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Himanta Biswa Sarma rebukes Kapil Sibal's claim of Assam's Myanmar connection: 'Don't speak without knowledge'

Kapil Sibal, during the Supreme Court hearing, underscored the intricacies of tracing population movements in history and delved into Assam's historical evolution.

Nitin Kumar Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 Dispur Published on: December 09, 2023 11:55 IST
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal at Parliament House complex.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma responded firmly to Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal's recent statement suggesting that Assam was once a part of Myanmar. Sarma refuted this claim, asserting that Assam had never been a part of Myanmar and cautioned against making historical assertions without proper knowledge. Sibal's remarks were made during a Supreme Court hearing on December 5, where multiple petitions challenged the validity of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act of 1955. While addressing the court, Sibal described Assam as originally belonging to Myanmar before being handed over to the British through a treaty in 1824.

In response, Chief Minister Sarma dismissed Sibal's assertions, stating, "Those who do not know should not speak. Assam was never a part of Myanmar. There were clashes for a brief period. That was the only relation. Otherwise, I have not seen any data which stated that Assam was a part of Myanmar."

Kapil Sibal highlighted the state's transition from being a part of Myanmar to British governance, followed by its association with East Bengal post-partition. Sibal contextualised the assimilation of the Bengali population in Assam within broader historical narratives.

"Migration of people and populations is embedded in history and cannot be mapped. If you look at the history of Assam, you'll realise that it is impossible to figure out who came when," Sibal explained during the court proceedings.

While acknowledging historical complexities, Chief Minister Sarma firmly rejected the idea that Assam was ever a part of Myanmar, emphasising that the historical record does not support such a claim. Sarma urged caution and accuracy in discussions about the region's history, particularly when addressing sensitive historical matters.

Also read | Assam Govt to conduct socio-economic study of indigenous Assamese Muslims


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