Muslims No Longer Minority in Assam, Must Protect Others as a Majority: CM
'After 10 years, will Assam be as is shown in 'The Kashmir Files'? It is the duty of Muslims to allay our fear.'
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday, 16 March, courted controversy by saying that Muslims constitute 35 percent of Assam's population and, thus, cannot be considered as a 'minority' anymore. They must behave like a majority and assure that what happened in Kashmir will not be repeated in Assam, he had said, referring to the film The Kashmir Files.
"Today people from Muslim community are leaders in opposition, MLAs and have equal opportunity and wield power. So it is their duty to ensure that the rights of tribal people are protected and their lands are not encroached upon."Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in the budget session of the Assam Assembly
He continued, "There is no need to encroach on the lands of tribals residing in the sixth schedule area. If Bora and Kalita (Assamese surnames) have not settled on those land, Islam and Rahman (Muslim surnames) must also refrain from settling in those lands."
The BJP leader added that "power comes with responsibility" and since Muslims constitute 35 percent of the state's population, it is "their duty to protect the minorities here".
Talking during a debate on governor's address in the Assam Assembly, Sarma said, "The Assamese people are under fear. There is fear that culture and civilisation will be protected. Harmony is two-way traffic."
"Let Muslims talk about the protection of Sankari culture, Sattriya culture...there will be harmony. Ten years back, we were not minorities but now we are," the chief minister continued.
Referring to the film The Kashmir Files that he recently watched, he compared the people of Assam to the Kashmiri Hindus who were forced to escape.
Sarma added, "People ask me if Assamese people will face the same fate as Kashmiri Pandits. Ten years down the line, will Assam be like it is shown in the Bollywood movie The Kashmir Files?"
"It is the duty of Muslims to allay our fear. Muslims must behave like a majority and give us assurance that there will be no repeat of Kashmir here," he concluded.
(With inputs from NDTV.)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.