Situation in Assam remains tense after MLA Aminul Islam's controversial comments regarding the Ahom community. whom he has branded as "foreigners".
On Thursday, the Makum unit of the Tai-Ahom Yuba Parishad, an organization that champions the cause of the Ahom community, has condemned the Dhing MLA for his "uneducated" statement, in which he had claimed the migrants from the erstwhile East Bengal have more claim to "indigenous" status than Ahoms, who came to Assam from Yunnan province in modern-day Myanmar.
"An elected official Aminul Islam has passed derogatory statements on the indigenous Ahom community. We strongly condemn him. And we warn him not to make such comments by living in Assam and representing Assam people. The greater Assam is a collective...of myriad tribes and communities. So we would like to ask...where is he from?", said one of the Makum protesters.
Meanwhile, protests and effigy burnings of the MLA have also been staged in several parts of Assam. Assamese organizations such as the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhattra Parishad (AJYCP) and the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) have also condemned the MLA for his words.
“AIUDF was formed when the IMDT Act was scrapped. Thus, the party was formed to protect foreigners. This party is the protector of illegal immigrants, and thus, their MLA Aminul Islam is making such communal statements. Many issues are associated with this remark", said AASU General Secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi.
“The Ahoms are one of the prominent communities of Assam and to make such a statement about the Ahoms is despicable. They have lived in Assam for several centuries", said Palash Changmai, a prominent indigenous peoples' leader heading the AJYCP.
Meanwhile, Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, weighing in on the issue, has said that the silence of intellectuals on these issues has given legitimacy to this narrative.
The Minister, addressing the press in Guwahati, said that a book by author Mahim Majumdar was the first to claim that Mongoloids are from South east Asia and were “aggressors”. “Although the book was not based on facts, it was quickly picked up by minority politicians and often, they will say it in their rallies. Aminul Islam has said this twice on television. The lack of outrage over this has been seen as acceptance by the people who profess it”, Biswa Sarma said.
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