and famines. ByAugust 1939, out of 14 states in Rajasthan, the 9 largest had declared that they were suffering afamine under the Indian Famine Code as it then stood.[3] In Bengal in 1940-41 there was a smallscale famine although quick action by the authorities prevented widespread loss of life. Foodprices increased throughout India, and the Central Government was forced to undertakingmeetings with local government officials and release regulations of price controls .The United Kingdom had suffered a disastrous defeat at Singapore in 1942 against the Japanesemilitary, which then proceeded to invade Burma in the same year. Burma was the worlds largestexporter of rice in the inter-war period, the British having encouraged production by Burmesesmallholders, which resulted in a virtual monoculture in the Irrawaddy Delta and Arakan. By1940 15% of Indias rice overall came from Burma, while in Bengal the proportion was slightlyhigher given the provinces proximity to Burma. 4
  • 5. British authorities feared a subsequent Japanese invasion of British India proper by way ofBengal (see British Raj) and a scorched earth policy was hastily implemented in the Chittagongregion, nearest the Burmese border, to prevent access to supplies by the Japanese in case of aninvasion. In particular, the Army confiscated many boats (and motor vehicles, carts and evenelephants), fearing that the Japanese would commandeer them to speed an advance into India.The inhabitants used the boats for fishing and to take goods to market, and the Army failed todistribute rations to replace the fish and the food lost through the stoppage of commerce. [8] Thedislocation in the area forced many of the inhabitants into the Military Labour Corps, and thebreak-up of families left many children and dependents to beg or to starve.On 16 October 1942 the whole east coast of Bengal and Orissa was hit by a cyclone. A hugearea of rice cultivation up to forty miles inland was flooded, causing the autumn crop in theseareas to fail. This meant that the peasantry had to eat their surplus, and the seed that should havebeen planted in the winter of 1942-3 had been consumed by the time the hot weather began inMay 1943.[10][11] The famine reached its peak between July and November 1943. Famine fatalitystatistics were unreliable and a range of between 2-4 million has been suggested. According toauthor John Keay, even if the lower number is accepted, the famine killed more Indians than thetwo world wars, the entire Indian freedom movement, and the massive death toll that followedPartition of India.[2].Amartya Sen holds the view that there was no overall shortage of rice in Bengal in 1943:availability was actually slightly higher than in 1941, when there was no famine. [12] It was partlythis which conditioned the sluggish official response to the disaster, as there had been no seriouscrop failures and hence the famine was unexpected. Its root causes, Sen argues, lay in rumoursof shortage which caused hoarding, and rapid price inflation caused by war-time demands whichmade rice stocks an excellent investment (prices had already doubled over the previous year). InSens interpretation, while landowning peasants who actually grew rice and those employed indefence-related industries in urban areas and at the docks saw their wages rise, this led to adisastrous shift in the exchange entitlements of groups such as landless labourers, fishermen,barbers, paddy huskers and other groups who found the real value of their wages had beenslashed by two-thirds since 1940. Quite simply, although Bengal had enough rice and othergrains to feed itself, millions of people were suddenly too poor to buy it. [13ResponseDuring the course of the famine, the Government of Bengal mobilised considerableresources,[14] however its efforts were undermined by its own lack of understanding of thesituation, the poor coordination of relief efforts and the failure of government officials anddepartments to work together to combat the famine.[15] During the Famine Inquiry Commissionsinvestigation, one official stated that We felt difficulty about one thing. That was lack of one co-ordinating authority at the time of famine[16]In December 1942 there was a shortage in Calcutta itself. Therefore focused on getting suppliesto Calcutta.[17] by trying to buy surplus stocks in the region. The quantities that District Officerswere able to locate and purchase were considered too small to end the famine, so theGovernment introduced free trade in rice in Eastern India, hoping that traders would sell theirstocks to Bengal, however this measure also failed to move large stocks to Bengal. [18] In Apriland May there was a propaganda drive to convince the population that the high prices were notjustified by the supply of food, the goal being that the propaganda would induce hoarders . [19]When these propaganda drive was followed by a drive to locate hoarded stocks. When these 5
  • 6. drives continually failed to locate large stocks it convinced the government that the scale of theloss in supply was larger than they initially believed[18]Bayly and Harper claim that in contrast to the incompetence of the civil service, the Britishmilitary commanders and the British military in general performed as best as it could to combatthe famine,[20] providing food to the suffering and organising relief. During the course of thefamine the government organised roughly 110,000,000 free meals which proved too small tocope with the disaster.In response to an urgent request by the Secretary of State for India, Leo Amery, and Viceroy ofIndia Achibald Wavell, to release food stocks for India, Winston Churchill the Prime Minister ofthat time responded with a telegram to Wavell asking, if food was so scarce, "why Gandhihadn’t died yet."[22][23] Initially during the famine he was more concerned with the civilians ofGreece (who were also suffering from a famine) compared with the Bengalis. [24]Overall, Sen argues, the authorities failed to understand that the famine was not caused by anoverall food shortage, and that the distribution of food was not just a matter of railway capacity,but of providing free famine relief on a massive scale: "The Raj was, in fact, fairly right in itsestimation of overall food availability, but disastrously wrong in its theory of Famines".[25] Thefamine ended when the government in London agreed to import 1,000,000 tons of grain toBengal, reducing food prices.[26] Mark Tauger and Peter Bowbrick argue the opposite; that thegovernment had the same view of the famine as Sen did, and tried to locate surplus stocksduring the course of the famine, but was unable to do so because no such stocks exist. [27]During the course of the famine, 264 thousand tons of rice, 258 thousand tons of wheat andwheat products and 55 thousand tons of millets were sent to Bengal for the purposes of faminerelief from the rest of India and overseas[28]The Bengal Famine may be placed in the context of previous famines in Mughal and BritishIndia. Deccan Famine of 1630-32 killed 2,000,000 (there was a corresponding famine innorthwestern China, eventually causing the Ming dynasty to collapse in 1644). During theBritish rule in India there were approximately 25 major famines spread through states such asTamil Nadu in South India, Bihar in the north, and Bengal in the east; altogether, between 30and 40 million Indians were the victims of famines in the latter half of the 19th century (Bhatia1985)."Food availability decline" or "man made"Severe food shortages were worsened by World War II, with the British administration of Indiaexporting foods to Allied soldiers. The shortage of rice forced rice prices up, and wartimeinflation compounded the problem.Food deliveries from other parts of the country to Bengal were refused by the government inorder to make food artificially scarce. This was an especially cruel policy introduced in 1942under the title "Rice Denial Scheme." The purpose of it was, as mentioned earlier, to deny anefficient food supply to the Japanese after a possible invasion. Simultaneously, the governmentauthorised free merchants to purchase rice at any price and to sell it to the government fordelivery into governmental food storage. So, on one hand government was buying every grain ofrice that was around and on the other hand, it was blocking grain from coming into Bengal fromother regions of the country.[29] The price controls on wheat were introduced on December 1941,and on rice in 1942.[30] 6
  • 7. Amartya Sen has cast doubt on the idea that the rice shortage was due to a fall in production. Hequotes official records for rice production in Bengal in the years leading up to 1943 as reportedin the table to the right.[31] According to Ó Gráda, he also argues that famine and democracy are"virtually incompatible".[32] The 1943 yield, while low, was not in itself outside the normalspectrum of recorded variation, and other factors beyond simple crop failure may thus beinvoked as a causal mechanism.Others have drawn attention to the quality of the data that Amartya Sen cites. Mark Tauger hasdrawn attention to the manner in which the statistics were gathered [33] whilst Peter Bowbrickhas described them as wildly unreliable[34] Year Rice production(in million of tons) 1938 8.474 1939 7.922 1940 8.223 1941 6.768 1942 9.296 1943 7.628Indian Independence MovementBengal played a major role in the Indian independence movement, in which revolutionarygroups such as Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar were dominant. Bengalis also played a notablerole in the Indian independence movement. Many of the early proponents of the freedomstruggle, and subsequent leaders in movement were Bengalis such as Chittaranjan Das,Surendranath Banerjea, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Prafulla Chaki, Bagha Jatin, KhudiramBose, Surya Sen, Binoy-Badal-Dinesh, Sarojini Naidu, Aurobindo Ghosh, Rashbehari Bose andmany more. Some of these leaders, such as Netaji, did not subscribe to the view that non-violentcivil disobedience was the only way to achieve Indian Independence, and were instrumental inarmed resistance against the British force. During the Second World War Netaji escaped toGermany from house arrest in India and there he founded the Indian Legion an army to fightagainst the British Government, but the turning of the war compelled him to come to South-EastAsia and there he became the co-founder and leader of the Indian National Army (distinct fromthe army of British India) that challenged British forces in several parts of India. He was also thehead of state of a parallel regime named The Provisional Governmeent of Free India or ArziHukumat-e-Azad Hind, that was recognized and supported by the Axis powers. Bengal was alsothe fostering ground for several prominent revolutionary organisations, the most notable ofwhich was Anushilan Samiti. A large number of Bengalis were martyred in the freedom struggleand many were exiled in Cellular Jail, the much dreaded prison located in Andaman. 7
  • 8. History of the Indian National CongressFrom its foundation on 28 December 1885 until the time of independence of India on August 15,1947, the Indian National Congress was the largest and most prominent Indian publicorganization, and central and defining influence of the Indian Independence Movement.Although initially and primarily a political body, the Congress transformed itself into a nationalvehicle for social reform and human upliftment. The Congress was the strongest foundation anddefining influence of modern Indian nationalism.Founded upon the suggestion of British civil servant Allan Octavian Hume, the Congress wascreated to form a platform for civic and political dialogue of educated Indians with the BritishRaj. After the First War of Indian Independence and the transfer of India from the East IndiaCompany to the British Empire, it was the goal of the Raj to support and justify its governanceof India with the aid of English-educated Indians, who would be familiar and friendly to Britishculture and political thinking. Ironically, a few of the reasons the Congress grew and survived inthe era of undisputed British hegemony, was through the patronage of British authorities, Anglo-Indians and a rising Indian educated class.The theory of safety valve has also been associatedwith the birth of congress. It says that congress provided a platform to Indians to bring out theirresentment vocally. Its initial aim was to divert the minds of Indians from any sort of physicalviolence.Hume embarked on an endeavor to get an organization started by reaching-out to selectedalumni of the University of Calcutta, writing in his 1883 letter that, "Every nation securesprecisely as good a Government as it merits. If you the picked men, the most highly educatedof the nation, cannot, scorning personal ease and selfish objects, make a resolute struggle tosecure greater freedom for yourselves and your country, a more impartial administration, alarger share in the management of your own affairs, then we, your friends, are wrong and ouradversaries right, then are Lord Ripons noble aspirations for your good fruitless andvisionary, then, at present at any rate all hopes of progress are at an end and India trulyneither desires nor deserves any better Government than she enjoys."[1]In May 1885, Hume secured the Viceroys approval to create an "Indian National Union", whichwould be affiliated with the government and act as a platform to voice Indian public opinion. On12 October 1885, Hume and a group of educated Indians also published "An Appeal from thePeople of India to the Electors of Great Britain and Ireland" to ask British voters in 1885 Britishgeneral election to help support candidates sympathetic to Indian public opinion, which includedopposition to the levying of taxes on India to finance the British Indian campaigns inAfghanistan and support for legislative reform in India. [2] The appeal was a failure, and wasinterpreted by many Indians as "a rude shock, but a true realization that they had to fight theirbattles alone."[3] On 28 December 1885, the Indian National Congress was founded at GokuldasTejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay, with 72 delegates in attendance. Hume assumed office asthe General Secretary, and Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee of Calcutta was elected President. [2]Besides Hume, two additional British members (both Scottish civil servants) were members ofthe founding group, William Wedderburn and Justice (later, Sir) John Jardine. The othermembers were mostly Hindus from the Bombay and Madras Presidencies.[2] 8
  • 9. Though there has been discussion over the fact that the congress was founded by a retired civilservant and not by Indians G.K.Gokhale with his characteristic modesty and political wisdom,stated this explicitly in 1913: "No Indian could have started the Indian National Congress...if anIndian had come forward to start such a movement embracing all Indians, the officials in Indiawould not have allowed the movement to come into existence. If the founder of the Congresshad not been an Englishman and a distinguished ex-official, such was the distrust of politicalagitation in those days that the authorities would have at once found some way or the other tosuppress the movement.ReactionsMany Muslim community leaders, like the prominent educationalist Syed Ahmed Khan viewedthe Congress negatively, owing to its membership being dominated by Hindus. The OrthodoxHindu community and religious leaders were also averse, seeing the Congress as supportive ofWestern cultural invasion.The ordinary people of India were not informed or concerned of its existence on the whole, forthe Congress never attempted to address the issues of poverty, lack of health care, socialoppression and the prejudiced negligence of the peoples concerns by British authorities. Theperception of bodies like the Congress was that of an elitist, then educated and wealthy peoplesinstitution.Rise of Indian nationalismFirst session of Indian National Congress, Bombay, 28-31, December, 1885.Lokmanya Tilak was the first to embrace Swaraj as the national goal. The first spurts ofnationalistic sentiment that rose amongst Congress members were when the desire to berepresented in the bodies of government, to have a say, a vote in the lawmaking and issues ofadministration of India. Congressmen saw themselves as loyalists, but wanted an active role ingoverning their own country, albeit as part of the Empire. This trend was personified byDadabhai Naoroji, considered by many as the eldest Indian statesman. Naoroji went as far ascontesting, successfully, an election to the British House of Commons, becoming its first Indianmember. That he was aided in his campaign by young, aspiring Indian student activists likeMuhammad Ali Jinnah, describes where the imagination of the new Indian generation lay.Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the first Indian nationalist to embrace Swaraj as the destiny of thenation. Tilak deeply opposed the British education system that ignored and defamed Indiasculture, history and values. He resented the denial of freedom of expression for nationalists, andthe lack of any voice or role for ordinary Indians in the affairs of their nation. For these reasons,he considered Swaraj as the natural and only solution in the abandonment of all the Britishthings. He was backed by rising public leaders like Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, whoheld the same point of view. Under them, Indias three great states - Maharashtra, Bengal andPunjab region shaped the demand of the people and Indias nationalism. 9
  • 10. The moderates, led by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Pherozeshah Mehta and Dadabhai Naoroji heldfirm to calls for negotiations and political dialogue. Gokhale criticized Tilak for encouragingacts of violence and disorder. But the Congress of 1906 did not have public membership, andthus Tilak and his supporters were forced to leave the party.But with Tilaks arrest, all hopes for an Indian offensive were stalled. The Congress lost creditwith the people, while Muslims were alarmed with the rise of Tilaks Hindu nationalism, andformed the All India Muslim League in 1907, considering the Congress as completely unsuitablefor Indian Muslims.The "Traditionalists"According to one approach, the traditionalist point of view, though not in a political sense, wasrepresented in Congressmen like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, C.Rajagopalachari,Purushottam Das Tandon, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Maulana Azad, who were alsoassociates and followers of Gandhi. Their organizational strength, achieved through leading theclashes with the government, was undisputed and proven when despite winning the 1939election, Bose resigned the Congress presidency because of the lack of confidence he enjoyedamongst national leaders. A year earlier, in the 1938 election, however, Bose had been electedwith the support of Gandhi. Differences arose in 1939 on whether Bose should have a secondterm. Jawaharlal Nehru, who Gandhi had always preferred to Bose, had had a second termearlier. Boses own differences centred on the place to be accorded to non-violent as againstrevolutionary methods. When he set up his Indian National Army in South-east Asia during theSecond World War, he invoked Gandhis name and hailed him as the Father of The Nation. Itwould be wrong to suggest that the so-called traditionalist leaders looked merely to the ancientheritage of Indian, Asian or, in the case of Maulana Azad and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan,Islamic civilization for inspiration. They believed, along with educationists like Zakir Husainand E W Aryanayakam, that education should be imparted in a manner that enables the learnersalso to be able to make things with their own hands and learn skills that would make them self-supporting. This method of education was also adopted in some areas in Egypt. (See ReginaldReynolds, Beware of Africans). Zakir Husain was inspired by some European educationists andwas able, with Gandhis support, to dovetail this approach to the one favoured by the BasicEducation method introduced by the Indian freedom movement. They believed that theeducation system, economy and social justice model for a future nation should be designed tosuit the specific local requirements. While most were open to the benefits of Western influencesand the socio-economic egalitarianism of socialism, they were opposed to being defined byeither model. 10
  • 11. Creation of PakistanAs the independence movement throughout British-controlled India began in the late 19thcentury gained momentum during the 20th century, Bengali politicians played an active role inMohandas Gandhis Congress Party and Mohammad Ali Jinnahs Muslim League, exposing theopposing forces of ethnic and religious nationalism. By exploiting the latter, the British probablyintended to distract the independence movement, for example by partitioning Bengal in 1905along religious lines. The split only lasted for seven years.At first the Muslim League sought only to ensure minority rights in the future nation. In 1940the Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution which envisaged one or more Muslimmajority states in South Asia. Non-negotiable was the inclusion of the Muslim parts of Punjaband Bengal in these proposed states. The stakes grew as a new Viceroy Lord Mountbatten ofBurma was appointed expressly for the purpose of effecting a graceful British exit. Communalviolence in Noakhali and Calcutta sparked a surge in support for the Muslim League, which wona majority of Bengals Muslim seats in the 1946 election. Accusations have been made thatHindu and Muslim nationalist instigators were involved in the latter incident. At the last momentHuseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Sarat Chandra Bose came up with the idea of an independentand unified Bengal state, which was endorsed by Jinnah. This idea was vetoed by the IndianNational Congress.British India was partitioned and the independent states of India and Pakistan were created in1947; the region of Bengal was divided along religious lines. The predominantly Muslim easternhalf of Bengal became the East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan) state of Pakistan and thepredominantly Hindu western part became the Indian state of West Bengal.Pakistans history from 1947 to 1971 was marked by political instability and economicdifficulties. In 1956 a constitution was at last adopted, making the country an "Islamic republicwithin the Commonwealth". The nascent democratic institutions foundered in the face ofmilitary intervention in 1958, and the government imposed martial law between 1958 and 1962,and again between 1969 and 1971.Almost from the advent of independent Pakistan in 1947, frictions developed between East andWest Pakistan, which were separated by more than 1,000 miles of Indian territory. EastPakistanis felt exploited by the West Pakistan-dominated central government. Linguistic,cultural, and ethnic differences also contributed to the estrangement of East from West Pakistan.When Mohammad Ali Jinnah died in September 1948, Khwaja Nazimuddin became theGovernor General of Pakistan while Nurul Amin was appointed the Chief Minister of EastBengal. Nurul Amin continued as the Chief Minister of East Bengal until 2 April 1954. Theabolition of the Zamindari system in East Bengal (1950) and the Language Movement were twomost important events during his tenure. Indias independence from Great Britain in August 1947 resulted in the partition of British Indiainto India and Pakistan. Pakistan was created out of the Muslim-majority provinces of BritishIndia, with no regard for geographical contiguity. The resulting state was formed into twophysically separate wings, with the territory of India intervening between the two. The easternwing was created by the partition of the British province of Bengal, and the principal languagespoken there was Bengali. Although it was principally the language of those who fled India toPakistan, the government of Pakistan decreed that Urdu would be the national language. 11
  • 12. Creation of BangladeshIn the evening of March 25, 1971, the Pakistan army attacked East Pakistan, as the futureBangladesh was then known. The attack was an effort to put down East Pakistani protesters whodemanded that the national government recognize the right of the elected majority party, theAwami (Peoples) League, to assume political office. The attacks by the Pakistanis, andresistance by the Bangladeshis, continued until December of that year, with the Bangladeshisseeing this as a war of independence, and the government forces viewing it as a civil war.Throughout the year, India provided support for the East Pakistani rebels, and received a largenumber of refugees. Early in December, Pakistans internal conflict assumed internationaldimensions with the direct intervention of Indian troops. The violence ended on December 16,when the Pakistani commander at the time, General A. K. Niazi, surrendered to General JagjeetSingh Arora, commander of the Indian forces.The discontent of East Pakistanis in the united state of Pakistan had a long history before itfinally culminated in war. The Muslim League government of Pakistan, led by Muhammad AliJinnah, had long ignored East Bengal. However, during his only visit to the eastern province, inMarch 1948, Jinnah was confronted by Bengalis who demanded that their language berecognized along with Urdu as a co-official language of Pakistan. Jinnah stated that anyone whoopposed the status of Urdu as the official language of Pakistan was a traitor to the country. Thisangered the Bengali faction, and in 1952 that anger gave rise to the "language movement" inEast Pakistan.After independence, the Pakistani government was constituted according to the Government ofIndia Act (1935) as modified by the India Independence Act of 1947, both acts of the BritishParliament. It was not until 1956 that a formal constitution was promulgated (India adopted itsown constitution in 1950). The constitution of 1956 changed the name of the eastern wing of thecountry from East Bengal to East Pakistan and the four provinces of the west wing wereconsolidated into West Pakistan. The constitution also instituted the concept of parity betweenthe eastern and western regions. This meant that representation in the National Assembly wouldbe equal from each province, even though East Pakistan had about 54 percent of the totalpopulation of Pakistan. The Bengalis of East Pakistan viewed this as an affront.This shortchanging of representation in the National Assembly was also seen in the militaryservices. There were very few officers from East Pakistan in a military overwhelminglydominated by West Pakistanis. There was a similar disparity in representation within the civilservice. Although a quota system was later instituted, the disparity persisted at the higher levelsthroughout the 1960s.In 1954 a major and violent strike occurred at the Adamjee Jute Mill in Narayanganj, a suburbof Dhaka. In addition to disputes over pay and labor practices, the East Pakistani workers feltthat the company was showing favoritism to Urdu-speaking Biharis in employment. Bihari is ageneral term applied to those Urduspeaking Muslims, most of them from the Indian state ofBihar, who fled east at the time of partition but who never learned to speak Bengali. In addition,the East Pakistani strikers were protesting the fact that the majority of East Pakistansmanufacturing and banking firms were owned by West Pakistanis, among whom the Adamjeefamily was prominent. 12
  • 13. The leading Muslim political party in Bengal prior to Pakistans independence had been theMuslim League, which dominated the Bengal Provincial Assembly. At the time ofindependence, the sitting members of the Bengal Provincial Assembly chose their futuremembership in either the assembly of West Bengal in India or the assembly of East Bengal inPakistan. The Muslim League maintained control. Although elections were held in each of theprovinces of the west wing as early as 1951, elections in East Bengal were delayed until 1954.The election, when it was finally held, resulted in an almost total rout of the Muslim League,which was looked upon locally as a proxy of the central government.The winning coalition in East Pakistan was comprised of the Awami League and the KrishakSramik (Farmers and Workers) Party. The principal founder of the Awami League was HusainShahid Suhrawardy. The Krishak Sramik Party was led by Fazlul Haq. Haq had been a primeminister of united Bengal (i.e., prior to independence) when his party was known as the KrishakPraja (Farmers and Peoples) Party. For the 1954 election, the Awami League and the KrishakSramik Party joined forces as the United Front and ran for office on a platform called "21Points." Among the issues addressed by the coalition were the recognition of Bengali as anofficial language of Pakistan; autonomy for East Bengal in all matters except defense, foreignaffairs, and currency; land reform; improved irrigation; nationalization of the jute industry; andother points that, if enacted into law, would give East Bengalis greater control of their owngovernance.The demand that Bengali be recognized as an official language was an outgrowth of thelanguage movement of 1952. Since the early days of independence, East Pakistanis haddemanded that Pakistan recognize two official languages: Bengali (the most widely spokenlanguage) and Urdu. An attempt by the central government to devise a means to write Bengali inthe Urdu script was met with widespread opposition and rioting, mainly from academics anduniversity students. On February 21, 1952, in an attempt to suppress the violence, the policefired on a crowd of demonstrators, and about twenty students were killed. Today, a monumentstands at the site of the killings, and February 21 is celebrated annually as Martyrs Day.For its championing of this and other issues important to the majority of East Pakistanis, theKrishak Sramik–Awami League coalition won the 1954 election. Eventually, however, theKrishak Sramik Party withered away, and the Awami League became the most important partyin the province. It would become the leader of the independence movement and dominateemerging Bangladeshi politics.In October 1958 General Muhammad Ayub Khan proclaimed himself president of Pakistanfollowing a military coup, declared martial law, and dissolved the National Assembly and theprovincial legislatures. He then set up what he called "Basic Democracy," which he described asa more representative government. Elections at the local level would be direct, and those electedat this level would be designated Basic Democrats. Elections for the provincial and nationalassemblies and for the presidency would be indirect, with the Basic Democrats serving as theelectoral college. He retained the principle of parity, however. This meant that each provincewas allocated an equal number of Basic Democrat electors, so that East Pakistanis continued tobe underrepresented at the higher levels of government. Not unexpectedly, Ayub was electedpresident in 1962 and reelected president in 1967. Although he won majorities in each wing ineach election, his majority in the east wing in 1967 was dramatically less than in 1962. 13
  • 14. Nonetheless, Ayubs power began to slip after his reelection to office, as did his health.Opposition to his rule spread, even in West Pakistan. Ayub grew concerned about a growingsecessionist movement in East Pakistan. The Awami League, now headed by Sheik MujiburRahman, demanded that changes be made in regard to East Pakistan. These changes wereembodied in Mujibs Six Points Plan, which he presented at a meeting of opposition parties inLahore in 1966. In brief, these Six Points called for: 1. A federal and parliamentary government with free and fair elections; 2. Federal government to control only foreign affairs and defense; 3. A separate currency or separate fiscal accounts for each province, to control movement of capital from east to west; 4. All power of taxation to reside at the provincial level, with the federal government subsisting on grants from the provinces; 5. Enabling each federating unit to enter into foreign trade agreements on its own and to retain control over the foreign exchange earned; and 6. Allowing each unit to raise its own militia.If these points had been adopted, it would have meant almost de facto independence for EastPakistan. Many observers saw point six, a separate militia, as the point most unacceptable to thecentral government, but they were wrong. The 1965 Indo-Pakistan War had demonstrated thelack of local defense forces in East Pakistan, which would have left the province defenseless hadIndia attacked there. In fact, it was point four, regarding taxation, that proved to be the problem,because the enactment of this point would make it all but impossible for a central government tooperate.In 1968, in response to the Six Points Plan, the Ayub government charged Mujib and hissupporters with treason. This later became known as the Agartala Conspiracy Case, so-called asit was alleged that Mujib had met with Indian agents in Agartala, the capital of the Indian stateof Tripura, which borders on Bangladesh. Mujib and the Awami League denied that any suchmeeting had ever taken place. In early 1969, as hostility to Ayub increased in both East andWest Pakistan, he invited opposition leaders to meet with him. Mujib, having been jailedawaiting his trial for treason, was not invited to this meeting. The opposition leaders refused tocome to the meeting unless the charges against Mujib were withdrawn and demanded that he,too, be invited to attend. Ayub complied with these demands. The meeting, which Ayub hopedwould work to his advantage, instead strengthened the oppositions position, which called for theend of the policy of Basic Democracy and the return to direct parliamentary elections.The opposition movement expanded beyond the political sphere to the military, and Ayub wasforced to resign on March 25, 1969. He was replaced by General Agha Muhammad YahyaKhan, who promised to reinstate direct elections. These were held in December 1970 in most ofthe country, but flooding in East Pakistan forced a few constituencies to delay their electionsuntil January 1971. In addition to reinstating free and direct elections, Yahya also acted torestore the former provinces of West Pakistan, which had been united into a single unit by the1956 constitution. More important for East Pakistan, he ended the principle of parity. In the1970 election for the National Assembly, East Pakistan would have 162 general seats out of atotal of 300, reflecting the 54 percent majority that Bengalis enjoyed according to the 1961population census. 14
  • 15. Yahya also introduced legislation that, in his view, would limit the changes that could be madeto the constitution by the National Assembly. This legislation, called the Legal FrameworkOrder, touched upon seven points: 1. That Pakistan would be a federated state; 2. Islamic principles would be paramount; 3. Direct and regular elections would be held; 4. Fundamental rights would be guaranteed; 5. The judiciary would be independent; 6. Maximum provincial autonomy would be allowed, "but the federal government shall also have adequate powers, including legislative, administrative, and financial powers, to discharge its responsibilities"; and 7. Economic disparities among provinces would be removed.The result of the election in East Pakistan startled outside observers, and even took somesupporters of the Awami League by surprise. The party won 160 of the 162 seats in EastPakistan, thereby gaining a majority in the National Assembly without winning a single seat inWest Pakistan, which had thrown its support behind the Pakistan Peoples Party, led by ZulfiqarAli Bhutto. Neither Yahya, nor his military associates, nor Bhutto looked favorably on agovernment comprised solely of the Awami League and headed by the author of the Six PointsPlan. Yahya began a series of negotiations, perhaps in the hope of creating a coalitiongovernment, but more in an effort to sideline Mujib. As the talks became more rancorous andcompromise seemed impossible, the Pakistani government began to increase the strength of itsrather small contingent of military forces stationed in East Pakistan.Yahya negotiated with Bhutto and Mujib, the former declaring that there were "two majorities"in Pakistan, and the latter insisting on the full enactment of the Six Points, even where thesewere at variance with Yahyas Legal Framework Order (i.e., on the issues of taxation).Demonstrations supporting the Awami Leagues position spread across East Pakistan. Violencebegan to look more attractive than political activism as a means of protecting East Pakistansinterests. By this time, the term Bangladeshi was widely adopted by the Awami League and itssupporters to replace the designation East Pakistani.The army struck back on March 25, 1971. Its first move was to attack the faculty and students atDhaka University and to take Mujib into custody. By one estimate, up to 35,000 Bangladeshiswere killed at the university and elsewhere on the first few days. Mujib was transported to jail inWest Pakistan. (There were fears that he would be executed, but these later proved unfoundedwhen he was released at the end of the conflict.) A number of Mujibs associates fled, first to avillage on the border with India, then to Calcutta. Major Ziaur Rahman, who would later becomepresident of independent Bangladesh, issued a declaration of independence.Bangladeshi police and border patrol forces organized a resistance force to oppose the Pakistaniarmy, and they were later joined by several civilians, many of whom had been universitystudents. It was, however, almost nine months before India intervened, triggering the December16, 1971, surrender of the Pakistani army. India intervened both for strategic reasons (asweakening Pakistan) and for humanitarian reasons, to alleviate the suffering of Bangladeshis. 15
  • 16. Pakistan complained about Indias invasion of its sovereign territory to the UN Security Councilin early December. In an often emotional speech, Bhutto argued, with reason, that thisintervention was a violation of international law. The Security Council agreed, but the questionsoon became moot with the surrender of the Pakistani troops in Bangladesh.The number of Bangladeshis killed, disabled, raped, or displaced by the violence of 1971 is notfully known. Estimates by Bangladeshi sources put the number killed at up to three million, andit is estimated that as many as ten million may have fled to India. Initially, the Pakistani armytargeted educators, students, political leaders, and others who were generally considered to beprominent sympathizers of the Awami League. As the Bangladeshis formed military units,however, these units also became the targets. Some of these units were formed by Bangladeshiswho had formerly served in the Pakistani army; others were recruited from the police and theEast Pakistan (now Bangladesh) Rifles, a border security force. These units, based in rural andoutlying areas of Bangladesh, were able to take advantage of the Pakistani armys initial focuson the student-led demonstrations in the Dhaka region. Survivor accounts, such as that byJahanara Imam, suggest that much of the killing soon devolved into little more thanindiscriminate slaughter.The Pakistani surrender and the termination of conflict left several unsettled questions. ManyBangladeshis—mostly civil servants or military troops and their families—were still detained inPakistan. In Bangladesh, there were non-Bengalis—again, mostly civil servants or militarytroops, but also some business owners and professionals—who wished repatriation to Pakistan.In addition, the fate of de facto prisoners of war held by Bangladesh, and Pakistani prisoners ofwar held by India had yet to be decided. Bangladesh wanted to place 195 Pakistani militarypersonnel on trial for war crimes and genocide. On August 9, 1975, a tripartite agreementbetween Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan was reached to create a panel that would attempt tosettle these issues. Bangladesh also agreed to drop all charges against the 195 Pakistanis accusedof war crimes and to permit their repatriation to Pakistan.In the end, and at great cost, Bangladesh achieved its independence. Slowly, the two countrieswere able to establish diplomatic relations. Pakistan recognized Bangladesh as independent onFebruary 22, 1974, primarily at the urging of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC),which was meeting in Lahore at that time. The OIC insisted that Bangladesh, a Muslim state, bepermitted to attend the conference. Bangladeshis, however, remained unsatisfied. They wantedan apology from the Pakistanis for the excesses committed during the war. They received onefinally from the Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, when he visited Bangladesh in July2002. 16
  • 17. Age-Sex Structure of the PopulationA populations age-sex structure is the number and/or proportion of the population to be found ineach age-sex group. If each population could be got together for a day and lined up in their agegroups - females at one end, males at the other, a plane flying overhead would look down on acertain shape.There are many different ways to graphically present population data. The most importantdemographic characteristic of a population is its age-sex structure, and the use of an age-sexpyramid, also known as a population pyramid, is considered the best way to graphicallyillustrate the age and sex distribution of a given population.An age-sex pyramid consists of two horizontal histograms joined together. It displays thepercentage or actual amount of a population broken down by gender and age. The five-year ageincrements on the y-axis allow the pyramid to vividly reflect both long-term trends in the birthand death rates, and shorter-term baby-booms, wars, and epidemics.The fertility rate of a population is the single most important influence on the shape of apopulation pyramid. The more children per parent, the broader will be the base of the pyramid.The median age of the population will also be younger. While mortality will also have aninfluence on the shape, it will be far less important an influence than fertility, but somewhatmore complex. One would assume that lower mortality rates in a population would result in anolder age distribution. However, just the opposite is true: a population with lower mortality rateswill display a slightly younger age distribution. This is due to the fact that any disparities in themortality rates of a population are more likely a result of variations within the younger agegroups, usually infants and children.There are generally three types of population pyramids created from age-sex distributions:expansive, constrictive and stationary. Examples of these three types of population pyramidsappear at the end of this report. Definitions of the three types follow. 1. Expansive population pyramids show larger numbers or percentages of the population in the younger age groups, usually with each age group smaller in size or proportion than the one born before it. These types of pyramids are usually found in populations with very large fertility rates and lower than average life expectancies. The age-sex distributions of Latin American and many Third World countries would probably display expansive population pyramids. The following figure is an example of such an age-sex pyramid. This pyramid of the Philippines shows a triangle-shaped pyramid and reflects a high growth rate of about 2.1 percent annually. 17
  • 18. 2. Constrictive population pyramids display lower numbers or percentages of younger people. The age-sex distributions of the United States fall into this type of pyramid. In the United States, the population is growing at a rate of about 1.7 percent annually. This growth rate is reflected in the more square-like structure of the pyramid. Note the lump in the pyramid between the ages of about 35 to 50. This large segment of the population is the post-World War II baby boom. As this population ages and climbs up the pyramid, there will be a much greater demand for medical and other geriatric services.3. Stationary or near-stationary population pyramids display somewhat equal numbers or percentages for almost all age groups. Of course, smaller figures are still to be expected at the oldest age groups. The age-sex distributions of some European countries, especially Scandinavian ones, will tend to fall into this category. Germany is experiencing a period of negative growth (-0.1%). As negative growth in a country continues, the population is reduced. A population can shrink due to a low birth rate and a stable death rate. Increased emigration may also contribute to a declining population. 18
  • 19. BangladeshAge:Age structure: 0–14 years: 32.9% (male 24,957,997/female 23,533,894) 15–64 years: 63.6% (male 47,862,774/female 45,917,674) 65 years and over: 3.5% (male 2,731,578/female 2,361,435) (2006 est..)Median age: 23.3 years Male: 22.9 years Female: 23.5 (2009 est.)Gender ratio At birth: 1.04 male(s)/female Under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 15–64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female Total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2009 est.) Bangladesh Population Pyramid for 1995 Age and sex distribution for the year 1995: 19
  • 20. Bangladesh Population Pyramid for 2010A Definition of MigrationThe definition of the word can be "the movement of people from one place to another". Thereare two main types of migration: first, internal migration, i.e. migration within one country, andsecondly international migration, which means the movement from one country to another. Agood example of internal migration is the movement from East Germany to West Germany,which causes big problems for East Germany. A good example of international migration is themovement from third-world countries to Europe or America. The next question is: What makespeople migrate from one place to another?The reasons for migration can be divided into two main aspects, the so-called "push" and "pull"factors.Push factors are those in their old place which force people to move. For example, there may becivil wars or wars in general in the country, but political or religious oppression, climatechanges, lack of jobs or simply poverty are all important push factors.Pull factors are factors in the target country which encourage people to move; these includepeace and safety, a chance of a better job, better education, social security, a better standard ofliving in general as well as political and religious freedom.Calculation:MIGRATION = MM  ( P2  P )  ( B  D) 1M=Total MigrationsP  Initial Population 1P2  Final PopulationB=Total birth during the time periodD=Total Death 20
  • 21. Pattern of rural urban migration in Bangladesh Migration, Rural-Urban Migration is a flexible and dynamic phenomenon that encompasses territorial mobility of the people and involves movements like commuting, absence from home place for periods from a couple of days to several years, seasonal migration and permanentrelocation. Although diversified in forms, it involves a certain degree of commitment on the part of migrants to the place of origin and of destination. This shows whether the migration is of permanent or non-permanent nature. Non-permanent forms of migration are now becomingincreasingly important given the massive improvement in the transportation networks and in theinformation technology. Migration is one of the vital forces that contribute to rapid urbanization generally associated with higher levels of productivity and development.Migration also plays an important role by linking people with spaces and transferring peoplefrom places of lower opportunities to those of higher opportunities and a subsequent transfer ofresources. Bangladesh is one of the few countries where remittances from temporary migrantsworking abroad contribute nearly 10% to the GDP and finance a substantial proportion of tradedeficit. For rural areas, remittances constitute a form of income, which not only helps insustenance of families but also cushions against income erosion, a recurrent threat faced by poorhouseholds.In the 90 years between 1901 and 1991, the urban POPULATION of the country increased almost30 times (from 702,000 to 21.56 million) as opposed to only about a three-fold increase (30.7 to88.3 million) of the rural population. The urban population grew at an annual rate of 1 - 2%during the British period (1757-1947) and about 4% during the Pakistan period (1947-1971).The relatively low rate of urbanization during the British period can be explained by the slowpace of industrialization. With the growth of JUTE and TEXTILES industries, mainly in Dhaka andits surrounding areas, urbanization accelerated during 1951-1961. The rate of urbanizationincreased sharply after liberation of Bangladesh. This was associated with spread of economicand commercial activities in the urban centers. The number of urban centers rose dramaticallyfrom 78 in 1961 to 198 in 1974 and 522 in 1991.Before 1974, there was no city in Bangladesh that had a population of one million or more butnow DHAKA emerged as a mega city with a population of around 10 million. Distribution of theurban population over the years reveals significant increases in the size of four major cities(Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi and Khulna), particularly in recent years. In the first half of thiscentury, they contained around a third of the total urban population and in 1991, about 50% ofthem lived in these cities. The level of urbanization raised from a very low base (7.6%) in 1970to 20% in the 1990s. The annual growth rate of urban population in Bangladesh during 1975-1995 was 3.4%, which is higher than that in the neighboring countries and in other largelypopulated countries of Asia.The rural-urban migration along with reclassification contributes nearly 60% to the urbangrowth. Rural-urban migration occurs in a particular type of setting marked by limited industrialbut rapid commerce-centered growth around major cities, especially after the liberation.Empirical evidence suggests that the development of road infrastructure and transportation andthe rapid expansion of manufacturing, trade, hotel and restaurants, and housing and constructiongenerated demand for unskilled and semi-skilled labor in these cities. This had dramaticallyincreased migration for job-related reasons. Also the unequal land relations and loss of land dueto natural calamities influence the spatial movement of population. Available statistics suggestthat top 10% of the rural households controlled 51% of land and had a share of 32% of the totalincome. The share of the bottom 40% of the households was 2% and 16% of land and incomerespectively. Subsequently, three-quarters of rural out-migration occurred from landless 21
  • 22. households. However, there had been many cases of migration from the landowning households,the members of which migrated to maximize income from diversified sources and the migrationremained largely non-permanent in nature.Most male migrants from rural areas were agricultural laborers at their original places. Rural-urban migration also takes place from the districts that had better performing agricultural sectorand this is particularly witnessed in the case of migration to Dhaka city. A great deal ofpopulation mobility results from survival and adaptive strategies to maximize family income byallocating their labor in diversified income earning activities to a number of locations. Migrationof independent women has been on rise since middle of 1980s as a result of establishment ofexport oriented garment manufacturing factories in Dhaka and Chittagong. In the 1970s,educational selectivity and population density played an important role in the process of rural-urban migration. Micro-level surveys show bi-polar pattern of educational selectivity suggestingthat both the highly educated and illiterate sections of people have a great propensity to migrateas both groups undertake equal risks in this regard.Along with education, other characteristics of migrants such as age, gender, marital status, rolesand responsibilities assumed in the family, and resource endowment (particularly, landholding)play an important role in migration motivation. Role of social networks as sources ofinformation prior to migration and other aids and assistance at the place of destination emergedas a pre-condition for migration. Similarly, rapid expansion of the rural non-farm activities andgreater value addition in these activities in urban sector fail to support the thesis that highpopulation density determines the migratory flows in Bangladesh. Migration is rather induced byjobs available in a particular area and the laws that regulate employment there, the threat ofincome erosion, level of development of physical and infrastructural facilities, andmechanization of agriculture.Rural-urban migration often leads to a broad range of consequences both beneficial anddetrimental, and also mixed in the receiving and sending communities. In terms of employmentand cash earnings, existing evidence weighs heavily in favour of migration. The flow ofremittances contributes significantly to the welfare of the relatives left behind by the temporarymigrants in rural areas. The migrants now residing in the slums of the Dhaka city tend to spendincreasingly more of their earnings in nutritious food and childrens education.Yet school enrollment of slum children (6-14 years) is much lower (around 35%) than their agecohorts from rural landless households (nearly 50%). Similarly, infant mortality rate in the urbanslums is comparable with rural areas. In the absence of government intervention and adequateNGO support to improve basic social services and human resources development in urban areas,the urban poor, especially poor women, are more susceptible to health and environmentalhazards than their non-poor counterparts. Poor migrant households also face potential threat ofincome-erosion arising out of eviction, extortion by musclemen, frequent sickness and sexualharassment of women. However, contrary to the conventional wisdom, migrants living in urbanpoor agglomerations do manage access to urban amenities such as gas, electricity and waterthrough informal sources.Persistent migration from rural areas to a few large cities has serious implications for the level ofproductivity, the state of urban infrastructure and environmental conditions since with migrantscities grow faster than the capacity of the economy to support them. Whilst rapid and hugegrowth of urban population exacerbates the growing degradation, the inability to enforce basiccannons of cost recovery in delivering basic amenities, lack of coordination among differentservice giving agencies, and weak capacity and inadequate authority of the city corporations andmunicipalities are the major causes of the environmental problem. 22