In a recent incident of an eviction drive that was being carried out by the district administration at Jamugurihaat, Tezpur to drive out several “illegally settled” infiltrators of suspicious nationality, perfume-baron Maulana Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF settled in to put a halt to this exercise in no time. In Assam, it is an open secret that the AIUDF, led by this cleric-cum-business tycoon-cum-politician, panders to the cause of the illegal Muslim migrants. With his flowing beard and a skullcap, the Maulana is a man of a strong financial prowess and a political cartel that can no longer be overlooked, especially in the context of the fast-changing demographic character of Assam. It is a well-known fact that the exclusionary politics of the AIUDF focuses on the immigrant Muslim vote-bank (the Bangladeshi Muslims), which has transformed the party into a formidable political force within the span of a decade.
Well, coming to the eviction drive at Jamugurihaat, the AIUDF has been very cleverly playing the Muslim victim card as always, saying that the eviction needs to be halted immediately because of the raging COVID-19 pandemic. A Facebook post on the issue of eviction was shared by the controversial MLA of the AIUDF from Dhing constituency in Nagaon district of Central Assam, which caught many a public eye. In the post, Aminul Islam wrote that CM Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma has assured the people who have been the victims of the eviction drive that they would be the beneficiaries of 2-3 bighas of land under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana for the construction of homes. It needs to be recalled here that the image of Aminul Islam as the ‘Apostle of the Miyas’ in Assam is not anything new. He shares an undying, unending bond of love and affection with this community of infiltrators, which has been very much prominent during several incidents in the recent past.
It was in the beginning of April, 2020 that the Nizamuddin Markaz fiasco in Delhi had happened in absolute defiance of the rules of the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Assam, till then, did not have a single positive case of the virus. Suddenly, young Muslim boys of tender age, along with their male relatives and family members were caught by the police hiding in different Masjids and Mazars across the state. Around the same time, an FIR was lodged against Aminul Islam on the ground of “inciting communal tension” at a police station in Nagaon. This was in response to a video clip that surfaced where Aminul Islam could be heard saying that no one attending the Tablighi Jamaat was infected with the COVID-9 virus and it was just another conspiracy of the BJP Government against a particular religious community.
The danger of Islamic expansionism in Assam has pushed out several indigenous communities of the state to the brink of extinction. The communal card played by leaders such as Aminul Islam from time to time is deeply problematic. Since Independence, every single Assembly election in Assam has been fought on the issue of uncontrolled influx of illegal infiltrators from Bangladesh and promises galore by different political parties to solve it. In such a context, the Government’s decision to allocate lands to the people of these communities, especially after taking into account the plea of such leaders of the AIUDF, needs to be contested, questioned and reconsidered. Since the last two elections, the simple and easy-going people of Assam have voted for a party that sounds more convincing than the rest in the field about its assurances of preventing infilitration. But, is it going to abandon this issue after having made an impressive comeback for the second consecutive term?