Things that make you to Think
This is my academic project for MA program in Literature in English & Cultural Studies in Jahangirnagar University.
Krama: Resurrection of A Caste
A Theological Discourse Against Neo-imperialism
The Executive Summary of the Project Paper:
Historically human society is influenced by theological discourse. The lifestyle, cultural behavior and social phenomena of human are settled by the interaction of religion and culture. In 1985, what Kramadi Krama Manley had proclaimed religious messages to the people of Mro and Khumi communities for the resurrection of their entire cultural life and circumference, at present this is not only limited into that religion rather it becomes a philosophical discourse, an identity for reforming culture and literature in order to defend their own existence. On the other hand, to protect their own tradition, culture and ideology, it becomes also a theological discourse against the existing theoretically strong domination of Christian and Buddhism in hill tract areas.
The religion Krama, founded by Manley Mro, came out from Mro tradition and cultural belief which later outspreaded into Khumi community. Therefore, Krama religion possesses their tradition and culture, on the other hand, Manley develop their social reformation through his invention of the religion. Because, in the expansion of open economy system and capitalist society, life could not be continued with only traditional ideology, for this, Krama religion raises consciousness among the Mros and Khumis about economy and politics. They were informed that, the lifestyle, that they have created around a geographical boundary, is not so simple rather it becomes complicated and complex among all existing religious and cultural relation. Religion is not only belief and design to lead life, they understand that it would be more than that like it would be a power to protect language and culture, a regulation of the purification of tradition, ideology to defend their existence, and features of an individual identity.
In the hill tract areas in Bangladesh, while many indigenous communities are becoming converted into the two dominating religions Christianity and Buddhism by sacrificing their own identity, belief, tradition, culture, language, literature, lifestyle and ‘becoming as like others’, in this circumstances, Krama religion creates the Mro and Khumi community people as an individual identity through their own belief, tradition, language, culture that it would be possible to be modern within their own cultural purification and behavior. Again, this theological discourse also makes them understand that own culture will be lost if language is lost, and then an individual belief, literature and thoughts will be also lost. Therefore, this religion, Krama, creates alphabets for their language, produces many poems, verses and literatures for their livelihood.
Since ancient period to 1985, the Mro community has no religion, no written language and alphabets. They had believed through much purification that their God called as Thorai was unconvinced on them. Around 1966, a child named Manley was born at Pora para under the Chimbuk range. During his meditation and introspection, Manley was able to come out from the Mro complexity and then proclaimed Krama religion and a written form of their language for Mro people which were given by God. In this way, the Mro people find their own and individual religion, belief, God, language, culture, rituals, economic concepts and political views. Now this religion has been outspreaded among the Mro and Khumi people. Moreover, this religion has been also followed by the Mro people in Myanmar and India.
In this project, the anthropological, biological and cultural identities of Mro and Khumi community have been discussed. It attempts to analyze its various dimensions that how and in which way Krama religion has reformed their individual tradition and culture to a neo-cultural establishment. How society, family, relation, language, birth, death and entire livelihood are being specified and précised, this project tried to discuss on them. The spiritual experience of this religion is tried to be explained from the perspective of Krama followers’ ideology. The religious discourse will be analyzed with theological explanation and its literary values. After the disappearance of the founder of Krama, Manley, the present scenario of Mro and Khumi’s entire life surrounding the religion is discussed as well.
How the Krama followers are struggling for their own identity with this religion as a political discourse in such a contemporary period of capitalism, imperialism and post-colonialism are specified. Their settlements, food, costumes, festival, rituals, concept of God and soul, existence of God, mind-body relation, rebirth, prayer, cultural diversity, gender all will be analyzed to know the identity of Krama religion.
As a naturalist and pantheist religion, how Krama explains nature, society and life, these are analyzed. What are the characteristics of their God called as Thorai, relation between Thorai and His creatures and how it is specified, are also explained. The concept of after life of the followers and its impacts on the earthly life are discussed.
In the contemporary CHT economic, political and religious context, what is the role of Krama religion? What is the explanation of Krama religion in communalism and nationalism circumstances are analyzed. A comparative analysis between Krama and Christian as well as Buddhism is brought and it is shown what the ethical instructions are. It is widely discussed about the followers’ society controlled by their religious codes, rituals and disciplines including their holy book, priest and his position in the society.
The followers are now constructing their form of an individual identity and cultural phenomena in relation to principles of Krama religion. Uppermost, it is shown that, Krama religion is the political, economical, cultural and theoretical identity of the Mro and Khumi community to defend their culture and existence.