GUWAHATI: A Xatradhikar of Majuli has sounded an SOS call afresh to protect the Xatra Nagari from the onslaught of Christian missionaries.
In 2006, the State Government did enact an Act – The Majuli Culture Landscape Region Act, 2006. The State Government enacted the Act, taking into view the preservation of cultural values, ethos and identity of the cultural landscape (Majuli). Fifteen years have already elapsed, but Dispur has not implemented the Act even today.
Miffed at non-implementation of the Act, the Xatradhikar of Sri Sri Dakshinpat Grihashrami Xatra of Majuli, Janardhan Dev Goswami said, "Now Xatra Nagari Majuli has more churches than xatras. There are 66 churches on the river island against 34 xatras. I have always been vocal against this religious and cultural onslaught from Christian Missionaries.
"Two days back, I met Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and urged him to implement the Majuli Culture Landscape Region Act, 2006. The Act needs immediate implementation to protect the Xatriya culture in Majuli. I even demand a stringent law to check the religious conversion taking place on the river island. The Chief Minister assured me of implementing the Act."
When asked why and how the church made it to the river island, the Xatradhikar said, "Majuli has many backward areas with Mishing population. These are the soft targets of Christian Missionaries. They give the kids of the poor people free education by opening schools. They even lure the poor with financial help."
When asked if xatras maintaining a safe distance from tribal people is not responsible for them to side with the Church, the Xatradhikar said, "Nowadays Xatras don't have that mentality. Now many Mishings engage themselves in Xatras. This development is a deterrent to the onslaught from the Church. However, the threat is still there. It's high time the State government took some concrete measures to save the Xatriya culture from this onslaught."