Karnaphulir Kanna (Teardrops of Karnaphuli)

Synopsis of the film

length : 60 minutes

format : Betacam

photography : Anwar Hossain

editing : Mahadeb Shi

sound : M. Abdus Satter

music: Syed Shabab Ali Arzoo

year of production : 2005

script & direction : Tanvir Mokammel

Synopsis of the film

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. One hundred thousand people were evicted and the tragic event to leave one’s home and to become refugee began which the hill people named “the Great Exodus”.

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 plainland Bengalees from different districts and settled them in an artificial manner in the CHT. Quite a few incidents of gross human right violations took place. 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 organisation 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.