GUWAHATI: Indigenous Assamese Muslims have questioned the Centre as to why no representative from their community was inducted into the high-power committee constituted recently to come out with recommendations to effectively implement the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
“The high-power committee should have at least one member representing indigenous Muslims. We are often confused with the Muslim of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The indigenous Muslim groups are either converts from local communities or prisoners of the Mughal-Ahom wars. We have completed a different identity, culture and ethnicity which must be protected with constitutional safeguards,” Syed Sajid Ahmed, a city-based doctor who originally hails from Sivasagar, said.
Ahmed said since large Bengali-speaking population who settled in Assam between 1951 and March 24 midnight, 1971, have been included in the complete draft NRC, it is natural for indigenous Muslims to feel insecure about safeguarding their unique ethnic identity and culture in future. “So constitutional safeguard will be essential for indigenous Muslims. I sincerely hope that the high-power committee will give due emphasis and importance on the status of indigenous Muslims while drafting their recommendations,” Ahmed said.
On other hand the Sadou Asom Goria-Moria-Deshi Jatiya Parishad says that of the 1.18 crore Muslims in the State, 42 lakh belong to indigenous Assamese communities such as Goria, Moria, Ujani, Deshi, Jola and Poimal, who had either converted to Islam or were war prisoners in the Mughals-Ahoms battles in Assam in the 13th Century.
According to the Parishad, the history of indigenous Muslims in the State is much older than the 13th century when Ahoms established their kingdom. The Parishad said that their community members want to be identified by their ethnicity and not by their religion.
History says the Gorias are the converts from different ethnic groups and tribes to Islam in the state, while Morias are the descendents of Muslim soldiers taken prisoners during wars with local kings. In subsequent years, Morias married local women and extended their families. The Deshi Muslims are Koch Rajbongshis who converted from to Islam.
“We appeal to the high-power committee to consider the history of indigenous Muslims before taking any decision,” a member of the Parishad said.
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