UPL launches Ananda Bikash Chakma’s new book, ‘Carpus Mahal Theke Shanti Chukti'
Dr Ananda Bikash Chakma, Associate Professor at the department of History, Chittagong University, launched his book, Carpus Mahal Theke Shanti Chukti: Parbotto Chattogram-e Rashtrio Nitir Itihash (University Press Limited, 2021), at a virtual programme organised by UPL on September 9, 2021.
Released at the Boi Mela earlier this year, Carpus Mahal Theke Shanti Chukti is a complete treatise on the development of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). It shares the region's history in terms of the role played by state policy, and presents glimpses of the development of events during the British and Pakistani eras. Additionally, it explores the legal, administrative, and political events of present-day CHT in great detail.
Panelists at the book launch included UPL Managing Director, Mahrukh Mohiuddin, journalist Nazrul Kabir, language researcher Mathura Bikash Tripura, University of Dhaka professor Dr Ashfaque Hossain, Dean of the Department of Social Sciences at University of Dhaka, Professor Dr Sadeka Halim, and former President of Bangladesh Itihash Samity, Dr Syed Anwar Hussain.
During his speech, Dr Hussain emphasised the importance of information structures for presenting research, explaining that no parts of history should be omitted during these discussions. He also shared lessons from his work and stressed the need for using proper terminology to address indigenous communities.
Instead of focusing on the beauty and cultural diversity of indigenous communities, the author of Carpus Mahal Theke Shanti Chukti chose to explore the emergence of a state policy. He traced the various developments that eventually led to the CHT Peace Accord and how it was met by the communities living in the region. "The book highlights how the various forms of governance have looked upon these people. It addresses the perspectives of these people and the conditions they experienced", Nazrul Kabir said.
"[It] presents a raw slice of lives from indigenous communities for young readers. It also highlights the role of a few freedom fighters from this region", Dr Sadeka Halim added.
Mathura Bikash Tripura explained how research on indigenous communities is often individualistic in nature. Conversely, this book brings together the social, cultural, historical and political development under one umbrella. "People's knowledge about CHT is limited to the vivid cultural scene. This book [...] can be a great read for anyone who is curious about the lives of indigenous communities", he added.
Dr Ashfaque Hossain, who supervised the publishing, pointed out, "Research books are often published in English and this greatly restricts the readership. Publishing a detailed research book in Bangla adds to its inclusivity, both in terms of accessibility and the topics of the book."
The author, Dr Ananda Bikash Chakma, revealed his intentions of incorporating the discussed revisions in the next edition of the book. "I would focus a little more on the liberation war and its various aspects. This work is currently under progress. As far as women's involvement and various other issues are concerned, I intend to shed more light on them in the sequel to this book", he concluded.
Maisha Islam Monamee is a medical student and a freelance journalist who likes reading, scribbling, and blogging. Follow @monameereads on Instagram.