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The Sheikh Hasina government restores to the Constitution all its ‘lost’ principles but retains Islam as the state religion.
Thursday 14 July 2011, by Haroon Habib
ON June 30, the Bangladesh Parliament passed the much-debated Constitution 15th Amendment Bill, 2011, which restored some of the basic provisions of the original Constitution of 1972. They were necessary to uphold the fundamental state principles of democracy, nationalism, socialism and secularism that the original Constitution had derived after a two-decade-long struggle against the subjugation of Bangladeshis by the military rulers of Pakistan. These principles also represent the basic spirit of the nation’s War of Liberation in 1971, in which an estimated three million people died and millions were tortured by the Pakistan Army. The Amendment Act will take effect upon receiving the consent of the President.
Secular Bangladesh came under military rule following the assassination of its founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in 1975. For the next three decades or so the country saw successive military and pseudo-democratic rulers who amended the Constitution as they saw fit to meet their political needs.
Photo: United Nations Photo