Online Santal Resource Page: the Santals identity, clans, living places, culture,rituals, customs, using of herbal medicine, education, traditions ...etc and present status.

The Santal Resource Page: these are all online published sources

Santal Gãota reaḱ onolko ńam lạgit́ SRP khon thoṛ̣a gõṛ̃o ńamoḱa mente ińaḱ pạtiạu ar kạṭić kurumuṭu...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Primary Textbooks :Santals want chapters using their alphabets

12:00 AM, December 23, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 23, 2012
Our Correspondent, Dinajpur 

Leaders of Santal community, one of the ethnic minority groups, have urged the government to add chapters to primary textbooks, using 'Roman Santali' alphabets so that their children could receive education in mother tongue with the help of Roman alphabets.
Bangladesh Santal Council made the appeal at a press conference at Dinajpur Press Club yesterday. Santal community leaders, including President of Bangladesh Santal Council SC Albert Soren, and the representatives of different organisations working with the ethnic communities were present.
The speakers said if a separate section in the textbooks is written with 'Roman Santali' alphabets, around three lakh Santal children across the country will have the opportunity to learn their own language at the state-run primary schools.
Most of the indigenous children in different parts of the country have hardly any scope to use their mother tongue outside their community. At school, they learn Bangla and English but not their mother language. Language barrier affects their learning as well as relationship with Bangla speaking students, they said.
Santali language is being taught with the help of Roman alphabets in a few educational institutions in Dinajpur and Joypurhat districts, but there are no books in Santali language, the speakers added.
They requested the government to form a committee with educated Santals to write chapters in Santali language with the help of Roman alphabets.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Importance of Indigenous languages (Quotes)

Language is the expression of our culture and our land. We cannot have one without the others. We cannot describe our culture and our land if we do not have language.
(Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee, 2006 )

Recognition of Indigenous languages and support for Indigenous language programs stand alongside land rights, health, justice, education, housing, employment and other services as part of the overall process of pursuing social justice and reconciliation in Australia.

One might go so far as to say that without recognition of the Indigenous people and their languages, many other programs will be less effective, because this lack of recognition will show that the underlying attitudes of the dominant society have not changed significantly.
 (Dr. Graham McKay.  Edith Cowan University. The Land Still Speaks. 1996.)
Language is our soul.
(Aunty Rose Fernando, Gamilaroi Elder, 1998)

The population of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is extremely diverse in its culture with many different languages spoken. Think of the Kimberly region of Western Australia … if you travel through the Kimberly with its large Aboriginal population and the diversity of people within this region, it's just like travelling through Europe with its changing cultures and languages.
West, National Indigenous Media Association of Australia, Boyer Lectures 1993)0

Monday, December 17, 2012

Every 14 days a language dies

Losing Our World's Languages
Every 14 days a language dies. By 2100, more than half of the more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth—many of them not yet recorded—may disappear, taking with them a wealth of knowledge about history, culture, the natural environment, and the human brain.

National Geographic's Enduring Voices Project (conducted in collaboration with the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages) strives to preserve endangered languages by identifying language hotspots—the places on our planet with the most unique, poorly understood, or threatened indigenous languages—and documenting the languages and cultures within them.
Why Is It Important?
Language defines a culture, through the people who speak it and what it allows speakers to say. Words that describe a particular cultural practice or idea may not translate precisely into another language. Many endangered languages have rich oral cultures with stories, songs, and histories passed on to younger generations, but no written forms. With the extinction of a language, an entire culture is lost.

Much of what humans know about nature is encoded only in oral languages. Indigenous groups that have interacted closely with the natural world for thousands of years often have profound insights into local lands, plants, animals, and ecosystems—many still undocumented by science. Studying indigenous languages therefore benefits environmental understanding and conservation efforts.

Studying various languages also increases our understanding of how humans communicate and store knowledge. Every time a language dies, we lose part of the picture of what our brains can do.
Why Do Languages Die Out?
Throughout human history, the languages of powerful groups have spread while the languages of smaller cultures have become extinct. This occurs through official language policies or through the allure that the high prestige of speaking an imperial language can bring. These trends explain, for instance, why more language diversity exists in Bolivia than on the entire European continent, which has a long history of large states and imperial powers.

As big languages spread, children whose parents speak a small language often grow up learning the dominant language. Depending on attitudes toward the ancestral language, those children or their children may never learn the smaller language, or they may forget it as it falls out of use. This has occurred throughout human history, but the rate of language disappearance has accelerated dramatically in recent years.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

" Santali Pạrsire Ciki beohar" babot galmarao/meeting

Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi
(Bangladesh Santal Council)

Manotan boeha miserako
Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi sec̕khon manot joharle sodorapekana.
Hijuk̕kan 22,Ḍisembor 2012, Sạnicar hilok̕Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi " Santali Pạrsire Ciki beohar" babot galmarao/meeting e hohowakada.

Ona  meeting se galmarao do bar hạṭin̕te hoyok̕a: 1) Workshop 2) View exchange. Ona galmarao renak̕ banar hạṭin̕re seledok̕ lạgit̕ ạḍi jạrunehõram/pe selet̕ e neotayet̕me/pe kana.
Galmarao kạmi hora:
1)            Santali Pạrsire Ciki beohar workshop                 9:30 am
2)            Santali Pạrsiar Sahittya corca                   1:30 pm
3)            Press conference                                    4:30 pm

Manot johar selet̕,
Prof. SC Albert Soren                                   Mn. Jogen Hasda
Convener                                                        Convener
Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi       for Santali Pạrsire Ciki beohar ar Santali sahittya corca                    


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Santali in Union Public Service Comission

The initial euphoria was immense to see Santali Syllabus finalized and published by Union Public Service Commission. It was a feat hitherto considered as unachievable. The persons with not much information about the then course curriculum or syllabus were expecting that people who were engaged to prepare the draft and thereupon got it
approved by the concerned authorities must have gone through various aspects including availability of books and reference materials. The information about the number of examinees who have already appeared before the examination with Santali as an Optional subject would reveal this aspect so far as availability of the books and reference materials are concerned. It is quite often discussed that the books are not
available for the students to seriously prepare for the examination and set an example that through mother tongue medium also one can excel and reach a new height.
Though many are familiar with the list of books for the preparation of Civil Services, yet for quick reference it is felt germane to reproduce the Syllabus prescribed by UPSC.
Part – I :Section A: History of Santali Language: I. Main Austric Language family, population and distribution. II. Grammatical structure of Santali Language. III. Important character of Santali Language : Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics, Translation, Lexicography. IV. Impact of other languages on Santali. V. Standardization of Santali Language.
Part – II History of Santali Literature: I. Literary trends of the following four periods of History of Santali Literature; (a) Ancient literature before 1854. (b) Missionary period : Literature between 1855 to 1889 AD. (c) Medieval period: Literature between 1890 to 1946 AD. (d) Modern period: Literature from 1947 AD to till date. II. Writing tradition in History of Santali literature.
 Section B: Literary forms – Main characteristics, history and development of following literary forms. Part – I:Folk Literature in Santali – folk song, folk tale, phrase, idioms, puzzles, and Kudum.  Part – II:Modern literature in Santali; (a) Development of
poetry and prominent poets. (b) Development of prose and prominent writers. (i) Novels and prominent Novelists. (ii) Stories and prominent story writers. (iii) Drama and prominent Dramatist. (iv) Criticism and prominent critics. (v) Essay, sketches,
memoirs, travelogues and prominent writers; Santali writers – Shyam Sundar Hembram, Pandit Raghunath Murmu, Barha Beshra, Sadhu Ramchand Murmu, Narayan Soren ‘Toresutam’, Sarada Prasad Kisku, Raghunath Tudu, Kalipada Soren, Sakla Soren, Digambar Hansda, Aditya Mitra ‘Santali’, Babulal Murmu ‘Adivasi’, Jadumani Beshra, Arjun Hembram, Krishna Chandra Tudu, Rupchand Hansda, Kalendra Nath Mandi, Mahadev Hansda, Gour Chandra Murmu, Thakur Prasad Murmu, Hara Prasad Murmu, Uday Nath Majhi, Parimal Hembram, Dhirendra Nath Baske, Shyam Charan Hembram, Damayanti Beshra, T.K. Rapaj, Boyha Biswanath
Tudu.  Part – III Cultural Heritage of Santali tradition, customs, festival and rituals (birth,
marriage and death).
Paper-II: Section A: Ancient Literature : Prose – (a) Kherwal Bonso Dhorom Puthi – Majhi Ramdas Tudu “Rasika”. (b) Mare Hapramko Reyak Katha – L. O. Scrafsrud. (c) Jomsim Binti Lita – Mangal Chandra Turkulumang Soren. (d) Marang Buru Binti – Kanailal Tudu. Poetry - (a) Karam Sereng – Nunku Soren. (b) Devi Dasain Sereng – Manindra Hansda. (c) Horh Sereng – W.G. Archer. (d) Baha Sereng – Balaram Tudu. (e) Dong Sereng – Padmashri Bhagwat Murmu ‘Thakur’ (f) Hor Sereng – Raghunath Murmu. (g) Soros Sereng – Babulal Murmu “Adivasi”. (h) More Sin More Nida – Rup
chand Hansda. (i) Judasi Madwa Latar – Tez Narayan Murmu. Section B: Modern Literature -
PART I – Poetry : (a) Onorhen Baha Dhalwak – Paul Jujhar Soren. (b) Asar Binti – Narayan Soren “Tore Sutam” (c) Chand Mala – Gora Chand Tudu. (d) Onto Baha Mala – Aditya Mitra « Santali ». (e) Tiryo Tetang – Hari Har Hansda. (f) Sisirjon Rar – Thakur Prasad Murmu.  PART II – Novels : (a) Harmawak Ato – R.Karstiars (Translator – R.R.
Kisku Rapaz) (b) Manu Mati – Chandra Mohan Hansda. (c) Ato Orak – Doman Hansdak. (d) Ojoy Gada Dhiph re – Nathenial Murmu.  PART III – Stories (a) Jiyon Gada – Rup Chand Hansda and Jadumani Beshra. (b) Mayajaal – Doman Sahu ‘Samir’ and Padmashri Bhagwat Murmu ‘Thakur’ PART IV – Drama (a) Kherwar Bir – Pandit
Raghunath Murmu (b) Juri Khatir – Dr. K.C. Tudu. (c) Birsa Bir – Ravi Lal Tudu
PART V – Biography : On perusal of the syllabus, it can be seen that the syllabus is very vast and perhaps the pattern being followed in other languages have been  followed. May be these books are being prescribed in various Colleges and Universities. Apart from the subjects being studied at various Universities, the books could be referred for general knowledge and to have an in depth knowledge about the Santali literature and Santal people. However, clear information is not available whether these subjects, courses are being imparted in various under graduate course at various colleges. It is natural to expect that the course contents need to align to the syllabus being prescribed in various educational institutions. The availability of book was a prime concern and still it is continuing and the students and persons aspiring to pursue the subjects face daunting task in finding or arranging books. It is in this context, all are being requested to make everybody know the source and place where these books could be found. The coaching institutes should also come to the fore to make these books, reference material available in the interest of the students as well as the discerning people. May be due to the fact that very few are opting to take this subject as an optional, the support is not coming forth as return is minimum or not lucrative. In order to see students take up this subject and preparing for the coveted examination, it is incumbent upon everybody to pool together information and material to generate an interest/atmosphere to inspire the students to pursue their career through mother tongue. All concerned are requested to share information with us and send the same in the email id which would further be disseminated. The days are not far, when the success would instill a sense of confidence among people and this would be a befitting reply to the persons who are moving away from the lap of mother tongue. 


List of sectors in Bangladesh Liberation War

rsList of Sectors and Subsectors

List of Sectors and Subsectors

Sectors of Bangladesh Liberation War
SectorAreaSector CommanderSub Sectors (Commanders)
1Chittagang District, Chittagong Hill Tracts, and the entire eastern area of the Noakhali District on the banks of the river Muhuri. The headquarters of the sector was at Harina.• Major Ziaur Rahman (April 10, 1971 – June 25, 1971)
• Major Rafiqul Islam (June 28, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
  1. Rishimukh (Captain Shamsul Islam);
  2. Sreenagar (Captain Matiur Rahman, Captain Mahfuzur Rahman);
  3. Manughat (Captain Mahfuzur Rahman);
  4. Tabalchhari (Sergeant Ali Hossain); and
  5. Dimagiri (Army Sergeant, name unknown to date).
2Districts of Dhaka, Comilla, and Faridpur, and part of Noakhali District.• Major Khaled Mosharraf (April 10, 1971 – September 22, 1971)
• Major ATM Haider (Sector Commander September 22, 1971 – December 18, 1972)
  1. Gangasagar, Akhaura and Kasba (Mahbub, Lieutenant Farooq, and Lieutenant Humayun Kabir);
  2. Mandabhav (Captain Abdul Gaffar);
  3. Shalda-nadi (Mahmud Hasan);
  4. Matinagar (Lieutenant Didarul Alam);
  5. Nirbhoypur (Captain Akbar, Lieutenant Mahbub); and
  6. Rajnagar (Captain Jafar Imam, Captain Shahid, and Lieutenant Imamuzzaman)
3Area between Churaman Kathi (near Sreemangal) and Sylhet in the north and Singerbil of Brahmanbaria in the south.• Major K. M. Shafiullah (April 10, 1971 – July 21, 1971)
• Captain ANM Nuruzzaman (July 23, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
  1. Asrambari (Captain Aziz, Captain Ejaz);
  2. Baghaibari (Captain Aziz, Captain Ejaz);
  3. Hatkata (Captain Matiur Rahman);
  4. Simla (Captain Matin);
  5. Panchabati (Captain Nasim);
  6. Mantala (Captain MSA Bhuyan);
  7. Vijoynagar (Captain MSA Bhuyan);
  8. Kalachhora (Lieutenant Majumdar);
  9. Kalkalia (Lieutenant Golam Helal Morshed); and
  10. Bamutia (Lieutenant Sayeed)
4Area from Habiganj District on the north to Kanaighat Police Station on the south along the 100 mile long border with India. The headquarters of the sector was initially at Karimganj and later at Masimpur.• Major Chittarajan Datta (April 10, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
• Captain A Rab
  1. Jalalpur (Mahbubur Rob Sadi);
  2. Barapunji (Captain A Rab & Lieutenant Amirul Haque Chowdhury);
  3. Amlasid (Lieutenant Zahir);
  4. Kukital (Flight Lieutenant Kader, Captain Shariful Haq);
  5. Kailas Shahar (Lieutenant Wakiuzzaman); and Fazlul Haque Chowdhury EX EPR(from April'71 - August '71)
  6. Kamalpur (Captain Enam)
5Area from Durgapur to Dawki (Tamabil) of Sylhet District and the entire area up to the eastern borders of the district. The headquarters of the sector was at Banshtala.• Major Mir Shawkat Ali (April 10, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
  1. Muktapur (Captain Qazi Faruq Ahmed, Subsector Commander, 16 June 1971 till 01 February 1972; Subedar Mujibur Rahman, Second in Command; Nayeb Subedar Nazir Hussain, Admin in charge(non-combatant))
  2. Dawki (Subedar Major BR Chowdhury, (non-combatant));
  3. Shela (Captain Helal);
  4. Bholaganj (Lieutenant Taheruddin Akhunji);
  5. Balat (Sergeant Ghani, Captain Salahuddin and Enamul Haq Chowdhury); and
  6. Barachhara (Captain Muslim Uddin).
  7. Captain Abdul Mutalib was in charge of Sangram Punji (Jaflong) until 10th May 1971
6Rangpur District and part of Dinajpur District. The headquarters of the sector was at Burimari near Patgram.• Wing Commander M Khademul Bashar (April 1971 – February 14, 1972)
  1. Bhajanpur (Captain Nazrul, Flight Lieutenant Sadruddin and Captain Shahriyar);
  2. Patgram (initially divided between junior commissioned officers of the EPR and later taken hold by Captain Matiur Rahman);
  3. Sahebganj (Captain Nawazesh Uddin);
  4. Phulbari, Kurigram (Captain Abul Hossain)
  5. Mogalhat (Captain Delwar); and
  6. Chilahati (Flight Lieutenant Iqbal)
7'Rajshahi, Pabna, Bogra and part of Dinajpur District. The headquarters of the sector was at Taranngapur.• Major Nazmul Huq (April 10 – September 27, 1971)
• Major Quazi nooruzzaman (September 28 – February 14, 1972)
• Subedar Major A Rab
  1. Malan (initially divided between junior commissioned officers and later taken hold by Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir);
  2. Tapan (Major Nazmul Huq, also commanded by commanding officers of the EPR);
  3. Mehdipur (Subedar Iliyas, Captain Mahiuddin Jahangir);
  4. Hamzapur (Captain Idris);
  5. Anginabad (unnamed freedom fighter);
  6. Sheikhpara (Captain Rashid);
  7. Thokrabari (Subedar Muazzam); and
  8. Lalgola (Captain Gheyasuddin Chowdhury).
8In April 1971, the operational area of the sector comprised the districts of Kushtia, Jessore, Khulna, Barisal, Faridpur and Patuakhali. At the end of May the sector was reconstituted and comprised the districts of Kuhstia, Jessore, Khulna, Satkhira and the northern part of Faridpur district. The headquarters of the sector was at Benapole.• Major Abu Osman Chowdhury (April 10 – July 17, 1971)
• Major Abul Manzoor (August 14, 1971 – February 14, 1972)
  1. Boyra (Captain Khondakar Nazmul Huda);
  2. Hakimpur (Captain Shafiq Ullah);
  3. Bhomra (Captain Salahuddin, Captain Shahabuddin);
  4. Lalbazar (Captain AR Azam Chowdhury);
  5. Banpur (Captain Mostafizur Rahman);
  6. Benapole (Captain Abdul Halim, Captain Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury); and
  7. Shikarpur (Captain Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Lieutenant Jahangir).
9Barisal, Patuakhali, and parts of the district of Khulna and Faridpur.• Major Ashiq Adnan
• Major M A Jalil (July 17 – December 24, 1971)
• Major MA Manzur
• Major Joynal Abedin
  1. Taki;
  2. Hingalganj; and
  3. Shamshernagar.
10This sector was constituted with the naval commandos.• Commander HQ BD Forces (December 3–16, 1971)None.
11Mymensingh and Tangail along with parts of Rangpur - Gaibandha, Ulipur, Kamalpur and Chilmari. The headquarters of the sector was at Teldhala until October 10, then transferred to Mahendraganj.• Major Abu Taher (June 27, 1971 – October 10, 1971;
• Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan) (November 2, 1971 – February 14, 1972) From October 10 until November 2, 1971, Major Abu Taher was temporarily appointed to this Sector as Major Zia was abruptly ordered to move with his Brigade to Sylhet Region. Due to accidental injury he suffered in his leg, he was transferred to Pune, India for treatment)
  1. Mankarchar (Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan);
  2. Mahendraganj (Major Abu Taher; Lieutenant Mannan);
  3. Purakhasia (Lieutenant Hashem);
  4. Dhalu (Lieutenant Taher; Lieutenant Kamal);
  5. Rangra (Matiur Rahman)
  6. Shivabari (divided between junior commissioned officers of the EPR);
  7. Bagmara (divided between junior commissioned officers of the EPR); and
  8. Maheshkhola (a member of the EPR).


A_Land_Stricken by Communal Persecution, Poverty & Deprivation.

Shahriar Kabir
It is difficult to ascertain whether Hemabala Bewa is a man or a woman, or her age, unless told. She could be sixty, seventy or eighty. Standing on her threshold, before her dilapitated hut, in the village Chilarong Telipara which is 15/16 km. away from Thakurgaon, a northern district of Bangladesh, she related her tales of communal persecution.
She was clad in a tattered lungi and brown sweater and wrapped in a cheap green shawl. She is dark, wrinkled, with trimmed gray hair. To us she narrated the story of how her daughter in-law was raped and her eyes gouged out by miscreants.
The incident took place on 11 September, 2003 when Radharani had gone to gether firewood in the sugarcane field. She was gang raped by a band of three men who were headed by Rafiqul known as the local hoodlums of the B.N.P. She was forced into the sugarcane plantation and raped by all three miscreants who pulled out her eyes and was left unconscious in the field.
She was later found in a critical state by her neighbours, they found her gouged out eyes lying beside her. This news was published in the Dhaka newspapers. The ‘Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Unity Council’ demanded exemplary punishment of the miscreants in their protest march to the District Commissioner’s office, where they handed over a petition. Advocate Indranath Roy disclosed that since the government led by the Four Party Alliance assumed power the atrocities committed on the Hindus have forced several thousand to flee to India. Since Thakurgaon is close to the border, it is easy to cross over to safety.
We asked Radharani, who is now blind, what she wished to do. She could barely speak. Her neighbour Tileshawari told us that the group had been repeatedly warning her not to disclose their identity and leave the village. Of the three alleged person two were arrested, but one attained a bail and after his release had been threatening Radharani of graver consequences. The threat is to compel Radharani and her neighbours to leave their homeland. Her neighbour Tileshwari told us that as precautionary measure the women of the village do not venture out alone. If they go to the fields to take the cows and goats to graze, they do so in a bunch and carry knives for protection. Tileshwari also implored Radharani to tell us in detail about those who torchured and impaired her eyes and demanded punishment.
Radharani merely mumbled that she wants justice, and lifted her sad face. Her hair was unattended and there was only the taint of the vermilion dot on her forehead. Then she suddenly cried out that she is being unable to work as she had become blind, how will she make her living?
Both Radharani and her husband worked as day labourers for their living. They earned 15 to 20 Taka a day, seven members of their family lived on that income. Over the last three months this income has been disrupted. They have been barely ling on the income of the sole earner¾ that is Radharani’s husband. There is partial starvation¾this was narrated by Radharani’s mother-in-law Hemabala.
Hemabala’s son Molin was not present during our visit. He had gone to the nearby market to sell rice having borrowed money from a local money lender. Rice is 300 taka per maund, selling which he will have 20 taka profit.
In North Bengal this was the time of harvest. On our way we saw the reap piled on stacks in the threshold of the peasant’s houses. At the time of year when peasants celebrate the harvest moon, this family of Hemabala is uncetain of what is to come. One of the two earning member has become invalid. The family is more concerned about the loss of the income rather than the lost eyes and honour. They are concerned about how and on what they will survive.
We went to Thakurgaon on 14 December 2003, to attend a rally organized by the ‘Nirmul Committee’ for commemoration of the Martyr Intellectual day. We were informed by a member of the ‘Hindu Buddhists Christian Unity Council’ about this family. We went to visit them later in afternoon.
The village Telipara Chilarong is primarily a Hindu village. They have been under tremendous stress as threats of extortion, abduction of the younger women had been hurled at them. A ransom of 50 thousand taka was demanded from one Ghanashyam and if he failed to give the money his daughters would be abducted.
Hemabala cried out¾ “we have no other option but to die”. Looking at her we felt anger along with the sadness. Ever since the religio fundamentalist, communal four party alliance assumed power they have unfurled a reign of terror on the minorities, especially the Hindus in Bangladesh. These parties (BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and Islamic Oikyo Jote) want to establish Islamic rule in Bangladesh, therefore, Khaleda-Nizami alliance are out to force the Hindus out of the country, but what about the other parties who but watch these atrocities? Is there no one to stand up against this barbaric act? Can’t the opposition parties take up measures to prevent it?
Hemabala’s hut is nerely a shack which will wither away at the touch of the wind anytime. Only 30 thousand taka can save this family from the impending doom. The condition of the others were also the same.
Just after our return from Telipara to Thakurgaon we found an old Santal waiting to see us.
Advocate Mario Tudu is the only Santal member in the lawyers association of Thakurgaon. He had visited Ranishankail. One Kamalong Murmu (69) came with him to tell us that his daughter-inlaw Beauty alias Talamai was raped and later killed with her throat slit open. This incident took place on 19 September 2003. Only one of the alleged three misereants was taken into custody by the police. Lately, word has been around that he too will be released soon as he has not confessed. Rather those who have lodged the complaint will be arrested for bringing about false allegation.
The old man speaks only in his mother tongue, his words was translated by Mario Tudu, the lawyer from his community. He said that he only wanted us to publish the story of harassment he faces till today in the newspapers, that the miscreants were cadres of the ruling party. These men wanted the old man to withdraw his complaint. Tomalong was converted to Christianity just three months before along with his other family members.
Tamalong told us that as he has no schooling the police incharge worded the complaint which he only signed. He heard later that the report was distorted, the rape was not mentioned, only the murder was reported half heartedly.
In case of Radharani’s report the same distortions had taken place. The medical report mentioned ‘forceful intercourse’ instead of ‘rape’. Extortion and bribery can change versions overnight. Unless one visits the remote areas of Bangladesh they will not be able to conceptualize the extent of the communal repression, deprivation of justice and anarchy that has become the rule of the day.
On the occasion of the Victory Day, I visited the remote areas of North Bengal (northern areas of Bangladesh) as on this day last year and the year before I was in jail. Even this year I was almost certain that I would be condemned to bear the same fate as the previous years as the papers belonging to the ruling party and fundamentalist groups had been strongly criticizing my activities in support of the minorities victimised by the gangstars of the ruling cleaque. As I was exempted this year (2003) I went off to visit the near famine stricken northern Bengal and also to observe the victory day with local freedom fighters and deprived families of the martyrs.
Earlier I read the sensitive reports of the renowned journalist Monajatuddin and others about poverty stricken North Bengal, but witnessing the throes of starvation is altogether a diffefent experience.
The widow of Dr. Alim Chowdhury (who was Killed by Al-Badar, the killing squad of Jamat-e-Islami in 1971), Shymoli Nasreen Chowdhury had contributed 10 thousand taka to Nirmul Committee’s find for the starving men and women in the north. It is quite a big sum for a middle class house wife but for the starving millions, it is merely a drop of water. But again adding some more to that amount could be of help to them.
The journalist of “Bhorer, Kagaj” Porimol Majumdar, who is also a member of ‘Nirmul Committee’ accompanied us to Ulipur in Kurigram. He has compiled a major finding how 700 people were killed and thrown in a ditch in 1971 by the Pakistani occupation army and their local collaborators. He gave us a list of 30 distitute families who are the victims of war and fought the war of ’71.
On 16th December we reached Ulipur at 10 a.m. A rally was organised in front of the library set up by ‘Nirmul Committee’. The freedom fighters, their families, family members of the martyrs were present. We had compiled a book earlier on how after so many years the lives of near and dear ones of the martyrs suffered as their dreams remain unfulfilled. Though the freedom war has ended but the struggle to be free of hunger and poverty is still on.
On one side of the stage they sat. Sad faces, aged these are the people for whom we got our freedom. We were there to hand over some money that several members of “Nirmul Committee” had sent from Dhaka.
These are the freedom fighters who had actually fought the war and today they are rickshaw pullers sweepers or beggars. These are the widows and mother of the martyrs who lost the only earning member of the family during the war.
We were supposed to lay floral wraths at the Shaheed Minar. The procession was led by the family members of martyrs’ and the freedom fighters instead of the leaders who usually lead in Dhaka or elsewhere. As we stood in silence after having laid the wreath, one of the widow in the crowd broke down crying. Hearing her sob the others could not restrain. It was hard to control the long restrained tear. The silence broke as the widows of the liberation war cried. Others also could not restrain their tear. The journalists, the spectators watched with tears as some of the widows beat their heads against the concrete of the Shaheed Minar (the martyrs monument) as if it was the wailing wall.
While narrating their story on the stage they kept on crying. They related the story of when the Pakistani armies were shooting indiscriminately how the young son of Batashi Bewa had snatched the rifle from their hand and later killed before the mother ruthlessly for the courage he showed.
Julaf Bewa’s husband and his brother were both bayonated before her eyes. No one wanted to know how she survived since then. Over thirty two years these women are living a miserable life on partial starvation. These women had no education to seek a job, nor could they beg door to door. Now their ailing health need care, their relentless suffering mind a little solace.
In the stage were the convenor of the Nirmul Committee of Kurigram Abdul Majied and General Secreatry of the central committee Kazi Mukul. The both couldn’t speak a word when they were to address the crowd.
While delivering my speech and relating of the atrocities in ’71 I could not help thinking how with no less ruthlessness Radharani of Thakurgaon was treated, how Hindus and the intellectuals and Awami League activists harassed, persecuted, killed, tortured for what they believe in. How the victim of ’71 face the same situation of terror they had come across 32 years earlier. How after 30 years the collaborators of ’71 the Jamaat-e-Islami become part of the ruling class and run the country. What Yahya Khan and his army junta had done in ’71 to keep the two wings of Pakistan together in the name of Islam and failed to do so, their collaborating friends of Jamaat-e-Islami unfurl such terror after 30 years in revenge.
We gave each family a sum of two thousand taka, a blanket and a wrapper. But for a family to sustain, this sum is meagre. So many times I have requested the Bengalies abroad to take up the responsibility of each of the destitute family of the martyrs to save them from the humiliation of having to beg from door to door. This sector during the war was under Col. Abu Taher. His brother Waresat Hossain Belal gave the blankets from his factory to distribute amongst the destitute families of the freedom fighters and martyrs.
It is not only to save these families from economic crises but also from the onslaught of the comumunal, religion-fundamentalists that we appeal for help.
If, as we did in ’71, stand together, unitedily we can overcome the crisis we are facing under Khaleda-Nizami regime. The call for the unity of the secular democratic forces is to come together to resist our old enemy of the present day Bangladesh.
We must resist fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh in order to make those lives worth living for whom we have a country named Bangladesh.


Nishbetganj massacre triggered War of Liberation in Rangpur

RANGPUR, Mar 13 (BSS) - The sparkling heroism and supreme sacrifice of 600 Bangalees at Nishbetganj while gheraoing Rangpur Cantonment on March 28 in 1971 triggered the War of Liberation in Rangpur.

On that Day, thousands of Bangalees irrespective of their
caste, creed and religion equipped with indigenous and lethal
weapons, spears, sharp weapons, arrows, bows, clubs tried to
capture Rangpur cantonment from occupation forces.

Elderly people, Freedom Fighters (FF) and District
Muktijoddha Commander Mosaddek Hossain Bablu said the local
Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Oraon, Santal and ethnic communities
started rushing towards the cantonment.

Awami League (AL) leader Sheikh Amjad Hossain chaired a
meeting that was addressed by CPB leader late Soyer Uddin and AL
leader Majibar Rahman Master when thousands of people assembled
at Nishbetganj before marching towards cantonment.

According to the book 'Juddhe Juddhe Swadhinota' written by
Major Nasir Uddin, it was about 4 to 5 pm when thousands of
Independence-seeker Bangalees had been assembling to capture
Rangpur cantonment at any costs.

The 23rd Brigade Headquarters of Pakistan Army was then
stationed at Rangpur and the Third Bengal, 26th Regiment at
Syedpur, 23rd Cavalry Regiment and its associate forces and 29th
Tank Bahini were under its command.

Pakistani Brigadier General Abdullah Malik was the then
Brigade Commander of 23rd Brigade Headquarters and the Cantonment
was equipped with modern automatic heavy arms, artilleries, tanks
and ammunitions with huge Pakistani forces.

At one stage, some 10 military jeeps with browning
machineguns started showering automatic gunfire towards the
Bangalees that continued for about five minutes killing over 600
Bangalees and injuring hundreds more.

The massacre and genocide were committed by the Pakistani
Army led by war criminals Brigadier General Abdullah Malik,
Colonel Sagir and other Pakistani Army Officers and their
collaborator Behari soldiers and officers.

Under the commands of Colonel Sagir, most of the bodies of
martyred Bangalees were collected and burnt with petrol and many
other bodies and remains of the burnt bodies were put into the
mass grave at Nishbetganj Baddhyabhumi.

All these happenings were witnessed by Bangalee Officers Ma
Nasir Uddin, Lt Bodiuzzaman and Lt Hashem and at one stage
Colonel Sagir became very angry on them for their silence after
the whole genocide was completed, the book wrote.

Later, Colonel Sagir, who always maintained links with the
local Beharis, told his under commands that he had taught proper
lessons to the Bangalees by killing at least 600 as 'they crossed
all limits'.

After the March 28 genocide at Nishbetganj, people of greater
Rangpur, Bangalee Army Officers, members of the then EPR,
students, farmers teachers, youths, lawyers, socio-cultural
activists and everybody of all ages vowed to liberate the nation.

And thus, supreme sacrifice of the Bangalees on March 28 at
Nishbetganj ignited real heroism in sleeping every Bangalee when
they started fighting till achieving the Independence of Rangpur
on December 16.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Subject: Santali Alphabet

BSB Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi
(Bangladesh Santal Council)
Jhano An’car, Mahle Para, Khanjanpur, Sadar Road, Joypurhat-5900, Bangladesh
Ph: (+088) 0571 62420, 01715 804746, 01720040626, 01731 953131, 01713 384060, 01715093981, 01742 879679
December: 10.2012


Mr. M M Neazuddin
Hon. Secretary (Acting)
Ministry of Primary and Mass Education
Government of Bangladesh

Subject: Santali Alphabet

Dear Sir,

Greetings from BSB Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi (Bangladesh Santal Council- working for the greater unity, solidarity and development of the Santals in Bangladesh).
We are happy to know that the Government of Bangladesh has decided to publish pre-primary class books in Santali for the children of Santal ethnic community of Bangladesh. We are grateful to the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and also to the Government of Bangladesh for this.
But we, the Santal people of Bangladesh have been observing  with the deep sorrow that government is heading with NGOs, donor agencies, non-Santal scholars and some other self-seeking people to publish the  Santali primer books in Bangla alphabet!.
Most probably, the international organizations, donor agencies and the scholars do not know that Santal Nation have been practicing Santali Language and Literature in Bangladesh in Roman Santali Alphabet. Some self-seeking people (Santal and non-Santal) are making propaganda that we have no any Santali alphabet.   For your kind in formation, we would like to inform you that we have been practicing Santali Language and Literature with "Roman Santali Alphabet" since 1863 in this sub-continent and since 1925 in Bangladesh. This modernized alphabet is already been adopted in Santali Language and Literature for Santali language in Bangladesh. Santali Language, Literature, Dictionary and all other books and many documents were and are written with this alphabet. We hope that this real fact is well known to the Linguistics and Scholars of Bangladesh.
Secondly, we have come to know that some consultants and consulting firms and  NGOs arranged meetings for publishing  Santali primer books for the Santal children. But not a single Santali Language and Cultural expert or any Santali writers was invited as consultant to publish the Santali primer books in those meetings. Prof. Dr. Sourav Sikdar is well informed that there are some Santali Language and Cultural experts or Santali writers in Bangladesh. It seems that, some profit based Bengali NGOs and NGOs related some consultants are misguiding the Hons. Minister and Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and also the Government of Bangladesh for their long term profitable business.
Gono Sakhyarota Obhijan [Campaign for Popular Education-(CAMPE)] published a book "SAOTAL OITIJJOGATHA" in Bangla alphabet in 2009 for the primary level Santal students with the help of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherland(EKN), Swiss Embassy for Development and Co-operation(SDC) and Oxfam-Novib. The Santals of Bangladesh specially- scholars, professionals, students, researchers and writers are very much agitated against the related consultants, planners and also NGOs’ and donor agencies to publish these books, for using Bangla alphabet in Santali Language with wrong pronunciation, spelling and literature. The common Santal people have been protesting for this condemnable task till now and will continue to do so.
We are requesting all the donor agencies, NGOs and NGO workers/planners, consultants to stop such kind of sensitive issue for the Santals of Bangladesh and their generations. We know that pre-primary and primary education through mother language is very important for blooming and developing the language and literature for the related nation. At the same time alphabet is also plays very important role for right pronunciation in the in the opinion of the Santal. Bangla alphabet is not worthy and correct for Santali Language.

Now-a-days, some non -Santal NGOs and non-Santal self seeking experts are publishing Santali books in Bangla alphabet for their self-seeking purposes, which is very much disrespect for others’ mother tongue.

So, please help us to culture, preserve and develop our language and literature with proper and right way.

BSB Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi(Bangladesh Santal Council) is going to organize a daylong workshop and a view exchange with Santal writers, social leaders, cultural workers, teachers and students at Dinajpur for the same. Within very short time. There the decision will be made regarding the alphabet for Santal language and literature decide there about alphabet for Santali Language and then a delegation will meet with Hon. Minister and Ministry of Primary and Mass Education to inform about the decision.
BSB Baṅladisom Santal Bạisi (Bangladesh Santal Council) is also requesting the Swiss Embassy for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Bangladesh and Oxfam-Novib to consider the sentiments of Santals. Because, we the Santals of Bangladesh are already using this “Roman-Santali” alphabet for our language and literature.

We hope that the donor agencies, NGOs, consultants, scholars and well wishers related with the developments of Santals in Bangladesh will try to comprehend the sentiments of the Santals. You all are also requested to cooperate and share your any plan and development ideas for the Santals with this organization to implement your plans successfully.

With kind regards,

(Peter S Tudu)                         (SC Albert Soren)                               (Sontosh Soren)
Secretary General, BSB          Convener, BSB                                   Executive Advisor, BSB

CC to: For your kind information and necessary action;
1. Dr. Md. Afsarul Amin, MP , Hon. Minister, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education
2. Mr.Rashed Khan Menon, MP, Hon'ble Chairman, Standing Committee on Ministry of Education
3. Mr. Mohammad Mohsin, Education and Development Officer, unicef, Bangladesh
4. Development Officer, the Swiss Cooperation Office Bangladesh
5. Development Officer, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherland,Bd
6. Development Officer, OXFAM, Bd
7. Hon. Executive Director, Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE)
8. Mr. Murshid Akhtar, Research Officer, NCTB
9. Prof. Dr. Shourav Sikder
10. Mr. Sanjeeb Drong,Secretary,Bangladesh Adivasi Forum,Bd
11. Mr.Robindranath Soren,Chairman,JAP,Bd
12.Mr. Anil Marandy, Ex. President. JAP,Bd
13. Prof. Dr. Prashanta Tripura

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