Assam will create a department of indigenous faith

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Arunachal Pradesh was the first northeastern state to create a department for the preservation of indigenous culture seen as threatened by conversion

The government of Assam has decided to establish an independent department for the preservation and promotion of indigenous faith and culture, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

Marking the completion of his 60-day government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the chief minister said the new department would not be associated with other departments such as Culture, Plains Tribal Welfare and Backward Classes.

“Assam has many tribes with their unique customs and religious beliefs. We have decided to preserve their culture and their faith with institutional support through this new department, ”he told reporters on Saturday evening.

Dr Sarma said the Cabinet asked Finance Minister Ajanta Neog to allocate a substantial budget to the Department of Indigenous Faith and Culture.

Assam is not the first state in the northeast to offer such a department. Arunachal Pradesh formed the Department of Indigenous Affairs five years ago to isolate indigenous religions seen as threatened by conversion.

In Assam, communities such as the Bodo and Zeme follow indigenous religions such as Bathou and Heraka. A significant number of people in these communities have converted to Christianity over the years.

Law against the exploitation of women

The chief minister also said that the state government will pass a law against all types of exploitation of women and girls in addition to tabling a bill for the protection of livestock at the next session of the Assembly. of 126 members.

“I don’t believe in a word like jihad. But ‘love of jihad’ does not deceive a Muslim by deceiving a Hindu. A Hindu should not cheat on a Hindu under the pretext of getting married either. The law we are bringing will apply in cases where the culprit is Hindu, not just Muslim, ”he said.

“No woman or girl, whatever her faith, should be exploited,” he said.

Dr Sarma added that the gatherings at sulai (illegal alcohols) joints were contributing to the upsurge in COVID-19 cases. This is the observation made by the ministers responsible for monitoring the situation in certain neighborhoods, he said.

“Wherever the cases increase, there is a link to illegal alcohol joints. This is serious business, ”he said, adding that the district authorities have been urged to dismantle these liquor bars.

The chief minister also said that police personnel from Assam have been deployed to protect Assam’s constitutional borders with neighboring states such as Mizoram and Nagaland.

“Assam is the gateway to the northeast and we are always open to mutual discussions and the resolution of our differences,” he said.

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