GUWAHATI, Nov 10 – Eminent folklorist and former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha, Prof Birendra Nath Datta today unveiled a book Asamor Musalman: Itihas aru Samaj at a function at the International Convention Centre at Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra.
This is the first of the five-volume series concerning the history and heritage of the Assamese Muslims brought out by the Al-Ameen Janakalyan Samaj, Guwahati.
Prof Datta in his address while recalling his experiences of association with the Muslim community in different parts of the State, came up with interesting and thought-provoking anecdotes.
He said that the assimilation process of the Assamese Muslims took place at the grassroots, which was the reason they had contributed significantly to the composite heritage of the State.
HN Das, former Chief Secretary of Assam, threw light on the Muslim communities of Turkey and Uzbekistan, drawing from experiences of his travels to those nations.
The first volume has been researched and recorded by three authors – Muhi Uddin Ahmed, HoD, History, Kampur College; Tasadduque Anamul Hussain, Associate Professor, History, DR College, Golaghat; and Sajidul Hoque Borbora, HoD, History, Jhanji Hemnath Sarma College, under the supervision and guidance of Dr Md Taher, former Professor of Geography, Gauhati University.
Dr Taufiqur Rahman Barbara, former Principal of Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh and general secretary of Al-Ameen Janakalyan Samaj spoke on the mission of the voluntary body and its involvement with socio-economic and welfare activities for over a decade now. He said that financial support was sought from both the Assam Government and the Centre for publication of the volumes on Assamese Muslims, but in vain.
“Ultimately, it was the well wishers of the community who donated for the cause - which made the venture successful,” he added.
While renowned filmmaker Abdul Majid delivered the welcome address, the proceedings started with rendition of zikir and zari by Hafeza Begum Choudhury and her troupe.
Mahbubul Hoque, chairman of ERD Foundation and Dr Sajeda Ahmed of GMC also addressed the audience. The remaining four volumes of the series would deal with literature and culture, Wakf and heritage, Assamese Islamic spiritual literature, geographic distribution, and socio-economic study of the Assamese Muslims.
Forty students studying in technical institutions and colleges of the State were also handed over stipends ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000 each by Al-Ameen.