Representation of Identity by Indigenous Population in Sylhet

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Representation of Identity by Indigenous Population in Sylhet by Md. Sultan Mahmood

Bangladesh was born as a nation state in 1971. The predominant popular narrative of Bangladeshi independence, which we have repeatedly encountered whether talking with members of the elite or ordinary people, bears evidence of a homogenous ‘Bangalee’ nationalism and a deep ambivalence toward the country’s indigenous people, or Adivasi. Here the term Indigenous or ‘tribal’ has no clear definition. This should come as no surprise, since the very way the UN operates in negotiations promotes agreements often containing vague wording. Furthermore, the international indigenous and other human rights movements have been changing over the last decades, and this is reflected in some changes in appropriate legal and political terminology. For more than two decades, ‘indigenous peoples’ issues and right have been guided by UN “working definition”. In Bangladesh indigenous movements have been taking root since 1993 beginning with the celebration of international year of indigenous people. (Khairul Chowdhury: 2008; p-57-61)

Objective of the study
This study examined the process of group identity formation among the indigenous peoples in Sylhet, Bangladesh, and the historical contingencies and dynamics associated with them.

Methodology of the study
The Research is done based on primary and secondary sources. The primary data assembled from various key resource persons and the indigenous forum as well as some NGOs those are working for the indigenous peoples through the method of interview. Here interview schedule is used to accumulate data from the resource persons. Secondary data is gathered from various journals, related book, articles, government documents, research reports by local and international aid agencies reports published by human rights groups, NGOs, seminars, and workshop papers, souvenirs, and local and national print media.

The Abstract of the Study...
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