Writers Column

Chunati : Its Culture and Heritage

Chunati happens to be an affluent village of talented antiquity. The classic route i, e, Grand Trunk road linking it with the Arkan road known as the Asian highway, runs along it up to the further end joining as many as six countries of the subcontinent and moves three outside. Hillocks, dales and meadows spotted up with ever stretching homesteads, it presents itself as an ideal habitat provided with roads and rivers connecting with and leading crosswise, to the ‘Highway’ nearby. A locality of the enlightened past, it poses to be a modern suburb having perhaps, none to be at par with its promises and potentialities in time past and present. Chittagong, the ‘port de grande’ harboured much of the civilizational ‘Flash-flows’ and , in turn, contributed to its enhancement within and without the subcontinent, were in Chunati can claim its vital participation. People here are rural but not rustic, affording but hardly aspirant; liberal, not much libertine; are always courteous and quarrelsome, forbearing and fictitious, passionate friends placating foes all at the same time. Fresh in mind frolic in spirit, rousy in temper, rough-tough to opposition they can behave at cost of nothing save their own. They are averse to void-supremacy keen for self-respect, sparing regard only for intelligence and wisdom rather than ‘Age and Authority’. They are given up to teasing and taunting to others and they eventually react if they seem to fall out of ‘trick or track’ their legacy is enshrined with the 18th century discipleship of ashraf simnani, nineteenth century ‘Ghazi’ at Balakot ( moulana abdul hakim), the twentieth century Artist dancer (Bulbul chy.), some of them formed the ‘First Batch of British magistracy (wajiullah sami and others) First Hons. Graduate of south ctg. Under calcutta university (Mustafizur Rhaman), First C.S.P (Ahmed Farid), member translation bureaue for ‘Hedyah’ under sayed amir ali, all of them were drunk deep in the wisdom, classic and modern.

Anthropologically, Chunati by name and nomenclature, seems to have interesting phenomena about it savouring ‘Arkani-Magh’ origin so far as it etimology denotes. They say, it is made of ‘chunu’ and ‘tia’ (tiny farm) meaning ‘Farm’ and ‘Tiny’ respectably. ‘Ruhingya’ Ghona, being its southern part lying on the most prominent and the principal pathway up to Arkan, amply substantiates it as such, beside other folklores. Human habitation here is not strikingly old, as ‘Hat-Bazar’ there is of recent growth missing ‘Banyan tree’ the symbol of ‘Ethnic Enciene’.

Illustrious families like deputy Bari, Bara Moulavi Bari and Main Bari and like, are reducible to one Qari Abdur Rahman, the father of Moulana Abdul Hakim, the great. Beside shikder Bari, Munsif Bari, yousuf Moulavi Bari And Munshi Bari etc. Made the bulk of the predominant families already settled there with established authority and reputation – all make one Ibrahim Khondakar their fore father sufi mianjee – bara mianjee and chuta mianjee are noteworthy here sages of earlier domicile. Remarkable persoanliae like Qari Abdur Rahman, Moualana Sha Sufi Nazir Ahmed, Moulana Mufti Ibrahim and Mr. Abdus Sobahan Kahn Moulana Abu Taher M.Nazer etc. having been settled here from out-side, bespeaks its ‘immence locale’ that attracted them since long past with the unending ‘flows of immigration’ up till now.

Illustrious sons are more than to be countable, some of them are renowned far and wide. Moulana Abdul Hakim, Moulana wajiullah sami, Mannu Mian, Shukur Ali Munsif, Moulana Md.Yousuf. Prof. Moulana K.B. Hassan, Moulana Fazlul Hoq, Bros. Moulavi Shamsul Huda Khan, Deputy Nasiruddin Khan, Deputy Mustafizur Rahman, Dy. Magt. & collector, Bulbul chy, the dance artiste, Ahmed Farid, CSP, Dr. Shafiquddin Ahmed Khan, Moulana Nurul Hussain, Prof. Muinuddin Ahmed Khan, Moulavi Ekramul Haq, Dr. Sultan Hafiz Rahman, Prof. Habibur Rahman, Moulavi Mutasim Billah, Moulana Shafiq Ahmed, Moulana Qari Munir Ahmed, the most celebrated saint Moulavi Hafez Ahmed of world-wide name and as ‘Shah Shaheb’ Huzur are some of them to name only a few. Undoubtedly, these few with numerous many, enhanced the cultural flow that immensely nurtured by yet more potential successors who amply and ably replenished their proud legacy for the posterity as an endowment of cross-cultural synthesis enshrining and revitalizing the mainstream of the noble ‘Heritage’ in which Hakimiah Alia Madrasah occupies the prime position with a difference, it’s why the people of chunati are always tradition-bound and open to transformations; hence they are given up to modernism in their own way.

Apart from the ‘Aliah Madrasah’ it housed a girl’s collage, two high schools, one Mahilla Madrasah, three primary schools and numerous Maktabs and furqaniahs commensurate with ‘Khanaqash’ Clubs and public forums of all sort along with a grand jame mosque and sirat maydan, unusual at an out-lying village like this. The dowellors are basically ‘Madrasah education’ oriented, whoever he is and whatever is his academic end in pursuit and profession. Most of them live on service, public or private, at house and abroad, while some business enterprises too, made their head-way, over and above the agriculture making the total economy remarkably well, though not well off.

Gnostic and spiritual legacy is here as old as it, ‘tracts and tracks’ (Turaq wa Taraiq). Qaderiah, Naqshbandiyah, Mujaddediyah and the like, beside simnani, Suhrawardi and idersiyah thrined here luxuriantly. Moulana Abdul Hakim and his descendents, Shukur Ali Munsif his progenies, Moulana Fazlul Haq and his bros. Sha Moulana Nazir Ahmed, Qari Munir Ahmed, Moulana Fayaz made vigorous strivings in the way while Shah Saheb Huzur made up the most public front in terms of holding 19 days long drawn ‘seerat Mahfil which is the reminiscent of not only good-old days but vivid phenomenon of ‘Golden means’ towards attainment here and hereafter and Moulana Habib Ahamed now is holding the rein.

It is no wonder that chunati can claim the highest literacy rate 80% of which 45% graduate interm of madrasah and collage university education with more than 6 ph.ds in the same village. female education in madrasah, in particular, in simply peerless. The woman folk are intelligent and wistful, with ‘purdah’ they are almost open to all who happen to their own kiths and kin as much as the ‘intermarriage’ is there the general social order. The ladies are reputed as good professional, and housewife’s tending to be frolic and furtive as well as fussy at the same time. People are very much keen for celebrities enjoy themselves. Sports and athletics, hunting and outing for picnic and excursion them most.

The people here are innovative by nature. They are easeful in life and recreative all about it. They hold Urda-persian ‘Mushanrah’ and participate in it. Nuptial song are simply unique and overwhelming. The used to stage dramas early this century with a high performance along with the requisites interims of fire-arms, bomb shelling in the combat and fighting of all sorts. Moulana Ekram as a superb director and Moulavi Mstasim villah as a technocrat has a batch of all-rounders in ‘acting and action’ actual and artificial. Drama-play in chunati was renowned throughout the country since thirties of the present century – a phenomenon unthinkable around a rural Madrasah for off form any township or head-quarter of an administrative unite. Chunati seemingly assertive, is amicable with other’s sentiment to build up an amity towards an ideal Islamic but up to date, by all estimate. For new generations the task is up hill, but they are always found capable combatants in odds the sake of their own ideal and identity supposed to be enshrined by their supreme sacrifice and noble heritage.

Source : Anjumane Tolabakeye Chabekin ( 34th Edition ), written by Prof : Dr. Shabbir Ahmed


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