Guwahati: In response to the demand of Assamese Sikhs, the state government on Tuesday reportedly agreed to accord "micro minority status" to the community.
A delegation of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and representatives of the Assamese Sikhs led by Committee General secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa met Assam Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday in this regard.
"The Chief Minister today (Tuesday) acceded to accord micro minority status to the Assamese Sikh community in the state and provide various facilities for socio, economic and political upliftment of the community," Sirsa said while addressing a press conference in Guwahati.
He said the Assam government had responded towards their various demands and that the government had also appointed an IAS officer of the state as the nodal officer to coordinate implementation of these demands.
"The Assam Chief Minister has also agreed to implement Anand Marriage Act in the state at the earliest, start service to enable the Sikh community members have darshan of Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar and other gurudwaras in the state and also sanctioned an amount of Rs 5 crore for building Community Centre and Eduation Complex in Nagaon," he added.
Sonowal also agreed to install a statue of General Chetanya Singh, the first sikh General who was sent to Assam with a platoon of 500 Sikh soldiers from Punjab by Maharaja Ranjit Singh during the Burmese attack on the state.
As the history goes, then Ahom King Chandrakanta Singha had sought the help of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1820 when the Burmese attacked the kingdom. The war continued for two years and the Sikh soldiers who survived the war settled in Assam and came to be known as Assamese Sikhs.
Although these Assamese Sikhs are devout Sikhs and sport turban, they have got assimilated in the Assamese culture and most of them do not even know the Punjabi language.