festival depicted the struggle to protect culture. The many
speeches that were delivered, the poems and songs rendered
at the celebration, spoke of the sufferings and deprivations
faced by a large section of ignored and tortured people.
'What can one expect these tormented souls to do?' wondered
many, who attended this Aborigine Poetry and Cultural Festival-2005
held at the Rajshahi District Council Auditorium last week.
of people from tribes, namely, Santal, Orao, Mundi, Raioar
and Pahari flocked to the auditorium with a hope within,
for fulfilment of their dreams.
number of renowned poets from Dhaka graced the festival
and outlined unanimously that the Bangla culture would be
left with no meaning if aborigines' traditions were not
protected. Protection of a culture involves not only the
preservation of the various elements in our culture, but
also ensuring fundamental rights on land, property, education
and use of mother-tongue of all citizens, they said.
novelist, Hasan Azizul Haque, inaugurated the festival,
which was organised by the National Aborigine Council (NAC).
The president of NAC, Anil Marandi, chaired the function.
poets from Dhaka such as Habibullah Sirajee, Samudra Gupta,
Bulbul Moholanabish, Mohon Raihan, Fazlul Haque Ripon, Nasreen
Rahman, Chaitee Sayed, Jhon Kisku
and workers party polit-bureau member Fazle Hossain Badsha,
Dhaka University teacher Mesbah Kamal, Rajshahi University
teacher AHM Zehadul Karim and NAC general secretary Rabindra
Nath Saren addressed the inaugural function.
speakers demanded constitutional recognition of the aborigines
and enactment of laws to protect their lands, rights, education,
language and culture.
the discussion, the various tribes delighted the audience
with colourful presentations of their culture. However,
they also reminded everyone of their deprivations and the
demands of the indigenous people.
writer is the Rajshahi correspondent of The Daily Star.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005