Chakma, is one of the large Indigenous Nation living in the south-east Asia and recognised by the- United Nations. Presently living in different parts of globe. They are 99% Theravada Buddhists and have own language andscript. The nation that only write own nation as their title or family name as “Chakma” in the world. And also recorded in the World Buddhist History that the Chakmas never forget their own religion (Buddhism) and languages (Pali) even after 2550 years. If, anyone press in the internet world as “Chakma” than he/she easily able to experience about them, their origin, culture, dress,language, lifestyle, and son on.The Chakmas are Mongoloid. They belong from Sakya clan, ancient Kingdom of Anga (now West Bengal and Bihar). They are divided into 2 main clans known as Anokya Chakma and Tanchangya Chakma. Further, they sub-divided into 32 sub-clans called as “ Ghoja” and “Gutti”. Some of the sub-clans also called Chak, Dainak, Thek, Tsak, Sak and so on. In Myanmar called them Chak, Dainak and Thek; in China called them Tsak; in Bangladesh called them Chakma, Tanchangya and Chak. But internationally recognised them as “Chakma or Chakma Nation”.
*Location:*Royal Chakma Kingdom is located in the South-East Asia and comprised of the Jummaland (Chittagong Hill Tracts-CHT), Chittagong Division and Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh; 1/3 geographical area of the State of Mizoram in India; Budidaung and Mandu Division in Arakan State of Myanmar and Tripura State of India.
*Geographical Features:*The Royal Chakma Kingdom was consisted of the10 hilly divisions – Chittagong division, Cox’s Bazar district, Jummaland, Lunglei district, Mamitdistrict, Karta district, Saiha district, Chakma Autonomous District Council; Budidaung-Mandu Division and Tripura State. The Kingdom was bordering with Bengal (now West Bengal State of India) on the north; Aizawl city, Tuisen village, Lower Lunglei and Saiha town of Kuki Territory(now Mizoram State of India) on the north-east; Arakan State of Burma (now Myanmar) on the south; Comilla district of Bengal(now Bangladesh) and Bay of Bengal on the west.The terrain in the Kingdom is part of the great hill mass—an offshoot of the Himalayas range—occupying parts o India, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Jummaland . The hills inside the Royal Chakma Kingdom rise up to a maximum of 4,000-5,000 feet, with the ranges running generally north-west to south-east and dividing the area into a number of large valleys. The valleys are covered for the most part with dense virgin forest, interspersed with small waterways and swamps of all sizes and description.
The Royal Chakma Kingdom was comprised with 13 main valleys formed by the Sajeek, Toijhong, Harinya, Tega, Hagu, Matrisora, Feni, Karnapuli, Chengi, Mayoni, Hajolong, Sangu, Matammuri Rivers and their tributaries. And also attracted with beautiful views of Bay of Bengal on the western coast. The ranges of the Royal Chakma Kingdom rise steeply thus looking far more impressive than what their height would imply and extend in long narrow ridges. There are numerous hills, ravines, and cliffs covered with dense vegetation. Geographically the Royal Chakma Kingdomwas divided into two broad ecological zones: hilly valleys and agricultural plains. The highest peaks on the northern side areThangnang, Langliang and Khantiang; on the eastern side Aizawl, Pulungsei, Bukmont, Lunglei, Puankai, Rajmandalsuk, Parva, Devagiri Hill,Damdev and Bajeitlang, while those on the southern side are Ramu,Taung, Keokradang, Tahjindong, Mowdok Mual, Rang Tlang and Mowdok Tlang; and only plain agricultural land on the west. The “Rajmandalsuk” (about 4,700 ft )and the “Tahjindong” (4,632 ft), is the highest peaks in the Kingdom. The Royal Chakma Kingdom is very rich in natural flora and fauna. Such as elephant, tiger, bear, wild boar, various kinds of monkeys, barking deer, wild goat and various kinds of birds and alpine flora is very common in the country.
The “Jamasuk” is situated in the heart of the country, about 25 km from the capital city of Rangamati. This is third highest mountain in the Kingdom. The name “Jam” is one of the ancient Spiritual Sage use to live and practice meditation on the top of the mountain. He was belong from Chakma indigenous community of the Royal Chakma Kingdom. In Chakma language “Suk” means mountain. For instance, the name of the mountain became famous as “Jamasuk”. Its also mentioned in the Chakma folklore about the relation between him and the mountain. The biggest river in Royal Chakma Kingdom is known as “Borgang” which is also known as “Karnapuli”. The biggest Lake is called “Kaptai Lake”.
*History:*The “Bijok” is the history in Chakma language. So, the “Chakma Bijok” is the chronological history of the “Chakma Nation”. About hundreds of Chakma history written by different authors and in different languages and in different periods. But, very few writers we can foundamongst the Chakmas, that is lack of education and historical experiences. Some of the authors wrote that he/she belong from Chakma Nation or Sakya, but nothing knew about the religious historical background of the Chakmas or Sakyas. Some of the authors (Muslim) wrote about their origin that he/she knew nothing aboutSakya national historical background as well as religious historical background of them that just to create a problem for political and religious interest for his/her own Nation or Party or Religion or Country. Some of the authors wrote that just collected some reports, recorded by the own Government. Some authors wrote an article about their origin that just he visited few Chakma villages. Here, you will get wide ranges of resources about their origin, both from religious as well as national historical background about the Sakyas or Chakmas.
According to the Chakma historians, the rulers of the Royal Chakma Kingdom was most powerful ever than others Raja (King)in this region in the 6th century. As per as Chakma historians as well as early Buddhist historical evident that the Chakma Raja Bijoygiri, belong from Campaor Champaknagr (now Bhagalpur) in the Kingdom of Anga which was Bengal (now West Bengal and Bihar); came and settled down in the present Jummaland along withhis Royal family and large military troops. His father, Raja Samargiri, who was belongfrom Sakya clan and was most powerful ruler of Kingdom of Anga in the early 6th century. He had two sons, named Prince Bijoygiri and Prince Udaigiri.
In around 630 AD, Chakma Raja Bijoygiri, left the Kingdom of Anga and first started march throughout the river of Brahmaputraand conquered the Tamarlipitka countries (now Assam, Arunachal, Meghalaya, etc.). After conquered this Region, he further went to conquered the Kingdom of Tripura in 641 AD. Thousands of local Sakyas, whomigrated from Kingdom of Anga in 2nd century also joined with the Raja Bijoygiri army to fight against the Tripura army. (At present population approximately, 60,000; living in different parts of State of Tripura, mostly at Pechartal, Abhaynagar, Khanchanpur, Majmara, Danisora, Nabinsora, Manu, Sammanu, Halajari, Dolajari, Silasuri, Gumethul, Toichangma, etc.) Finally in 645 AD, they captured wholeKingdom with little effort and established Chakma Royal Dynasty in the Kingdom of Tripura. After conquered, the Kingdom of Tripura, he established his capital at “Rangamati” (now Udaipur) on the bank of Gomti River and later in 14th century Tripura Raja Manekya shifted to Anguli (now Agartala), and other administrative camps at “Champaknagar”, it is 30 km from capital city of Agartala and “Chakma Ghat”. The Champaknagar, Rangamati and Chakma Ghat is an ancient city during the time of Royal Chakma Kingdom. Raja Bijoygiri was build Raj Benuvan Buoddha Vihar (Royal Buddhist Temple) in around 648-49 AD at Anguli. It is one of the oldest Buddhist temple in Tripura. After ten years rules in Kingdom of Tripura (645-665 AD), he further decided to march toward the east in order to conquered new territories. When they arrived in the eastern Region (Hill Tracts, Cox’s Bazaar, Chittagong, Rangunia, etc.) was “no man land “ during that periods. So, without any battles and less effort, Chakma Raja Bijoygiri occupiedand established the Royal Chakma Kingdom in the Regions.
So, in 666 AD, he was established his rule and transferred his capital city from old Rangamati of Tripura to new Rangamati in the Hill Tracts permanently. In 674 AD, he captured the Kingdom of Kuki up to LungleiMountain (now Lunglei town), Aizawl city, Bukmont, Amsuri, Saiha town and Parva areas. During the battle with Kuki army, his only son Prince Devagiri has been killed by the Kuki army. After that, he established a sub-capital administrative town at Devagiri in the memory of his son Prince Devagiri. Since than the named Devagiri became a famous in the Chakma history. His cremation ground was made a memorial stone by the Raja Bijoygiri. The memorial stone was stand until the British occupation in 1945 AD. Later, the local administrative government changed the name from Devagiri to Demagiri (now Tlabung change by the Mizoram government in order to removed Chakma historical evident). He was established three administrative division, namely; Devagiri division, Bukmont Division and Rajmandal Division. Many armies inter-married with Kukis and settled there permanently. Since than, the Chakmas started to live in Mizoram. At present, population approximately, 120,000 and the Central Government of India created “Chakma Autonomous District Council” for them in 1972 AD.
From 645- 680 AD, the areas of Hill Tracts, Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Rangunia, Kingdom of Tripura and Kuki Territory was under the Royal Chakma Kingdom control by the Chakma Raja Bijoygiri, than most powerful King in this Region. During the 35 years of his rules in this rRegion, he established all sorts of well administrative system and Buddhism became State religion. Since than Chakmas or Sakyas people started living centuries to centuries in this Region with Peace and Harmony. After 35 years in this region, Raja Bijoygiri march toward the east. He conquered the Kingdom of Roang (now Arakan State of Myanmar) in 682 AD.Raja Bijoygiri became a great powerful King ever had seen in the history of Chagma Dynasty. Now, the Kingdom of Roang became under his control. After established his rule in Roang, he suppose to return to Champaknagar, Kingdom of Anga, but the news reached to him that his father Raja Samargiri was died and the younger brother Prince Udaigiri became successor of his father. So, he decided to settled with his large armies instead of going back to the Kingdom of Anga. His armies intermarried with local tribes and started settled permanently. Later, in 698 AD, he died in Roang with his old age. Afterhe died, his successor gradually lost the whole territories from Roang King, Kuki King and Tripuri King.
From 7-10th centuries, no any Chakma Rajas appeared in the Chakma history that they was under the control of Roang Rajas and Tripura Rajas, who was the powerful Kings in the 300 years. In 953 AD, Arakan King (Roang) occupied the Hill Tracts, Chittagong and adjacent areas. Even though, the Chakmas never lost their identity and nationality as “Chakma”, their languages as “Chakma language” as well as their religion as “Buddhist”. Still thousand of Chakmas living in Arakan State of Myanmar; State of Tripura, Assam,Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal, West Bengal in India; China, Jummaland and Bangladesh. But, some thousands are displaced and migrated from their original Homeland to another, because of political reasons. For example, Chakmas from Cox’s Bazaar, Raja Nagar of Rangunia, Chittagong in Bangladesh shifted to Jummaland; 30,000 Chakmas migrated to Arunachal Pradesh in 1964 AD.
After 3 centuries, the Chakma Raja Kamal Chega reunified the Chakma movement in Roang in the early 11th century. His wife Queen Manikbi also morally supported the movement to unified the Royal Chakma Kingdom. After build his large armies, Raja Kamal Chega fought with Magh King of Roang in 1118 AD. The battle was lasted over one year. He was recaptured the Kingdom of Roang and bring the whole Kingdom under his control in 1119 AD. He established Royal Chakma Kingdom in Roang, Chittagong, Hill Tracts, Cox’s Bazaar, Kingdom of Tripura and some adjacent areas of the Region. Later in 1122AD, he shifted the Royal capital from Roang to Rangunia of Chittagong permanently. Since than Royal Chakma Dynasty became powerful and existed.
After Raja Kamal Chega died, his successors lost the Kingdom partly from the King of Tripura in 1240 AD, King of Tripura occupied the region up to Feni Valley and Khagrachari division. In around 14th century, Chakma Raja Marekyaja recaptured the whole Region again from the King of Tripura and King of Kuki and permanently established his ruled in Cox’s Bazaar, Chittagong, Tripura, Kuki Territory and Hill Tracts. The whole Region was thenwas an independent Buddhist kingdom ruled by Chakma Raja’s until 1575 AD. In 1575 AD, the Chakma Rajas lost the Roang Kingdom in the battle from Arakan King and continued possession the Region till 1666 AD. In fact this region frequently changed hands between the rulers of Chakma, Tripura and Arakan from 7th-15th centuries.
From 15th to 17th centuries, the Chittagong, Cox’s Bazaar, Tripura, Roang Kuki Territory and CHT came under the control of three feuding forces- the Mughal(Islam), the King of Tripura(Hindu) and King of Chakma (Buddhist). During these 300 years, Buddhism maintained a flickering existence in this Region. The Chakmas exerted the greatest influence and Chakma Raja’s exercise total control over all indigenous communities who was under the areas of Roang, Chittagong, Cox’s Bazaar, Kuki Territoy and Hill Tracts. The Mughal control all the Easter Region from Comilla to West Bengal and King of Tripura control the areas of Tripura state only.
In 1550 AD, a Portuguese cartographer named Joa De Barros shown the Royal Chakma Kingdom on his map as the Feni River to the north, the Roang including Namre or Naf River to the south, the 1/3rd Kuki Territory to the east and the Bay of Bengal to the west.
From 1666 to 1760 AD, the who whole Regions was totally gone under the control Mughal Empire. During the Mughal Periods,Raja Sulab Khan (1681-1686 AD), Raja KaluKhan (1686- 1700 AD) Raja Fateh Khan (1700-1725 AD), Raja Jallal Khan(1725-1737 AD) and Raja Shermusta Khan (1737-1773 AD) was ruled the Roang,Chittagong, Cox’s Bazaar, Kuki Territory and Hill Tracts for 87 years under the control of the Royal Chakma Kingdom. During the whole period of the Mughal ruled in this Indian sub-continent, the Chakma Raja’s were internally supreme and externally free.
Of course in 1712-1729 AD, there were several encounters between the forces of Raja Fateh Khan and Raja Jallal Khan and on the other hand the Mughal because of border dispute and they captured two canons ( 1700-1725 AD) from the Mughal, which is still preserved at Royal Chakma Palace at Rangamati. However, in 1713 AD,Raja Fateh Khan made “Peace Treaty” with the Mughals and obtained permission fromFarrukshiyar, the Mughal Emperor, to allow “Beparies”(Traders) to trade with the Indigenous People on payment of cotton. Italso gave access the Indigenous people to Chittagong for buying their necessities i.e. salt, dry fish etc.
In 1725 AD, Raja Jallal Khan re-established the treaty with the Mughal Nawab. In the treaty was mentioned that the Royal Chakma Kingdom is Independent Kingdom,paying revenue only from cotton(Karpas) to the Mughal Nawab. During his rule, the area of Royal Chakma Kingdom was the Feni River to the north, the Mandu, Budidaung including Namre or Naf River to the south, the 1/3rd Kuki Territory to the east and the Bay of Bengal to the west. The Kingdom was huge production of cotton, that so why the region also known as “Karpas Region or Karpas Mahal”. The treaty was lasted till 1760 AD.
During the Battle of Plassey in 1757 AD brought many thousands of Bengali Muslim (who are now living in Chittagong, Cox’s Bazaar and Hill Tracts) in the Royal Chakma Kingdom from Bengal, under the suzerainty of the British East India Company. After the battle of Plassey, the East India Company became the virtual master of the whole of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The East India Company took over the administration of Royal Chakma Kingdom too, on 15 October 1760 AD and led several military expeditions against theChakma Raja Shermusta Khan to establish their colonial footing in the Region.
In 1763 AD, Mr. Henry Verlest, the First Chief Officer of the Chittagong, appointed by the East India Company officially proclaimed that the “Hill Tract” bounded the geographical area by the Nizampur Road and Bay of Bengal to the west, 1/3rd Kuki Territory to the east, the Feni River to the north and Sangu Rivers to the south belonged to Royal Chakma Kingdom under the Chakma Raja Shermusta Khan. The first battle of the Raja Shermusta Khan with East India Company ensued in 1772 AD and subsequent battles with Raja Sher Dawlat Khan from 1777 to 1780 AD, it was lasted four years. In 1782 AD, Raja Jan BuxKhan and his Supreme-General Rono Khan formally battles against the British East India Company. Supreme-General Rono Khan may be regarded as equal to such freedom fighters as Bhavani Pathak or Majnu Shah in courage and ability. This war was popularly known as “Carpus Revolt”, and the war was lasted for ten years.
In 1784 AD, under instructions from the British authorities Mr Irwin, who was then the Chief of Chittagong, conducted negotiations many times with the representative of the Chakma Raja Jan BuxKhan for a peaceful solution in this Region.But, Mr. Irwin failed to bring any success.
From 1772-1787 AD, after about one and half decade of fighting; Chakma Raja Jan Bux Khan finally compelled to signed a “Peace Treaty” in 1787 AD, which named as “Cotton Treaty” with the East India Company at Fort William in Calcutta. The war ended when the British had imposed an economic blockade and forced the Chakma Raja Jan Bux Khan for a negotiation settlement. This was the beginning of the British hegemony over theRoyal Chakma Kingdom.
The Royal Chakma Kingdom completely goes under control of the British. But, according to the treaty, the British pledge that not to intervene in administrative affairs of the Region. Under this treaty the Quasi-independent Status of Royal Chakma Kingdom was recognised. The subject matter of the treaty between the Governor General of British and the Chakma Raja Jan Bux Khan was as follows: (1) The East India Company recognised Jan Bux Khan as the Raja of the Royal Chakma Kingdom; (2) It was agreed that the collection of revenue was the responsibility of Raja; (3) The British government would preserve Chakma Autonomy and migration from the plains; (4) Jan Bux Khan was bound by the treaty to maintain peace in his Royal Chakma Kingsom; (5) British troops would remain in the Royal Chakma Kingdom not to terrifythe Chakmas but to protect the land from the inroads of the fierce tribes.
For long 22 years (1760-1787 AD), the Chakmas Raja’s offered resistance againstBritish authority. It was in fact a war of aggression conducted by the British rulers against the Chakmas who were conductinga war of defence. Though they were defeated by the British army they could notbe subdued. Their fight for freedom added a new chapter to the resistance movement that was going on throughout Bengal in thelatter part of the 18th century. All the Chakma Raja’s demonstrated same degreeof courage, fortitude and love of freedom like other contemporary freedom fighters of Bengal. Their resistance against imperialism is worthy of being remembered by the posterity.
In 1791 AD, the Board of the East India Company authorised the Collector of RoyalChakma Kingdom to replace the cotton tribute by a cash payment which was fixed at 1,775 rupees. In 1829 AD, Mr. Hunter and Mr. Halhed, the Commissioners of Chittagong, in their report clearly stated: “The indigenous tribes of the Royal Chakma Kingdom are not British subjects, but merely tributaries, and we have no rights on our part to interfere with their internal arrangements”.
From 1787 to till 1860 AD, the British government did not intervene in the internal administration of the Royal Chakma Kingdom. More than a hundred years afterwards on June 20, 1860 AD, the Royal Chakma Kingdom was divided into two parts as Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts-CHT or Parbatya Chittagong by the British without any concerned of Chakma Rani Kalindi. Former part is knownas “Chittagong” which was included into Bengal as a regulated district and later partis known as CHT Region, which was retained as non-regulated district with a limited a Autonomy under the Governor-General of British India. Since than the Chittagong district separated from the Royal Chakma Kingdom and administration gone from thehand of Chakma Rani Kalindi.
So, all the prominent Chakma Raja’s (Raja Tabur Khan, Raja Jabbar Khan, Raja Dharam Box Khan, Raja Shukdev Roy, Queen Kalindi Rani and others) reigned independently in Royal Chakma Kingdom during the whole pre-British Periods until 1860 AD.
After creation of CHT , as “Independent District” by the British on June 20, 1860 AD,within the undivided British Bengal for Indigenous peoples and it was totally separated in regard of administration from Chittagong district without any concerned with Chakma Queen Rani Kilindi ( Notification No 3302). Chakma Rani Kalindi was strongly resisted against the British decision on the creation of CHT Region. The Boundary Commission tasked with partitioning India and Pakistan opted to include the CHT Region in Pakistan, despite the protests of some segments of the community. Pakistani rule saw the beginning of the end of the Autonomy that the Indigenous communities had since 1860 AD.
The first time in the history, CHT Region were administered from Bengal. The British administrator under the colonial state recognized the three Chiefs of the CHT Region, known as Mong, Chakma and Bohmong. Despite the Chiefs, public display of power, their jurisdiction was quite restricted. The Chiefs Power was also circumscribed by the fact that they were under the control of the state bureaucracy. From 1860’s onward, British officials with the considerable power resided in the CHT Region. They oversaw the Chiefs doings and formed vanguard of an extensive and expanding bureaucracy with that the Chiefs and other inhabitants of the CHT Region.In 1861 AD, the Indian Council of Law had passed in the Parliament. This Law is recognizes the regulations passed by Governor General orlocal authorities with regards to areas outside the Law’s jurisdiction. In 1867 AD, East India Company came to an end, while the British monarchy took over the power of whole India. In 1870 AD, the Governmentof India passed an “Act” that the Governor General can amend the law which is related to the “Special Areas”. In 1870’s theHead of the Department of Forest proposed that the whole Marma and Chakma population should be removed from their native hills to protect the forest. In 1871 AD, almost entire area was declared as government forest. In 1871-72 AD, the first experiments with teak plantation were carried out. In 1874-75 AD, two forest reserves were demarcated, followed by 5 more up to 1883 AD. Thus in twelve years one-third of entire CHT Region was taken away from use of cultivator and put under forest department.In 1872 AD, it was found that only 2% were non-indigenous and more than 90 % indigenous populations in CHT Region till 1951 AD.
In 1873 AD, Bohmong Circle were created and later in 1883 AD, Mong Circle were created respectively. Consequently, the CHT Region was divided into three Circles, namely, Chakma, Bohmong and Mong. Each Circle was sub-divided into several Mouzas and the mouzas into Paras (villages). There were 33 blocks formed in 1880 AD for the census of 1891 AD and had been constituted permanent divisions and were called “Taluk’” in CHT. Subsequently, these Taluks were sub-divided “Mouzas”or taxation areas.
Chakma Queen Kalindi Rani (1830 – 1873 AD) was ruled the CHT Region until 1873 AD and after her died his successors Raja Harish Chandra Roy Bahadur became Raja in the CHT Region in 1873 AD. Its capital was Raja Nagar of Rangunia under the Chittagong district, later he transferred the capital at Rangamati under the CHT Regionin 1874 AD.
Archaeological heritage and relics remnants of the Royal Chakma Palace of Chakma Raja Shukdev Roy, Ranir Pond (Raja Hat), Queen Kalindi, Raja Pagla Mama Daroga and Dharma Chakra Vihar (established in 1750 AD) are still preservedat Rangunia.
According to historical evident that 117 years (1757-1874 AD), Raja Nagar of Rangunia was the capital city of Royal Chakma Kingdom and ruled by the following prominent Chakma Raja’s: Raja Shukdev Roy, Raja Sher Daulat Khan, Raja Jan Bux Khan, Raja Tabbar Khan, Raja Jabbar Khan, Raja Dharam Bux Khan, Rani Kalindi, Raja Harish Chandra Roy Bahadur , Raja Pagla Mama Daroga and others. Afterthe dead of Raja Harish Chandra Roy Bahadur (1873-1876 AD), his son Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy(1876-1934 AD) became Raja in the Chakma Circle.
In 1881 AD, the CHT Police Regulation allows Indigenous people to form their own independent police force. Later on 7thDecember 1881 AD, for the maintenance ofdiscipline among the police personnel in CHT Region, Frontier Police Regulation III of 1881 was promulgated and CHT Police Force was raised with Indigenous hill people. According to Lord Dalhousie’s permanent program for Indian forest management announced in 1885 AD, the ruling principle was to consider timber standing on a state forest as imperial property to which “Individuals or communities had no rights or claims” [Guha 1983, 1988].
On 1st May, 1900 AD, British enacted the Regulation 1 of the 1900 Act “CHT Manual or CHT Regulation 1900 Act” law had passed without any concerned with Circle Chief. The area is given exemption from administration as an “Excluded Area” to help preserve minority “Indigenous culture and heritage”. On April 1900 AD, further theCHT Region divided into Chakma, Bomang and Mong Circle by the British. Headmens and Karbaris to act as local administrators.According to Manual’s Regulation 34 banned non-hill people from buying or acquiring land in the area. In the CHT Regulation of 1900 it was clearly stated that: “No person other than a Chakma, Mogh or a member of any indigenous tribes of CHT Region, the Lushai Hills, the Arakan Hill Tracts or the State of Tripura and plain districts shall enter or reside within CHT Region unless he is in possession of a permit granted by the Deputy Commissioner at his discretion.” Thus, the CHT Regulation of 1900 providedfor limited self-government by the people of CHT Region and this was strictly followed by the administration. Administrative changes were, however, made in CHT Region under British rule:
(1) On 1921 AD, the CHT Regulation of 1900 was amended to declare CHT Regionas a “Backward Tracts” and gave the Governor in council sole authority in the area;
(2) The Government of India Act of 1935 created CHT Region is a totally “Excluded Area” and so granted further recognition tothe special status of CHT Region.
In 1900 AD, British colonial ruler enacted the CHT Manual , which provided the basic legal framework for civil, revenue and judicial administration in CHT Region. However, the original act has undergone considerable modification through subsequent amendments as well as the influence of new laws. The Regulation of 1900 also laid down specific rules on the rights of entry and residence in CHT Region, as well as land settlement and transfers. It included provisions designated to give special protection to the right of the hill people, while checking the further influx of Bengali, from the plain.
In 1915 AD, a organisation named “Chakma Juba Samiti” was formed at Rangamati under the leadership of Raj Mohan Dewan. This is the first political organisation amongst the Indigenous hill people in CHT Region. Through this organisation, some people from various classes tried to take initiatives to education and protection of national identity of the Indigenous people. Mr. Krishna Kishore Chakma was one of the educated scholar among the Indigenous, he was School Inspector during the British India. He established schools in several places and encouraged people to send their children into school. His initiatives for education supplied long-term input on national awareness among the Indigenous people in the CHT Region.In 1920 AD, the CHT Manual had amended for the safety of the Tribal people and the Region was declared as a “Backward Tract” which gave governor-General in council the responsibility of administering the CHT Region as an excluded area. The Government of India Act of 1935 designated the CHT Region as a totally excluded area. In 1925 AD, the CHT Manual had amended for the safety of the Indigenous people in CHT Region. This status was reconfirmed in the 1930’s, when the region was declared an excluded area under the Government of India Act.
The Indigenous people of the CHT Region had been associated with political activities since the second decade of the twentieth century. In 1919 AD, an organisation named “Chakma Jubak Sangha” headed by the Mr. Ganesshyam Dewan and Mr. Snehakumar Chakma was formed. The works of the organisation were basically limited within the interest ofHeadmen and elite class of the society. So,it did not put influence to the Indigenous society.
In 1920 AD, Mr. Kamini Mohan Dewan founded the “Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS)” which conducted varies social, cultural and economics activities for about two decades. Subsequently, in 1939 AD, Mr. Jamini Ranjan Dewan and Mr. Sneha Kumar Chakma were elected as President and General Secretary of PCJSS respectively, and it was at this stage that PCJSS started its political activities. Even though strict political stringency and bareness in the Region. Under their leadership that the organisation became a milestone in arousing political sentiment in CHT Region in later stages. In 1947 AD, just before the partition of India, PCJSS attempted to get the CHT Region allied to India. In 1935 AD, India Rule Law ratifies and recognizes validity of CHT Regulation 1900. In same year 1935 AD, the whole CHT Region became out of control of the Bengal administration and in the hands of the Indigenous Chiefs.
The British rule was over in 1947 AD. Indian subcontinent was partitioned on the basis of “Two-Nation Theory” under the provisions of Indian Independence Act, 1947. The Muslim and non-Muslim. The Muslim dominated regions were to constitute Pakistan and the non-Muslim dominated regions were to constitute the Indian Union. It was quite natural for the Indigenous people who constituted 98.5% of the total population of the then CHT Region to express desire to be included in the Indian Union. But the result was quite opposite, Sir Cyrill Radcliffe, Chairman of the Bengal Boundary Commission with a stroke of pen trampled down the aspirationof the people of CHT Region. The Bengal Boundary Commission recommended that CHT Region to be part of Pakistan and on 17 August 1947 AD, two days after the declaration of Pakistan independence the CHT Region was declared as part of Pakistan.
In fact, according to the primary survey reports of the Boundary Commission that CHT Region was to form a part of India. The mystery lies in the fact that the district of Zira and Ferozpur sub-division of Punjab, predominantly a Sikh populated area fell into Pakistan as envisaged in the early reports of “Punjab Boundary Commission”. As the Sikh are a brave and worrier nation they might not abide by the decision of the Punjab Boundary Commission if a part of Sikh dominated area would fall into Pakistan. Lord Mount Batten, Governor of the then India that the plan for Indian division might go futile; so he took it with serious concern. Therefore, Lord Mount Batten cancelled his primary plan and awarded CHT Region to Pakistan two days later after the declaration of Pakistan independence in exchange of Ziradistrict and Ferozpur sub-division with India. It was incompatible with the Indian independence Act of 1947 by the British government.
The Indigenous people of CHT Region could not abide by the decision of the Bengal Boundary Commission. So, on 15th to 20th August 1947 AD, under the banner of the PCJSS led by Mr. Ghanesshyam Dewan and Mr. Sneha Kumar Chakma hoisted Indian flag at Rangamati District Administrator’s office, capital city of CHT Region and in under the leadership Bohmong Chief hoisted Burmese flag at Bandarban as a mark of protest against this injustice. After six days later the Indianflag at Rangamati was lowered by the Pakistani Army at gun point. The leaders ofthe Indigenous people resistance squads to defy the decision of the Bengal Boundary Commission. It was really an injustice to the Indigenous people meted out by the British at the fag end of their rule. The Indigenous vehemently protestedagainst the decision but to no avail. All their efforts were thwarted when Baluch Regiment of Pakistan Army entered into CHT Region and proclaimed control over the area on 21 August 1947 AD.
On 17th August 1947 AD, as partition approaches, Lord Mount Batten pressures Sir Cyril Radcliffe to redraw his lines over the CHT Region and several Punjab districts. In the end, Radcliffe assigns CHT Region to the new state of Pakistan. Among the Indigenous leaders Mr. Kamini Mohon Dewan, Sneha Kumar Chakma, Mr. Kisto Mohan Chakma and others clash over whether Indigenous rights will be protected in Pakistan. A group of Indigenous leaders including Mr. Sneha Kumar Chakma, Mr. Kisto Mohan Chakma, and others that is fearful for their rights give up their land and cross over into India and Chakma Raja Tridiv Roy to Pakistan forsafe their life.
Then on July 18, 1947 AD, when the Indian Independence Act was published, it showed that Radcliff had not listened to the submissions of the two Hindu members of the Bengal Boundary Commission, Justice Bijon Mukherjee and Charu Biswas, that CHT Region should be with India. Mr. Snehakumar Chakma , the representative of the Parbatya ChattagramJana Samhati Samity (PCJSS) ran to Delhi after hoisting the Indian Flag at Rangamati on 15th August 1947 AD, to meet the Indian leaders to try and revise the decision of Radcliffe. He had met Sardar Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru after waiting 50 days at Delhi. When he finally got an audience and told Jawaharland Nehru the CHT Region should be with India, and the Chakmas and other Indigenous peoples were ready to fight for this and would Indiahelp with arms, Nehru got up in anger and shouted “Do you propose to bring India under foreign rule again?” That decision sounded the death knell for the helpless Chakmas.
After decolonisation in 15th August 1947 AD, the CHT Region were incorporated intoEast Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Since Raja Harish Chandra Roy Bahadur (1853-1876 AD), Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy ( 1876 – 1934 AD ) Raja Nalininako Roy ( 1902 – 1952 AD), Raja Tridiv Roy ( 1933 –), Raja Devshis Roy ( 1959 – ), Prince Tribhuwan Arydev Roy ( 1990 – ) to present ruling as a nominal head in the Circle Chief in the Chakma Circle in the CHT Region.
*Major Historical Events:*1. From 630- 698 AD, Chakma Royal Kingdom was consisted – the Hill Regions (now Jummaland or CHT), Cox’s Bazaar, Chittagong, Rangunia, Kingdom of Tripura (now Tripurara State of India), Kuki Kingdom (now Mizoram State of India), Kingdom of Roang (now Arakan State of Myanmar) and Tamarlipitka countries (nowAssam, West Bengal,Meghalaya, etc.). All territories was under the Royal Chakma Kingdom control by the Chakma Raja Bijoygiri. He was most powerful Chakma Rajas ever had seen in the history of Chakma Dynasty. During 68 years of his rules in this Region, he established all sortsof well administrative system and Buddhism became State religion. Since than Chakmas or Sakyas people started living in this Region with Peace and Harmony.
2. From 698-1000 AD, lost the whole Royal Chakma Kingdom from Roang King, Kuki King and Tripura King.
3. In 1118 AD, Chakma Raja Kamal Chega, Chakma Raja Marekyaja and others fought with Magh King of Roang and reunified andestablished the Royal Chakma Kingdom until 1575 AD.
4. In 1550 AD, a Portuguese cartographer named Joa De Barros shown the Chakma Royal Kingdom on his map as the Feni River to the north, the Namre or Naf River to the south, the Kuki Territory to the east and the Bay of Bengal to the west.
5. From 1575-1666 AD, lost the Royal Chakma Kingdom from Arakan King.
6. From 1666 to 1760 AD, the who whole regions was totally gone under the control Mughal Empire. During the Mughal Periods,the following Chakma Raja’s was ruled for 94 years: Raja Sulab Khan (1681-1686 AD),Raja Kalu Khan (1686-1700 AD), Raja FatehKhan (1700-1725 AD), Raja Jallal Khan (1725-1737 AD) and Raja Shermusta Khan (1737-1773 AD) . The whole period of the Mughal rule in this Indian sub-continent, the Chakma Raja’s were internally supremeand externally free.
7. For long 22 years (1760-1787), all the Chakma Raja’s offered resistance against British authority. Finally Raja Jan Bux Khan signed a treaty with the British.
8. From 1787 to till 1860, the British government did not intervene in the internal administration of the Royal Chakma Kingdom.
9. From 1860-1947 AD, Royal Chakma Kingdom separated into two administrativedivisions as “Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts”; recognized three Circle Chiefs (Mong, Chakma and Bohmong) in the CHT Region; CHT Manual or CHT Regulation 1900 Act; Two-Nation Theory; Pakistan andIndia Independence.
The total area approximately 25,000 sq. miles which was fifth times bigger than present Jummaland. It was a unique Kingdom with mountains and beautiful landscapes and completely different in physical features, agricultural practices and soil conditions from the other neighbouring Kingdom. The socio-economically and culturally stretching along West Bengal-Kuki Territory-Burma-Bangladesh border – was similar to Sri Lanka (25,097 sq. miles). It roughly runs 400 km from north to south and 380 km from west to east. It is divided into three coastal division’s – northern, eastern and southern parts of the Kingdom constitute the hilly areas and the western parts of the region is coastal plains. It is commonly known as as “Royal Chakma Kingdom”. The western coastline consists of a 100 km long sandy sea beach on the Bay of Bengal and the remainder of the region consists of plains of Cox’s Bazar district and Chittagong Division in the west.
Royal Chakma Kingdom has a mild hot wetclimate. April and May are the hottest months of the year where average temperatures of the months range from 50º F to 80º F. Average temperature in the cold seasons is below 25º F . In the cold seasons, temperatures fall as low as freezing point of water in the higher parts of mountains. Average annual rainfall is 70– 110 inches. The southern part of Kingdom gets more due to the storms come from Bay of Bengal.
Since 5th century to 1872 AD, there was noany census. As per as recorded by the Chakma Royal family, the total population of the Royal Chakma Kingdom was more than 200,000 (approximately) until 1872. From 1872 to until 1951, the Indigenous population was found that 98%. But due to demographic engineering by the Mughal, British, India, Pakistani and Bangladeshi government, this overwhelming majority declined drastically. The total population approximately 50 millions in 2006, in wholeRoyal Chakma Kingdom ( Jummaland, Chittagong, Cox’s Bazaar, Arakan, Tripura and Mizoram).
The Indigenous people are of Sino-Tibetan descent belonging to the Mongoloid Race. From the time immemorial the Royal Chakma Kingdom have been the home of 12 indigenous ethnic minority groups. Theywas only one National identity known as “Chakma or Chakma Nation”. But very recently after Independent from the British in 1947, they all the Indigenous peoples designated themselves as “Indigenous Jumma” which is collectively identify themselves as the “Jumma people” or “Jumma Nation”. They are Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Tanchangya, Mro, Lushai, Khumi, Chak, Khyang, Bawm, Pankho and Murung. The word “Jumma” derives from the word “Jum or Jhum”, local dialect the literally means slash and burn style of shifting cultivation on hill slope. Thus, Jumma meant indigenous people or Jumma Nation of the Jummaland (Chittagong Hill Tracts) who occupationallyengage in such cultivation in general. So, they designated the Kingdom as “Jummaland” in order to develop according to modern political pattern. The Jumma people are distinct and different from the majority Bengali population of Bangladesh in respect of race, language, culture, religion and ethnicity. There are diversities amongst the ethnic groups themselves, which have their own distinct languages, customs, religious beliefs, and systems of social organization. They even choose to live in different habitats. The Chakmas, Marmas, and Tripura live in valleys. The Khumi, Murung, Lushai, Bawm,Pankho, Khumi, Khyang, Tanchangya and Chak live on hill ridges. Among the hill people in the Jummaland, the Chakmas arethe most dominant and largest group, comprising about 40 percent; they are Buddhists. The Marmas, the second largest, comprising about twenty percent of the population, are also Buddhists. The third largest—the Tripuras—are Hindus. The rest of the Jumma people—the Lushai, Pankho and Bawm—are Christians. There are minority groups who are animists or followers of variations of various religions. Religious statistic in Jummaland is found that Buddhist over 85% of the population; Christian 3%; Hindus 7% ; animist and others about 3%. But the people who are under the Indian State of Mizoram, they have their own district council named as “Chakma Autonomous District Council” which was created by the Government of India in 1972. The people who are under the Government of Bangladesh have their own council known as “Regional Council”.
Culture and language:
As Royal Kingdom is endowed by many dales and hills as well as enriched by various floras and faunas, the culture and literature of the Jummas are also diverse and rich though embedded in a single domain or ascended from a single domain.The national ideology of all 12 ethnic indigenous communities is one, which is “Jumma Nation” and “Free Jummaland”. However, the Jummas have minor differences in their language and culture tosuit different environments accepting themas verities of tradition and as the richness of Jumma literature and culture. The Jummas are rich in folk tales, folk dances, folk music, as well as musical instruments.The Jumma cultural heritages are preserved, maintained, and transformed from one generation to another by oral history before the Jummas have writing system in early 1700s. Enhanced the culture and language of the Jummas into amore sophisticate ways.
The Jumma language descended from Tibeto-Burman language domain. However,each indigenous group speaks its own dialect, but Bengali is widely used in Jummaland due to Muslim regime for over six decades. But, the Chakma people who are under India, they are still speaking pureChakma language without any mixed. The Jummas are known as honest, tolerant, brave, and religious people. This distinctness of language and culture indicate that the Jummas are one of the indigenous peoples in their own land.
1. Chakma :
The Chakmas are the largest ethnic group of Jummaland. They call themselves “Chagma”. They are concentrated in the central and northern parts of the Jummaland where they live amidst several other ethnic groups. Exact population figures are lacking but the mostreliable estimates put their number at 600,000 in 2006. More than 90% of them are concentrated in Rangamati and Khagrachari districts. They are Buddhist, have own dialect and scripts. More than 120, 000 (approximately) living in the Stateof Mizoram which was under the Chakma Royal Kingdom.
2. Marma :
The Marma is the second largest indigenous ethnic group in the Jummaland. They have been Theravada Buddhists, like the Burmese, Thai and Sri Lankan, for many centuries. The Marma have their own script and speak a language which is almost identical to that of the Rakhine of Arakan state in Myanmar.The 1991 census puts the total number as 157, 301 and approximately 197,000 in 2006. They are living in Bandarban, Khagrachari and Rangamati district. The Marmas are great lovers of music and drama.
3. Tripura :
Most Tripura call themselves “Tipra”. They have about 36 sub-groups called “Dafas”, such as Fatung, Jamatia, Nationg,Noatia, Riang and Usui. The Tripura language belongs to the Bodo branch of the Tibeto-Burman family of languages. They are Hindus by religion. In 1991, the total number of Tripuras in Jummaland was 79,772 and approximatelyalmost 100,000 in 2006.
4. Tanchangya :
Most of the Tanchangya live on the borders between the Rangamatiand Chittagong districts. They are the sub-clans of Chakmas.In terms of population, they are ranks in fifth among the 12 indigenous communities of Jummaland, but in general reference they are mentioned as the fourth. According to the 1991 population census enumerated them at 21,057 and approximately 45,000 in 2006.They are traditionally Buddhist. Tanchangya are known to be very romanticand artistic. Love and romance are therefore never far away. They are very musical too. More than 10,000 (approximately) Tanchangya living in the state of Mizoram, which was under the Chakma Royal Kingdom.
5. Khumi :
The Kukis claimed that Khumi is one of the sub-clan of them as like Lushai, Pankho, Mro, Khyang and Bonjoi. Khumis are Mongoloid. They are divided into two sub-clans. One is known as “Awa Khumi” and the other is “Aphya Khumi”. Both the clans once lived on the bank of the Koladain River. They are divided into “wife-giving” and “wife-taking” clans. They are mostly living Bandarban district of Jummaland. In 1869 their population was 2,000 and presently approximately 10,000 in 2006. The Khumis claim to be Buddhists,but their beliefs and religious rites are animist.
6. Mro :
Mro is a a small indigenous minority group, who live scattered in the Jummaland. They mostly living in the Bandarban district. The Mors are animists. Their creator is “Turai”, they have two othergods: “Oreng and “Sungtiang”. They have an oral dialect which belongs to the Tibeto-Burmese linguistic family. The Mro population was 20,000 in 1981; and at present approximately 35,000 in 2006.
7. Lushai :
Lushai or Lusei is a small indigenous community living in the Jummaland. They are the sub-clan of “Zo or Zomi ”. They belong to the Tibeto-Burman group of the Chino-Tibetan community. To the outsiders also known as “Zo” and “Kuki. They mostly living in the Khagrachari district. The total population was 1,041 in 1981 census. At present approximately 700 in 2006 that they left to Mizoram after their statehood in 1986. They are animists, “Pathian” is their chief god. The Lushais are divided into different sects. It is a patriarchal society. They have a language of their own known as “Lushai” or “Dolne” (Shafer 1955:107). During the British administration missionaries were active among them, as a result most of them took to Christianity. Their language too can be written in Latin script. About 2,000 Lushai living in Mizoram state which was under the Chakma Royal Kingdom.
8. Khyang :
Khyang is a small indigenous hill tribe in the Jummaland. Some of their clans are known after cats, monkeys and mice. They are the sub-clan of “Zo”. They call themselves “Hyou”. They are Buddhists but they also pay homage to “Nada Ga” (household deity) and “Bogley” (water deity). Their language belongs to the Kuki-Chin group. According to the 1991census, the total population of Khyang was2,343. At present the total population approximately 5,000 in 2006. They are mostly living in Rangamati district and Bandarban district of Jummaland.
9. Bawm :
Bawm is one of the small indigenous hill tribe living in the Jummaland. Ethnically, they belong to the Mongolian stock. They look like the Chagmas and the Marmas. The word “Bawm” means “ties”. The concept of such ties has developed from their culture of doing collectively all things of life, including hunting, singing and dancing, eating and drinking or offering homage to gods. Bawms are living in 70 villages in theBandarban district. According to 1991 census, the total population is 6,978 and atpresent, approximately 8,000 in 2006.
10. Chak :
Chaks are considered to be a sub-group of the Chakma. They call themselves “Asak”. The Sak population in Arakan also calls itself “Asak”. Their language resembles Kadu which is spoken in Myitkhyina district of northern Myanmar,and also with Andro and Sengmai languages of Manipur district in India. The Chaks are divided into two sects:
“Ando” and “Ngarek”. They are Buddhists. The population of Chaks are very little in scatter in the district of Bandarban of Jummaland. The total population approximately 10,000 in 2006. But the population figure is not available recorded in the Government statistics.
11. Pankho :
Pankho is one of a small hill tribe of Jummaland and considered a sub-branch of the Mongoloid race. The Pankho people are divided into two clans are “Pankho and Bonjoi”. Their languages and social lifestyles t have a lot of similarities with one another. Pankhos and Banjoi are short in height, have brown complexion, flat nose and small eyes. Theylive in the Bandarban district of CHT. The Chagmas called them as “Pankho Hugi” and “Bonjoi Hugi”. However, many believe that Pankhos and Banjois are two branches of what was once one ethnic group. Their population in 1869 was about 3000. The total population of Pankhos is 6,000- 7,000 in 2006 approximately.
12. Murung :
Murung is a indigenous hill tribe of Jummaland. They are divided into five major clans and ten sub-clans. The fivemajor clans are Dengua, Premsang, Kongloi, Maizer and Ganaroo Gnar. And other ten different sub-clans are Yarua, Yaringcha, Tang, Deng, Kough, Tam-tu-chah, Kanbak, Prenju, Naichah and Yomore.The Yarua is said to be the most influential and powerful among the Murung clans. According to 1991 census, the Murung population was 22,178 and constituted the fourth largest tribe in Jummaland. At present, approximately 35,000 in 2006. They are mostly in the Bandarban district. Most Murungs are Buddhists and recently some are converted into Christianity.
1. Chadigang: Chadigang was the most biggest populated city of Royal Chakma Kingdom in around 630-1874 AD. The name has been changed from Chadigang to Chittagong in 1666 AD by the Mughal and in 1860 AD, Royal Chakma Kingdom was divided into two parts namely Chadigang (Chittagong) and Hill Tracts by the British. It is well documented in the Chakmas folklore that about their settlement and departure from the Chadigang is called “Chadigang Chara-Pala” as commonly known “Genghuli Geet”.
2. Roang City:
Roang city was the metropolitan capital city of the Kingdom ofRoang. But, about two decades, Chakma Raja Bijoygiri was ruled that country. It wasRoyal Chakma Kingdom until 698 AD. Now,it is located in Arakan State of Myanmar.
Devagiri was one of administrative division during the rule of Chakma Raja Bijoygiri. His the only son, Prince Devagiri was killed at Devagiri with the battle of Kuki army in 674 AD. It was under the control of Royal Chakma Kingdom. But, now it is under the Mizoram State of India. The Devagiri named had changed into Demagiri by the local administrative and later the present government changed into Tlabung in order to removed Chakma historical evident. Thememorial stone was stand until British occupation in that area in 1947 AD. It is about 20 km to the east, international border of Jummaland.
4. Champaknagar (Tripura):
Champaknagar of Tripura was one of the ancient capital city of Royal Chakm Kingdom in the middle of 6th century, during the rule of Chakma Raja Bijoygiri. It is located at the Bank of Gomti River(Gomet-hul) in south Tripura State of India. About 15 km international bordering to the north of Jummaland.
5. Campa or Champaknagar (Anga):
Campa or Champaknagar was the capital city of Anga in 6th century. Presently, it is located at Bhagalpur in West Bengal. The geographical areas of an ancient Kingdom of Anga was situated in Bihar and West Bengal. The ancestral of the Chakmas or Sakyas lived in the city of Champaknagar (now Bhagalpur in West Bengal)and their King was Chakma Raja Samargiri.
6. Rangamati ( Tripura):
Rangamati is situated in State of Tripura in India. It was also a capital city of Royal Chakma Kingdom during the rule of Chakma Raja Bijoygiri in around 6th century. Now, the named has been changed into Udaipur by the local administration. The named Agartala was also Anguli during the rule of Raja Bijoygiri and he was established RoyalBenuvan Buddhist Vihar.