In News: Recently, The Janagosthiya Samannay Parishad (JSPA), launched a website to conduct what they are calling a “census” of Assamese Muslims in the state, in order to distinguish them from Bengali-speaking migrant Muslims.
Online census for Assamese Muslims
- The census website, jspacensus.com.was launched on April 15.
- The Janagosthiya Samannay Parishad (JSPA), an umbrella body of more than 30 “indigenous” organisations in Assam.
- Census is modelled on the lines of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
- Applicants will have to submit their documents, the most important among them is a certificate saying which community they belong to — Goriya, Moriya or Deshi.
- The others include voter card/ Aadhaar card, PAN Card, and Gaon Bura (village head) certificate.
- They will then be given an Application Receipt Number (ARN).
Why Online census for Assamese Muslims Necessary ?
- According to the government’s Census 2011, Muslims constitute 34.22 per cent of the 3.12-crore population of Assam.
- The Assamese Muslims have the same names as Bengali Muslims and are often clubbed with them.
- That is why they have faced a lot of problems. This register is so that one can differentiate them from Bengali-speaking migrant Muslims.
- Under the umbrella of the indigenous Assamese Muslim community fall three main groups: the Goriyas, the Moriyas (from Upper Assam) and the Deshis (from Lower Assam).
- While the Deshis are 13th-century converts from indigenous communities such as Koch Rajbongshi and Mech, the Goriyas and Moriyas trace their lineage to converts as well as soldiers, artisans, etc. who came to the region during the Ahom rule.
- Smaller groups such as Julha Muslims also fall under this category.
Concern over Online census for Assamese Muslims
- The Assam NRC, which was published in August 2019, excluded 19.06 lakh of 3.3 crore applicants and was based on the cut-off date of March 24, 1971, as per the Assam Accord of 1985.
- While technically, the exercise does not have a cut-off date, the census will include only Goriya, Moriya and Deshi communities, which date back to the pre-1826 period, or the period before the British annexed Assam.
- The jhulas, who are converted tea garden workers, came later.