The Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) is the only political organization of the eleven multilingual indigenous Jumma people of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), south-eastern part of Bangladesh.It was formed on 15 February 1972 based on the fundamental principles of Nationalism, Democracy, Secularism, Equality and Social Justice. The forerunner of Jumma National Renaissance, member of Constituent Assembly and also Member of Parliament, Manabendra Narayan Larma, was founder of this indigenous political organization that has ever been formed to last long.
The emergence of Parbatya Chattagram Jana SamhatiSamiti (PCJSS) under the wise leadership of M N Larma has been an inevitable outcome of utter negligence, deprivation, oppression, exclusion and all-round exploitation of the colonial rulers starting with the then British imperial authority followed by Pakistani military rulers and by far, most significantly the successive regimes of Bangladesh, in particular.
It is so special to recall that the multi-lingual Jumma peoples of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) have been being squeezed under the suppression and oppression of the feudalist, colonial, ultra-nationalist and Islamic expansionist rules for ages. The very entity of nationalities and motherland of the Jumma peoples had gradually been led to extinction due to constant vicious and barbaric suppression and oppression inflicted by different rulers of feudalist class and colonial powers.
In the course history of the Jumma peoples, a range of conspiracies, with a ultimate aim of ethnic cleansing, had been plotted and implemented, which had led the Jumma peoples to an acute crisis of their existence of nationalities and motherland. Among many, some instances of those conspiracies are: utter deprivation of the Jumma peoples during the partition of India in 1947; providing settlement to the Bengali Muslim people in CHT ignoring the CHT Regulation-1900 after the creation of Pakistan; illegal occupation of lands of the Jumma peoples by enacting CHT Land Acquisition Act in 1958; eviction of the Jumma peoples from their ancestral lands by construction of Kaptai-Hydro-electric Dam – the death trap of the Jumma peoples; unilateral abolition of Tribal Region status of CHT without prior consent of the Jumma peoples and thereby to open up a passage for infiltration of the outsiders into CHT; inhuman tortures upon the Jumma peoples in the name of wiping out the Razakar-Mujahid-Mizo elements after the liberation of Bangladesh; rejection of the Jumma peoples’ demand for demand for Regional Autonomy with utter disregard in 1972 and above all, series of conspiracy hatched by the government of Bangladesh following the state-sponsored settlement of Muslim Bengali settlers deep into CHT in 1950s, etc. – obviously a heinous design contributing to the racial attrition of the Jumma peoples.
With all those negative developments of the situation, the whole region had been overwhelmed with uncertainty, chaos and confusion. At such critical juncture, Jumma peoples began to feel the necessity of having own political platform that could meet their political aspirations and desires. In the course of history of the CHT, a number of organizations had emerged, for instances, the CHT Youth Association (1915), CHT Peoples’ Association (1920), Hill Students’ Association (1956), CHT Teachers’ Association, CHT Tribal Welfare Association (1966) and so on. However, despite collective endeavours for raising a platform against the prevalent exploitation, atrocities and deprivation, eventually none of those organizations could come up to meet the want of a political party of the Jumma people.
In 1970, ahead of the National and Provincial elections of the then Pakistan, an effort was undertaken to combat the uncertain situation prevailing in CHT politically with the formation of Election Managing Committee. In the meantime, process of the formation of a full-pledged political party carried out, as well. As the desired outcome of that progress of the process, ParbatyaChattagram Jana SamhatiSamiti (in English: CHT United Peoples’ Party) – the first and the only political organization of the Jumma peoples – was formed on 15 February 1972 under the leadership of Manabendra Narayan Larma. With that historic phenomenon, a new glorious chapter of political struggle for the preservation of existence of national entity of Jumma people and their motherland began under the leadership of the political party. The PCJSS held its first national conference on 24 June 1972 at Indrapuri Cinema Hall of Rangamati town. A 60-member Central Committee of PCJSS was constituted with Birendra Kishore Roaza as President and M N Larma as the General Secretary.
The struggle for ascertaining the demands of the Jumma peoples began in constitutional way, under the leadership of PCJSS. But the then ruling class rejected the demand of Jumma peoples with utter hatred and, setting three cantonments up at Ruma, Alikadm and Dighinala in the CHT, the ruling class continued oppression and suppression at all spheres with heavy militarization in the region. At certain state, the movement, led by PCJSS, turned into an armed struggle, when all avenues of conventional-legal movement got closed. However, despite embracing armed-struggle, PCJSS kept the doors open for resolving the CHT problem through peaceful dialogue.
On one hand, PCJSS kept advancing the armed struggle for the rights to self-determination of Jumma peoples, and on the other hand, it continued to carry out formal dialogue with the government of Bangladesh, aiming at political and peaceful resolve of the CHT problem. As a consequence of PCJSS’s adherence with political and peaceful resolution of the CHT problem, formal dialogue started between PCJSS and the government of General Ershad on 21 October 1985; and that peaceful formal dialogue continued during consecutive governments: Khaleda Zia-led government (1991-1995), and Sheikh Hasina led government (formed government in 1996), and finally, a new chapter for political and peaceful resolution of CHT crisis opened up with entering into an agreement known as the CHT Accord signed on 2December 1997. However, it has appeared to be grave concern that the desired political solution to the crisis of the CHT has not been achieved, due to constant non-cooperative stance and reluctance of the government in terms of the implementation of the CHT Accord. Therefore, in the context of that prevailing overall situation of the CHT, the Jumma peoples are now face to face with the question of their survival and extinction.
The struggle for the self-rule of CHT peoples led by PCJSS has not advanced along smooth way. From the inception of its birth, the conspirators both at home and in abroad, reactionaries and the opportunists have been hatching conspiracies to destroy the struggle of PCJSS, by all means. In early 1970s, PCJSS had advanced the movement for rights to self-determination of the Jumma peoples, by tackling, with sagacity, the counter-revolutionary activities, like Pahari Juba Sangha (Hill Youth Organization), Tribal Peoples’ Party (TPP), Bamayata Group, Purba Bangla Sorbahara Party (East Bengal Proletariats Party) and its associate CHT GonoMuktiParishad. In addition, PCJSS had to deal with the conspiracies of the reactionary organizations like Tribal Convention, an organization sponsored by the government. Furthermore, those opportunists and reactionary quarters, involving with different national political parties, continued to oppose the PCJSS-led movement for attaining the right to self-determination.
In terms of intra-Party affairs, PCJSS, with support of the mass people, had to advance their struggle tackling the deadly conspiracies and destructive activities bred forth by the opportunists, power hunger, ambitious, reactionary and groupism developing circles, which were grown up and kept hidden in the party. Consequently, PCJSS had to confront the ‘civil war’ (inner-party conflicts) inflicted by the four plotters – Giri-Prakash-Deben-Palash – in 1980s. Besides, since signing the CHT Accord of 1997, PCJSS has been to confront armed-terrorism of UPDF, the anti-Accord element, and the conspiracy of small gang led by Sudhasindhu-Rupayan-Tatindra, which was drifted from PCJSS during the State of Emergency in 2007-2008, as part of implementation of the constant conspiracy of the governments against PCJSS.
During the prolonged sanguinary struggle for the right to self-determination, PCJSS had lost hundreds of freedom-loving revolutionary fighters and numerous patriots including the pioneer of Jumma national arousal, the great leader Manabendra Narayan Larma. Many had to suffer unbearable sufferings of life for being victimized of the communal violations and racial atrocities & injustice of the ruling class. Even being so, the Jumma peoples, having more united and mobilized under the flag of PCJSS, continued to advance their struggle for the right to self-determination under the leadership of PCJSS with unsurpassable velocity. PCJSS leadership has been able to advance forwards progressively, because of having firm faith of the Jumma peoples of all walks of life in the ideology and path directed by the great leader M N Larma, and party leadership, and most importantly, because of the sagacious and undaunted leadership of the party.
It is needless to say, that the Jumma peoples have established an unprecedented illustration in the history of struggle of the world’s freedom-loving peoples in ascertaining their just rights, by waging heroic struggle for 41 years under the leadership of PCJSS. All through its glorious movement, the PCJSS, as the result of its flawless strategy and tactics has been able to-
• Inspire and unite the Jumma peoples, who were in slumber and wary under constant exploitation, oppression, atrocities and suppressive measures meted out by the rotting feudal leadership, in the political spirit;
• Motivate and amalgamate the nearly abolishing Jumma peoples in the struggle for ascertaining their rights to self-determination;
• Inspire the multi-lingual Jumma peoples, who were absolutely confined in narrow nationalism, in the spirit of Jumma nationalism;
• Compel the government or rather the ruling class to sign the CHT Accord – the Charter of the Rights of the Jumma peoples and Bengali permanent residents – through waging steel-hard struggle against relatively very imbalanced power – the power of an established State.
PCJSS continues to wage struggle for establishing rights to self-determination of indigenous Jumma peoples by implementing the CHT Accord in true sense of the term within the framework of democratic norms and structure. Since 1998 to as of this day, PCJSS under the veteran leadership of J B Larma has been aspiring for implementation of the CHT Accord keeping the following aims & objectives ahead.
Aims and Objectives of the PCJSS:
1.(a) To establish a society free from exploitation and discrimination;
(b) To eradicate differentiation, oppression, exploitation and deprivation among the different ethnic indigenous groups speaking in different languages in CHT;
2. (a) To establish Jumma Nationalism.
(b) To establish the rights to self-determination of the Jumma peoples constitutionally;
3. To develop the political, economical, social and cultural lifestyles of the various multilingual ethnic Jumma peoples of CHT;
4. To bring an end to undemocratic and feudal leadership in CHT and oppose and resist the extreme nationalism and narrow nationalism, fundamentalism and expansionism in CHT;
5. To organize women freedom movement aiming at establishing right to equity and status of women in the society.