A major controversy erupted in Assam following tagging of Ismail Siddique, popularly known as Bagh Hazarika, as a “fictional character” by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Ismail Siddique, popularly known as Bagh Hazarika, was a 17th century Ahom army warrior, who fought the Mughals alongside Lachit Barphukan in the famous Battle of Saraighat.
Bagh Hazarika was believed to be the second in command to Ahom general Lachit Barphukan in the Battle of Saraighat.
CM Himanta Biswa Sarma while addressing a state convention of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in Guwahati, said that Bagh Hazarika was a “fictional character”.
He claimed that there was no authentic information about Bagh Hazarika in the history books.
“Our history teachers have never questioned this narrative,", CM Sarma said.
Slamming the Chief Minister over his statement on Bagh Hazarika, several Assam Muslim intellectuals and scholars rejected the CM’s “interpretation of history”.
“We reject the chief minister’s interpretation of history about one of Assam’s illustrious sons with a communal overtone,” a statement issued by 10 Assamese Muslim intellectuals and scholars said.
“If there is any confusion about Bagh Hazarika, the government should constitute a committee of historians under a university in Assam to find out whether he existed or not,” the statement said.
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The 10 professors who slammed the Chief Minister includes Abu Nasser Syed Ahmed and Poynuruddin Ahmed, former Minister Samsul Huda, political activist Mehdi Alam Bora, and Kazi Nekib Ahmed and Mushtaq Golam Osmani of the Bagh Hazarika Research Forum.
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