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Assamese offsprings of Myanmar, B�desh in city


GUWAHATI, June 10 - Five progenies of the historically dispersed Assamese people, who had to leave their native place several generations back, have arrived in the city with the dream to meet and interact with the people of the land of their forefathers at a function scheduled to be held at 3 pm on June 12 at Shilpgram, Panjabari here.

The nascent Association for Historically Dispersed People of Assam (ASHDIPA) has organised their trip to Assam with support from Gauhati University (GU), Asam Sahitya Sabha, Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha and the Bardowa Than Samiti.

Three of the five people visiting the State belong to the Assam Basti located in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh and they are Ashok Assam, Bijoy Assam and Timothi Assam. The two others are Bidyabati and Chandrar of Mandalay city in Myanmar. A Bengal-origin gentleman Madhurya Gopal has also accompanied them as their guide.

It needs mention here that during the early 19th century, between 1817 and 1821, the Burmese (now Myanmarese) army invaded Assam on three occasions.

Following the first Burmese invasion of Assam, Chandrakanta Singha, the then Swargadeo of Assam, sent a princess Hemo Aideo to the Burmese king to bring an end to hostility. With Hemo Aideo, a large number of people were also sent to Burma (now Myanmar) as her servants.

Following the second and the third invasions, the Singpho (Kachin) troops of the Burmese army took several thousands of Assamese people as captives. Those captives were taken to their captors� land in an inhuman manner. Many of them died while on their way to Burma.

In 1860 about 500 Assamese soldiers of the Assam Rifles were sent by the British rulers to Chittagong Hill Tracts to suppress the Kuki raids. These soldiers settled in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and their locality is now known as the Assam Basti. The residents of this locality are now using Assam as their surname to assert their identity.

The people of Assam origin in Myanmar and Bangladesh were groping in the dark until recently to establish their link with the land of their forefathers and to assert their identity more effectively.

In 2013, three persons � city-based surgeon Dr Satyakam Phukan, North Guwahati College teacher Tapan Sarma and city-based businessman Binoy Sarma � visited Myanmar and Bangladesh and established a living link with the progenies of the people of Assam origin living in both the countries.

This resulted in the visit of two groups of people � one comprising two people from Bangladesh � Bijoy Assam and Timothy Assam and the other comprising two women from Myanmar � Ratnamani and Rajani Devi � to Assam, after 2013, said ASHDIPA president Tapan Sarma and its members Yadav Doley and Anuj Goswami at a press conference here on Friday. ASHDIPA general secretary Dr Jyotisman Das was also present on the occasion.

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