The racial stigmatization has been prevalent in Bangladesh for a long time. Although, with time it has diminished quite a lot, still, it is not yet something which can be rubbed off from the list of criticisms that exist in Bangladesh. And just like the racial frictions another aspect of Bangladeshi society is class difference. There are so many classes in Bangladesh that one finger often fails when counting the numbers — lower class, lower middle class, upper middle class… and so on.
However, the racial and class-wise discriminations are prevalent to the 21st century too. The main supporting factor of any race’s tradition and culture to survive is its literature or language, it is of utmost importance to be mentioned here that any racial language is going to slowly die off in Bangladesh if there isn’t any literature written in those particular alphabets which can be studied and conserved in future.
For example, there is hardly any written literature of Chakma or Marma people from the Chattogram hill tracts, yet their culture is very refined and they have a lot of folklore but sad to say they are only spreads from one to another byword. But just because they are a minority their language fails to attain any form of textual structure and they have to acquire a secondary language in order to officially function in the socio-political scenario of Bangladeshi context.
Moving forth to the class differences, there is a great gap in wealth between each class of people of Bangladesh. In one frame we can see a guy driving a very expensive car on the road, and in the same frame we can see a guy sitting on the road begging for survival. This stark difference is mind boggling!
However, not only is there a huge class conflict between the lower and upper class due to the economic differences, the minority are often brought into conflicting encounters due to religious dogmas. Such examples can be found in the pages of newspapers from the previous years. It is as if a constant rush for dominance and resistance is going on in the southern hilly regions of Bangladesh but very few voices are being heard about it.
On the other hand, it is applaudable to see the government taking steps to bring forth the minorities into the fold by giving out quotas in government job sectors and also other supporting projects.
It is not yet confirmed which way the exponents of correlation between class and race in the context of Bangladesh is pointing towards, but changes are taking place.
Md Saifuddin Al Quaderi