Assam governor P.B. Acharya was quoted as saying yesterday that “Hindustan is for Hindus”, triggering an uproar and prompting chief minister Tarun Gogoi to demand his removal.
The paper said Mr Acharya made the comments during a book launch in Guwahati on Saturday and they came in reply to a question on updating the NRC list. dispute surrounds the centre’s notification of allowing religious minorities from Pakistan and Bangladesh fleeing harassment to seek shelter in India, which is said to exclude Muslims from its purview.
Mr Acharya was quoted as saying that Assam has nothing to fear about ‘Hindu refugees’ from Bangladesh settling in the state and there is nothing wrong in Hindus from other countries taking shelter in India.
“Hindustan is for Hindus. There is nothing wrong with that. Hindus from different countries can stay here. They cannot be outsiders. There is nothing to be feared about that. But how to adjusted them is a big question and we should think about that,” he said.
He added, however: “We shouldn’t allow a single Bangladeshi to be included in the NRC list.”
Mr Acharya expressed concern over Assam and the northeast being in a ‘danger zone’ because of threats from ‘certain ideology’ groups. Though he did not say so explicitly, he made it amply clear, the paper said, that he was referring to Islamic groups.
“The integrity of the country is at stake. The northeast is in a danger zone. Different ideological groups are posing a threat to our country. We should strive to save our integrity,” said Mr Acharya, who is the constitutional head of the troubled north-eastern state.
He harked to another pet theme of his fellow saffron ideologues. He said the ancient Hindu medicinal practice was looked down upon by the British regime and had lost its fame under the Raj.
“There are people living in villages in India who still go for Ayurveda. They respect it. It was only during the British regime that Ayurveda lost its prominence to western medicine,” he said.