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.