I write in uncertainty whether my words will see the light of day.
I write because I hope my words will not be shut off by yet another media channel.
I write because I’m outraged, drained -- and yet standing and marching on with many others on the same boat.
I write because you need to know about this.
While we are tirelessly trying to raise funds for Langadu -- where 300 houses of indigenous people were burnt down to ashes -- there is news of people demanding the arrests of Khushi Kabir, Afsan Chowdhury, and Sultana Kamal.
These are the very people who work to build a better Bangladesh, who have contributed so much to our motherland, worked in the field rather than just chair seminars, fought battles to break social barriers, oh also, just so you know, they also fought in our Liberation War in 1971.
What we, as a nation, are witnessing is a new low and should not be accepted in any form or manner.
In other (slightly related) news, last Wednesday, indigenous women were beaten by law enforcers, apparently because they joined a procession demanding justice for Kalpana Chakma.
Kalpana, the 23-year-old indigenous girl, who was allegedly abducted by armed force personnel in 1996, till date remains missing. We can’t even form a human chain for her, because whenever we do, we get arrested. But a procession that burns down 300 houses gets permission from the CHT administration bodies and law enforcers.
May we all understand that time is of the essence, may we realise when it becomes a duty, a civic sense to put aside politics and step forward for the greater good of the indigenous community
All we get is a delayed date of hearing, and investigation after investigation. 21 years, and the story is a recurrence in an endless loop.
By the way, another hearing on Kalpana Chakma was scheduled to be held in Rangamati court on Thursday (June 8).
Who wants to make a bet?
I am betting that we have been rewarded with another date. Anybody interested?
We have dates in the courtrooms; and also investigation committees that fail to conduct impartial investigations.
In the meantime, we will be beaten, killed, and burnt down to ashes with petrol. Our families won’t have our ancestral lands, our dead bodies, or happiness. But yet we won’t stand united. Whatever we may lack in courage or morale, our ego makes up for it. We may be tiny in number, but our ego is immeasurable, large as the mountains and deep as the sea.
I feel ashamed, frustrated, and sad most of the times -- as I am also a part of this system, a part of all these things.
May people rise for the right cause regardless of their racial, national, religious, and sexual identity.
May they learn how to rise putting political ideologies and agenda in the sidelines.
What we need now is an urgent and powerful unity to face this brutal opposition, this discrimination, this endless oppression.
May they learn to understand that the situation demands nothing short of unity, outrage, call for justice. May they become the bigger person, take the higher road, because now it has become imperative to do just that.
May we all understand that time is of the essence, may we realise when it becomes a duty, a civic sense to put aside politics and step forward for the greater good of the indigenous community in Bangladesh.
Muktasree Chakma Sathi is a core group member of SANGAT, a feminist network, and Founder and Executive Director of Supporting People and Rebuilding Communities (SPaRC).