The happy Buddhas | The Daily Star


The happy Buddhas

Manipulated images by Rongrung ChakmaJune 09, 2017

Google Native Americans. You will find page after page of intricate etchings, photos of chiefs and girls, and then modern people in costumes. But where are the photos of the brutal killings of the Native Americans, their heaven turned into a graveyard?

Let's look beyond—a hundred years or more later. Then google Chakmas, Marmas, or Tripuras. Let alone the “smaller” tribes like Munda and Santal, who are still striving to survive, their numbers dwindling each year. The search results will be as ludicrous as those in the case of Native Americans. Maybe worse.

I do not want my people to be represented as victims of communalism. I do not want to show my people eating burnt bananas because they have nothing else to eat. Because their villages, their temples, their houses have been razed to the ground in Hajachara, Balughat, Simanachhara, Baipaichhara, Suranganala, Kerekkaba Retkaba, Jarulcchari, Dane Bhaibacchara, Bame Bhabacchara, MSF Para, and Purabapara of Baghaigat, in Mahajan Para, Madhupur, Government High School Staff Quarter, Satbaiya Para, Golabari of Khagrachari. I want to show the happy Buddhas, not a fire devouring a house, but a fire glowing red for a barbecue for the tourists.

My sister's husband is dead—so what? We keep smiling. My sister's husband is missing—it doesn't matter. We keep smiling. Let the reign of bullets be overthrown by the arrows of love. Let happiness blow through the burned villages of Khagrachari, Bandarban and Rangmati. Our dead bodies do not lie limp there. They laugh. Louder than peace-mongering leaders laugh at extremists who don the invisible cloak of neo-colonialism.

Between February 19 to 20, 2010, over 200 houses of Jumma villagers, Buddhist temples, and a church were torched in a communal attack in the Baghaihat area of Sajek union under Baghaichari upazila of Rangamati. On February 23, fresh communal attacks were made on Jumma localities in Khagrchari municipality under Khagrachari district allegedly by Bangalee settlers.