NPR

In India's Assam State, Residents Of River Islands Face Uncertainty Over Citizenship

Some 4 million people, many Muslim and impoverished, were excluded from a 2018 official register of citizens. Photographer CK Vijayakumar visited Assam to learn more about the challenges they face.
Muqbul Hussain, 58, is the leader of Kaltoli village, Nalbari district. He wants to sue border police for accusing him wrongly of being a "foreigner" but has been advised to wait until his name appears on the next national citizens list. Source: CK Vijayakumar for NPR

By 8 a.m., the sun hasn't pierced through dark clouds hanging over India's Brahmaputra River, but it's already warm and humid. People wait for a boat to take them to the Chandanpur char, an island in India's northeastern state of Assam, an hourlong ride from the mainland.

A char is a river island formed by silt carried downriver. Chars rise up and are submerged every few years. Every time a char erodes, the people living there dismantle their

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
A Puppeteer Gets Swept Up In Political Theater In 'Kingdom For A Stage'
In her new book, Heidi Heilig continues the tale of family, rebellion and necromancy begun in For a Muse of Fire. Heilig tackles difficult issues deftly, and sets up readers for a rousing conclusion.
NPR4 min read
'Exalting The Banal To The Monumental' Through California Skate Parks
The state that gave birth to modern skateboarding is home to concrete playgrounds that are works of art in the eyes of photographer Amir Zaki: "They become more imaginative and open as spaces."
NPR2 min read
La Santa Cecilia: 'We Are As American As Apple Pie And Tacos'
The Grammy Award-winning group's self-titled album is packed with political messaging and brims with hope.