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Kalpana Chakma

THE WORD ‘FEAR’ WRITTEN IN KALPANA’S DIARY @Shahidul Alam/Drik

THE WORD ‘FEAR’ WRITTEN IN KALPANA’S DIARY @Shahidul Alam/Drik

Kabita Chakma, 21 May 2015

How can we progress our police investigation?
‘Unless, a disappeared can appear
to be the witness of her own disappearance,’
concludes the Police-super’s investigation report
of the ‘Kalpana Chakma disappearance’ case.

Kalpana is just a woman, belonging to an ‘upa-jati’, a ‘sub-nation.’
The term ‘upa-jati’ is engraved in the grand narratives of the state.
It was nothing but an abduction at gun-point from her home
in the bleak blackness of the early hours of 12 June 1996.

Dark Lallyaghona,
a village on the edge of the Kaptai lake.
The lake was created for electricity, for light.
It engulfed Kalpana’s family’s ancestral home.
Kalpana was abducted in front of widow Baduni,
her old, shrivelled, almost blind, loving mother,
and Charubala, her ever amusing, lovely sister-in-law.
She was abducted with her two caring brothers,
Kalindi and Khudiram.
Their hands were bound behind their back.
Their eyes were blind folded.

They were marched out of their home.
Khudiram was ordered to walk forward
into the knee-deep lake water.
‘Shoot him!’ they ordered.
He jumped into the lake,
At the shot, Kalindi ran for his life.
Over the deafening sound of bullets
they heard Kalpana’s last cry ‘Dada, Dada’.

The accused are from a ‘jati’, a ‘nation.’
From and allied with a powerful institution.
The witnesses are her brothers,
who recognised some voices,
and some faces,
including Lieutenant Ferdous Khan’s
and Nurul Haq’s, a settler.
The report does not count the brothers as witnesses,
But names Kalpana, the disappeared, as the main witness.
Why worry about it?
This is the 21st century.
1996 is the distant past.

Fuck your words,
fuck your sense of justice,
fuck your morality,
fuck your humanity,
fuck you, editors,
fuck you, writers,
fuck you, poets,
fuck you, journalists,
fuck you, protesters,
fuck you, justice seekers,
Fuck you, fuck you all.

Now, think of Kalpana.
A mighty woman.
No, no, it is a lie.
She is not a woman.
She is not human.
She is inhuman.
A super being,
or a sub being.
She holds the possibility of appearing
from disappearance, dashing the guns.
She, perhaps, holds the possibility of returning
from death, if she was ever terminated.

A 21-year old.
An unassuming young woman.
A student.
A friend.
A revolutionary.
An ordinary, listed disappeared.
But, punching the cruellest joke,
howling a mad demonic laugh,
she nourishes the jums of the Chittagong Hills with fire,
and floods the plains of Bangladesh in alluvial soil,
year after year …

How dare you, bitch, you smash our hearts.
How dare you, bitch, you question the satire of power.
How dare you, bitch, you shatter our sense of integrity.
How dare you, bitch, you shame our pride for humanity.
How dare you, bitch, you ignite our struggle for justice.

Kalpana Chakma, we love you.
You are the greatest bitch,
their greatest fear against injustice.

——-

Kabita Chakma is an executive member of the International Council for the Indigenous Peoples of CHT and the Human Rights Coordinator of the CHT Indigenous Jumma Association Australia.

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