- Muslims majority, not minority in Assam, says CM Sarma
- Muslims should should stop thinking of themselves as "outsiders", Assam CM says
- According to the 2011 Census, Muslims constitute 34.22 per cent of the population in Assam
Assam Muslim population: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said Muslims can not be considered minority in Assam as they constitute about 35 per cent of state's population. CM Sarma said Muslims are majority now and should ensure peace in the state.
Replying to the debate on Motion of Thanks on Governor's address in the state Assembly, Sarma said Muslims should shart behaving like the majority group.
He also put the onus of ensuring communal harmony on the Muslim community, particularly those of Bengali-speaking origin, adding that even "indigenous Muslims" of the BJP-ruled state are in fear of losing their identity. He claimed to have evidence to back his assertions, though he did not present it in the House.
"The minority (Muslims) are now the majority. They are 30-35 per cent of the state’s population. With about one crore population, they are the largest community and it is their responsibility to ensure communal harmony," the chief minister said.
Sarma said the Muslims should understand that the progress of the state is directly linked to their activities and urged them to work towards poverty alleviation, population control, etc. to decrease the problems faced by the state.
They should stop thinking of themselves as "outsiders" and concentrate on communal integration and harmony, he said.
The chief minister claimed that with the Hindus being reduced to a minority, there is a growing fear among them of losing their identity and this apprehension has led to the formation of "protective gear or circle" around them. He, however, did not elaborate on what the "protective circle" implied.
According to the 2011 Census, Hindus comprise 61.47 per cent of Assam's total population of 3.12 crore. Muslims constitute 34.22 per cent of the population and they are in majority in several districts.
While Christians form 3.74 per cent of the total number of people in the state, the percentage of Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains is less than one per cent.
(With inputs from PTI)