The Chakma tribal community forms part of the great
Tibeto-Burman language family.
In history, Chakma (Sakama in Myanmar) peoples are
believed to be working in Bagan
Palace for Bagan King.
Bagan King rule Sittagong Hill Tracts, Manipur and
Assam. Chakma peoples are living in Rakhine, Sittagong Hill Tracts,
Manipur and Assam. They are Tibet-Burma race.
Chakma has it own written language and speaking
Their language was tainted after Brtitish Colony
took away from Burma in first Anglo-Burmese war in 1826.
PARTITION OF INDIA: INJUSTICE DONE TO THE
During Partition (August 1947), India was
divided on the religious line.
Muslim-majority areas went to
Surprisingly, Chakma-dominated Chittagong Hill
Tracts of present day Bangladesh formed part
of Pakistan even though Muslims were only meager 2 %.
The Partition axed the Chakma life. It was the doom
The Chakmas have been patriots.
They fought against the British, and did not allow
the conquerors to conquer them.
Following the Partition, they were celebrating the
Independence Day on 15 August 1947 by unfurling the Indian
tricolour in Rangamati, the main town of CHT.
It was pity that they did not even know they were
already Pakistanis, much against their own will. The Pakistani troops
pull down the Indian flag.
Chakmas could not give a united stand against the injustice done. Indian
government did not do much significant. It failed to recognize the
Chakmas’ contributions and sacrifices during the freedom movement.
UNDER PAKISTAN AND BANGLADESH RULE
Given the communal division
between India and Pakistan, that the Buddhist Chakmas
would be persecuted in Muslim Pakistan was a foregone
Chakmas were brutally killed, tortured, attacked and
their women folk raped under the Pakistan rule.
In 1964, the Kaptai Dam reservoir was built that
submerged around 44% of the CHT’s agricultural lands and made tens of
thousand Chakmas homeless and foodless.
Those displaced were neither rehabilitated nor
compensated nor treated well. Thousands became IDPs and refugees.
In 1971, Bangladesh was liberated
with India’s help.
But that did not bring any change in the policy of
the Muslim government towards the Chakmas.
With active participation of
the Bangladesh military, the Chakmas were attacked,
massacred, kidnapped, and raped and their houses burned.
There was no reprieve. Life was no longer livable.
Hundreds fled from their homes to escape from attempts at their
FROM RULERS TO
The Rulers have turned into Refugees, courtesy the
brutal policies of the successive governments
of Pakistan and Bangladesh.
In 1964, around 30,000 indigenous Chakmas displaced
by the Kaptai Hydro-Electric dam in CHT of then East
Pakistan migrated to India.
They were given settlement by the government
of India in the North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA), the
present Arunachal Pradesh, after consultation with the local tribal
While being shifted to the NEFA, Government of India
issued valid migration certificates to the migrants and assured them
of citizenship rights in due course.
“They came in a hopeless, pathetic condition, just
with the clothes that they wore” recalls one senior Mizoram official,
who was part of the Assam government team that received the
Chakma in the Cachar and Lushai hills.
There are presently about 65,000 Chakmas in
All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union has
been leading a hate-campaign against the Chakmas and inciting the
otherwise sympathetic local population to drive the Chakmas away from
Political parties exploit the Chakma issue for
They have been denied basic rights, including
ration, education, employment and the right to live and peaceful life
On 9 January 1996, Supreme Court of India
directed, inter alia, that the life and personal liberty of each and
every Chakma residing within the State shall be protected and that,
except in accordance with law the Chakmas shall not be evicted from
The Delhi High Court in its judgment of 28
September 2000 (CPR no. 886 of 2000) directed the authorities to
enroll all eligible Chakma and Hajong voters into the electoral rolls.
the State Government and its agencies including the State Election
Commission failed to do anything significant !!!
There are about 100,000 Chakmas in Mizoram.
They gained the Chakma Autonomous District Council
(CADC) in 1972, which is still resented by the Mizo political
But the District Council covers only one-third of
the Chakma population in the state.
The Chakmas living outside the District Council
(including Sajek Valley area) are subject to regular
harassment and discrimination by the State government in various
forms.Life is no less painful in Sajek area of Mizoram.
The Chakmas have been living in acute poverty and
without access to basic healthcare, education and infrastructure such
as roads, electricity connectivity.
Chakma household is engaged in traditional Jhum cultivation. Chakmas also call it “Duk Haam”,
meaning “hard task”. As forest cover is diminished and production scanty, another
name for life has become “struggle for survival”. Due to hate-campaign
being carried out by powerful non-state actors such Young Mizo Association,
rights of the Chakma people are under threat. Hundreds have already been
deleted from voters list arbitrarily.
OF CHAKMAS IN BANGLADESH
The Chakmas have been reduced to minority in their
own homeland due to illegal implantation of thousands of plains
settlers i.e. Muslims.
Although a peace accord was signed between the
Chakma rebels and the Government of Bangladesh in 1997, peace and
development have been elusive in the Chittagong hills.
Besides persecution by
the Bangladesh government, the Chakmas themselves are
divided into two main groups and killing each other.