Guwahati (Assam), Feb 18 : The state government may give financial assistance of around Rs 40,000 to Bengali Hindus who marry Assamese Hindus, The Times of India reported.
The Linguistic Minority Development Board has proposed the scheme as a way to “strengthen bonds between the two communities”, Board chairman Alok Kumar Ghose told the paper. He added the proposal was submitted to the Assam government two days back (February 16).
As per Ghose, couples who have inter-community marriages are often deprived of property rights, and in some cases face a social boycott and this move would “foster amity”.
“With the cash incentive, the Board intends to assist such couples in setting up establishments like shops or beauty salons that help them in earning their bread and butter,” he said.
The All Assam Minority Students’ Union, however, termed the proposal as “divisive” and accused the Board of attempting religious polarisation, said the report.
The Union President Rejaul Karim Sarkar told ToI the government is taking steps to create division between Hindus and Muslims and this proposal is just another example of this.
He further argued that the government should have extended help to any financial unstable Bengali person marrying into any religion or community in Assam, rather than providing it along the religious lines.
Meanwhile, All Assam Bengali Youth Students’ Federation president Samrat Bhowal welcomed the move. He told the paper the organisation would back any initiative to remove “mistrust” between Bengalis and Assamese people.