Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday claimed that the “damage” Muslim League leader Md Saadulla had done to Assam during his first two-year stint as the premier of the state in the 1930s has been “irreparable” even today.

The premier or prime minister was the head of the government of Assam in British India at that time. The post was dissolved after India’s independence in 1947.

Maulavi Saiyid Sir Muhammad Saadulla was the first premier of Assam and his maiden term lasted from April 1, 1937, to September 19, 1938.

Saadulla was in power for two years since 1937. The decisions he took during that time are harming us even today. If we analyse the amount of damage done to our jati (community) then, we will realise that we have not been able to compensate for it or repair it even today, Sarma said.

Though Sarma did not specifically mention any decision of Sadulla, he apparently referred to a settlement policy undertaken by the premier, wherein immigrants from undivided Bengal were allowed to settle on Assam land and take up agricultural activities. The majority of the population of that region are Muslims.

A propagator of the two-nation theory and advocate for Assam joining East Pakistan after the partition, the All India Muslim League leader was the premier of Assam for three brief terms between 1937 and 1946.

During the run-up to this year’s state elections, I had said how it would be if (AIUDF president Badruddin) Ajmal formed the government… about a battle of civilizations. The foundation for this was laid during Saadulla’s regime. The way he changed the landscape (of Assam) in two years, we have not been able to rectify it even today, he added.

Ajmal, the MP of Dhubri, heads the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) which now has 16 MLAs mostly from the Muslim-majority areas of Assam.

The chief minister, who was speaking at a Deshbhakti Diwas’ function to mark the death anniversary of freedom fighter and Congress leader Tarun Ram Phukan, said that the Congress’ national president Subhash Chandra ensured that Gopinath Bordoloi of his party took over from Saadulla.

Bordoloi was the premier between September 19, 1938, and November 17, 1939. He, however, was succeeded again by Sadulla.

The puritan Congress leaders of Delhi had refused to enter into any coalition in 1937 which led Saadulla to form the government, and it was only after Bose’s decision that the Congress managed to take over the reins in the state, Sarma claimed.

Referring to speeches made by Congress leaders of the Independence era, Sarma said, When we speak even 50 per cent of what Gopinath Bordoloi, Ambikagiri Raichoudhury had said, people call us communal. I at least speak 50 per cent of what they had said, others don’t even dare to say 10 per cent of it.

If we read what Bordoloi, Raichoudhury, Debeswar Sarma, Pitambar Deva Goswami and the likes had said and see what they had predicted for Assam, we have reached that juncture now, he said.

Sarma asserted that Bordoloi, who was the state’s first head of the government post-Independence, had brought a law for protection of cattle in 1950.

We have forgotten our history. A new history which is an offshoot of Russian Communism’s influence on Indira Gandhi has influenced us. We have to re-connect our new generation with the (thoughts of) great leaders of yesteryears, he said.

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