Development and Culture in the Context of Chittagong Hill Tracts (Cht), Bangladesh


  • Sabiha Yeasmin Rosy Associate Professor, Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Dhaka, Dhaka



development, culture, indigenous people, tourism


This paper aims to understand the background of development and draws a link to culture in the context of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) - a post conflict region – to explore how the dispossession and commercialisation of culture in development planning is processing tension between different actors by reviewing secondary literature. The Indigenous people of Bangladesh have a longstanding history of struggle to achieve self-determination due to their institutional reference as ‘tribes’ or ‘ethnic minorities’. Denial of Indigenous peoples’ identity contributes to their discrimination and violation within the existing development concerns. The specific structural regulations and resource mobilization activities resulting from institutions – government, military, and powerful individuals - in areas inhabited by Indigenous people reflect the asymmetrical relations between Indigenous peoples and Bangalee actors. The conflict started in this region with the mobilization of ethnic majority Bangalee through the settlement programs in 1970s as a part of ‘development’ project, which later created tensions in this region due to the exploitation of people, land, and culture. As the government and ongoing military presence greatly shape ‘development’ for local people, the power relations between different actors facilitate the various forms of exploitative development projects. In addition, the ignorance towards integration of culture in development projects results in imposing threats to Indigenous peoples’ lives, livelihoods, and access to resources. This paper focuses on the economic expansions in this region from modernist perspectives drawing the example of tourism development in the CHT, which can marginalize and exploit Indigenous people in the making of ‘development’,

Social Science Review, Vol. 37(2), Dec 2020 Page 87-103





How to Cite

Rosy, S. Y. . (2021). Development and Culture in the Context of Chittagong Hill Tracts (Cht), Bangladesh. Social Science Review, 37(2), 87–103.