In the wake of fresh debates on Dadri lynching incident, Assam BJP has embarked on a confidence-building mission to win the trust of the minority communities of different religions.
BJP leaders on Saturday had day-long interactions with representatives of Assamese Sikh, Jain, Christian and Muslim community representatives to know their expectations from the BJP-led state government. It was also an attempt to take suggestions on how the government can best deliver the benefits meant for the minorities.
Leaders of the Assamese Sikh community, who comprise less than 1% of the state’s 3.12-crore population, said they were looking towards the State government with the hope that the community’s political, cultural and economic rights will be well protected.
‘Till today, there has not been a single MP or MLA from Assamese Sikh community, though our culture and history form an intrinsic part of the Assamese society. We form a microcosmic community among the minorities. If the State government reserves a single seat for Assamese Sikh students in higher education institutions meant for the minorities here, it will be a great gesture,’ Assamese Sikh Association Assam (Asaa) president Manjit Singh said.
The meeting here was also aimed at allaying mistrust among the minority community people when oppositions are up in arms against BJP in other parts of the country on charges of intolerance, ‘I am greatly moved by BJP’s gesture of talking to representatives of various religious communities and seeking our advice for the welfare of the minorities. This initiative has helped in building confidence among us. After attending the meeting I am confident about the new government’s intention to work for the betterment of minorities,’ Kukheswar Gogoi of Guwahati Baptist Association said.
Representatives of Muslim communities like Goriya, Moriya, Deshi and Maimal, among others, who attended the meet, made it clear that for the past couple of years, the welfare schemes meant for minority development did not reach their beneficiaries.
‘At least we can say with satisfaction that the BJP-led government has come out to listen to our plight and expectations. The indigenous Muslims have their roots in the State’s various ethnic and tribal groups. We have our distinctive identities and culture which need to be protected,’ Sahir Bhuyan of Sadou Asom Goriya Moria Deshi Jatiya Parishad mentioned.