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Miyah Poetry: The rise of a new kind of poetry in Assam

The Miya Poetry is a literary Movement in Assam
The Miya Poetry is a literary Movement in Assam

Miyah poetry has its origin and all its contemporary works in the state of Assam in India. The word ‘Miyah‘ or ‘Miya‘ indicates the Muslims of Bengali origin in Assam who are often described with the aforesaid word.

The Rise of Miya Poetry: In Assam, Assamese Muslims of Bengali origin are often termed as “Bangladeshi” or “illegal immigrant”. The word ‘Miya’ is used as a slur the indicates the “Bangladeshi” or “illegal immigrant”. There have been reports of harassment in the name of Bangladeshi. On social media sites, terming Indian people as Bangladeshi is often witnessed. Critics say that the Assamese Muslims from Bengali origin are victimized by naming and shaming in the name of ‘Bangladeshi’.

Miyah poetry is a literary movement of protest poetry initiated by Assamese Muslims of Bengali origin against the marginalization of their community, writes India Culture Lab.

The Medium of Miya Poetry: Miya poetry is composed generally in different dialects ( a particular form of a language which is peculiar to a specific region or social group) in Assam. And these are mainly Bengali dialects. Several poems are composed in Bhatia and Maimansigia dialect. The poets of this kind of poetry use letters of Assamese language in Assam.

Examples of Miyah Poetry:

The Miyah poets in Assam choose social media sites as the platform to share their poems and discuss its literary importance.

Someone walks By (A poem by Kazi Neel)

Controversy Around Miyah Poetry: There has been a huge controversy following Miya poetry. Many critics opine that this task as a propaganda move to weaken the Assamese language in Assam.

Hiren Gohain, a well-known Indian writer from the Northeastern state of Assam question the term Miya Poetry itself. He writes in The Wire, ” Miya poetry, especially when it is not written in Assamese, only selects and prioritizes one dialect out of 28 in use. Poets come largely from particular districts in Assam. Is it truly representative then of all Miyah communities of Assam? Moreover, it seems to address audiences outside, over the shoulders of their Assamese neighbors.”

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