Community in news: Miyas of Assam
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I – Society
- Recently, a proposed Miya museum reflecting the culture and heritage of the people living in char-chaporis has stirred up a controversy in Assam.
Important value additions
Miyas of Assam
- 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.
- Their Migration has resulted in changes in demographic composition of the region.
- Years of discontent among the indigenous people led to the six-year-long (1979-85) anti-foreigner Assam Agitation to weed out the “illegal immigrant”, who was perceived as trying to take over jobs, language and culture of the indigenous population.
- Char-chaporis are shifting riverine islands of the Brahmaputra.
- These are primarily inhabited by the Muslims of Bengali-origin.
- A char is a floating island while chaporis are low-lying flood-prone riverbanks.
- While Bengali-origin Muslims primarily occupy these islands, other communities such as Misings, Deoris, Kocharis, Nepalis also live here.