Kamalanagar, 22 December 2022: The two-day closing ceremony of the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) concluded at Kamalanagar Helipad with traditional gaiety and fervour on Wednesday. All the villages participated in the cultural exhibition including song and dances with much pomp and gaiety.
His Highness Raja Devasish Roy, the titular Raja of the Chakmas and former Member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) graced the occasion for second day as Chief Guest. He was accompanied by Dg. Reetesh Roy, Dgb. Arjyashree Chakma, Dg. Rubel Chakma, Dgb. Tejashree Chakma, Dg. Tanak Chakma, Dg. Rupayan Tongchangya, Dg. Trishila Chakma, Dg. Nikhut Dewan, Dg. Somantor Chakma and Dg. Cyrus Edward Naji.
Distinguished guests Dr Buddha Dhan Chakma, MLA, Mizoram; Dg. Nirupam Chakma, Former Minister Govt. of Mizoram and current National President, Chakma National Council of India (Central Committee), Dg Suhash Chakma, Founder, Chakma Development Foundation of India; Dg Devjan Chakma, TPS (Retd.), Rejyo Karbari, Tripura Rejyo Chakma Samajik Parishad; Dg Shanti Bikash Chakma, Rejyo Kabideng, Tripura Rejyo Chakma Samajik Parishad, Dg. Nirmal Chakma, Ehjal Karbari, Tripura Rejypo Chakma Samajik Parishad; Dg. Madhu Sudhan Chakma, Member, Advisory Board, Tripura Rejypo Chakma Samajik Parishad and others have attended the programme.
The celebration started with opening song by Arts & Culture Deptt., CADC; followed by presentation of Mementoes of the Chief Guest and other Special Guests by Dg. Kali Kumar Tongchangya, Chairman, CADC Golden Jubilee Celebration Committee, 2022.
The programme showcased the varied aspects of the Chakmas performed by the students from various Schools, Chakma Mahila Samiti and Young Chakma Association in collaboration with Art & Culture Department, CADC which included the demonstration on the transition of the Chakma society from past to present by Young Chakma Association and Chakma Mahila Samiti. The programme also showcased cultural items presented by Chakma Mahila Samiti and Arts & Culture Department, CADC.
Inauguration of Exhibition Hall on Chakma Traditional Wares by the Chief Guest displayed varied implements and tools of which some of them are obsolete and rarely used in the family chores now.
His Highness Raja Devasish Roy speaking on the occasion called for unity amongst the Chakmas irrespective of their countries and states, formation of International Chakma Language Board to check the original dialect, amendments of Chakma Customary Law in line with Human Rights among others. He thanked Dgb. Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India for granting Autonomous District Council to the Chakma people of Mizoram though only partially fulfilled. He felt that the Chakma Autonomous District Council should flourish in all directions not only for its people but for the entire Chakma community across the globe.
He presented gifts to the guests who have come from different states of India.
Later in the day, a Chakma documentary – ‘Changma Zinghani Gonghanir Hideb’ (A documentary film on the socio-cultural and economic life of the Chakma people) was released by the Chief Guest showcasing the various aspects of the life of the Chakma people from birth to death.
Dg. Nirupam Chakma recalled the founders of Chakma Autonomous District Council and paid his tribute to them. Citing a Chakma song – ‘Ami Changma Jaat, Jador Ragei Maan,’ he called for unity among the Chakmas which is the motto of the Chakma National Council of India (CNCI) and maintain love and respect for the community and their duty for the upliftment of the Chakma community.
He reminded the youths referring another song – ‘Ami Dejor Gabusse-Gaburi, Ami Bobissot; Ami Dejor Maan-Somman Ragebong Ejjot’, that it is their responsibility carry forward CADC and the Chakma society in the years to come. He implored them to contribute to the CADC, instead of asking what the CADC has done for them. It is their duty to spread Chakma nationalism.
He appealed to all to contribute to the society irrespective of their profession and ward-off all evils which will spoil the brand of the Chakma community.
Dg Suhash Chakma while speaking recalled Raja Administrative System and need for its revival, from where at some point of time in history, the Constitution of India originated and thus gave birth to this piece of land for the beautiful confluence of culture.
He referred that even during undivided British India the Chakmas were at par with the European due to their legal expertise and administrative system during that time. It is high time; we protect and preserve our cultural identity and give equal rights and opportunity to the women community too.
“Dg. Sneha Kumar Chakma, a founder of CADC was a member of the Constitution Drafting Sub-Committee for the Excluded Area which is under Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India now. This may be one of the reasons for the creation of Chakma Autonomous District Council,” he added.
Dg. Devjan Chakma, Rejyo Harbai, Tripura Chakma Rejyo Parishad on his first visit expressed his happiness and lauded the founders of Chakma Autonomous District Council and explained their painstaking role they played for the creation of CADC. He elaborated the past administrative system that prevailed in Chakma society which they are reviving in the state of Tripura.
Dg. Durjya Dhan Chakma explained about the history of creation and administration of Chakma Autonomous District Council. He noted that during last 50 years, several developments have taken place which includes amendments of Rules, Acts and Regulations have been made and the budget of the council have been enhanced from 4.22 lakhs to 112 crores 10 lakhs 19 thousand as per 2022-23 budget.
He referred that the Chakmas have been the victims due to several historical events since 1947 with the partition of India-Pakistan, due to construction of Kaptei Dam in 1964, with the creation of Chakma Autonomous District Council in 1972 wherein only a part of the Chakma-dominated areas is included; with the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019 as it is not applicable in the states particularly where the Chakmas have been oppresses and subjugated.
Last but not least, presentation of a brief transitional report on Chakma Autonomous District Council by Dg. Digambar Chakma, Secretary, District Council Secretariat and Secretary, CADC Golden Celebration Committee, 2022.
The celebration was concluded with traditional gaiety and fervour.