Miya Museum

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    Local authorities in Assam sealed a Miya Museum two days after it was inaugurated by an organisation representing migrant Muslims.

    Rationale behind the move 

    • The action was taken as a house allotted under the Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana-Gramin scheme was converted into a museum in violation of the rules.
    • The genesis of the controversy lies in the politics of polarisation in Assam fuelled by the fear of a demographic invasion by the so-called “illegal immigrants” or “Bangladeshis”. 
      • Some legislators and former MLAs of the BJP interpreted the museum as a cultural aggression and asked the government to pull it down. 

    About Miya Museum

    • ‘Miya’ : It is a pejorative term used primarily by the indigenous communities to mean Bengal or Bengali-origin Muslims who have settled down in Assam since the late 1890s, initially brought by the British for commercial farming.
      • The migrant Muslims form the bulk of Assam’s Muslims accounting for more than 34% of the State’s 3.3 crore people. 
    • Museum: A private centre showcasing the culture and heritage of Bengal-origin or Bengali-speaking Muslims was inaugurated primarily by members of the All Assam Miya Parishad at Dapkarbhita in the Lakhipur circle of Goalpara district. 
      • They named it the Miya Museum. 

    Source:TH