DOI link for After independence
After independence book
Muslims in Assam are mainly categorised into indigenous and immigrant, or of East Bengal origin. The immigrant Muslims living in Brahmaputra valley officially became Assamese (known as neo-Assamese) by accepting the Assamese language as their mother tongue after independence. Based on language, the Assam Muslims were then divided into Assamese, neo-Assamese and Bengali. The neo-Assamese Muslims, due to their population advantage over other groups, started to represent the Muslim question in Assam, and they formed a social and linguistic alliance with the Assamese people and a political alliance with Congress just after independence. They started to rally behind the Assamese language when Assam witnessed language conflicts between the Assamese and Bengali in 1960 and 1972. On the other hand, they became a support base of Congress in elections, although their electoral behaviour was not a vote bank. The electoral support of the community has inspired, during this period, Congress to remain indifferent towards the continuous illegal immigration of both Hindus and Muslims to Assam. However, despite Congress politics of immigrant vote bank, a section of Muslims revolted against the party by forming a Muslim political platform, Eastern India Muslim Association, in 1977.