By Aman Ullah
Mohan Ghosh wrote in his book ‘Magh Raiders of Bengal’ that, “In 8th century under the Hindu revivalist leader, Sankaracharijya, Buddhists in India were persecuted in large-scale. In Magadah, old Bihar of India, Buddhists were so ruthlessly oppressed by chauvinist Hindus and rival Mahayana sect of Buddhists that large numbers of Hinayana Buddhists had been compelled to flee eastward who ultimately found shelter in Arakan under the Chandra kings.” These Buddhist immigrants assumed the name Magh as they have migrated from Magadah.
By Ba Tha
I wrote about Rakhaing Kaman Muslims, the descendants of Shah Shujah's followers in a previous article entitled "Shah Shujah in Arakan" which was published in this magazine vol: VI, No, 9 for the month of September 1965. Now I take great pleasure in writing about the Muslims who stepped into the soil of Arakan and settled in the country before Shah Shujah took refuge with the Arakanese king Sandathudamma (1652-1684) in 1660.
A.B. M. Habibullah
Some years ago a Burmese scholar, Col. U Bashin, of the Historical Commission of Burma, visited Dacca and brought with him photographs of two Persian inscriptions which he said were found along with others in the Palace site in the ruins of Mrohaung, the old capital of Arakan, now within the Akyab district. Col. Bashin had a very short stay here, and could not leave the photographs but he was kind enough to let me examine them for a few minutes when we met at a dinner in the Burmese Consul's house.
By Zul Nurain
During the last few years, I came across some historical works on the Rohingya history by some native Rohingyas and some illustrious history scholars such as Martin Smith and Professor Dr. than Tun. The works of native writers include: an attempt to solve the differences of opinions on Rohingya history, the hidden chapters of Arakan history, Wesali and its people, Rationale to be considered by Rohingya critics – all in Burmese and Towards understanding Arakan history, Rudiments of Arakan history – in English. Some of these works are already on a website, based in Japan. One of the above treatises: The Hidden Chapters of Arakan History was found to be pirated by one pseudo historian, Zaw Min Htut in Japan who produced and distributed it widely with his own name as the writer: An insult to the original author. But the problem is some readers and viewers of above works came on heel to criticize and condemn those works as baseless, false and fabricated. This censorious group collected a lot of critical articles and published it in Japan in 2003. The name of their critique is Criticism on Rohingya’s false history. As far as my historical knowledge concerned my study of those works informs me that those are not Esoof Fables and make believe. They are well referenced, better documented with reliable source materials. The critics are not confined to criticizing natives, they boldly refute what Dr. Than Tun and Martin Smith write: These two are not alley writers but highly respected history scholars. Dr. Than Tun’s comment on Rohingya’s historicity is a bold, brave as well as a benevolent deed. Everyone should note the tight and risky atmosphere in which he shed light on Rohingya history. His remark on Muslim rulers in north Arakan and the relativity of present day Rohingya with them is not an imagination. He documented his remarks with “Ava” age inscription with their registration numbers. So we must say all above works had already given a vindication for Rohingya and their history.
ARAKAN, once a sovereign and independent State, is now one of the states of the Union of Burma. The Arakan State comprises a strip of land along the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal from the Naf River to Cape Negaris and stretches north and south touching Bangladesh on the Northwest. The river Naf separates it from Chittagong region of Bangladesh.1 It is cut off from Burma by a range of near impassable mountains known as Arakan Yomas running north to south, which was an obstacle against permanent Muslim conquest. The northern part of Arakan, today called the “North Arakan,” was point of contact with East Bengal. These geographical facts explain the separate historical development of that area – both generally and in terms of its Muslim population until the Burmese king Bodaw Paya conquered it on 28th December 1784 AD.2 Under different periods of history Arakan had been an independent sovereign monarchy ruled by Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims.