Updated March 2nd, 2024 at 14:17 IST

Assam Chief Minister Warns of Demographic Threat To Indigenous People, Calls For Mass Awareness

Raising concern about the changing demographic in the State, CM Sarma appealed for a mass awareness to secure and preserve the identity of indigenous people.

Reported by: Anirudha Bhakat
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Guwahati: Rapid demographic change is posing a threat to the indigenous people. If the census for 2021 is conducted, only 40 per cent of indigenous people will be found in the State was stated by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday. 

Raising concern on the changing demographic scenario in the State, Chief Minister Sarma appealed to people to come together to secure and preserve the identity of the indigenous people.

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“If we see it politically, not for any policy of the Union government but for unabated immigration from Bangladesh has changed the demography of Assam. Though we talk about the 35 per cent and 65 per cent equation, I think when the 2021 census comes, if we collectively take the tea tribe, and the indigenous tribes then the mainstream Assamese people will not be more than 40 per cent,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said. 

He added that it is not for any current policy of the Centre, “It is not for any current policy of the Union government but when the State was formed, we didn't take any initiative against illegal immigration which should have been taken then, in which we failed. The then political leadership and the Central leadership didn't pay heed to the concerns for which today we the Assamese people have not only turned into a minority but have entered a very crucial phase.” 

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There was no adoption of any scientific method to safeguard the interests of the indigenous people. For the first time, through the recent delimitation, a scientific approach was made and now I can tell that in the 2026 elections, 105 seats will be in the hands of the indigenous people,” the Chief Minister said. 

Speaking on the secessionist movements, he said that there is no point in demanding an ‘independent Assam’ if Assamese have to live as second-class citizens in that ‘independent Assam’. “Bordowa and Barpeta should have been declared as protected areas much before, but that was not done which led to huge, planned encroachment in the area,” Sarma said. 

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Appealing to the people for a mass uprising to safeguard the indigenous people, he said that to preserve the identity of the indigenous communities and the people, all need to come together. 

The Chief Minister was speaking at the ceremonial distribution of financial grants to the former ULFA cadres. Addressing the former militants, he said that the progress of a community is not possible if the sounds of bomb blasts and blazing of guns continue. 

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Published March 2nd, 2024 at 13:42 IST