The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Assam has rejected an Assembly panel report that recommended setting up a 'Miya Museum' at Sankardeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati. According to reports, state's Finance, Health, and Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has dumped the suggestion of DRSC (departmentally-related standing committee) on Education.
Sarma said that his government will not allow a ‘Miya Museum’. Interestingly, the 15-member committee is dominated by the ruling BJP members.
Earlier on October 18, Congress MLA from Baghbar, Sherman Ali Ahmed, wrote to the state’s Director of Museums wherein he requested to expedite the process to set up a 'Miya Museum'. Ali said that he made the proposal for the people living in Char-Chaporis of the state.
“As the people living in char areas are mostly referred to as ‘Miya’, hence, I have proposed the government to establish a museum after them. The museum should be established at Sankardev Kalakshetra,” he said.
According to Ali, the objective behind this is to highlight and reflect the culture and heritage of the Miya people.
But Sarma turned down the Congress MLA's request, arguing there is no separate identity and culture in Char Anchal of Assam as most of the people had migrated from Bangladesh.
“Obviously, in Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakhetra, which is the epitome of Assamese culture, we will not allow any distortion. Sorry MLA Sahab," Sarma said in a tweet on October 24. He also attached Ali's letter.
Char-Chaporis in Assam refers to the riverine sand belts of the Brahmaputra, which are home to a vast majority of Muslims of Bengali-origin. The community is called Miya in Assam.
Sarma on Monday told reporters that whatever committee, whosoever’s committee has given whatever report, "that report will just remain in their files in their cupboards only".
"The Assam government is clear that in the Kalakshetra there will not be any Miya Museum," he said.
Ali is a member of the panel that made the suggestion. It is led by an MLA from the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). The AGP is an ally of the BJP in Assam. In the 15 members panel, the BJP and its allies have 10 representatives. While three belong to the Congress, two are from the AIUDF.