In a district affected by poverty, flood, riverbank erosion, the life of people in the ‘borderlands’, in Murshidabad, is a story of everyday struggle and endless negotiations. Being a border district, Murshidabad, is under constant supervision of the security personnel. But the process of ‘othering’ becomes complete when one reaches river chars or charlands that also coincide with the Indo-Bangladesh border. Whims of the river, affecting the life and livelihood of the people, clubbed with various sorts of restrictions on movements, indifference of the local administration, difficulties in accessing various kinds of amenities like hospitals, schools or food items at subsidized rates, make them near-citizens. This paper explores the realities in two charlands in Jalangi- char Parashpur and char Bhadra.
Keywords: Floods, riverbank erosion, chars/charlands, borders, food security, trafficking