SILCHAR, March 24: Quite unknown is the fact that there is a community of Jaliya Burman scattered across different parts of Cachar. Unfortutely, as one of their leaders pointed out they have been listed as Burman in the socio-economic caste survey of the government. In order to remove the misconception about their entity as a separate and exclusive Schedule Caste community, their representatives called a general meeting recently to form a body under the banner of ‘Jaliya Burman Samaj Unyan Parishad’.
Dinesh Burman elected as president and Sashim Burman as general secretary of the newly formed body said origilly they are the Bengali Jaliya Burman and have their own distinct identity, culture and religion. It was however clarified that their mother tongue is Bengali. The socio-economic survey and the related census has listed them as Dimasa Burman which is highly objected by them. They are one of the 16 tribes of this Barak Valley and want to maintain and retain it along with their tradition and heritage.
Dinesh Burman claimed their population is around 2,200 which is scattered in Katigorah, Tarapur area of this town, Katakhal, Irongmara, Pailapool and Jaipur of Cachar district. They are virtually poverty-stricken class with little means of livelihood. In fact, they survive mostly on fishing and often classified as fishermen. Their another means of sustence is daily wage earning.
Sashim Burman, general secretary, added to say that they are virtually a deprived people and hardly get any benefits of the government sponsored schemes and projects. Though they vote during elections for electing MPs and MLAs, they are never taken care of once their representatives reach the corridor of power. The organization formed this day is to draw the attention of the Centre and the State to their plight and for remedial measures.
Both the leaders also expressed their anguish at the fact that in the absence of academic facilities, their literacy percentage is as low as 5%. Among the 200 families, the counting of BA pass will turn out to be dismal. According to their own estimate, not more than one graduate can be found. If they are treated as Burman, it is apprehended their very existence as a separate entity will be threatened. This will be the most unfortute chapter of their long but unknown history.