Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Anthropology

Supervisor

Dr. Randa Farah

Abstract

The three districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh have the highest military presence in Bangladesh. Following its emergence as an independent country in 1971, the military carried out a campaign of systematic repression of the Jumma indigenous people of the region. In this thesis, I focus on tourism and argue it is one of the ways by which ruling elites expropriate Jumma lands and circumvent indigenous land and cultural rights. The process is riddled with contradictions. On the one hand, violence against the Jumma has not ceased, and instead, the presence of the military has become normalized. On the other hand, the state promotes the Hills as a tourist site where tourists may enjoy the landscape and the ‘exotic’ inhabitants. I contextualize this conflict within the historical legacy of British colonialism, and the subsequent emergence of smaller nation-states that inherited colonial categories and institutions.


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