Guwahati, 28 June-2014: In a tricky development, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Assam Pradesh Minority Morcha has insisted that the followers of Islam in the state should not be called Muslims. The minority morcha said they should be recognised by their identity as tribes so as to avail facilities given by the constitution of India and to give proper identity.
The decision was taken during an executive meeting of the morcha recently. Now they will appeal to the state government in written to address the issue besides the central government.
This is, however, is being criticised by many as a political activity.
“Though tribes like Goriya, Moriya, Desi, Jolha and Maimal in the state follow Islam, they have their own distinctive characteristics. To promote harmony and trust amongst the different communities in Assam, these tribes that follow Islam, should not be identified as Muslims. The followers of Hinduism are not identified as Hindus. They are identified on the basis of the different tribes they belong to. We want the followers of Islam to be recognised on the basis of the tribes they belong to,” said Minority Morcha president Mominul Aawal.
Aawal hinted that some political parties have always been taking advantage of this and creating a situation of distrust and conflict.
“It is a matter to be regretted that the indigenous tribes like Goriya and Moriya were deprived of all the benefits that are meant for the welfare of the minorities. Only a particular section was enjoying the benefits of the welfare packages aimed at development of minorities. It is very unfortunate that the indigenous minority tribes have been intentionally deprived of all the facilities because of a political conspiracy,” Aawal added.
He also demanded that organisations like Wakf Board, Assam Minorities Development Board and Assam State Char Areas Development Authority should have representatives from the indigenous minority communities.
Aawal said that the indigenous people whose forefathers have been in the leaving in the state since 12th century and thereafter have different characteristics.
“Some of these people were converted to Islam, who were locals, then some were war prisoners and later many were brought by the British. So these people have different cultural backgrounds. It will not be logical to tag them as Muslim forgetting their own identities. We must respect their identities. Religion is different and caste is a different identity,” Aawal said.
On the implementation of the funds meant for the welfare of the minority communities in the state, Aawal was critical of the ruling party in the state. “Minority word is used by political parties to do politics but in the real sense nobody wishes for the welfare for the minorities. We want all the minorities including the Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and others to avail the facilities given by the constitution,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the newly elected president of Assam Wakf Board, he wished good luck to the board. On Saturday, senior advocate Nekibur Zaman was elected as the new president following the resignation of Abdul Khaleque a few weeks back.
On the other hand this stand of the Minority Morcha has been criticised by many as a tactic to bring division among the Muslims in the state. “The idea is not practical and there is a hidden political agenda behind it. The BJP wants to bring a division among the Muslims of the state. We don’t think they will be successful in this,” said Hafiz Ahmed, president of Char Chapori Sahitya Parishad, a literary body of the state.
All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) too has reacted in this regard and said that this is not possible at any cost. “It is known to everybody that BJP wants to play politics with such issues.
“Islam is a religion. All the followers of Islam are minorities and they are needed to be developed. But by making all these meaningless demands, they are wasting time. People can be identified by their caste even after being religious. We condemn such kind of act,” said AAMU general secretary Rejaul Sarkar Karim.
(Input source: TC)