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Updated March 2nd, 2024 at 16:58 IST

Definition of Assamese Has Changed, It Must Include Those Living Here for Years: Himanta

The definition of Assamese has undergone change over the years, and it must include people who have lived in Assam for centuries, such as Hindi speakers and the tea tribes, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.

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Definition of Assamese Has Changed, It Must Include Those Living Here for Years: Himanta | Image:PTI
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Guwahati: The definition of Assamese has undergone change over the years, and it must include people who have lived in Assam for centuries, such as Hindi speakers and the tea tribes, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.

He said that a mass movement is needed to convince the Assamese people that the identity of the community can be preserved through "quality".

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Sarma was speaking at a programme in which rehabilitation grants were distributed under the ULFA Peace Accord to surrendered cadres.

"The situation in Assam is not due to some policy of the central government but due to infiltration from Bangladesh, which changed the demography of the state. When the census report comes, Assamese people will be only about 40 per cent of the population," he claimed.

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Sarma said that the definition of Assamese has undergone change over the years, and it must include communities such as the tea tribes and Hindi speakers who have been living here for over a century.

Though the Assamese people may be dwindling in numbers, they can come together to assert their identity, he maintained.

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"A mass movement is needed so that we can convince the people that though we do not have the numbers, with quality we can keep our Assamese identity alive," the CM said.

Praising the ULFA leadership and cadres for returning to mainstream, Sarma said they should urge those who are still pursuing armed struggle to join them.

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"I always ask Paresh Barua to come and spend 10 days in Assam. After that he will not want to return to Myanmar or China," he said, referring to the chief of the ULFA (I) which has refused to come forward for peace talks.

Sarma maintained that being "rational rather than emotional" is the need of the hour to take forward the state in the path of development. (With inputs from PTI) 

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Published March 2nd, 2024 at 16:58 IST

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