Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.

Char-chaporis of Assam

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Char chapori

Mains level : Not Much

A proposed museum reflecting the “culture and heritage of the people living in char-chaporis” has stirred up a controversy in Assam.

Do you know?

Phumdis are a series of floating islands, exclusive to the Loktak Lake in Manipur. They cover a substantial part of the lake area and are heterogeneous masses of vegetation, soil and organic matter, in different stages of decay.

What are char-chaporis?

  • A char is a floating island while chaporis are low-lying flood-prone riverbanks.
  • They are used interchangeably as they keep changing shapes — a char can become a chapori, or vice versa, depending on the push and pull of the Brahmaputra.
  • Prone to floods and erosion, these areas are marked by low development indices.
  • While Bengali-origin Muslims primarily occupy these islands, other communities such as Misings, Deoris, Kocharis, Nepalis also live here.
  • In the popular imagination, however, chars have become synonymous to the Bengali-speaking Muslims of dubious nationality.

Who are the Miyas?

  • The ‘Miya’ community comprises descendants of Muslim migrants from East Bengal (now Bangladesh) to Assam.
  • They came to be referred to as ‘Miyas’, often in a derogatory manner.
  • The community migrated in several waves — starting with the British annexation of Assam in 1826, and continuing into Partition and the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
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