Assam Health, Finance and Education minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday lashed out at the Congress party for “eyeing” the Kalakshetra since the protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Assam. He also alleged that the Congress MLA Sherman Ali Ahmed will be sent to jail for his controversial remark saying, ‘Lungis’ should be kept at Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra, the epitome of Assamese culture and heritage.
“Sherman Ali Ahmed will be sent to jail after the elections. He will be sent to jail for saying lungis should be kept at Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra,” Sarma said. “His place will be in jail. It is not acceptable. I don’t know why the intellectuals are maintaining silence. But after the elections, Sherman Ali Ahmed will be sent to jail for this word. This is my commitment to the people of Assam,” Sarma added. The minister also reaffirmed that BJP is not against the Assamese Muslims, but has taken measures to preserve the culture and heritage of the Assamese Muslims.
It is to be noted that Ahmed had earlier demanded that a ‘Miya Museum’ be set up inside the Kalakshetra after the standing committee of Assam assembly proposed the setting up of a ‘Char-Chapori’ (riverine) Museum. The ‘Miya Museum’, Ahmed had said, would exhibit the culture and traditions of the Bengali Muslims of erstwhile East Bengal who have settled in the riverine areas of lower and central Assam. Ahmed, when asked what could be exhibited in the museum, had said that the blue lungis will be displayed there as it is the traditional attire of Bengali Muslims in Lower Assam.
Another Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha has also demanded that a ‘Bengali Museum’ be set up inside the Kalakshetra. Referring to it, Sarma said he has noticed that the Congress is eyeing the Kalakshetra since the protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act when it was damaged.