IED organized daylong Adivasi Bangali cultural festival on February 9, 2019 at Bokultola, precinct of fine arts faculty, University of Dhaka on `Right to education in mother tongue of all ethnicities’. The event graced by Mr. Md. Aktaruzzaman, vice chancellor, University of Dhaka; Prof. Dr. Muhammad Samad, Pro. VC, University of Dhaka; Pankaj Bhattarcharya, eminent politician and President, Oikyonap; Former minister Mr. Rashed Khan Menon, MP; Md. Abdul Mazid, Secretary of National Museum; KM Shohiduzzaman, Social Welfare Officer, Dhaka zone-6; Rabindranath Soren, President of National Adivasi Council; teachers of Dhaka University and people from all walk of life. The total program was convened by eminent actor, play writer and cultural activist Mr. Mamunur Rashid.

 

It was the second event to strengthen fraternity between Adivasi and Bangali. The event was divided into four part namely a. inaugurationb. greetings exchangec. keynote presentation and discussion and d. colorful cultural event.

 

Inauguration

At the beginning, artists of Bangladhol and porainisantal cultural troupe cordially received the invited guests with attractive bits, dances and songs that touched the minds of guests and participants. Afterwards, the event was started with the national anthem. The Adivasi Bangali community along with invited guests showed the unique examples of unity, solidarity and fraternity of cultural diversity by tying knot on wrist and presentedflowers to each other. Marking the 21st February as international mother tongue day and paying homage to the martyrs, the Adivasi Bangali Cultural Festival 2019 was formally inaugurated hoisting 21 balloons that highly impressed participants.

 

Discussion meeting

Muhammad Samad, Pro VC of Dhaka University expressed with emotion, `tying knot is the unique symbol of union and solidarity between nation, cast, creed, religion and human being. Solidarity strengthens the power among nations to nations.’

Culture is the lifeline to the Adivasis. It has been lasting for thousand years that identified Adivasi. By thriving and promoting this culture that can glorify the beauty of the country, mentioned Mr.Md. Abdul Mazid, secretary of National Museum.  Pointing the survival and crisis of Adivasi, Mr. DipayonKhisa, information and campaign secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum said, `we are living under the pervasive aggression. Our culture, festival, land and language, nothing is left out. The sooner this trend to be changed, the better will happen.’

Mr. Numan Ahmed Khan, executive director IED discussed about techniques and dimensions of creating unity, interaction and fraternity among Adivasi and Bangali and said, `it is needed to act on personal ground to create unity, solidarity and fraternity between Adivasi and Bangali. Positive change of mindset is foremost needed at family, society and individual level. It will not achievable merely depends on political forces and state machineries.’

Discussing about the significances of the main theme former general secretary of DUCSU and convener of Janoudyog national committee, Doctor Mustaq Ahmed said, `if English become state language of all countries, then political and economic hegemony of British is literary accepted which is directly contradictory to the very conception of diversity. In the same tone, the spirit of language movement and international day of mother language become perish, unless the thriving of all ethnicities.’

Doubting about positive sensitivity and perception of Bangali generation towards Adivasis, former minister and current MP, Rashed Khan said, unless young generation of Bangali are sensitive towards Adivasis, it is impossible to create interaction, fraternity and unity among them.’‘Today’s event can act as springboard,’ he further elaborated.

Adivasi leader Bichitra Tirkey highlighted, poverty, decent environment and lack of security are major challenges to thrive Adivasi culture and said, if there is no money , then how there will be amusement. We cannot practice and nurture our culture at village level fearlessly and festive mode. Girls cannot move free and fearlessly. If there is no food, how come dance will bepossible?

Pointing the abject situation of Adivasi even 48 years after of liberation, Mr. Rabindranth Soren, President, Jatiyo Adivasi Porishod said, our overall development is not happened because our wealth have been taken away, rape, killing and lootings remain persist. We had long time demand to form separate land commission for plain land’s Adivasis. It seems as if when all land will be grabbed, then land commission will be formed.’

 

Keynote presentation: Oppressed literature of oppressed nations

The first session of the afternoon was the panel discussion of essay on oppressed literature of oppressed nation by essayist and biodiversity researcher Mr. Pavel Partha. The session was conducted by Mr. Robaet Ferdous, Prof. of mass communication and journalism, Dhaka University and chaired by Mr. Pankaj Bhattacharya, prominent politician and friend of Adivasi for long time. Apart from this, Mr. Shantanu Majumder, Prof. of political science, Dhaka University and Mr. Sourav Shikdar, prof of linguistic, Dhaka University were attended as panel discussants.

Mentioning the extinction of language, culture and nation is immense loss of civilization, Mr. Ferdous said, there are around 6500 languages arealive now. Only 1000 or less than that number of people speak in 2000 languages. In every 14 days, one language is lost from the world. What will happen if people are lost but documents exist? It is called `unpeopling’. If we do not take action now, our multi nation state will become single nation state which is bad for us.’

Prof. Sourav Shikdar, department of linguistic, Dhaka University discussed about the importance, prospect, challenges and possibility of right to education in mother tongue of Adivasis. In this connection he said, education policy 2010 has created the perspectives of education in mother tongue of Adivasis. Then national committee was formed to this respect. Initially, there was supposed to run education in mother tongue of 6 Adivasi community at pre-primary school but decision of education for Santal children is held up due to script debate. He further elaborated thatthe state should not only be sympathetic to the question of protection and development of indigenous languages, it has to be dutiful as well. Language should be used in daily life. Thus, the rights of indigenous languages will be protected.

Dr. Shantanu Majumder, Prof. of political science, University of Dhaka shared the thinking and attitude of theuniversity students to the question of multi nation state of Bangladesh. He said,‘most of the students have unclear idea about Bangladesh that it is a country of multi nations, religions, casts, languages and communities. The reason behind is not because that all students are arrogant and communal but Bangali nationalism make them less interested to the very notion of difference and diversity.’

If we do not protect Adivasi life, culture, literature and tradition, then it would be shameful for us. We fought for our rights but I doubt now in this matter that if we are becoming Germans of Hitler and Punjabis of Pakistan to the question of Adivasis, said chairperson of the discussion and president Oikyonap, Pankaj Bhattacharya.

 

Cultural event

Then Adivasi Bangali cultural 2019 began lastly. The colorful program performed by Adivasi and Bangali artists and went on till 9pm. Garo cultural team performed their three traditional dances. Then rickshaw puller KhokonMiya sang three Bangla songs. Krishnapakhyo- Bangali Band troupe sang four Bangla songs. Santal cultural troupe poraini performed three traditional Santali dances.

F Minor, famous indigenous women band sang two Bangla songs and one Mandi song. Famous adivasi band `Madol’ presented four Bangla songs.

Lastly, `Sido Kanhur Pala’ dance drama was staged. The drama featured on the first independent movement of Indian subcontinent in 1855-56 which led by Adivasi great freedom fighters Sido Kanhu.