GUWAHATI, June 29: It is indeed alarming that at a time when the Central Government is leaving no stone unturned to bring forth the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and offer homeland to hundreds of foreigners (primarily Hindu Bangladeshis) in Assam, the number of Assamese-speaking people has decreased alarmingly in the State. Against this backdrop, it hardly needs reiteration that such moves of the Government are creating a volatile situation in Assam. The following facts and figures from Census 2011 lays bare the situation.
In 1971, the Assamese-speaking populace was 60.89% of the total population of Assam. But it came down to 48.38% as per the Census data of 2011. The decrease was 12.51%.
In 1971, the total Assamese speaking population was 89,04,917, Bengali-speaking 28,82,639; and the Hindi-speaking populace was 7,92,481.
In 2001, though the Assamese-speaking population constituted 48.80%, it got reduced to 48.38% in 2011 showing a decrease of .42%.
Surprisingly, the Bengali-speaking population since 1971 increased by 10.21% (upto 2011); while the Hindi-speaking population increased by 1.31%.
In 1971, the percentage of Bengali-speaking populace in Assam was 19.70% but it shot up to 29.91% in 2011.
The Hindi-speaking population in 1971 constituted 5.42% of the total population; and in 2011 it went up to 6.73%.
It is therefore in the fitness of things that both the Central and the State Governments rise to the occasion and ensure that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,2016 is not carried forward as it would jeopardize the very existence of the indigenous people of Assam. The massive rallies across the State are targeted against the Central Government move to make Assam a “dumping ground for Hindu Bangladeshis”.