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Friday, March 1, 2024

Assam on way to becoming next Kashmir: CM Himanta Biswa Sarma

Living up to his reputation of not mincing words, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that the state is on the way to becoming next Kashmir if urgent steps are not taken right away.

Sarma had arrived for a two-day tour to the Barak valley located in the southern region of Assam, bordering Bangladesh. Named after the Barak river, the valley consists of three districts – Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi.

As reported by Times of India, during a meeting at the RSS Cachar district organizational headquarters, Keshav Niketan, in Silchar, Sarma said, “Assam is going to become another Kashmir. Satras are in great danger because of aggression by a section of people. At the same time, the Hindus living in the tea belt and far-flung border areas of the state are also on the verge of extinction because of massive aggression…I urge upon the RSS karyakartas to go to the areas and consolidate Hindus to save the institutions from the danger. You can do it because you have a grassroot-level organization and strong bond with common people in remote areas. I request the Sangh to help the government in this direction.”

Satras are special socio-religious institutional centres associated with the Ekaharana tradition of Vaishnavism in Assam.  The satras are not just monasteries, but centres of traditional performing arts. Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva and Sri Sri Madhabdeva, the two popular saints of Assam, established Satra institutions in the 16th century to fulfil the needs of the people. In June, the Assam government started a drive to evict illegal settlers who had encroached on properties belonging to satras.

During the meeting at Keshav Niketan, the CM further said, “It’s true that there are some people in the state who are staunch opponents of CAA and NRC. However, things have begun changing. We are trying to make them understand that the CAA and NRC are not against the interest of Assam and Assamese people. Members from the intelligentsia, who met me recently, conveyed the massage to me that Bengali Hindus are never a threat to the Assamese community. People of Assam now understand the reality.”

Muslim population in Assam stands at 34.2% as per Census 2011, and has been growing much faster than the Hindu population of the state. Its not just higher Muslim fertility contributing to this growth. Illegal immigration by Bangladeshi Muslims, facilitated by the Islamist AIDUF party (a Congress ally) led by Deobandi Maulana and businessman Badruddin Ajmal, is also aiding this demographic jihad which Sarma has correctly called out as ‘next Kashmir’ in the making.

Share of Muslims and Hindus in Assam (Credit: Swarajya)

Sometime back, Sarma had raised the issue of dangerous population growth rate difference: “According to the Census of 2001 and 2011, the Muslim population in Assam grew constant at a rate of 29% while the growth rate of Hindus dipped from 15% in the 2001 Census to 10% in the 2011 census. One can gauge how dangerous the difference between 29% and 10% is.”

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