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monographs
Series No. 33
[In Bangla] Bangladesher Cha Sromikder Rupantor: Prekhit Kobirponthi Paika Cha Sromik

Iftekhar Mahmud, Shahaduz Zaman

August - 2007

The study aimed to explore the historical and socioeconomic changes of tea garden labour force and its origin. Due to several constraints, not all of the native (indigenous) people involved in tea industry were included. The study concentrated only on Painkas. The study area was Sreemongal and Kulaura upazilas of Moulvibazar district. Participant observation, indepth interview and content analysis were used as research tools. Tea estates of the then East Bengal came directly under the control of Punjabis� after the historic partition of India and when Bangladesh came into being, for the first time, replacing Punjabis� a new class of Bengali garden owners entered the scene and had the opportunity to own and manage the gardens. These transformations of state power bear hardly any significance to the development of socioeconomic conditions of these entire populations working as tea labourers. They have gone through so many happenings. However, the state and its dominant institutions always ignored those changes, at the same time never took any initiatives to their well-being. Internal social conflicts and the surrounded other marginal people, their cultures intruded into their own customs and influenced to some extent to make these changes happen especially upon the Painkas. Historical evidence shows that the Painkas at certain period got oriented themselves to Kabir and converted themselves into Kabir religion. They devised their own social systems and religious traditions contrary to Vedic guidance. Young and modern Painkas are trying to establish new power centre transcending the ageold gram panchayet systems. But, these new structures are accommodating what has been changed so far without ignoring existing social, religious and cultural values. This study tried to demonstrate the transformations that a particular tribe experienced through their own historical path.

 
 
 

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