Why BJP’s uproar over ‘Miya museum’ goes against Assam’s pluralism

Assam Kalakshetra, Museum, Miyas
A demand to establish a museum on the char-chaporis at the Kalakshetra, a cultural centre in Guwahati that showcases the state’s rich culture and heritage has been mired in political controversy | Photo - Wikimedia

Brahmaputra is generally not as calm as it is now this time of the year. Only a few months ago, the river was in full fury, wreaking havoc on the lives of those living along its banks.

For the inhabitants of the sandbars or riverine islands, the mystical river—named after the son of the creator of the universe, Brahma, according to Hindu mythology, and Amogha, wife of sage Shantanu—is both the destroyer and provider.

These restless, ever-shifting landmasses, locally called char-chaporis (chars are the islands and chaporis are the villages along the riverbanks), dot the 891-km long course of the river from Sadiya to Dhubri in Assam.

The floodwaters have long receded, dumping enormous volumes of alluvium deposits on the sandbars, ensuring bountiful harvests for farmers, sedimenting all their sorrows, albeit temporarily.

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