When we are concerned with the rights of the indigenous people, the government has created an unnecessary controversy by asking the media, experts, academics and members of civil society to avoid using the term 'Adivasis' in relation to them at any discussion on the occasion of World Indigenous Day.
Indigenous people in Bangladesh are citizens of country who have been, regrettably, kept marginalised so far. They have been under pressure in these past many years through systematic assaults being made on them, particularly for the purpose of seizure of their land. Human rights bodies in the country and abroad have consistently drawn attention to such activities on the part of vested interest groups.
These groups, whatever name one may choose to call them by, form only a small percentage of the country's population, which makes their problems both easy and difficult to solve. If the issues are not looked from a majoritarian angle, their problems -- of land, which is their main stay, of language and culture -- would not be a hard task to overcome.
It is unthinkable that a section of our population should still have to strive to establish their rights as a citizen of the country. We call upon the government to remove all hurdles in this regard. The government will be doing itself and the country a huge favour through ensuring that all indigenous groups in Bangladesh enjoy the rights that have been theirs because of geography and history.
12:00 AM, August 10, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015