Assam govt approves socio-economic survey of indigenous Muslims in state

A month after Bihar announced the results of its caste-based survey, now Assam government has now approved the socio-economic survey of the state’s indigenous Muslim population. The same was announced by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma earlier. The Assam cabinet chaired by CM Sarma made several key announcements including the socio-economic survey. The decisions also include steps focusing on the welfare of the state’s indigenous minorities, setting up libraries and ethical treatment of animals while acknowledging traditions. The socio-economic assessment of indigenous Assamese Muslims will be conducted through the Directorate of Minority Affairs and Char Areas.

“In today’s meeting of the Assam Cabinet we decided to ‘Conduct a socio-economic assessment of Assam’s indigenous minorities’, ‘Sanction Rs 259 cr to construct libraries across Assam’ and ‘Frame SOPs for traditional bullfights to ensure the well-being of the animals,” said CM Sarma on X.

The cabinet has also decided to rename the Directorate of Char Areas Development, Assam, as the Directorate of Minority Affairs and Char Areas, Assam.

To inculcate the habit of reading among students, libraries for children and adolescents, and digital infrastructure are to be created under the ‘Scheme for Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment 2023-24’. The scheme aims at commencing the construction of new libraries and procurement of books/furniture/computers with internet connectivity in 2197 village panchayats and 400 municipal wards for an estimated amount of Rs 259.70 crore. This will ensure that children and adolescents get access to the latest books and are connected with the National Digital Library Resources.

The state cabinet has also taken steps to frame Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) acknowledging the cultural significance of traditional bullfights. The primary focus is to ensure the well-being of the animals involved in these events.

The issue of detailed procedure/SOP for permitting traditional buffalo and bullfights is issued for events to be organised during Magh Bihu at Ahatguri, Morigaon district, Nagaon district or in any other part of Assam.

The SOP aims to ensure that no deliberate torture or cruelty is carried out on the animals and their well-being is provided for by the organisers during the annual Moh-juj festival, an integral part of the centuries-old Assamese cultural tradition.