07, Jun 2022 | CJP Team
It appears Satya Ranjan Borah does not want to miss checking any boxes in his checklist of hardline Hindutva objectives. At a recent press conference, he not only stressed upon the need for cow protection during Eid, but also demanded archeological surveys of all mosques older than 300 years, as well as teaching of Hindu religious literature in schools.
“Assam government has brought Cow Protection Bill, but there will be cow slaughter during the upcoming Eid. Now it is time to properly implement the Bill,” said Borah. “It is the land of Shankardev, who had said that killing of cow is an act of sin. So, we are urging the government to stop it. Otherwise, our organisation Kutumb Suraksha Parishad will act,” he warned.
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Borah then switched to temple-mosque politics. “We have seen it in the case of Ram Mandir – Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, we have seen how Aurangzeb demolished temples to build mosques. One was built at the site of Lord Krishna’s birth. Recently a Shivling was found at Gyanvapi mosque,” he said demanding, “An archeological survey be conducted of all masjids older than 300 years. We suspect they might have originally been temples.”
Staying on the topic of mosques he said, “Loudspeaker should be banned from mosques. Already some courts have passed the order on the ban of loud speaker. In the Dhemaji district of Assam, the loudspeaker was removed from a masjid.” Explaining his rationale, he said, “Azaan is part of their religion, but loud speaker is not. So, we are asking all the Moulanas in Assam to remove it,” adding on a chilling note, “If you hurt our feelings, we will be forced to hurt you. So, don’t make us to hurt you.”
“Our texts like Ramayan have been translated into international languages. So, what is so wrong if we demand that there should be Geeta reading in schools and colleges? Madrasas have religious education. There are so many missionary schools – Don Bosco, St. Mary, St. John’s,” he said. “I therefore urge the Assam government to arrange for Geeta Path (reading) for at least one hour a week in all schools. Geeta is after all the most secular of religious texts available,” he said, offering that if the government was unable to do so, his organisation could take responsibility.
The press conference may be viewed here on Assamese channelTime8’s Facebook page:
This is not the first time Borah has targeted minorities. During the height of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Assam, he had alleged that protestors wanted “Jinnah waliAzaadi” meaning they wanted to create a separate State like Pakistan, and accused them of Islamising India. What he failed to understand was that the anti-CAA protests in Assam were against the influx of all refugees following all faiths. Even the historic Assam Agitation that led to the update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was not anti-Muslim, but against all illegal immigrants.
Then on October 1, 2020, Borah took umbrage to Assam being described as the land of “Shankar Azan”, that reflects the state’s proud history of secularism. He suggested the term be changed to “Shankar Madhav” instead.
Then on October 13, 2020, Borah, who was at that point closely associated with the BJP, held protests outside the Gauhati Zoo demanding that tigers not be fed beef! Assam Forest Minister ParimalSuklabaidya had to clarify that beef was an essential part of diet for tigers and lions at the zoo. The group of protesters were dispersed by the local police. But Borah then made another bizarre demand that the meat of Sambar deer whose population he said needed to be kept in check should be fed to tigers and lions instead of beef. What he failed to take into account was that Sambar Deer were a protected species under Schedule-III of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and considered “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
On October 17, 2021, he made a series of derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed, in a social media post where he said that the community had a “Hazarat” who was a dacoit. Though he subsequently deleted the post, multiple FIRs were filed against him across the state.The All Assam Minorities Student Union (AAMSU) Golaghat unit moved the Gauhati High Court against him when the police failed to arrest him.
More recently on February 11, adding his two bits to the Hijab controversy, he said, “If it were up to me, I’d have Hijabs banned even from the market place. The girl who yelled Allah Hu Akbar amidst a group of men chanting Jai Shri Ram was spared only because we are Hindus and this is India. Imagine if someone had tried this in Bangladesh. Do you remember what happened in Bangladesh during Durga Puja?”
Image Courtesy: time8.in