Shafiqul Alam, Bureau Chief at AFP News Agency
Many of you may have read or heard about Assam basti in Rangamati town. Appa-rently the people living there are migrants from Assam. During a recent trip to Mohongonj, while chatting at a local sweetmeat shop, the shop manager told me about an emerging colony of Assamese Muslims who had settled in Mohongonj town 10-15 years back. I could not make further inquiries as to what events in Assam triggered the migration of these Muslims to a predominantly Hindu majority town, a sub district of Netrokona.
I am sure if I went around Bangladesh more such stories of cross border and intra country migration would emerge. In my home village, as most of our families live in Dhaka, people from the other bank of Padma, Madaripur and nearby are quietly inundating Bikrampore. We go to our village only for occasional day trips. This is in the span of
last 10-15 years. Genetically the Bangali and the Sinhala people have been found to have strong genetic similarities enough to support that a Hindu King from present day Bangladesh landed in Lanka. This would probably in consonance with the fact that Bengal was once renowned for its ship building. There are many stories. Some are told, some are never told, some are exaggerated. Surely migration is not always a one way traffic as some would attempt it to portray.