Guwahati, Shazida Khatun: Assam is one of the most beautiful states of our country with blue hills, green valleys and the majestic river Brahmaputra.It stands virtually unrivalled in respect of the variety of her natural resources and the diversity of population.
The Brahmaputra valley has witnessed a variety of historical upheavals.There is large concentration of Muslim population on both sides of Brahmaputra.Here a study about East Bengal Rooted Mia Muslim Politics In Assam Post Independent Period.
Muslims of Assam,especially Bengali Muslims have been largely engaged in the agriculture growth of Assam from the very beginning and are still contributing to the largest quantity of agriculture products such as rice,wheat and tea. Muslim settlement in Assam can be traced as far back as 1206 A.D when the Turks were defeated in their attack on Kamrup.In 1257 A.D Tugril Khan attacked Kamrup but failed to win it.He built first mosque in Assam in North Kamrup.In 1448 A.D Nawab Hussain Shah of Gaur succeeded in capturing Komalpur and appointed his son the administrator.During Mughal attacks Muslim population rose in Assam.The immigration of Muslims from other regions especially Bengal has taken place over a long period of time. As early as in 1874 A.D Lord Northbrook was approached by about one hundred signatories belonging to the Assamese middle class desiring an increase of the population of Assam by importing people from outside.
By all accounts,one can see that Muslims have been living in Assam for a very long time.Their contribution to the economy of Assam has been tremendous and it will not be right to dub such people as”foreigners”.The contribution of the immigrant Muslims has been acknowledged by all open minded people of Assam.Muslims have been made the largest single contribution towards the economic advancement of the state but they have never received a fair deal either from the government or from Assamese society and are looked down upon when they speak Bengali.(Dev. B.J and D.K Lahiri,Muslims of Assam: Politics and Cohesion,p.18).
Through the election process,Muslims took an interest in politics and tried to participate in the political life of Assam with full confidence.In the first Congress coalition government in the state,formed in September 1938,Gopinath Bardoloi had included three Muslims in the ministry.In 1946,Bardoloi had two Muslims in his ministry.All the subsequent Congress ministries had sound Muslim representation.In this way the second biggest majority,has always been in the government machinery getting their representation from different political parties.It was not possible for any government of Assam to ignore them.
There was great turmoil in Assam in the early eighties.The agitation which was launched against the so-called foreigners had reached its peak.Late Prime Minister Mrs.Indira Gandhi had a spate of meetings with the leaders of All Assam Student Union(AASU).Security of Muslims was in her mind and she wished to see that they live in Assam peacefully.After the death of Mrs Gandhi,the next Prime Minister,Rajiv Gandhi entered into an agreement with the AASU.Assam accord resulted in the end of the prolonged agitation of the AASU.
5.Present status of Mia Muslim:-
Congress government at the centre appointed Sachar Committee and its report has focused the attention of the community to the issues of socio-economic backwardness and unity with the backward section of the society.It is a formidable challenge to the secular-democratic section of the community to stay focused on issues of social justice and equality.Sachar Committee Report has the revolutionized whole concept of the policy making towards Muslims. Since the report saw the light of the day,the government has launched several fresh schemes which are benefiting Muslims.It is high time that assembly elections of Assam should not be viewed just as “another”election.For sustainable development,it is very much important that in the state and at the Centre,the same party remain in power.There are two ways of dealing with any issue,one by heart and sentiments and the other by logics and mind.For the Muslims of Assam,it is must that small Muslim political outfits like AUDF should not be supported.Support to such political parties will ultimately strengthen the hands of right wing communal parties a few of Muslim leaders thoughts and which has become true.On the other hand support to Congress will weaken communalists and will bestow upon the Congress the moral responsibility to speed-up community welfare measures which have begin after release of Sachar Committee Report.M. Badruddin Ajmal lead AIUDF has managed to bag 18 seats in Assam Assembly election last year which has become more jealous to self styled guardians of Assamese people.
Muslims of Assam are standing on a crossroad. They have to decide their future course of action.Congress is still best bet for them.If they will take opposite stand then their doom is not far away as the sword of “foreigner” is hanging on their heads which is till going to become true.But one thing we have agree that AIUDF like party will arise the core issues of Mia Muslim which are ignored by the past governments.Government takes a few steps to solve those issue in the fear of AIUDF.