Who are the Rohingyas?

>> It is the need of the hour to pressurize the Myanmar government to address the issue curving in their democracy through diplomatic ties

Rohingya_people_in_Rakhine_State_(8280610831)_(cropped)The Rohingya, historically known as Arakanesh people, are from the Rakhine state in Myanmar. Ethnically, Rohingyas are originally from an Indo Aryan tribe living along the Arakan coast of eastern Myanmar.  Their community is a juxtaposition of both pre-colonial and colonial settlers.

The majority of them happen to be Muslim-converted by Arab traders who sailed along the coastline of Bay of Bengal. A stateless Muslim minority of one million people, who have been living in the Rakhine state, on the border of Bangladesh, are being denied of their citizenship under the Burmese 1982 and 1948 laws which dubbed them as foreigners.

Majority of the Burmese consider them interlopers of Bangladeshi despite the fact that many of Rohingya descendants have been living in Myanmar for generations.

Recently more than 40,000 Rohingya refugees have illegally entered into India via Bangladesh soon after when Myanmar launched a counter offensive attack on Arakanese militant group who had attacked the Burmese National forces on August 25. This is not the first time military-backed Myanmar government has gone for a cracked down on refugees. It has a long standing history which casts a dark shadow on the Myanmar’s leadership. It’s a shame on the de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi who turned a blind eye over the persecution of minorities in her own country.

The Rohingyas’ desire to relocate outside Burma has a decades-old history. It is since the time of India’s partition, the Rohingyas had pleaded to Muhammad Ali Jinnah to include them in his consideration plan for eastern Pakistan which is now Bangladesh. Unfortunately Jinnah turned this down.  Since then time to time these persecuted minorities protested and demanded for their independent state.

Bangladesh, a Muslim majority country and a destination of refugees form Arakan states, has also refused to accommodate them. Arguing the fact that the country is already populated and facing troubles for several years. Despite this that the Rohingya community shares a historical and cultural link with Bangladesh, they are not willing to accept them.

It was unfortunate for India to see this kind of division taking place on Rohingya issue. It is of utmost shame that political parties and pseudo-liberals are busy scoring brownie points by giving this issue a religious colour.

It has become a much heated topic for debates on social media. It was sad to see people are ready to compromise on national security issues. Preaching lessons on humanitarian crisis on the backdrop of vote-bank politics is their only motive behind. There is much powerful argument in favour of accommodating Rohingysa as they’re facing persecution in their home land. Anti-establishment liberals have suggested that there has been tradition in India to shelter refugees. This was said in reference to what Indira Gandhi did decades back, allowed around ten millions of refugees into Indian territory from East Pakistan who fled away due to the unspeakable brutalities at the hand of Pakistan forces .Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Tibet and Afghan are living in India peacefully.

These liberals have also suggested that BJP’s unwillingness to not accept Rohingyas is due to their ideological issues, pointing out that the Hindus and Buddhists have always been given shelter here. It is purely an illogical remark or it may have some logic into it. But one can see the conditions in Western Europe where immigrants have been found links with the terrorist outfits like Islamic states (IS). So why would India take such risks by refuges in our country who could easily be hired by terror outfits.

Despite these arguments it is a hard fact that the Rohingyas are the most persecuted community in the world. It is so reprehensible that these stateless people have been living the Myanmar for decades yet the country refuses to grant them citizenship.

It is indescribable human tragedy and all those trying to give it a religious colour to the Rohingya situation are doing no less than harm to the suppressed community.

Brushing asides all tell a tale drama taking place in National Capital , India should practice hard politics by not letting anyone to violate communal harmony and strengthen its national security. Because the Rohinya insurgency in Myanmar wasn’t created by India and it must not become its problem.

It is the need of the hour to pressurize the Myanmar government to address the issue curving in their democracy through diplomatic ties.

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About Khushboo Agrahari 15 Articles
Khushboo is a journalist based in Jaipur

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