We were visiting a rural area of West Bengal called Hasnabad to spend some time with a low-caste Muslim community called the Chowdulis. Our interest was in how this impoverished group is asking the government to classify it officially as a "backward" class - a status that would entitle it to all sorts of benefits. The Chowdulis traditionally are fishermen. Since most can't afford boats or even nets, they drain water from ponds and harvest fish by hand. They get a variety of...
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