Assam CM criticised for divisive language, sparks outrage for remarks on ‘Miya’ Community

Himanta Biswas Sarma under fire for attempts at polarising the people of Assam

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stirred up controversy once again, this time by commenting on the ‘Miya’ (Bengali speaking Assamese Muslims) community in response to reporters’ questions on Thursday, 13th July.  He is known for making derogatory remarks to attract attention.

Earlier this month, Himanta Biswa Sarma lashed out, in a tweet, at former U.S. president Barack Obama, saying Indian police should prioritise “taking care of” the many “Hussain Obama” in India. The comment came after an interview in which former President Barak Obama urged President Biden to question Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the treatment of Muslim minorities in his country, during an official state visit.

In his reply to the question of high prices of vegetables in Gauhati, he said, “The price of vegetables is much lower in our villages, however, the price suddenly increases when ‘Miya’ traders bring them to cities to sell.” Sarma blamed them for the hike in vegetable prices. He also added, He explained, “If it would have been an Assamese vegetable seller, he wouldn’t charge high prices.”

It is worth noting that the Miya Muslim community is renowned for their diligent work in the fields and their expertise in agricultural activities. A significant portion of this community is actively engaged in farming and cultivation. The chief minister’s statements have sparked criticism from many political leaders, as they are seen as attempts to polarise people along religious lines, even concerning farm products. Such words are unbecoming of a State’s leader. By making such statements, he appears to be attempting to create a division between the Bengali speaking Assamese Muslims and the Assamese people.

CM Himanta Biswa Sarma did not stop there. He went on to urge the “Assamese” youth of Upper and Middle Assam to “clean up the ‘Miyas’ from Gauhati.” He suggested that they should strive harder and provide stiff competition to the Miya traders involved in selling vegetables, fish, and other businesses.

He also pointed out, “the roads of the cities had less traffic on Eid as they went to celebrate Eid. He says, most of the bus driver, Ola, Uber drivers are Miyas. We should not offend the “Ajmals” rather participate in the challenge to provide competition to them. If more “Assamese” drivers comes forward the government can “clean up Gauhati”.”

Meanwhile, the city of Manipur is not far from the city of Assam and Chief Minister Himanta Biswas Sarma is the convener of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).The smoke engulfing the city of Manipur can still be seen, it has claimed at least 140 lives and 50000 have been displaced but the State and the Centre does nothing to stop the violence. Instead he is seen giving statements that attempt at polarising people.


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