Accepted paper:

"Are you an agent of army? Why do you have olive color bag?": violence, suspicion and mistrust in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh

Author:

Zobaida Nasreen (Dhaka University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper deals with the nature of the state of violence in the CHT through the lens of everyday forms of suspicion and distrust.

Paper long abstract:

This paper analyses that visible and invisible violence led by army and Bengali settlers made the ecology of fear which leads the distrust and suspicion in the CHT in Bangladesh. Due to the prolonged conflict over 25 years, the CHT became highly politicized and drawn into the armed conflict between Bangladesh army and Shanti Bahini (SB), the armed wing of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Snaghati Samiti (PCJSS) in varied and complex ways. The CHT Accord signed in 1997 between the government of Bangladesh and the regional political Party CHT named as Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Parishad (PCJSS). Therefore, the paper deals with the nature of the state of violence in the CHT through the lens of everyday forms of suspicion and distrust. It discusses about the military intervention in the everyday life of the 'indigenous' people that creates the ecology of fear and suspicion in the CHT. This article also argues that color itself symbolizes the power when it is used by the powerful agent of the state. However, self-surveillance is analyses in this paper with the lenses of Foucaul t's theory where self-control and being silent were used to avoid further violence. The form of semantic domination also discussed in this paper and this chapter argues that language works as a grammar of domination and resistance simultaneously. It also includes the semantic resistance of the indigenous people towards the fear. It also argues that the culture of distrust and suspicion has become the reality of the regional indigenous politics in the CHT.

panel P27
Understanding poltical violence in South Asia