- NET Web Desk
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator – Mrinal Saikia referring to ‘The Kashmir Files’ claimed that “situation akin to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits might happen in Assam”, citing the fact that Muslims constitute the majority across several parts in the northeastern state.
The legislator’s remark, however, did not go well with the opposing parties, who lambasted him for forwarding such derogatory claims.
The Congress legislator – Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha retorted stating that films based on individuals who have been tortured over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue should also be made.
During a discussion in the Assembly over state Budget for 2022-23, Purkayastha said it was critical to make a video about the plight of dubious voters and the status of detention centres.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a document that lists the names of all citizens of the country. In 2019, a revised list was produced, which included the names of over 31 lakh people out of a total of 33 lakh applicants. Many of them were labelled as illegal immigrants.
Referring to the topic of the recently released Bollywood film ‘The Kashmir Files’, Saikia stated that “Assam can be classified into three parts – lower, middle, and upper. In lower and middle Assam, Muslims form the majority. They are not the majority in upper Assam.”
He pointed out that “benefits intended for minorities do not reach the Muslims of upper Assam.”
According to the 2011 Census, the Muslim community was in the majority in nine districts, with several sub-divisions having above 75% Muslim populace.
“We saw in ‘The Kashmir Files’ that Hindus were the minority community in Kashmir… they were tortured and forced to flee their homes. We must take steps to ensure that such a situation does not occur in Assam,” he added.
Responding to the statement, Purakayastha stated “many people in the state have suffered as a result of the BJP government’s policies, and a film on their plight should be made.”
“A total of 148 persons have died as a result of torture and harassment relating to the foreigner issue. As an MLA, I personally visited the homes of 130-135 people and witnessed their fear. We can produce Assam Files, NRC Files, D-Voter Files, Detention Files, and other films of this nature. All of these individuals died as a result of the BJP government’s ‘wrong policies’, which included promising to implement the Assam Accord in letter and spirit in its first budget but then failing to do so,” according to Purkayastha, who added that “this year’s budget was directionless.”
Meanwhile, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) legislator – Rafiqul Islam remarked that investigations into the Nellie massacre, Bansbari attack, and Malegaon bombings should be performed.
“Kashmir Files does not show that houses of many Muslims were also evacuated in Kashmir. It is the prime minister’s job to enquire and punish the guilty,” he added.
Its worthy to note that thousands of Kashmiri Hindus fled the valley overnight, abandoning their possessions; a tragedy clearly represented in this well-documented movie exposing the genocide against the Kashmiri Pandit community in 1990.