ISSN : 1997-1052 (Print)
227-202X (Online)
 
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Muslim Identity, Bengali Nationalism: The use of Islamic and secular Identities in Bangladesh
Md. Riyaz Uddin, Fazilatun Nesa
Abstract

In Bangladesh, there seem to be two kinds of nationalism: Bangladeshi and Bengali nationalism. Bengali nationalism has its roots in the ancient culture and heritage of the Bengali people. Bangladesh and West Bengal currently share the former Bengali region that was formerly known as Bengal. Bangladesh gained its independence as a result of two distinct historical revolutions. The first liberation was part of Pakistan because of their ideology, which was at the time being controlled by the British. The second liberation from Pakistan was founded on secular Bengali nationalism and was achieved in 1971. After the liberation of Bangladesh, "Bangladeshi nationalism," emerged, primarily based on a distinct religion or geographic region. While Gellner and Anderson claimed that nations and nationalism are exaggerations and imagined communities, Bangladesh established, controlled, and emphasized nationalism by the elite society, which is an important point to consider. In Bangladeshi politics, both nationalism is generating numerous disputes. This article examines the main campaign promises by the Awami League (AL) and the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) in each general election from 1991 to 2008, and how they exercised national identity based on religious beliefs to gain power and authority.

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