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The Tragedy of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh: Land Rights of Indigenous People

Ashrafuzzaman, Md. LU (2014) SIMV97 20141
Graduate School
Master of Science in Development Studies
Social Anthropology
Abstract
There are 64 districts in Bangladesh and three of these districts make up the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). The majority of the population of the CHT, which consists of the indigenous peoples, is culturally and socially different from that of the rest of the country. In spite of these variations, the indigenous population of Bangladesh holds a national identity since they have been living here for centuries. But over a long period of time, the identity and culture of the indigenous people has become a negative benchmark which keeps them detached from the mainstream society of Bangladesh. Constitutionally, being a religious or cultural minority or having a different physical appearance is neither a crime nor a means of contrast in... (More)
There are 64 districts in Bangladesh and three of these districts make up the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). The majority of the population of the CHT, which consists of the indigenous peoples, is culturally and socially different from that of the rest of the country. In spite of these variations, the indigenous population of Bangladesh holds a national identity since they have been living here for centuries. But over a long period of time, the identity and culture of the indigenous people has become a negative benchmark which keeps them detached from the mainstream society of Bangladesh. Constitutionally, being a religious or cultural minority or having a different physical appearance is neither a crime nor a means of contrast in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, this research found that the indigenous people of CHT face discrimination because their culture and appearance are considered important and sources of social marginalization. The ownership of land is confined here within a mechanism of dual principle which the state employs in the name of ensuring fairness. The British colonial rule, the Pakistani regime and even the sovereign government of Bangladesh have applied the most deadly means to displace the indigenous people from their land with a view to subjugate them. Manipulating the cultural identity and history of the indigenous people, making them victims of repressive laws, confiscating their land for military purposes and for migrant settlers, sending the military to control them and creating conflict among the communities through shameful mechanisms, are examples of some of the policies that the state has used. The study takes a comprehensive view regarding this controversial issue that has been infusing a sense of detachment from the mainstream of the society among these people. One reason for the conflict between the state and the indigenous peoples of CHT is the presence of natural resources. The presence of natural resources on land that indigenous peoples traditionally inhabit is a common trigger of land rights disputes. CHT could be valuable for the indigenous people living within and outside of the locality. So addressing the issue of land rights has become a matter of urgency within the field of development in the context of 21st century Bangladesh. (Less)
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author
Ashrafuzzaman, Md. LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMV97 20141
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Land rights, Indigenous peoples, Bangladesh, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Colonial and Post-Colonial state policy, Land conflicts, Peace accord
language
English
id
4497285
date added to LUP
2014-07-01 08:33:33
date last changed
2014-07-01 08:33:33
@misc{4497285,
  abstract     = {There are 64 districts in Bangladesh and three of these districts make up the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). The majority of the population of the CHT, which consists of the indigenous peoples, is culturally and socially different from that of the rest of the country. In spite of these variations, the indigenous population of Bangladesh holds a national identity since they have been living here for centuries. But over a long period of time, the identity and culture of the indigenous people has become a negative benchmark which keeps them detached from the mainstream society of Bangladesh. Constitutionally, being a religious or cultural minority or having a different physical appearance is neither a crime nor a means of contrast in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, this research found that the indigenous people of CHT face discrimination because their culture and appearance are considered important and sources of social marginalization. The ownership of land is confined here within a mechanism of dual principle which the state employs in the name of ensuring fairness. The British colonial rule, the Pakistani regime and even the sovereign government of Bangladesh have applied the most deadly means to displace the indigenous people from their land with a view to subjugate them. Manipulating the cultural identity and history of the indigenous people, making them victims of repressive laws, confiscating their land for military purposes and for migrant settlers, sending the military to control them and creating conflict among the communities through shameful mechanisms, are examples of some of the policies that the state has used. The study takes a comprehensive view regarding this controversial issue that has been infusing a sense of detachment from the mainstream of the society among these people. One reason for the conflict between the state and the indigenous peoples of CHT is the presence of natural resources. The presence of natural resources on land that indigenous peoples traditionally inhabit is a common trigger of land rights disputes. CHT could be valuable for the indigenous people living within and outside of the locality. So addressing the issue of land rights has become a matter of urgency within the field of development in the context of 21st century Bangladesh.},
  author       = {Ashrafuzzaman, Md.},
  keyword      = {Land rights,Indigenous peoples,Bangladesh,Chittagong Hill Tracts,Colonial and Post-Colonial state policy,Land conflicts,Peace accord},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Tragedy of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh: Land Rights of Indigenous People},
  year         = {2014},
}