Changes in Language, Communication and Thought: A Study on Linguistic Discrimination against the Indigenous People of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

Muhammad Ala Uddin


The Chittagong Hill Tracts that situated in the southeastern part of Bangladesh bordering Burma and India has been known as a conflict zone in South Asia. The conflicting situation between the indigenous peoples and Bengalis was worsened due to immigration of Bengalis, displacement of the indigenous peoples, and military intervention in the Hill Tracts. Putting an end of the two- and half-decade-long bloody conflict, an agreement (“peace agreement”) was signed in December 02, 1997; nonetheless, still the region is neither a peaceful nor a secured region to its inhabitants. However, in the conflicting situation that began in the 1970s, the indigenous minorities are to adopt with the mainstream society and culture. This paper attempts to explore the ‘cope mechanism’ in which the indigenous peoples are communicating with the mainstream Bengalis, focusing on (the situations of) the indigenous languages among other resources of culture. Here ‘cope mechanism’ is not only to manage their fear, and conflict in Chittagong Hill Tracts, but also to negotiate the cultural dimension, in which the Hill culture is schematized both in the Bengalis views toward Hill culture and the indigenous peoples views on their own culture.Key words:  Indigenous; Conflict; Displacement; Pahari; Bangali; Bangla Language; Assimilation.

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