Chars are pieces of land that rise temporarily from river-beds in South Asia only to disappear at the whim of the Monsoon Rivers. Chars exist in the vocabulary neither of those who study rivers, nor those who study islands, and have largely remained beyond the mainstream discussions on nature/culture. As analytical constructs and as real life examples of hybrid environments, chars have the potential to extend several theoretical boundaries. This paper presents chars as both the products of ecological processes of floodplain processes and delta building, and the processes of historical developments in colonial and post-colonial land and water management, and offers an outline of char environments, their people and their livelihoods in South Asia.
|Publication status||Published - 2014|