21 October, 2020

Complex Case Of Goriya, Moriya, Oxomiya -- Assam Set To Separate Indigenous Muslims From Migrants

The BJP-led Assam government plans a census that will identify the native Muslims—called the Goriya, Moriya, Julha and Deshi. Indigenous Muslims say the census is needed to protect their native identity.

Minority Report
Deshi Muslim girls performing a traditonal dance. Deshis are indigenous Muslims of Assam.
Photo by Samsul Huda Patgiri
Complex Case Of Goriya, Moriya, Oxomiya -- Assam Set To Separate Indigenous Muslims From Migrants
outlookindia.com
2020-02-13T17:57:04+05:30

In the complex and hazy maze of Assam’s socio-political landscape where sub-nationalism runs deep, another subset of identity is emerging—this time from an Assamese-speaking community who identifies themselves as the indigenous Muslims. The BJP-led state government on Tuesday, however, dropped the word “indigenous”—khilonjiya in Assamese—from a proposed census that will identify the native Muslims—called the Goriya, Moriya, Julha and Deshi. The government plans to set up a corporation to look after the welfare of these communities who number an estimated 16 lakh in Assam’s 3.3-crore population.

“At the meeting (on Tuesday), some sections raised objection that the name of the corporation should not have religion in it. Nor should it have indigenous since there is no definition of the word yet,” says Syed Muminul Aowal, chairman of Assam Minorities Development Board. The corporation will now be named after the four communities it proposes to benefit. The Deshis are des­cendents of those who converted from local...

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