Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in the Assembly on March 15 that Muslims have grown to be the state's largest community, and it is their responsibility to maintain communal harmony.
Responding to a debate, Sarma asserted “Today people from Muslim community are leaders in opposition, mlas and have equal opportunity and wield power. So it is there duty to ensure that rights of tribal people are protected and their lands are not encroached upon.”
Sarma stated that with power comes responsibility, and that Muslims account for 35% of Assam's population, or roughly one crore people. Muslims should recognise that their actions are inextricably linked to the state's progress, and they should work to alleviate the state's problems by focusing on poverty alleviation, population control, and other issues.
He advised them to stop thinking of themselves as "outsiders" and instead focus on communal integration and harmony.
"Indigenous Muslims," according to Sarma, are also concerned about losing their identity. In Assam, indigenous Assamese Muslims make up about 4% of the total Muslim population, with the majority of them speaking Bengali.
Sarma also mentioned the recently released Hindi film The Kashmir Files, “People ask me if Assamese people will face same fate as Kashmiri Pandits. Ten years down the line will Assam be like it is shown in bollywood movie Kashmir Files. It is the duty of Muslims to allay our fear. Muslims must behave like a majority and give us assurance that there will no repeat of Kashmir here.”
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