Suddenly ‘Bangali’ and ‘Bangla’ have become high demand hot objects.

Some people and some leaders of the Bangalis living on west part of the Bangali inhabited land, which is currently known as Indian state of west Bengal, do not want the west qualification before the name Bengal. This article describes the phenomenon objectively while this article clearly protrays the childlish shenanigan related to the name change campaign. Athough one main reason for the name change is West Bengal citizens wishes to see their state name mentioned early in the alphabetical list of Indian states instead of being at the fag end because of the unholy ‘W’ at the top of the state’s name — there was no lack of patrons behind this move. Starting from newly elected CM Mamata Banerjee to ‘Times of India’ newspaper empire; there has been great enthusiasm regarding this campaign.

However, with rising tide of Indian nationalistic fervour and ever increasing clout of Hindi in West Bengal, the Banglis belonging to east side of Bangali inhabited land, now called Bangla Desh, a sovereign state, may legitimately ask what kind of Bangla would flourish in the Indian state of Bangla. Will that be the Bangla narrated in Amar Shonar Bangla or like this one “Ami vi Bangali achhe”.

On the other hand in the east side of Bangla land, Bangladesh, Bangali is again the hot item. A recent constitutional amendment mandates everyone in the nation to be identified as Bangalis. Although it may not be the problem with nations majority ethnic group, the Bangalis, the indigenous people living in diferent corners of the country find the 15th amendment constitution stripping them of their ethnic identity.

In this video clip, Mr Shantu larma, an ethnic Chakma and a leader of Chittagong Hill Tract indigenous people, asks prime Minister how she would feel if someone forces her to be identified as an ethnic Chakma.

However, by this newly enacted amendment, one cannot even criticize this sort of constitutional provision. Thanks to this 15th amendment, PM hasina, with the help of partisan thuggish high court Judges Manik and Gabinda Thakur et el, can hand down capital punishment anyone objecting to any clause in the constitution.

A more interesting phenomenon regarding the Bangali nationalism debate is sudden change of heart of our left leaning progressive intellectuals about ‘Bangladeshi’ nationalism. These folks has always found it a religious ritual to come down hard upon late President Ziaur Rahman for replacing “bangali” nationalism of heavenly 72
constitution wth “Bangladeshi” nationalism. But now these folks are all for inclusion of ethic groups in our constitutional identity, which is only possible with Bangladeshi nationalism.

On March 25th, Ain Salish Kendra (ASK) released the 2007 Annual Human Rights Report. In the Chapter on CHT Paharis and Flatland Adivasis, following 7 topics were covered. On March 27th, the CTG announced a removal of the ban on mobile phones (item # 4).

1.Death in Custody: Eco-Park activist Cholesh Richil
2.Racial Profiling: Army Operations, Ranglai Mro, DANIDA kidnapping
3.Right to Property: Bengali settlers and land grabbing
4.Right to Information: Continuing ban on mobile phones, limited reporting on CHT
5.1997 Peace Accord: Continuing Non-implementation
6.Legal Challenge to Peace Accord
7.Voter List implementation in violation of Peace Accord (more…)

The CHT Peace Accord and the Voters List
Zobaida Nasreen Kona
Along with various parts of the country, the listing of voters in Chittagong and the three Hill Districts of Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban began on 22nd October, 2007 (Prothom Alo, 23rd Oct.2007). Each part of Bangladesh has its own historicity and geographical characteristic.

From that perspective, the Chittagong Hill Tracts with its cultural richness and geographic distinctiveness has always deserved special attention. On 2nd December, 1997, a Peace Accord was signed between the Parbottyo Chattogram Janasanghati Samiti and the erstwhile Government. But over the years, the implementation of the Accord has been questioned from time to time by Adivasi leaders. The reason for bringing up the issue of the voters list is due to a writ petition issued by the High Court to the Government of Bangladesh on 27th August  in response to a case filed by Tajul Islam (writ petition 6451/2007). The petition asks the Government to give reasons as to why the Peace Accord between the Government of Bangladesh and the Parbottyo Chattagrram Jana Shanghato Samiti (PCJSS) should not be considered as unconstitutional. (more…)