A Boat Ride

The politics of Assam is as murky and complicated as the Brahmaputra’s channels and meandering ways.

Moin-ud Din, who took us out on his boat on the hunt for river dolphins (successfully at that) faces an uncertain future in the only place he’s ever known. His father and grandfather are from Mymensingh in Bangladesh. They entered the country in the violence and confusion of 1971 and have remained since. Both father and son speak fluent Axomi, ply their trade well and are as integrated as anyone else living here.

But both of their names are missing from the citizenship registry. Despite many attempts they haven’t been able to get on it. And with a new bill coming that disqualifies any migrant who’s not a Hindu, the entire family might have nowhere to go. “I live on fringes, sir. If not here, somewhere else. Things don’t change for the likes of me and my people. You’ll be you and I’ll be me.”