Choose your enemy, Hindu or Muslim migrants: Assam BJP minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Sarma seemed to be referring to Hindu and Muslim migrants as he was replying to queries on the opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Assam.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati | Updated: November 2, 2016 9:41 pm
Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, NEDA, Muslim migrants India, Assam BJP, Citizenship act, India news Himanta Biswa Sarma. Express photo/File

STATING THAT it is his party’s policy to differentiate between Hindu and Muslim migrants, Assam Minister and convenor of the BJP’s North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday asked the people of the state to choose their enemy — “the 1-1.5 lakh people or the 55 lakh people?”

While he did not elaborate on the figures, Sarma seemed to be referring to Hindu and Muslim migrants as he was replying to queries on the opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Assam.


WATCH VIDEO: Find Out What Assam BJP Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Said

Although there are no official figures of Hindu or Muslim migrants from Bangladesh in Assam, political groups often claim that the state has about 55 lakh Bangladeshi migrants. The reference to “1-1.5 lakh” people, however, does not match any known figure.

“The whole thing is that we have to decide who our enemy is. Who is our enemy, the 1-1.5 lakh people or the 55 lakh people? The Assamese community is at the crossroads. We could not (save) 11 districts. If we continue to remain this way, six more districts will go out (of our hands) in the 2021 Census. In 2031, more (districts) will go out,” said Sarma, pressing for the Bill.

While Sarma referred to “11 districts”, the 2011 Census identified nine districts as areas with Muslim majority, up from six in 2001.

He asked those opposed to the Bill to find out which community threatened to reduce the Assamese to a minority. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill proposes to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and Parsis facing persecution in Pakistan and Bangladesh and entering India without any valid document.

Asked if it was the BJP’s policy to differentiate between Hindu and Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Sarma said, “yes, we do”. “We clearly do. After all, the country was divided in the name of religion. Thus it is not a new thing,” he said.

“There has been no analysis about whether we are becoming a minority from the linguistic aspect or religious aspect, or from a combined attack of both language and religion. That is why we must now decide who to go with in order to save ourselves,” said Sarma.

“When we go to Dibrugarh or Tinsukia (districts) we feel very good, because we are in a majority there. But do you feel good when you go to Dhubri or Barpeta (districts)?” he asked. Both Dhubri and Barpeta are among the Muslim majority districts.

Sarma said the BJP wanted to protect the Bengali-speaking Hindu migrants and wanted to keep them segregated from the Bengali-speaking Muslim migrants. “We want the Bengali-speaking Hindus to remain with the Assamese people. That is the BJP’s viewpoint. It has not changed. It has been the same, both before and after elections,” said Sarma.

“Does secularism mean that the satras have to move out of their original places? Does secularism mean some people will snatch away land belonging to Batadrava satra? Does secularism mean some people will encroach upon land in Kaziranga and Pobitora (wildlife sanctuaries),” said Sarma.

Sarma was speaking to the media after the release of his latest book, Anya Ek Dristikon. BJP leader Ram Madhav was also present on the occasion.

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  1. I
    Mar 2, 2017 at 9:15 am
    europe is only taking muslims who are caucausians and fair (arab)and not dark or south asian muslims
    1. I
      Mar 2, 2017 at 9:10 am
      they should be settled in ur state town area
      1. I
        Mar 2, 2017 at 8:59 am
        what if bangla hindus and Muslims vote enbloc for badrauddin on linguistic lines rather that religious lines as bJP says...then ethnic asamese are in trouble.... Bangla hindus and muslims are bond toghther strongly on linguistic/cultural lines than Bangla hindu and amese Hindu....
        1. A
          Abhinav Gour
          Nov 2, 2016 at 3:57 am
          What is He Talking about??? Can He Change the Consution??? If now they want to Invite Bangladeshi Hindus then why did we Create Bangladesh by Breaking stan??? These Kinda s need to be Shut Up
          1. R
            Nov 2, 2016 at 11:08 am
            India was a 100% Hindu country then they practiced "Adwait" and Buddhism came into existence by Gautam buddha like an evolution in dharma. Sikhism is also an evolution from the same path of Sanatan dharma(Omkar). Islam does not have any indigenous element whatsoever. It came to India as a religion of invaders who wanted to destroy anything and everything that was here. But after independence they wanted a separate piece of land as proportional to their number. Nation was divided based on religion stan for all Muslims and India for Hindus and others. But now India is again on the same cross roads. What India should do now? Keep shedding parts or do some corrective changes in its religious course so that people from other religions can be absorbed as Hindus.
            1. N
              Nov 3, 2016 at 2:59 pm
              Well spoken. Bngaldeshi Mullahs need to be shown their place. Throw them out
              1. A
                Amar Akbar
                Nov 2, 2016 at 5:13 am
                4 Sunni Muslim Groups Responsible for 66% of all 17,958 Terror Killings in 2013, 80% in 2014 and 95% of all terror kiIIings in 2015. This is the religion of peace.
                1. M
                  Masood khan
                  Nov 2, 2016 at 11:27 am
                  The problem is illegal migrants from Bangladesh. If Hindu bagkadeahis are to be given refuge settle them in other parts of India . amese ideny is threatened by both Hindu and Muslim Bangladeshis. Masood khan convenor ist aasu unit of Gauhati university
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