Film Maker & Author

TANVIR MOKAMMEL

Tuesday
Mar 19th

Video Gallery

Quite Flows the River Chitra (Chitra Nadir Pare)

Get Adobe Flash player


After the partition of India in 1947, Shashikanta's family, like millions of other Hindu families of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), faced the dilemma whether to migrate from the land in which they have been living for centuries. But Shashikanta Sengupta, an eccentric lawyer, stubborntly refuses to leave his motherland. Widower Shashikanta has two children, Minoti and Bidyut. Anuprava Devi is an affectionate old aunt who lives with the family. The family has a house in Narail, a small provincial town on the bank of the Chitra river. Some Muslim neighbours eye Shashaikanta's house. But the family refuse to migrate.
Shashikanta's children Minoti and Bidyut are friends with the neighbouring Muslim children— Badal, Salma and Nazma. Minoti and Badal become more than friends.
The children grow up. Badal goes to Dhaka University. Those were the days in 1960s when the atmosphere of the universities was charged with political radicalism. Badal got involved in anti-military student movement and while participating in a demonstration for democracy was killed by police firing.
Shashikanta's brother Nidhukanta is an idealist doctor who lives in their ancestral village on the other side of the Chitra River. During the 1964 riot between the Hindus and the Muslims, his daughter Basanti, a widow, is raped. Basanti commits suicide by drowning herself in the Chitra River. Nidhukanta's family migrate to India.
All these untoward incidents happening around affect Shashikanta's failing health. He suffers a heart stroke and passes away. Minoti and Anuprava finally leave for the border en route to Calcutta.
* The film received seven national awards including the best film and the best director of the year 1999. Other awards were best Story, best Script, best Art-Director, best Side Actress and best Make-up Man. Shown in London, Oslo, Fribourg (Switzerland), Singapore, Delhi, Calcutta and Trivandrum film festivals.

 

Teardrops of Karnaphuli (Karnaphulir Kanna)

Get Adobe Flash player

Comprised of three districts of Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachari, Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is situated in the south-east of Bangladesh bordering Myanmar and India with an area 5,093 square miles. Twelve ethnic groups i.e. Chakma, Marma, Chak, Tanchangya, Tripura, Bom, Pankhu, Mrung, Lushai, Kheyang, Mru and Khumi live here who together like to be known as the "Jumma" people. The Chakmas, Marmas, Tanchangyas and Chaks, the vast majority of the Hill people, are Buddhist in religion.

The first crisis in the peaceful life of the Chittagong Hill Tracts took place in 1959-1962, when as part of the Kaptai hydro-electric project, a dam was constructed on the Karnaphuli river and the artificial Kaptai lake was created. 54,000 acres of arable land submerged and about one hundred thousand people were evicted.

Another severe crisis took place in the lives of the hill people when, since 1979, the Bangladesh government, by its own initiative, began to bring plain land Bengalees from outside and settled them in an artificial manner in the CHT. After two decades of armed conflict a peace accord was signed in 1997 between the Bangladesh government and the Shantibahani the armed wing of the PCJSS, the political organization of the Hill people. But many clauses of the peace accord have not yet been implemented.

Though having resources and having immense possibilities, not much development has taken place in CHT. The region has still remained as the most backward area of the impoverished Bangladesh. The Chittagong Hill Tracts remains as a sad example what happens to a people and a region if kept outside the main "national" sphere.

 
Page 3 of 6