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Full text of "Linguistic Survey Of India Vol V Part I Indo Aryan Family Eastern Group"

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EASTERN OF SANDIP  (NOAKHALl).                                             247


Incarnation of justice, I have not really beaten my mother-in-law. She has laid a
false charge. Her son has beaten me. Last Tuesday I went to the hills at dawn to cut
firewood. On returning in the afternoon I did not find my wife at home. I had a
small shepherd boy named Hajl 'AH whom I asked, 'where is she?f He said that my
mother-in-law had come and, giving her evil advice, had taken her away. She had a
neck-ring on her neck, a nose-ring in her nose, an ankle-ring on her ankles. She has gone
away with them. The day before yesterday in the evening after the time of the makrim
prayer I went to her father's house with the panchayat* of the village. The panchdyat*
stood on a mat in the middle of the courtyard. I was on the steps of the back door of the
additional shed attached to the hut on the eastern bhiti, when the elder brother of my
wife came running,from where I know not, and struck me on my calf with a stick; again
rising, he struck me on my back below the shoulder. My wife's younger brother gave
me a slap, and a blow with his elbow from behind.

Incarnation of justice, see my wounds. My mother-in-law has without cause kid
this plot against me and instituted this false charge in order to ruin me, and after obtain*
ing my wife's divorce to give her in marriage elsewhere.

More than a hundred miles south-east of Dacca, at the mouth of the River Megna
lies the island of Sandip, with a population of 100,000, now forming part of the District
of Noakhali. Although the language of the island of Hatia to the west, of Noakhali
to the north, and of Chittagong to the east, is the South-Eastern dialect of Bengali,
which is usually named after the District of Chittagong, the language of Sandip
is a curious isolated example of the Eastern Bengali spoken in the Dacca District*
This is probably due to the circumstances under which the island was populated*
The following history of Sandip is condensed from the pages of the Statistical Account
of Noakhali.
Caesar Frederick, the Venetian traveller* in 1565 described the inhabitants of
Sandip as "Moors91; and stated that the island was one of the most fertile places
in the country, densely populated and Well cultivated. Purchas, eipo., 1620 A.D.,
mentioned that most of the inhabitants were Muhammadans; and there are now
several mosques in the island two hundred years old, and others on the mainland of a
still greater age. The Muhammadan population of the islands around the mouths of
the Megna practised piracy tip to a comparatively recent date. The last pirate of
note was one Dilal, Baja of Sandip, who kept a small army in his pay. He was
eventually captured by the Nawab of Bengal, and ended his days in an iron cage
at Murshidabad. From the time that Sandip first came under British administration,
it formed a constant source of disquiet. It afforded an asylum for the refuse of the
river Districts from Dacca southwards, and had a mixed population of Hindus,
Musalmans, and Maghs, who formed on the island agricultural colonies, fishing settle*
ments, piratical villages, and robber communities* The subordinate tenants kept up
a bitter quarrel with the landholder»in*chief, and every class seemed to have a
grudge against the ~ast, and some complaint to make against Government But the