What is Assam’s ID Proposal for Muslims | Explained
To recall, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma earlier held interactions with eminent personalities from indigenous minority communities across the state last year.
Guwahati: The Himanta Biswa Sarma-led Assam Government’s panel has recommended that a notification be passed to recognise Assamese Muslims as an indigenous Assamese-speaking group in the state. The panel also recommended that a separate Directorate/Authority be set up for Assamese Muslims, which will help the Directorate to provide the necessary documentation to the people of the Assamese Muslim community to reflect their distinct identity and it may be in the form of an identity card or a certificate.
Consequent to the formation of sub-committees for the overall development of the indigenous Assamese Muslim community in Assam, the seven sub-committees submitted their reports containing their recommendations to state Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at a programme held at Janata Bhawan in Guwahati on April 21.
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To recall, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma earlier held interactions with eminent personalities from indigenous minority communities across the state last year. After the interaction, the sub-groups were thus constituted as a decision of the meeting to undertake a study and give recommendations on cultural identity, health, education, skill development, population stabilization, financial inclusion and women empowerment submitted their reports.
The sub-committees after their study, framed their report containing their recommendations and submitted the same to the Chief Minister.
“Based on the recommendations, my government would formulate short term, medium-term and long term plan for implementing the recommendations for achieving socio-economic and academic empowerment of the indigenous Assamese Muslim community in Assam,” Sarma said.
The Sub-Committees of Cultural Identity, Education, Financial Inclusion, Health, Skill Development, Women Empowerment and Population Stabilisation have also given several other recommendations to the state government for all-round development of Indigenous Assamese Muslims.
WHAT THE PANEL RECOMMENDED:
- The five sub-groups of Assamese Muslims – Syed, Goriya, Moria, Deshi and Julha – should be clearly mentioned and recognized in the government notification.
- A provision similar to the Article 333 of the Indian Constitution may be enacted to provide a representation of Assamese Muslims in Parliament and Assam Legislative Assembly, an Upper House (Legislative Council) may be created in Assam as per Article 169 of the Indian Constitution and once the Legislative Council is formed, the specific number of seats may be reserved for the Assamese Muslim community in this council.
- “Enforcement of the population policy, measures to preserve, develop and promote historical sites and monuments associated with the Assamese Muslim community. Assistance for preservation and promotion of traditional dress and cuisine, the establishment of a school of Islamic learning, preservation of language and dialect-Deshis have their own language and the Moriyas too have a distinct dialect (duan), Assam government may pass a notification which entities the Julhas to receive all the benefits meant for the tea tribes of Assam, a compendium on Dargahs of Assam may be published, establishment of higher education institutes in the areas inhabited by Indigenous Assamese Muslims, introducing Chairs in the name of Azan Pir in Guwahati/Dibrugarh University, establishment of a University in lower Assam at Dhubri and setting up research centers in Guwahati, Tezpur and Dibrugarh University to undertake research works on the educational-cultural-social aspects of the community,” the panels suggested.
- The panels also recommended the government that – “Women to be free to discard social subjugation in matter of choice of individual dress up especially in public spaces, there must not be coercion to wear niqaab, burqa and hijab.”
“Women to have representation in Waqf Board and all social and religious institutions, secular education with ethics as a subject for introducing religious texts and fostering ethical conscious citizens, preventing underage marriages through incentivization and disincentivization, prevention of underage marriage by taking stringent action against facilitators, prevention of domestic violence against women and the enforcement of the dowry act must be an area of sustained focus of the government,” the panels recommended.
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