THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM OF THE CHAKMAS: AN OVERVIEW
*JYOTI BIKASH CHAKMA
Meaning of Forgotten: The word forgotten is the third form of forget which means - 1) to cease or fail to remember; be unable to recall: to forget someone's name. 2) to omit or neglect unintentionally. 3) to leave behind unintentionally; neglect to take. 4) to omit mentioning; leave unnoticed. 5) to fail to think of; take no note of. 6) to neglect willfully; disregard or slight. 7) to cease or omit to think of something. 8) forget oneself, to say or do something improper or unbefitting one's rank, position, or character. 1
Meaning of Kingdom: 1) country or government which is ruled by a king or queen; domain, sphere, area or field which is independently controlled (i.e. kingdom of the mind); taxonomic division of the highest rank, 2) The territory or country subject to a king or queen; the dominion of a monarch; the sphere in which one is king or has control, 3) The rank, quality, state, or attributes of a king; royal authority; sovereign power; rule; dominion; monarchy. 4) An extensive scientific division distinguished by leading or ruling characteristics; a principal division; a department; as, the mineral kingdom. 2
As already said, the meaning of forgotten and kingdom, I would like to point my view on this topic. If we look at the history of the great Chakmas, the above two terms “forgotten and kingdom” are of the opinion that they are unavoidable to erase from the vocabulary of the English language. To discuss a little bit on it I would like to address some paragraphs which could understand us the history, traditions, cultures, religion and so on of the Chakmas.
The Chakmas: Different scholars differ on the origin and history of the Chakmas. Due to the lack of written literature on the history of the Chakmas, it is very difficult to trace the beginning of the beginning of Chakma settlement. But one popular view among the Chakmas is that their ancestors once lived in Champaknagar, although opinions differ as to its location. It is also guessed that the Chakma derived their name from Champaknagar itself. 3
The word Chakma is also seen in the map of Bengal “Descripção do Reino de Bengalla” which was drawn by Diego de Astor, a Portuguese, and was published in the book Quarta decada da Asia (Fourth decade of Asia) by João de Barros in 1615. The map shows a place called "Chacomas" on the eastern bank of the river Karnaphuli, suggesting that this is where the Chakmas used to live at that time. 4
The name Chakma is some time spelt as ‘Tsakma’ Tsak or Thek in Arakanese. In 1546, when the king of Arakan, Meng Beng, was engaged in a battle with the Burmese, the Sak king appeared from the north and attacked Arakan, and occupied the Ramu of Cox's Bazar, the then territory of the kingdom of Roang (now Arakan). 5
According to the Chakma historians, they belong to Sakya clan, ancient Kingdom of Anga (now West Bengal and Bihar). Raja Samagiri, claimed to be the most influential and most powerful ruler of the Kingdom of Anga in the early 6th century. He had two sons, named Prince Bijoygiri and Prince Udaigiri. Being the eldest son of the King, Bijoygiri took the burden of expanding the kingdom of the Sakyas. In around 630 AD, Bijoygiri left the Kingdom of Anga and started a huge march throughout the river Brahmaputra and conquered the Tamarlipitka countries (now Assam, Arunachal, Meghalaya, etc.).
* Jyoti Bikash Chakma (M.Com, NET) is a PhD Scholar in Commerce discipline at Mizoram University. He is also a Junior Research Fellow (JRF) of University Grants Commission, New Delhi After Tamarlipitka, he further went to conquer the Kingdom of Tripura in 641 AD and established Chakma Royal Dynasty in the Kingdom of Tripura with “Rangamati” (now Udaipur) as its Capital in 645 AD. After ten years of rule in the Kingdom of Tripura, he further decided to march toward the east and conquered new territories (presently the Chittagong Hill Tracts)...
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