- A development superstar faces malign politics and rising corruption
Few countries have confounded their doomsayers as satisfyingly as Bangladesh. The “basket case", in Henry Kissinger’s noxious phrase, that emerged in 1971 from the ravages of the third India-Pakistan war was widely considered a failed state in the making. It was poor, overcrowded, badly run and prey to violent cyclones and the vicissitudes of the great rivers meandering across it. Yet Bangladesh celebrated its first half-century in 2021 as a secular democracy, a model of frugal social development and South Asia’s standout economic performer.