February 4, 2023 12:27 pm

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Countering Radicalism in the Land of Ahom Kings

Once the home to the mighty Ahom kingdom, Assam, has become the new hotbed of the Islamic fundamentalism in recent years. Madrasas have become dens of terror courtesy intrusion of Jihadi elements.

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Adorned with pristine nature and blessed with Goddess Kamakhya, the Northeastern state of Assam, well known for its tea gardens and the quality silk has hogged the media limelight in recent times for wrong reasons. Flurry of arrests have taken place from Madrasas in the state that have become dens of terror courtesy intrusion of Jihadi elements in them. 

Once the home to the mighty Ahom kingdom, Assam, has become the new hotbed of the Islamic fundamentalism in recent years. Assam shares a long porous border with Bangladesh making it vulnerable to infiltration. 

The issue of Bangladeshi infiltrators has been in the thick of Assam politics for long. The Bangladeshi infiltrators have managed to imbue their ideological terrorism in the Assamese society mainly muslims for the past many years. The terrorist outfits like Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, Hizbul Mujahideen and Ansarullah Banga Team (ABT) have been repeatedly held responsible for the recruitment of the Bangladeshi infiltrators to these terror outfits and also helping them to reach the other side of the border. The Himanta Biswa Sarma led BJP government informed the state assembly on September 2022 that since 2016 when the BJP came to the power in the state, 84 persons have been arrested in Assam for their role in  “Jihadi activities”.

The Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who also holds the home portfolio, informed the assembly that 10 of those arrested were linked to the Madrasas. “These persons delivered speeches in mosques, madrasas and other religious meetings to motivate Muslim youth and others to join in the jihadi activities. They used sophisticated conversation apps such as Omemo and Blabber for end-to-end communication,” the Chief minister said. “The 10 arrested were identified as Saiful Islam, Mamunur Rashid, Mustafa alias Mufti Mustafa, Abdus Sobahan, Jalaluddin Sheikh, Abdus Sobahan, Mufti Hafizur Rahman, Ajmal Hussain, Akbar Ali and Abdul Kalam Azad,” disclosed the Chief minister at the assembly. The Chief minister also in a press conference recently held said that “Assam has become a hotbed of Jihad due to the presence of Islamic fundamentalists”.

The presence of these Islamic fundamentalists helps the Bangladeshi and Pakistani sponsored terror outfits to carry out their operations in India. These fundamentalists in the name of Islam preach so called “Holy” education to the infiltrators and motivate them to wage a war against India. The crackdown on several Madrasas by the Himanta Biswa Sarma government in recent months has invited a new wave of criticism by the left dominated media, academia and by the opposition Assam Congress. The Himanta Biswa Sarma government amidst the criticism arrested several leaders from the Madrasas, which also reflects the mood of the Assam government on the issue of infiltrators and terrorism. 

The zero tolerance policy against terrorism of Himanta Biswa Sarma government needs to be applauded as his government cracked down heavily on the preachers of terror in Assam. The bold steps and statements by Himanta Biswa Sarma evidently shows that the incumbent government is in no mood to repeat the same mistakes done by the previous governments of Assam.

The issue of the Bangladeshi infiltrators and Jihad is no more just a problem of the Assamese society or limited to domestic Assamese politics but has become a pan-India issue. Once these Bangladeshi infiltrators cross the border, their terror outfits already active in different parts of India help them to reach out to the bigger cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur etc. These infiltrators obviously with no identity proofs and without any legal documentation easily manage to enter our societies across the country. The infiltrators after entering these big cities somehow manage to take to some petty jobs and easily get mingled with the society.

These infiltrators, who have no identification reside in some secluded localities of our modern cities, for example – the Bangladeshi infiltrators and the so-called peaceful “Rohingya” community reside in the Shram Vihar and Madanpur Khadar area of New Delhi. Also, the current Delhi government under the leadership of Arvind Kejriwal has even rolled out a plan to shift these so-called innocent infiltrators and the peaceful “Rohingya” community to newly built flats soon. It’s a matter of utter shame that political parties like AAP are playing a dirty vote-bank politics in the country while compromising national security. The Kejriwal government is planning to shift “Rohingya” infiltrators to the newly built flats. Rohingyas, who were in loggerheads with the peace loving Buddhist people of Myanmar as the former were involved in continuous anti social activities in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, to which they originally belong.

It is not something less than an irony that the already crowded cities like New Delhi are being provided as a shelter to these illegal immigrants by some political parties just to use them as vote-banks. The national consciousness regarding this issue has also seen a definitive change since 2014 when the BJP government came into power in Assam. As the terror activities and bomb blasts came to a halt in the country since 2014 when the central government adopted zero tolerance policy against terrorism, the other national and state political parties also need to learn and act according to this approach against terrorism. 

Also, the Himanta Biswa Sarma government is leading as an example among the border states and other state governments as well on the issue of illegal infiltration and the eradication of Islamic fundamentalism from the country. 

Assam government has shown its will and determination to deal with Jihadi elements. Other political parties and governments in other states of the country should also reflect the same attitude through their deeds. While the thought of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” has been central to Indian civilisation from centuries, but, the sovereign India is also very capable of protecting its borders and citizens.

TIA Fellow
TIA Fellow
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