Life and Land of Adibashis: Land Dispossession and Alienation of Adibashis in the Plain Districts of Bangladesh

IThe adibashis (indigenous peoples) in the Plain land of Bangladesh are some of the most politically marginalized and socio-economically disadvantaged people in Bangladesh. One of the key aspects of this marginalization is gradual dispossession of their lands which impacted negatively not only on their livelihood concerns, but also heavily accentuated their identity crisis, including the process of acculturation.

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About The Author

Abul Barkat

Abul Barkat, Ph. D. is currently Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dr. Barkat is a reputed researcher in the field of political economy of human development with special concentration on poverty and humane development, indigenous and minority peoples right to development, land-poverty-development nexus, criminalization of economy and politics, gender divide in development, population and health, and economics of fundamentalism. Dr.Barkat has in his credit over two hundred and fifty research studies and publications. Dr. Barkat’s research based pioneering books in the area of political Economy of Land in Bangladesh are: Deprivation of Hindu Minorities in Bangladesh: Living with Vested property, Char Land in Bangladesh : Political Economy of Ignored Resource, Political Economy of Land Litigation in Bangladesh, A Case of Colossal National Wastage, Political Economy of Khas Land in Bangladesh, An Inquiry into Causes and Consequences of Deprivation of Hindu Minorities in Bangladesh through the Vested property Act: Framework for a Realistic Solution, Political Economy of the Vested Property Act in Rural Bangladesh. He actively participates in the civil society activities. Dr. Barkat is the current elected General Secretary (2007-2009) of the Bangladesh Economic Association.

Mozammel Hoque, MA, MBA is a freelance consultant having work experience of around 29 years in diverse capacities with various development organizations- such as CARE, Save the Children Australia and UNDP. Taking keen interest in rights-related studies and research, Mr. Hoque has delved deep into many aspects of development in Bangladesh. He has worked as well as conducted research in such areas as women’s rights, child rights, literacy and income-generating activities. He has authored and co-authored a good number of publications in both development and economic areas.

Sadeka Halim, Ph.D. is currently Professor of Sociology at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is a reputed researcher on gender and development, focusing indigenous peoples of Bangladesh. Her research interest covers wide range of issues covering environment, Child right, forestry, trafficking of women and children, women in education, women and rural electrification. Dr. Halim has over fifty publications in her credit. She is also a reputed women rights’ activist in Bangladesh.

Asmar Osman, MSS, with an excellent academic background, is involved in socio-economic research in a research organization Human Development Research Centre (HDRC). Development Economics and other areas of development are his area of expertise and interest. He has co-authored the research-book titled Development as Conscientization: The Case of Nijera Kori in Bangladesh. He has a number of creative books in his credit. Asmar is the current elected Assistant General Secretary (2007-2009) of Bangladesh Economic Association.

Denial of the land rights of adibashis of Bangladesh had a long historical background. The instances of land dispossession suffered by the indigenous peoples of the plain land are perhaps even more widespread than in the case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. Numerous land laws were enacted over time keeping special provisions for the protection of “tribal” land. But the special provisions in these laws were never secured for the minorities including the indigenous peoples. In practice, land alienation goes on unabated. Despite this critical situation of the adibashis in the plains with regard to dispossession of their ancestral lands, there has so far been very little comprehensive research on this issue. This book has been conceived and undertaken in this context in order to have a comprehensive idea about the changing status of land ownership of the adibashis in the plains, including the extent of and reasons for dispossession of their lands. In addition, this book also attempts to sketch the life of some plain land adibashi communities in Bangladesh in a well-crafted methodical framework.

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