effort has a purpose. Our effort is to catch the precious souls of
our history. History is the mirror of life and measure of its
performance. It reflects human life in all its passing phases and
evaluates its works through ages. History upholds the great romance
of human experience in the past. It is through this mirror that
other can know of people who can as well know themselves through
this mirror and also guide themselves properly. The correct
assessment of a people’s past history determines the pace of its
present progress and shape of its future. Great majority of
youngsters here and everywhere is running almost bankrupt of wisdom
and knowledge of history. Efforts are needed to arrest the tide of
are at the doorstep of welcoming the 25th year (1975-2000) of its
founding and the Society has decided to bring to the books its past
history. The Souvenir 1999 is one of the small efforts of the
Society where we tried to elaborate its history, activities and
remembrance of the past. We will understand it a success if it
inspires us to serve with dedication for the cause of humanity and
betterment of the community.
Historical Society (A.H.S), Chittagong, Bangladesh is a Research and
Welfare Organisation operating in Bangladesh since 1975. Registered
under the Societies Registration Act. XXI of 1860, it is a
research-oriented organisation whose membership is open to all
like-minded Bangladeshi Rohingyas.
Formation of A.H.S
The trend of inflow of peoples, once upon a time, into Arakan (also known as Rohang) took a reverse turn from the forties of the century. Since then, the influx of the Arakanese, mostly Rohingya Muslims, into Bangladesh continue unabated through different routes. The uprooted Rohingya always felt to have an organisation of their own to ventilate their guineas.
In the early 1975, some Rohingya philanthropists in
Bangladesh took to the formation of a body for studying and
apprising of the past history of Arakan to it’s present plight
with a view to surfacing it’s blissful and happy by-gone and other
welfare activities. Hajee M.A Kalam, Advocate Moulana Shafique Ahmed
and Hajee Fazal Ahmed were commissioned for the noble task, with the
assistance of Hajee Zahir Ahmed and Mr. Shuna Ali.
In the early 1975, some Rohingya philanthropists in Bangladesh took to the formation of a body for studying and apprising of the past history of Arakan to it’s present plight with a view to surfacing it’s blissful and happy by-gone and other welfare activities. Hajee M.A Kalam, Advocate Moulana Shafique Ahmed and Hajee Fazal Ahmed were commissioned for the noble task, with the assistance of Hajee Zahir Ahmed and Mr. Shuna Ali.
The three gentlemen invited all Rohingyas residing mainly in Chittagong for suggestion and their participation. The first meeting of A.H.S was thus, held on 20th September 1975 at No. 20, Islam Colony, Asadgonj, Chittagong. Advocate Moulana Shafique Ahmed presided the meeting. In the meeting, the name of the Society as “Arakan Historical Society”, in short “A.H.S” was proposed and all the attending members unanimously accepted the name. The meeting resolved to form an 11 member Executive Committee of A.H.S. Advocate Moulana Shafique Ahmed was elected as the President, Hajee Fazal Ahmed Vice-President, and Mohammed Eliyas as General Secretary and Haji M.A Kalam as Treasurer of the Society. Master Wazi Ullah was Executive Secretary of A.H.S. Master Mahmudul Hassan, Advocate Shamsuddin Ahmed, Alhaj Ezar Chowdhury, Haji Zahir Ahmed, Hajee Saleh Ahmed, Hajee Abul Hussein, Hajee Sayeddur Rahman, Hajee Ahmed Kabir, Master Habib Ullah, Master Shuna Ali, Hajee Abul Faiz, Hajee Mohammed Osman, Mr. Abdul Rashid, Mr. Mohammed Yunus, Hajee Osman Joher, Master Ahmed, Mr. Sajjad Hussein, Mr. Sirajul Mustafa, Mvi. Mohammed Ismail, Hajee Zakaria, Mr. Saifulmuluk Chowdhury, Moulana Muzaffer Ahmed and etc. were active members of A.H.S.
its inception in 1975, Arakan Historical Society has been performing
various activities such as conducting research projects, organising
seminars, symposium and awarding stipend and assistance to the poor
and meritorious students. It is also providing financial assistance
to the poor and deserving persons for marriage, funeral purpose;
medical treatment, self-employment programs and all other social
services. The Society is a non-political and non-profitable Research
and Welfare Society. Generous donations and endowments of persons
interested in arts and letters support the Society. .
1. The object of the Society is to promote the knowledge of history of Arakan, Chittagong, Bangladesh and Burma in particular and the World in general.
2. To organise conferences, seminars, symposiums and invite eminent scholars at intervals for larger interest of the Society.
3. To undertake writing and publishing of Articles, Books and Journals on the History of Arakan, Chittagong, Bangladesh and Burma.
4. To establish and maintain Reading Room, Library and Research Centre.
5. To work with the Muslim Ummah in promoting Islam throughout the world.
6. To render social services for destitute, aged and infirm.
7. To award scholarships and to give stipends to deserving students of member families for higher studies in medicine, engineering and in other fields of science and technology, social science and commerce.
8. To provide social assistance to the poor and deserving persons for marriage, funeral purposes and medical treatment.
9. To organise indoor and outdoor games & sports.
10. To render arbitration for non-cognisable matters if any member seeks so.
11. To distribute relief materials and alms among the poor particularly during the time of natural calamities.
12. To aid the Rohingya refugees.
To distribute winter and Eid clothing to the poor.
To distribute Iftar
and Sehri food during the
month of Ramadan and
Vermicelli (Sami) and
sugar on Eidul-Fitr.
To aid the sick, disabled and crippled.
16. To receive donations in cash and kind for any of the objects mentioned above and for the purpose of promoting knowledge of History of Arakan, Bangladesh, Burma and India, from any individual or private institution or from any firm or companies, etc.
17. To purchase or take on lease or exchange or otherwise acquire, possess lands or buildings or houses for fulfillment of any of the above-mentioned objects and to let out any portion of those buildings or houses.
18. To establish premises for social gatherings
19. To do all other things that are in identical or conducive to the attainment of the cherished objects of the Society.
20. To create reserve and invest surplus funds profitably.
21. To render assistance to the other Societies working with similar objectives.
To render assistance for small-case economic projects that
help create self-employment facilities.
To arrange Quran-Khani
and Milad Mafil from time
The fund made up of membership fees, donations, alms and etc.
shall be used for the materialisation of its objective only.
present the Society is located at Eneses Chamber, No. 1102, Nur
Ahmed Road, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
At present the Society is located at Eneses Chamber, No. 1102, Nur Ahmed Road, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
In any organisation, it is the men who make it a living one, and make its mark in the space-time continuum. The Arakan Historical Society is no exception. The Society is run by its own statues and is administered by an Executive Committee (E.C) elected once every two years. The required numbers of E.C members are elected by the General members of the Society in its Biennial General Meeting who then elect one President, two Vice-Presidents, one General Secretary, one Joint-Secretary and one Treasure.
Applications for membership are proposed and seconded by two E.C members of Arakan Historical Society in prescribed forms. The application is then vetted by a scrutiny Committee. Applications deemed eligible are then forwarded to the Executive Committee. The E.C in its regular monthly meeting approves the membership of the applicants. On having been approved by the E.C, the applicant pays the admission fee and membership fee as stipulated by the E.C of the Society. There are 10,230 members including 250 Life Members and more than one lakh supporters and patrons.
All business of the Society is transacted at two levels: E.C Meetings and Biennial General Meeting. The E.C normally meets once a month and all matters relating to the management of the Society are presented and approved. Vital decisions like approval of new memberships, appointing new staff, shifts in current policies, proposal for amendment of the bylaws; allocation and disbursement of the funds for various departmental projects are taken at the monthly E.C Meeting.
It is a voluntary and private research body, which has its own bylaws, and the Executive Committee is charged with upholding the bylaws, formulating policies and managing the affairs of the Society and is responsible to the general body. The General Secretary acts as the Executive arm of the Committee, conducts daily business, maintains records, convenes meetings under provisions laid down in the bylaws and presents a report at the Biennial General Meeting of the Society. The accounts of the Society are audited every year by a reputed firm of chartered accountants and placed before General members in the Biennial General Meeting. The Biennial General Meeting receives a report on the activities of the Society and is held on 25th. December.
Apart from working with various private and public institutions and universities, A.H.S is primarily active among the regional historical and social institutions. In these programs, the institutions and universities join from their independent position. At this stage, its aim is to establish working relation among the different organisations and bring their beneficiaries under the same network.
Sub-Committee consisting of the following members was formed on 5th
September 1987 to finalise the bylaw of the Society.
Al-Haj Moulana Shafique Ahmed
Al-Haj A.M Waheed
Master Muzaffar Ahmed
Al-Haj Abul Kalam
Al-Haj Ashraf Alam
completed bylaws in time and forwarded for registration in
accordance with the provision of the Society Act 1860.
The same Bylaws Sub-Committee was transformed as Registration
Sub-Committee to take all necessary steps for the registration of
the Society. Accordingly it was processed through an appointed
person. The Society has been registered by the Assistant Registrar
of Chittagong Joint Stock Company, Chittagong bearing its
registration No. C.H.S. 42/2 dated. 19th October 1989 titled as Arakan
Historical Society (A.H.S), Chittagong, Bangladesh.
PUBLICATION AND RESEARCH PROGRAMMES
ARAKAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY (A.H.S)
1st December 1995, the Executive Committee of Arakan Historical
Society resolved to hold a seminar on the following subjects. They
advent of Muslim in Arakan and Rohingyas.
Bangla Shahittya Arakan.
The Origin of Rohingya.
Arakan Historical Society (A.H.S) had successfully held a Seminar on 31st December 1995
at Chittagong Zilla Parishad Hall, Chittagong
with co-operation of Chittagong University which was presided by
Janab Al-Haj Abul Kalam, President of the Society.
THE ARRIVAL OF MUSLIMS IN ARAKAN AND ROHINGYAS
The Paper was presented by Prof. Mohammed Ali Chowdhury, Asst. Professor, Department of History and Ph.D. Research Scholar of ARAKAN - BENGAL RELATION under Chittagong University.
Chief Guest: Prof. Dr. Abdul Karim, Ex. Vice-Chancellor of Chittagong University and Eminent Historians of Sub-Continent.
who participated as discussants are: -
Prof. Dr. Sunuti Bhushan Qanungo, Department of History,
Prof. Dr. Shabbir Ahmed, Department of Islamic History and
Culture, Chittagong University.
Prof. Dr. Emaran Hussain, Department of Islamic History and
Culture, Chittagong University.
Prof. Dr. Ekhalsur Kabir, Head of History Department,
Prof. N. M. Habiullah, Director, Bangladesh co-operative Book
Society, Dhaka and the writer of “Rohingya Jathir Itihas (The
History of Rohingya Nation)”.
and prominent persons from Chittagong who attended the seminar as
Special guests were: -
Janab Advocate Badiul Alam, Lawyer of Chittagong Session
Janab Salaudin Kashem Khan, Chairman, Council for world
Muslims Affairs, Bangladesh.
Janab Principal Azmat Ullah, Ex-Principal Chittagong Commerce
Janab Advocate Shamsuddin Ahmed Mirza, Lawyer, Chittagong
Principal Prashentu Shan Gupta, Rangunia College, Chittagong
Prof. Dr. Nuzarul Hossain, Dean of Science, Chittagong
About 180 members, students
and guests attended the Seminar. Prof. Mohammed Ali Chowdhury who
presented the keynote paper in the Seminar said, “Arab Muslims
first came into contact with Arakan through trade and commerce
during 8th Century AD and since then Islam started
spreading in the region.” He also said that in collaboration with
the Muslim traders and adventurers, some Muslim saints played the
dominant role to preach and consolidate Islam in Arakan. Prof.
Mohammed Ali Chowdhury further said that the history of Rohingyas
reveals that they developed a nation from different stocks of people
who concentrated in a common geographical location.
The Chief guest Ex. Vice
Chancellor Prof. Dr. Abdul Karim stated: “ Arakanese Rohingya
Muslims are the aborigines of Arakan. They have a more than 1200
years old history, tradition, culture and civilisation of their own
expressed in their shrines, cemeteries, sanctuaries, social and
cultural institutions found scattered even today in every nook and
corner of Arakan.” He also said that in the glorious past Arakan
was a centre of education, civilisation and business. The Rohingyas
have got language, culture and a heritage, and above all the 20
lakhs Rohingyas formed a homogenous group in Arakan. This is eyesore
to the ruling military juntas of Burma and this is the reason why
they have been trying to expel the Rohingyas, men, women and
children. It is also true that initally the Muslims did not enter
into Arakan in their own interest, rather they were invited by the
rulers of Arakan. The founder of Mrauk-U Empire and his successor
invited the Muslims to exploit their economic resources because
their own people could not do it or did not know how to do it.
He further said that the
successive ruling military juntas of Burma in 1978 and in 1991-92
uprooted several lakhs of Rohingyas, men, women and children from
their homeland Arakan and took shelter in Bangladesh. This is a
man-made problem, created by the Burmese ruling juntas. It is their
deliberate policy to denationalise the Rohingyas and their
oppression and suppression compelled the Rohingyas to leave the
country. So, expulsion of Rohingyas from Arakan alleging them as an
alien or illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh is
Other historians who
participated in the Seminar as discussants also expressed their view
that no Rohingya could be expelled from their homeland Arakan with
that lame-excuse. Principal P.S.Gupta in his speech further said
that the arrival Muslims in Arakan was over one thousand years,
whereas, that of Burman was only two hundred years. It is funny to
brand indigenous Rohingyas as aliens by the newcomer, the Burman.
Dr. S.B. Qanungo also urged A.H.S to establish a Cultural Centre for
the research works to highlight the true history of Rohingyas and
Arakan to counter the efforts of removing the Rohingyas from the
History of Arakan. In conclusion, Janab Abul Kalam, President of the
Society, sought co-operation of the historians to write true history
of Rohingya and Arakan through Research Projects of the Arakan
In 1995-96 the Society published its Annual Magazine containing various activities of the Society and some important articles on Arakan and Rohingyas. The seminar paper “The arrival of Muslims in Arakan and Rohingyas” was also published in the Annual Magazine.
The Arakan Historical Society proposes to publish the following books during 1999-2000.
Rohingyas: A Short Account of their History and Culture by Dr. Abdul Karim, former Vice-Chancellor of
Short History of Rohingyas and Kamans of Burma by M.A Taher Batha, edited
by Ashraf Alam.
ARAKAN KEE THAREKI AZADI TARIKE PASMAN GARMAN (IN URDU) / The Liberation
Movement of Arakan in Historical Perspective by Mvi. Taher Jamal
ITEHASH ABON OTIJJAW. A
Collection of Articles by various writers on Arakan and Rohingyas
(in Bangla) edited by Dr. M. Mohibullah Siddiquee, Associate
Professor of Islamic History, Rajshai University.
ARAKAN: HISTORY AND HARITAGE. A
Collection of Articles by various writers on Arakan and Rohingyas
(in English) edited by Dr. M. Mohibullah Siddiquee, Associate
Professor of Islamic History, Rajshai University.
To finance a research programme project on the history and
culture of Rohingya.
To set up a Technical Institute.
To establish Research Centre with Rohingya National Museum.
To establish an Educational Institute.
To award Scholarship for higher studies.
To build up Hospitals and Clinics.
To help in Rehabilitation Programmes.
To open domestic and overseas branch offices.
RESEARCH PROGRAMME PROJECT ON THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF
per E.C meeting held on 24th May 1996, the Society has undertaken to
finance a research project.
The title of the Project is The Rohingyas: Their History and Culture. The project will be carried out under the supervision of University of Chittagong / University of Dhaka as a Ph. D. programme. The Thesis to be completed within 3 years.
THE TECHINICAL INSTITUTE
continuing its all on going activities, A.H.S also plans to takeup
some of the challenging programmes of our time to fulfil its dream
of building a happy and prosperous nation through producing better
citizens. This Institute will offer admission to students of various
schools and colleges of the country. This will definitely help build
technical experts among the students.
RESEARCH CENTRE WITH ROHINGYA NATIONAL MUSEUM
One of the A.H.S’s major plans for future is to establish a
research centre with Rohingya National Museum, first of its kind in
Bangladesh. Here A.H.S wants to preserve all necessary documents and
matter related to the people of Arakan, particularly Rohingya
people. This will be a place where members can identify their own
position, role and responsibility. This will educate them to know
about themselves and other countries. They will know about the
rights of their people and be able to prepare themselves as
responsible citizens of their motherland.
HOSPITAL AND CLINICS
A.H.S also wants to build up hospitals and clinics for the
services of the members and general people. This will help us to
reach a wider range of people. The programmes can be utilised for
The biggest venture that A.H.S plans to take up is to establish an Educational Institute. A unique concept of its kind where A.H.S plans to help the children of the members to have a place of their own for exploring their educational potentialities. It will be equipped with all necessary facilities such as auditorium, training hall, residential facilities etc. which besides providing necessary support to its own programmes can be utilised for generating income. When completed it will no doubt be a bold step towards A.H.S’s self-sufficiency. From this Institute A.H.S will be able to locate potential students to award scholarship for higher studies.
Copyright 2000-2001, ARAKAN