Thursday 7 September 2006

Chittagong a Part of Rohang (Arakan)

Source from BD, 14 Nov 2005
written by Mohammad Sadek and Enayet Ullah (Thailand)

It is really dramatic that the Chittagong has fallen under the part of bagnaldesh which was always a part of Rohang (Arakan) for centuries.
Though it under the rule of Bangladesh; not under the rule of Bengal as Bengal covers the area unto Calcutta, a part of India. But, the impression over the people of Chittagong (ancient Islamabad) or Chatia has become to be Bengali under the policy of Bengalization, folding the people of Chittagong into one with other parts of Bangladesh.
Vast majority people of Chittagong are the Roi or Rohingya whgo were never ruled by Bengal and thus a small numbers of Chati or Chittagonian people has go down under the domination of Rohingya. They used to communicate in Rohingya dialect among each other, which is presently known as Chittagongian dialect.
History is evidence that the Rohang (Arakan) kingdom was the most familiar at all over the world from which the rule of peaceful co-existence was practiced there. The Rohingya are peace-loving, they have been living together with Rakhaing (locally known as Magh) and other nationalities of the Rohang (Arakan) and ruled the land for centuries.

But, some Rakhaing people do not want to accept or acknowledge the realistic history with their racism and communalism that harm on the humanity. They don’t want to be identified as Magh that may prove their origin of being from Magadah (Bihar) State of India and their lawlessness for whom a familiar saying is present as “Magher Mulluk” (country of lawlessness) that indicates to Rakhaing people directly.
As a result, the then influential Rakhaing leader Ngathandi appealed to the then Burman King Bodapaya to occupy the Arakan and to be the King of that land, which was succeeded in 1784 but he gained to be the Governor only. Later, the entire people of Arakan have fallen into the suffering of their miseries, which has been still existed unto present day.

The Burmese colonialist and Rakhaing communalist and racist have taken initiative to divert the name of Rohang and to divide the state into two parts. During that time, the British Empire occupied the India up to Burma’s east border and when the British Empire was awarding independent to the people, these in-humanists approached to them to apart the Arakan based on religious majority which was also a policy of the British Empire. So that, the Arakan fall into two parts such like apart in Burma and the other in Pakistan, likewise, the Bengal in Pakistan and in India, Kashmir in India and Pakistan, Panjab in Pakistan and India, Afganistan in Pakistan and Soviet Russia etc.

However, the origin and reality are undeniable and the issue shall arise in a day, when the people get free from colinialization and fall under the history of sufferings. As an example, today, the Rohingyas are the sufferers of the Stateless, though their land Arakan ancient name “Rohang” is being exist in both Burma and Bangladesh. They are neither accepted by Burma nor Bangladesh. Burma accuses of being Bangladeshis or Bengalis and Bangladesh accuses of being Burmese. They are neither Bengalis or Bangladeshis nor Burmese in the present days but they are “Rohingya” the people of Rohang or “Arakanese” the people of Arakan. They have their distinct identity in culture, religion, history and heritage etc.

Therefore, it would note that the governments of both Burma and Bangladesh must recognize the Rohingya as their indigenous ethnic groups as these governments are enjoying the benefits of the Rohinagys’ land that they rule for centuries. Otherwise, these countries must advocate their issues to the international community including the United Nations, European Union, OIC, Arab League, ASEAN, SAARC and etc. to make space for these unfortunate Rohingya to settle them there and to eradicate the problems of statelessness.
As Burma is ruled by the military dictator, involved in gross human rights violations, the international community would put pressure on the regime for the democratic reforms to award ability to advocate the people issues, rather than making worst.

Despite being democratic country, the Bangladesh authorities are deliberately ignoring the issue of the human rights of the “Rohingya” and oppressing them by various means who are already vulnerable and fighting for hand-to-mouth survival in condition of emerging crisis of hunger and poverty.

So, the Rohingya people would like to remind to those communalist and colonialist of Arakan and Burma to stop all sort of maltreatments against the Rohingya including Bengali accusation, discrimination, hatred policy, rape, torture, forced relocation, forced eviction, taxation, confiscation of their land, new Buddhist settlement, restriction on their travels, restriction on marriage, anti-Rohingya propagandas, arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and extra judicial killings etc.

Though the Rohingya are sufferers in the present day, their fate may be changed in a day likewise the Israelis were the sufferers in the hands of Palestinians but now the Palestinians are the sufferers in the hands of Israelis. I don’t mean that the situation of Arakan will lead into such atmosphere but the humanity would be existed at all conditions and all times.

Lastly everyone should be realize the matter of the name of the people and its derivations like the people of Singapore are called Singaporean, Malaysia – Malaysian, Cambodia – Cambodian, Burma – Burmese, Bangladesh –Bangladeshi, Bengal- Bengali, Chittagong- Chittagonian, Arakan –Arakanese or Rohang –Rohingya. The ancient name of Arakan was Rohing and Chittagong was never a part of Bengal but with Rohang. So that the people of Chittagong may be included in Rohingya rather then Bengali, they are also Bangladeshis as it is presently situated in Bangladesh. Similarly, the Rohingya would have rights to be the citizenship in both countries of Burma and Bangladesh as their distinct identity is rightly protected and culture and heritages are rightly preserved. Ð

Writers are Rohingya activists, fighting for their due rights that lost after the occupation of their ancestral homeland “Rohang” (Arakan) in 1784.