The Politics of Nationalism The Case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Bangladesh Amena Mohsin ISBN 984 05 1400 8 1997 290pp 215x136mm HB Tk.450.00 US$25.00
The Politics of Nationalism examines the process of nationality construction within the Hill people of Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh. The book places the issue in an historical context and begins with the first encounter of the Hill people with the British in 1760; it traces their loss of independence and consequent marginalisation within the colonial state.
The book then argues that nation-state is tuned to the needs and aspirations of the dominant community; and the Hill people being the subordinate group continued to be marginalised within the State of Pakistan and then Bangladesh.
The marginalisation was total-political, economic and military. The state, however, undertook its policies’ in the name of ‘nation’ or ‘national’ development, for in the matrix of nation-state, nation and state are synonymous.
Consequently the Hill people today claim themselves to be a separate nation jumma within the state of Bangladesh. The book, however, concludes that jumma nationalism too is beset with hegemonism, and as such cannot be an answer for the Hill people. It concludes by positing an alternate idea of nation-state.
Amena Mohsin teaches in the .Department of International Relations at the University of Dhaka. She graduated from the same University and later on received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Hawaii, USA, and Cambridge University, UK, respectively. She specialises on nationalism, ethnicity and minority issues. She has published numerous articles in various journals.