GUWAHATI: The Assam government’s move to carry out a survey to identity the state’s “indigenous Muslims” has ruffled the feathers of several Muslim organisations.
The organisations, particularly opposition party All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU), are enraged that the Welfare of Minorities and Development Department convened a meeting on the “socio-economic census” of the state’s indigenous Muslims such as Goria, Moria, Ujani, Deshi, Jola, Maimal and Syed.
Leaders from these communities and other stakeholders will sit along with senior government officials to finalise the plan on Tuesday. The AIUDF viewed the move as a ploy to divide the Muslims of the state.
“This is nothing but an attempt to divide the Muslims in Assam. I warn the government to refrain from indulging in such divisive politics,” AIUDF spokesman Aminul Islam told people at a programme which they had organised to stage a protest at Dhing in Nagaon on Monday.
“Assam has 1.21 crore Muslims (out of 3.3 crore population). They have accepted Assamese culture and language and identify themselves as Assamese. They are Assamese to the bones. They study in Assamese medium schools and speak the Assamese language. In every aspect of life, they use the Assamese language. It is unfortunate that even after that, they are seen as doubtful citizens. We cannot accept it,” Islam said.
He said the “Miyans” (migrant Muslims) had never been a threat to Assam or the Assamese language. Without naming the RSS, he alleged that the Assam government was playing at the hands of Nagpur.
The Miyans in Assam trace their roots to undivided Bengal.
The AAMSU said the government’s move was uncalled for as Assam had not yet got a widely-accepted definition of who in the state are the indigenous people.
“I don’t know how the government will carry out a population census to identify the indigenous Muslims. We want the government to first assert who in the state are the indigenous people and then, go ahead with the exercise,” advisor to AAMSU, Azizur Rahman, told this newspaper.