CHT: Brutality and beauty board on the same boat


People always tend to live on an even surface but the same people tend to visit uneven surfaces, I mean the mountains of the earth. River cruise is an interesting hobby for most of us but people, whose lands are frequently devoured by the river, want to move away from the vulnerable bank of a river, settling in a place which is at a safe distance from river. Journey by boat is fascinating but living on a boat all through a life is never fascinating. Living on three square feet space with wife, children, kitchen utensils, fishing net and angle, bath tub and even toilet under the same hood of a boat is really risky, vulnerable and equally squally to those who live in spacious rooms. They want a safe living away from forest, not always away from concrete jungle of mega cities, but a visit to mangrove forest for sometime gives them unfathomable pleasure. That all these human natures corroborate that beauty and brutality, adventure and risk of life, romance and tension are very likely juxtaposed. One follows another as wealth comes after woes and Catholic ages step in the footsteps of Protestant decade.

Chittagong Hill Tracts have pristine and panoramic beauty, which have lots of attractions for the visitors from both home and abroad. And the land and people have their own beautiful diversities which attract people living on the plane lands. There are three districts — Rangamati, Banderban and Khagrachari — in hill region. Rangamati is a hill district with exotic beauty. Rangamati— the most picturesque place of Bangladesh— has rare scenic beauty and unspoiled tribal life is just 77km from Chittagong. It will be interesting to cruise on emerald blue water of Kaptai Lake (1630 square km). You can visit Shuvalong waterfall which is one of the sources of the water of the lake. A hydroelectric power plant was started in the Karnaphuli River at Kaptai village of Rangamati district, which was completed in January, 1962. The project was implemented under an USAID program in the CHT. The immediate fallout of the project was that an artificial reservoir covering a huge area of 663 square kilometers came into being submerging dwelling houses of 18,000 indigenous families as displacing approximately 100,000 people from their hearths and homes. This artificial reservoir also submerged 21,950 hectare of arable land, about 40% of the total cultivable land, created a serious crisis of arable land in the region. Besides, the reservoir submerged many establishments like schools, markets, hospital and about 689 square kilometers of forests (Bangladesh District Gazetteer, 1975). The indigenous people did not receive any compensation for the loss of their common land which compelled a large number of displaced indigenous families to migrate to India. The people, who were in the power at that time, were responsible for this embezzlement of funds. The hill tracts are inhabited by fourteen groups of indigenous people who are equally colorful. Each group has its own language, rich tradition and attractive customs. The peace loving, friendly and extremely hospitable people will welcome you to their own land. Bandarban is the roof of Bangladesh and living places of many varieties of ethnic people who are different rest of the flat areas. Many different of tribes are living in the Bandarban district. Each tribe has its distinctive rites, rituals and dress. Each tribe also has its own language and cultural pattern. A lot to see in Bandarban offer you to visit tribal people life style, Shaila Propat, Bogha lake, waterfall, King palace, Meghla, Tribal weaving, Buddhist Stupa, Museum , Bhum tribal village, Chimbuk and The highest peak of Bangladesh- Tajindong (4632 ft) is located in the Bandarban. A far hiking of Keokradong trekking might be most experience in your life.
The last of all three districts is Khagrachari abounds in luscious and green countryside. Khagrachari is a valley. It has three rivers — Chengi, Kasalong and Maini. Chengi is the longest river in Khagrachari. Most of the lands of Khagrachari are hilly. Here you will have Alutila where there is Richik fountain.
But things went wrong when the hill people got no parity in the development process, when justice was denied. The sense of enmity to the people without snub nose experienced a rise when Bangladesh emerged as an independent state in 1971 after the turmoil of a bloody war. The denial of the constitutional recognition of the indigenous people of their separate national entities by the first government of independent Bangladesh brought towards political and economic chaos in the CHT frequently stained by bloodshed. United Peoples Democratic Front is mainly responsible for misguiding a section of young people to revolt against the state, turning the beautiful place in a boat where beauties and bayonets boarded together.
After the independence, Bangladesh moved ahead with the formulation of its constitution. The Constitution of Bangladesh adopted by the Bangladesh Parliament on November 4, 1972 which was a reflection of the ideal of Bengali nationalism. It did not recognize the existence of other national communities in the Bangladesh, indeed made no provision for a special status of the CHT. While migration of non-indigenous people from the plains to the CHT was prohibited in the Manual, it was pouring in during a post independent Bangladesh. Tribal people and Bangalis confronted each other. Hill people killed many Bangalis, endangering the whole region. It became unsafe for those who lived there and even it became unsafe for the visitors.
In fine we can say, injustice in anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Justice is the solution to the problems dangling over the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Only prudent and honest hegemony can address the issue successfully by mitigating the sufferings and woes of the people there. And 148km border must be protected by the border out posts. More border guards should recruited to protect the country’s independence, albeit, bridging the political breach between different political camps. We need more soldiers for Bangladesh Navy along with more personnel for the coastguards.

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