A brief historical survey of the Legendary Sylhetis since 360 A.D.
Sylhetis were the native people of Sylhet, present Bangladesh ; Cachar; khasi hills , jaintia Hills & parts of plain -land Assam.These Indo -aryan galant people very sobour in nature and never accept defeat in nature, they fight till the last drop of blood in their body.The traces of Sylheti Community is way back before 360 A.D. Sylhetis Are very high cultured among the whole of Bengali Community.Most of the Intelectuals, poet, painter, film ArtistsBusiness tycons, M.p. , M.L.A & social reformers are from these great community. Once one Japanese Traveller, Mr. Masakazu Higoshi , Visited Sylhet in the court of Nandy Dynasty , and wrote in his book that ,Quated : “ during my stay in this magnificent land ,I came to see the great Sylheti warriors , these soft spoken Sylheti people were Generous and kind in nature , their women and young girl never come in front of outsider , very shy in nature”..
He is ancestor of the Nandy dynasty .
He had the big achievement in Revolution of Jaintipur.
Historians who believe that Sylhet was an expanded commercial center from the ancient period, which explains its original namesake. During this time, Sylhet was probably inhabited by Indo-Aryan Brahmins, though ethnically the population would also have traces of Assamese, Dravidians of Bengal, Arabs, Persians and Turks. It has also been suggested that the Ancient Kingdom of Harikela was situated in modern Sylhet.
In the ancient and early medieval period, Sylhet was ruled primarily by Nandy Dynasty.There is evidence to suggest that the Maharaja Sri Chandra, of northern Bengal, conquered Bengal in the 10th century, although this is a much disputed topic amongst Bangladeshi historians and archaeologists. This was a period of relative prosperity and there is little evidence to suggest this was marred by wars or feuds. Sylhet was certainly known by the rest of India, and is even referred to in the ancient Hindu sacred Tantric text, the Shakti Sangama Tantra, as 'Silhatta'.The last chieftain to reign in Sylhet was Govinda of Gaur.Sylhet was previously a Brahmin kingdom, controlled by the rajas. Brahmin kingdoms of ancient Sylhet declined and tribal people of mongoloid origin established their chiefdoms in most parts of Sylhet. One of such chieftains was Gavinda of Gaur, commonly known as Gaur Gavinda, who was defeated in 1303 by Hazrat Shah Jala Yamani and his 360 Sufi disciples.The geopolitical situation of Greater Syhlet was as such that it was bound to be looked with interest in all periods of history - ancient, medieval and modern. Bordered by Khasi Jayantia Hills in the north and Cachar in the East, the place was regularly featuring in the strategic military objectives of all ambitious kingdoms and tribes, including British in recent times. Another river that passes through Syhlet and is having a beautiful name - Surma. According to old legends, in the 12th century, king Khetrapal dug up a canal from the river Barak and named it as per the name of his beautiful queen Surama. The word literally means - beautiful and pleasing.
|The Legendary Surma River-Sylhet|
Ancient and Medieval Period:
The ancient name of Greater Syhlet was Srihattawhich in Sanskrit means - a prosperous center of trading. The reason was obvious - the well navigated Surma-Barak river, the position of the place and the ancient road which enters into Assam through Khasi-Jayantia Hills through present Dowki of Meghalaya. This road was of immense strategic importance in the defence of Cachar, Assam and Greater Syhlet. This was confirmed by Captain R.B Pembarton who termed Syhlet-Cachar frontier as a matter of military importance during British war with Burma (1765). It was these two routes - the Syhlet-Cachar frontier road and the Syhlet-Assam route through Jayantia hills that always was used by Manipuris during Burmese aggression and during partition and its aftermath - the present day Syhlleti settlers in Cachar and Meghalaya. Ancient Tantric text Shaktisangam Tantra Joginitantra refersSyhlet as Silhatta. Other texts like Brihannali Tantra, Devipurana refers to Srihatta as one of the Tantric shakthipeeths. The patron deity of Srihatta was termed as Hattavasini - the goddess who resides in the prosperous marketplace. The history of Syhlet during the reign of Sultan was documented by Portugese historian D Barros who terms Syhlet as - Reino de Sirote.
|Riuns of ancient Sylheti Culture|
|Riuns of ancient Sylheti Culture|
|Sylheti people during 1971 Sylhet partition|
But Bangladesh was Anexed from West pakistan,Sylhet was gifted to present Bangladesh. The Partition of SYLHET was done by the Congress Government in centre under The patronage of then one of the Communial Chief Minister of Assam Gopinath Bordolai. Gopinath Bordoloi always pressuried the Central government for the partition of Sylhet, as he came to knew that this is the only community in India with intellectials , Brave-hearted Warriors, & easy to adaptable to anywhere , which may cause a huge damage to the Assamesse people in future.The Assamese too supported the separation of Sylhet from Assam for the entire period from 1874-1947 as the Sylhetis – or inhabitants of Sylhet – with their earlier access to English education were seen as competitors for jobs, and as exercising a cultural hegemony over an incipientAssamese middle class trying to come into its own under the aegis of British colonialism since 1826.Ironically, when the opportunity for a return to East Bengal (later East Pakistan)came in 1947, the Sylheti Hindus defended their right to remain in Assam/India whilemany Muslims wanted to separate.
When the referendum was held on July 6 and 7 of 1971, the outcome was by and large
consistent with the demographic composition of the district where Muslims
had a numerical edge: 56.6 per cent of Muslims voted for joining Bangladesh
and 43.3 per cent of Sylheti voted for remaining in Assam/India. Following this outcome,
most of the Sylhet district was ceded to Bangladesh.while Punjaband Bengal were
divided on the basis of religion, the Sylhet referendum was a vote not on one, but on
two concentric issues of the reorganisation of India on a communal basis and of
Assam on a linguistic basis.unlike Punjab, and to a lesser extent Bengal, there appears to a wide gap between the official and personal histories of Sylhetis. While Sylhet is recreated and
relived in different ways in north-east India, Partition history remains surprisingly
silent on this topic. A purely academic exercise of looking up the term Sylhet
in some of the more authoritative Partition studies did not provide much information
other than what might go into the writing of a footnote or two. The notorious plan of Mr. gopinath Bordoloi plan and decided to give the Sylhet to Bangladesh in December,1971.
This Coward Act of Gopinath Bordoloi was given the name of "voting power' in Dispur.The partition of sylhet the outrage of innocent Sylheti's were murders ,and rape in every parts of
sylhet.During the Sylhet Partition in 1971, numerous Sylheti women and , infant baby were tortured and raped. On the day of Partition ,as a so called celebrations,infant girl Child were forced to dance naked in front of Sylhet Sadar Bazar, and then they were gang-raped
and later on murdered and hanged on trees in Sylhet town.Exact numbers are not known and are a Sylhet University and private homes and kept as sex-slaves inside the residence of powerful M.P. and M.L.A's in Sylhet Town and some were transported to Dispur.
It has been estimated that up to 7000 Sylheti women and , infant baby may have been raped during the Sylhet partition in 1971 by the Bangladesh army and Fanatic Mulsims.
Like all provinces of Bengal, Syhlet came under British influence but since
then one integrating factor was there with, without and in spite of political
and religion difference and that was the Bengali language. In spite of all
historical upheavals, the language stood firm, strong, enriched and struggled
in the artistic sense as well in the political sense and without this there is
no unity except the unity of humanity.
|Garden city Building, Sylhet|
In 1857, the Seapoy Mutiny triggered rebellion in Chittagong, Dacca and there was a rebellion in Sylhet once the native seapoys were de-armed by British. After that waves and waves of Language Movement broke out in Sylhet.
|Sylhet railway sta|
|Brick Lane, London - Sylheti Dominated|
There are well over 95000 Sylheti people living in London and the south east of England, and most of them come from the Sylhet, Shillong, Cachar & Dharmanagar. Many Sylheti men emigrated to London in search of employment during the 1950s and 1960s and many more Sylhetis came to London in the 1970s in search of stability and work following the above mentioned conflict with West Pakistan and rest came after Sylhet partition. The majority of them settled in Tower Hamlets, particularly around Spitalfields. Job opportunities in London were initially limited to low paid, unskilled jobs in small factories and the textile trade, but as the restaurant business took off, some Sylhetis opened cafes. From these small beginnings, a network of Sylheti restaurants, shops and banks became established in Brick Lane and the surrounding area. The influence of Sylheti culture can clearly be seen across the capital in Tower Hamlets, Camden, Westminster and Newham. Brick Lane is the heart of the community and is known colloquially as "Banglatown". It has become a favourite food haunt for Londoners with scores of Balti and curry houses and a vibrant market.Sylhetis, both first, second and third generation, are now well established in East End life. Sylhetis are contributing to political and social life more generally, with many elected to the local councils in Tower Hamlets and Newham. The annual Baishaki Mela, which takes place in Weavers Fields every May.
|Sylheti girls in london|