Tuesday, March 30, 2010

History of Chakma Ethnic People Cont.

The Chakmas were historically the rulers of Chittagong Hill Tracts under the control of a king. Today, however, the power of the Chakma king, Raja Debashish Roy, is merely symbolic.
But They have the history.

Three years after the Battle of Plassey, Mir Qasim the new Nawab of Murshidabad rewarded the British East India Company with Chittagong,Burdwan and Midnapur. On 5 January 1761 the company representative Harry Verlest took over charges of Chittagong from Subedar Mohammad Reza Khan. But the Chakma king Sher Doulat Khan who was practically independent through nominally paid tribute to the Mughals, didn't accept the hegemony of the Company and their demand of taxes at enhanced rate. A protracted war started and it continued up hi to 1787. TheEast India Company launched four offensives against the Chakmas in 1770, 1780, 1782 and 1785. In 1785 the Company started peace negotiations with the then Chakma king Jan Baksh Khan, son of Sher Doulat Khan. Later in 1787 the king accepted the sovereignty of the Company and agreed to pay 500 maunds of cotton annually. The peace agreement or treaty was signed at Kolkata
The main provisions of the treaty between the Governor General Lord Cornwallis and the Chakma king were as following
The East India Company recognised Jan Baksh Khan as the Raja of the Chakmas.
It was agreed that the collection of revenue was the responsibility of the Raja.
The British Government would preserve the tribal autonomy and migration from the plains would be restricted.
Jan Baksh Khan was bound by the treaty to maintain peace in his territory.
British troops would remain in the Chakma territory not to terrify the Chakmas but to protect the land from the inroads of the fierce tribes.
In 1829, Halhed then Commissioner of Chittagong reaffirmed that
The hill tribes were not British subjects but merely tributaries and we recognized no right on our part to interfere with their internal arrangements. The near neighbourhood of a powerful & stable government naturally brought the Chief by degree under control and every leading chief paid to the Chittagong collector a certain tribute or yearly gifts. These sums were at first fluctuating in amount but gradually were brought to specific and fixed limit, eventually taking the shape not as tribute but as revenue to the state
Jan Baksh Khan shifted his Capital to a new place naming it Rajanagar, near present day Rangunia. After Jan Baksh's death in 1800,his son Tabbar Khan became king;but he died shortly. In 1802 Tabbar Khan's younger brother Jabbar Khan became King & ruled for ten years. After his death,his son Dharam Baksh Khan became king in 1812. He ruled up to 1832. After his death in 1832 without any male issue, there was chaos and the government appointed Suklal Dewan as the Manager. In the meantime Rani Kalindi,widow of Dharam Baksh Khan applied to the government to allow her to run the state affairs. The government accepted her application & in 1844 issued an order to that effect. In 1846 the annual revenue payable to the Company was refixed at 11,803.00Rs.
After the great Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, the British Government assumed direct control of the administration of India from the East India Company along with Chittagong Hill Tracts, which was not yet formally separated from Chittagong. But the territorial jurisdiction of the Chakma Raja was fixed by a proclamation dated 6th Shraavana 1170M.S(1763 AD) by the Company asAll the hills from the Feni river to the Sangoo and from Nizampur Road in Chittagong to the hills of Kooki Raja.
After Rani Kalindi's death in 1873, her grandson Harish Chandra became the Chakma Raja and was vested with the title Roy Bahadur.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

History of Chakma Ethnic People.

History of Chakma Ethnic People.
Chakma are Ethnically Tibeto-Burman, and are thus closely related to tribes in the foothills of the Himalayas. Their ancestors came from the Magadha Kingdom (now Bihar, India) to settle in Arakan and most of them later moved to Bangladesh, settling in the Cox's Bazar District, the Korpos Mohol area, and areas of the present Mizoram. The Chakmas were historically the rulers of Chittagong Hill Tracts under the control of a king. Today, however, the power of the Chakma king, Raja Debashish Roy, is merely symbolic.
The Arakanese referred to the Chakmas as Saks or Theks. In 1546, when the king of Arakan, Meng Beng, was engaged in a battle with theBurmese, the Sak king appeared from the north and attacked Arakan, and occupied the Ramu of Cox's Bazar.
Diego de Astor, a Portuguese, drew a map of Bengal, which was published as Descripção do Reino de Bengalla in the book Quarta decada da Asia(Fourth decade of Asia) by João de Barros in 1615.[2] The map shows a place called "Chacomas" on the eastern bank of the riverKarnaphuli, suggesting that this is where the Chakmas used to live at that time. The Arakan king Meng Rajagri Salim Shah (1593-1612) conquered this land, and in a 1607 letter to a Portuguese merchant, Philip de Brito Nicote addressed himself as the highest and most powerful king of Arakan, of Chacomas and of Bengal.
Defeated by the Arakanese, the Chakmas entered the present Chittagong Hill Tracts and made Alekyangdong, present-day Alikadam, their capital. From Alekyangdong they went north and settled in the present-day Rangunia, Rauzan, and Fatikchari upazillas of Chittagong District.
In 1666, Shaista Khan, who was then Mughal Governor of Bengal, defeated the Arakanese, conquered Chittagong, and renamed it Islamabad. However, in the early days the Mughalsupremacy was confined only to the plain areas of chittagong, and the Chakmas remained practically unaffected. After a few years, when a dispute developed between the Mughals and the Chakmas, the Mughals demanded tribute from the Chakmas for trading with Chittagong
In 1713, peace was established, and soon a stable relationship developed between the Chakmas and the Mughals; the latter never demanded complete subjugation from the former. The Mughals also rewarded the Chakma king Sukdev, who established a new capital in his own name, in an area is still known as Sukbilash . There are still ruins of the royal palace & other establishments. Subsequently the capital was shifted to Rajanagar.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chakma are the Indigenous peoples of Bangladesh.


Total population
0.7 million

Regions with significant populations
Mostly in Bangladesh and India
In Bangladesh the Chakmas reside in theChittagong Hill Tracts area. Mostly found in the following Indian states: Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura

Changma or Chakma

Theravada Buddhism

The Chakma

The Chakmas (চাকমা or Chakma ), also known as the Changma (চাংমা), are a community that inhabits the Chittagong Hill Tracts ofBangladesh and the North-East region of India. The Chakmas are the largest ethnic group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, making up more than half the tribal population. Chakmas are divided into 46 clans or Gozas. A tribal group called Tangchangya (তঞ্চংগ্যা) are also considered to be a branch of the Chakma people. Both tribes speak the same language, have the same customs and culture, and profess the same religion,Theravada Buddhism.

Monday, March 22, 2010

About Chittagong Hill Tracts

Chittagong Hill Tracts
The Chittagong Hill Tracts (Bengali: পার্বত্য চট্টগ্রাম Parbotto Chôṭṭogram) comprise an area of 13,180 km2 in south-eastern Bangladesh, and bordersIndia and Myanmar (Burma). It was a single district of Bangladesh till 1984. In that year it was divided into three separate districts: Khagrachari,Rangamati and Bandarban. Topographically, this is the only hill intensive area of Bangladesh.

According to the 1991 census the population was 974,447 of which 501,114 were tribals and the rest were from different communities. The indigenous peoples, collectively known as the Jumma, include the
• Chakma,
• Marma,
• Tripura,
• Tenchungya,
• Chak,
• Pankho,
• Mru,
• Murung,
• Bawm,
• Lushai,
• Khyang,
• Gurkha
• ,Assam,
• Santal
• Khumi.
The current population is between 1 million and 1.5 million.[citation needed] About 50% of the population are tribals and mainly followers ofTheravada Buddhism. 48% of the inhabitants are Bengali Muslim settlers. The remainder are followers of Hinduism, Christianity and Animism. . At the time of the partition of India in August, 1947 non MusIims constituted 98.5% of the population of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Buddhists were 85%, Hindus (mainly Tripuri tribe) 10%, Animists 3% and Muslims 1.5%

The early history of the Chittagong Hill Tracts is a record of constantly recurring raids on the part of the eastern hill tribes, and of the operations undertaken to repress them. The earliest mention of these raids is to be found in a letter from the Chief of Chittagong to Warren Hastings, the Governor-General, dated April to, 1777,' complaining of the violence and aggressions of a mountaineer named Ramu Khan, the leader of a band of Kukis or Lushais ; and that they continued without any long intermission down to 1891 when the Lushai Hills were annexed to British territory. The recorded population increased from 69,607 in 1872 to 101,597 in 1881, to 107,286 in 1891, and to 124,762 in 1901. The Census of 1872 was, however, very imperfect, and the actual growth of population has probably not exceeded what might be expected in a sparsely inhabited but fairly healthy tract.
When the 1901 census was taken there were no towns, and 211 of the villages had a population of less than 500, while only one exceeded 2,000. The population density, excluding the area of uninhabited forest (1,385 square miles), was 33 persons per square mile. There was a little immigration from Chittagong, and a few persons had emigrated to Tripura. The proportion of females to every 100 males was only 90 in the district-born, and 83 in the total population. Buddhists numbered 83,000, Hindus 36,000, and Muslims 5,000.
The Chittagong Hill Tracts, combining three hilly districts of Bangladesh, were once known as Korpos Mohol, the name used until 1860. In 1860 it was annexed by the British and was made an administrative district of Bengal. As of today, it is a semi-autonomous region within Bangladesh comprising the districts, namely, Chengmi (Khagrachari District), Gongkabor (Rangamati District), and Arvumi (Bandarban District).
The last Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, who considered the grant of independence to India as his act of crowning glory, was ambitious to achieve this "superhuman" task in record time. He said that before accepting the post of Viceroy he had told King George VI, who was his cousin: "I am prepared to accept the job only on one condition. India must be granted independence by July, 1948 and I will not stay there a day longer". Mountbatten came to India in March, 1947 and this left him just about sixteen months to complete such a gigantic task. In reality, he achieved it in five months, on 15th of August, 1947 for which he was given so much credit.
Originally, the award of the Boundary Commission was to be made public on 13 August. But Mountbatten was reluctant to make this public. According to Philip Ziegler, the author of Mountbatten's official biography, the case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts was uppermost in Mountbatten's mind. "He (Mountbatten) foresaw an Independence Day marred by rancour, Nehru boycotting the ceremonies, India born in an atmosphere not of euphoria but of angry resentment. So Mountbatten decided to announce the award only on 16 August when the celebrations were over. As Zeigler writes, "India's indignation at the award of the Chittagong Hill Tracts to Pakistan may have been a factor in making up Mountbatten's mind to keep the reports to himself till after independence".
Mountbatten was himself surprised by the ferocity of Sardar Patel's reaction to the issue. In his memoirs he wrote: "The one man I had regarded as a real statesman with both his feet firmly on the ground, and a man of honour whose word was his bond, had turned out to be as hysterical as the rest. Candidly I was amazed that such a terrific crisis should have blown up over so small a matter. However, I have been long enough in India to realise that major crises are by no means confined to big matters." Leonard Mosley in his book The Last Days of the British Raj puts it "This is a matter for Mountbatten's conscience.
Mr Jaipal Singh, who was member of the Sub-Committee of the Constituent Assembly of India dealing with the Excluded Areas, recorded a minute of dissent in which he wrote: "The Chittagong Hill Tracts must be claimed back to India". Soon afterwards, in a public speech in Calcutta, Nehru himself said that gross injustice had been done in regard to the Chittagong Hill Tracts. He also declared that the matter would be taken up with Pakistan. But nothing was done.
During the 1970s and 80s, there were attempts by the Government to resettle the area with Bengali people. These attempts were resisted by the tribals, who, with the latent support of neighbouring India, formed a guerilla force called Shanti Bahini. As a result of the tribal resistance movement, successive governments turned the Hill Tracts into a militarised zone. Professor Bernard Nietschmann wrote a letter about Shanti Bahini and the Chittagong Hill Tracts people to the editor of the New York Times by published on October 25, 1986 (archived by the Fourth World Documentation Project) at the Center for World Indigenous Studies website.
The settlers have been accused of committing genocides against the minority tribal people. One often citied incident took place in 1992 in Mallya and / or Logang The Bangladeshi army, too, have been accused of numerous human rights violations within the Hill Tracts, and their personnel have been accused of torture and abduction. Amongst these, the disappearance of Chakma political activist Kalpana Chakma in 1996 attracted widespread condemnation
Following years of unrest, an agreement was formed between the Government of Bangladesh and the tribal leaders which granted a limited level of autonomy to the elected council of the three hill districts.
The 1997 Peace Treaty signed between the then Sheikh Hasina Government and the Jana Shanghati Shamiti or Shanti Bahini has been opposed by the opposition parties as well as a fraction of the tribal rebels. Opposition parties of the time argued the autonomy granted in the treaty ignored the Bengali settlers. The successive Khaleda Zia government promised to implement the peace treaty, despite their opposition to it during the previous government's term. According to the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs, a Peace Treaty between Government of Bangladesh and Parbattya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti was signed on 2 December 1997

Bangladesh's tribal population

Bangladesh's tribal population consists of about 1 million people, just under 1 percent of the total population. They live primarily in the Chittagong Hills and in the regions of Mymensingh, Sylhet, and Rajshahi. The majority of the tribal population (778,425) live in rural settings, where many practice shifting cultivation. Most tribal people are of SinoTibetan descent and has distinctive Mongoloid features. They differ in their social organization, marriage customs, birth and death rites, food, and other social customs from the people of the rest of the country. They speak Tibeto-Burman languages. In the mid-1980s, the percentage distribution of tribal population by religion was Hindu 24, Buddhist 44, Christian 13, and others 19.
The four largest tribes are the Chakmas, Marmas (or Maghs), Tipperas (or Tipras), and Mros (or Moorangs). The tribes tend to intermingle and could be distinguished from one another more by differences in their dialect, dress, and customs than by tribal cohesion. Only the Chakmas and Marmas display formal tribal organization, although all groups containe distinct clans. By far the largest tribe, the Chakmas are of mixed origin but reflect more Bengali influence than any other tribe. Unlike the other tribes, the Chakmas and Marmas generally live in the highland valleys. Most Chakmas are Buddhists, but some practiced Hinduism or animism.