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Monday, November 28, 2022

Ahoms are foreigner, Miya Muslims are indigenous people: Assam MLA Aminul Islam

All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MLA Aminul Islam from Assam, in a shocking statement made at a public meeting held at Moirabad last week, stated that Ahoms are not indigenous people of the state of Assam. “Ahoms came from Yunnan province of China-Myanmar border. That province was never a part of India. They came from a foreign land,” the MLA said.

The Dhing MLA also held that Bengali-speaking Miya Muslims who have migrated to the state from East Pakistan, or present-day Bangladesh are the indigenous community of Assam state.  “Our ancestors came from a district which was a part of undivided India. Why we are not indigenous?” Islam added.

Aminul Islam’s bizarre statement, challenging the nativity of the largest population group in Assam i.e. Ahoms who speak the Assamese language and have given the state its unique cultural identity, comes amid a raging debate in Assam and the rest of Bharat over the question of persecuted refugees and illegal economic immigrants.

That many Bengalis, both Hindus and Muslims, have migrated to Assam over the centuries is well known. But going by Islam’s ‘logic’, even Muslims who illegally crept into the state from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) after partition should be treated as indigenous just because they came from a region which was once part of undivided Bharat? It is also pertinent to note that Aminul Islam is speaking not for all Bengalis in Assam, only for the Bengali-speaking ‘Miya Muslims’. And this rabidly communal outfit AIUDF is feted as a beacon of secularism in Lutyens’ media studios.

A large part of the Assamese-speaking Hindu community in Assam has been protesting against the CAA law introduced to give expedited citizenship to persecuted Hindu & other minority refugees from Islamic nations of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Assamese anxiety stems from their belief that granting citizenship to any illegal outsider, whether Hindu or Muslim, will threaten their culture.

The recent Supreme Court-monitored NRC exercise carried out in Assam excluded 19 lakh (1.9 million) people from the final citizens list, out of which 10-12 lakh are believed to be Hindu. It is these 10 lakh Hindus who could potentially benefit from CAA. On the other hand, Muslims form 34% of Assam’s total population of 3.1 crore, i.e they number around 1 crore – 28 lakhs of whom are Assamese-speaking Muslims and the rest are Bengali Muslims.

Here is a question to Assamese Hindus protesting against CAA: Where are your Muslim brothers now when a Muslim minister has called you foreigners in your own country & state? How many of your united brotherhood came out objecting to this derogatory comment made by Aminul Islam with vehemence, and raised slogans for you? And how many of them denounced him stating you are just as much Bharatiya as they are? Hindus of Assam would do well to heed the words of Himanta Biswa Sarma: ““If Assamese people today cannot identify the enemy and a friend, then in 10 years Ajmal (AIUDF chief) will become the CM and we will just watch.”

Meanwhile, this is not the first time an MLA of AIUDF has said something inflammatory and bigoted.

Before the Assam assembly elections of 2016, AIDUF chief  Badruddin Ajmal (lovingly called ‘perfume baron’ by Delhi media houses) had issued an appeal to Muslims in Assam to “unite against Hindus”. In November 2017, AIUDF MLA Sheikh Shah Alom made a blood-curdling threat that the day when ‘Muslims would attack Hindus’ is fast approaching. This threat came immediately after Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind chief Maulana Syed Arshad Madani stoked a controversy by saying Assam will burn if 50 lakh people are left out of NRC.

Shah Alom went on instigating Muslims in Assam by saying, “Muslims ruled the country from 1199 to 1897, but committed no atrocities on Hindus during that period. However, Muslims have been discriminated against for the last 70 years and there is a conspiracy against Muslims. However, Muslims are more in number in Assam now. If things continue like this, Muslims will attack.. they just need some time.” 

It is worth noticing that while the two Muslim leaders involved in the above episode from 2017 include one from Assam and the other from Delhi, they have a stark resemblance with Akbaruddin Owaisi’s speech of 2013, in which he blatantly threatened that if the police is removed for 15 minutes, “30 crores of us will finish 100 crores of them”. The junior Owaisi revisited his infamous quote again in 2019 while addressing a crowd in Karimnagar, “You know why they hate me? Because they are yet to overcome the ’15 minute’ comment.” Despite a multitude of cases filed against him, Owaisi has escaped any meaningful punishment for his genocidal and seditious comments.

There is one thing we learn from such instances. Islamist leaders speak the same language across Bharat, be it in Delhi or UP in the North, Assam in the North-East, or Telangana in the South. They propagate their supremacist ideology and don’t discriminate between their co-religionists based on region and language spoken.

When will Hindus see and realize this truth and learn to love and respect all Hindus regardless of ethnicity, state, language and dialect is what Bharat awaits to see.

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