Updated: May 23, 2022 6:43:10 am
Rahul Gandhi is indirectly encouraging secessionist elements by calling India a Union of states and anyone who shuts down madrassas and talks about the Uniform Civil Code is, in fact, a friend of Indian Muslims, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Sunday.
“If India is a Union of states, what about the 5,000 years of rich history? When Congress called itself Indian National Congress and held meetings across India, did it mean it as a Union of states? By calling it a Union of states, Rahul Gandhi is speaking of breaking up the country. Indirectly he is encouraging secessionist sentiments. It is no different from what ULFA says, only the language used may be different,” Sarma said at an event in Delhi commemorating 75 years of RSS-linked magazines Panchjanya and Organiser.
“But it is not his fault. He may be taking tuition from someone from JNU and learning these things,” he said.
Speaking at an event in London Saturday, Gandhi had said India is a Union of states as described in the Constitution.
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Sarma had earlier been with the Congress for 22 years. He said betraying the Gandhi family is viewed as betraying the nation in Congress, while in the BJP, the nation is above the party.
The Assam Chief Minister, who initiated a controversial move to shut down government-funded madrassas in the state, said the word “madrassa” should go extinct if Indian Muslims are to progress in education. “If you want to teach religion, you do that at home. In schools, you learn science, mathematics…”
Targeting AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, Sarma said that shutting of madrassas and implementing Uniform Civil Code would be for the benefit of Muslims. “We don’t have to do this for Hindutva. Those who shut down madrassas and implement Uniform Civil Code, Indian Muslims should call them their friend, and Owaisi their enemy,” he said.
Sarma was speaking on a day when authorities demolished houses of people allegedly involved in torching a police station. He said the episode happened in one of the 12 districts where Indians (bharat ke mool niwasi) are in a minority and migrants are a majority.
“First we have to ensure we do not lose more land (to migrants), more constituencies… Later when the NRC is implemented the definition of what is legal and illegal will come and then we get a chance to do more.”
Sarma said that the 36 per cent Muslim population in Assam is divided into three kinds of people. One, who are “indigenous Muslims”, whose culture and ways of life are like “you and me”. The second is of those who he said probably converted two generations ago. “Their houses still have the Tulsi plant in the front and their ladies still observe our customs. Aside from these two, the rest settled down either before or after 1971. They themselves identify as Miya,” he said when asked how he distinguishes between indigenous Muslims and Miya Muslims.
Sarma said the integration of the Northeast people with the mainstream was one of his dream projects. “We should feel like Indians like people in UP and Delhi feel…. even now a marginal section has some issues, resolving that is our responsibility. Militancy in the Northeast is almost over. The Northeast is changing every day. What was once a severed tie with the mainland is now back,” he said.
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