Akhil Gogoi, the legislator from the Sivasagar constituency in Assam, has sought apologies from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. This follows Sarma’s controversial ‘Hussain Obama’ remark, which stirred a heated debate and drew criticism from various quarters. Gogoi, in a video address, expressed his shame and extended an apology, stating that he was apologizing as a brother and fellow MLA from the Assam Assembly.
The Controversial Remark: On June 23, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma responded to a journalist who quoted former US President Barack Obama’s remark about safeguarding the Muslim minority in a majority Hindu India. Sarma asked whether Assam police were on their way to Washington to arrest Obama, implying that there are many individuals with the name ‘Hussain Obama’ in India. He further emphasized that the state’s priority is to take care of its own citizens before considering international matters.
Expressing his disappointment and embarrassment, Akhil Gogoi addressed Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a video, voicing his concern over Chief Minister Sarma’s divisive and racially charged statement. As a common person from Assam and a fellow MLA, Gogoi offered an apology on behalf of Sarma, acknowledging the frequent controversial remarks made by the Chief Minister. He pleaded with the Prime Minister to forgive Sarma for his inappropriate comment.
National and International Response: Himanta Biswa Sarma’s remarks attracted widespread criticism, both within India and internationally. His comment was perceived as divisive and contrary to Prime Minister Modi’s recent statement at a White House news conference, where he claimed that there is no discrimination in India based on caste or religion. Former US President Barack Obama, in a conversation with CNN, had urged President Joe Biden to address the issue of minority security during his meeting with Prime Minister Modi