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Why India cannot afford to have Rohingiyas

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Alok Choudhary
Alok Choudhary
Columnist | Writes on Politics, Society, education | Nation first

For the past few days, the issue of Rohingiya is very much discussed in India and its neighboring countries. The loom of fire arising from Myanmar is now showing its effect on its neighboring countries and its impact is being seen on India as well. After all, why Rohingiya is in the spotlight and what is their identity? According to the United Nations, Rohingya is the world’s most persecuted community.

If seen from a historical perspective, Rohingiya’s culture and colloquialism are very similar to the culture of Bangladesh. Prior to 1940, they were originally the resident of Bangladesh, who were later brought by the British during World War II in the Rakhine region of Myanmar. But in the year 1982, Myanmar’s government refused to give citizenship to them and today the situation is that Rohingya has emerged as a community whose existence is endangered. But in the recent days, this issue was overwhelmed when Myanmar’s army started to torture these Rohingya. The number of Rohingyas in Myanmar is around 1.1 to 1.3 million, but in recent times many Rohingiya migrated to Bangladesh and its surrounding countries in the wake of the violence in Myanmar.

In India alone, about 40,000 Rohingiya lives in illegal ways. There are various such incidents happening within Myanmar, when Myanmar leadership is under a noble peace award winner, Aung Sung Kyi and where Buddhism is a dominant religion. Any type of violence with Rohingiya is like a stigma for humanity; however Myanmar is continuously denying this fact. But we cannot completely deny that some terror ideology is also growing within the Rohingiya community in Myanmar, which has affected Myanmar’s peace. One example of such terror outfit in Myanmar is “Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA)” .

On Aug, 25 the same terror outfit escalated an attack on 30 police posts in Rakhine region of Myanmar, where 12 members of the security forces are killed. In a return, Myanmar army started a “clean drive” against the Rohinigiya militants which resulted in killing of around 400 people in the Rakhine region of Myanmar where it is difficult to figure out among the militants killed and civilians killed. Myanmar may have some internal reasons for not rewarding Rohingiya community with citizenship but launching a direct action against Rohingiyas in the name of cleaning Rohingiya militant is simply halting peace in the country. In India, 40,000 Rohingiya residing has become a serious concern for all of us. These Rohingiya are present in small pockets in various parts of India, especially in the Jammu, Haryana, and in few parts of west Bengal. Some people in India, they term them as “Refugees” but in actual they are not “Refugees”, they are illegal migrants and there is a core difference between “Refugees” and “Migrants”.

The Government of India has decided to take these Rohingya out of India, after which the Government has been facing many criticism of this decision. Some people in our country believe that Rohingya should get shelter within India. But the government argued in the Supreme Court that Rohingiya is a threat to the security of India and to some extent this argument is also right. Many such cases have emerged, in which Rohingiya people have been found to have links with the terrorist. Its most recent example is the Bodh Gaya blast in India during the year 2013, in which Rohingya militants were found as main accused. In such a case, the question is true that by giving asylum to Rohingiya in India, are we are not putting our national security on fire?

It is also a matter of great surprise that terrorists like Hafiz Saeed are also raising the voice against the atrocities on Rohingiya. Is it wrong to say that if India gives shelter to rohingiya then this Rohingya would prove to be a pawn for terrorists like Hafiz? It may be wrong to frame that all Rohingya are terrorists but the possibility of their terror may not be ruled out. The Radicalization of Rohingiyas is not the only problem, in addition we are already an overpopulated country with limited resources. So, providing Rohingiyas shelter will put extra burden on our resources. For the time being, we may take 40,000 Rohingiyas less in numbers for a country having 125 cr population but these 40,000 can prove effective in changing the demography of a region, which may turn to be harmful for the harmony of our nation. Moreover, the appeasement policy which is being followed by some political class of this country may provoke Rohingiyas to carry out such things which may pose a threat to the “secular” structure of this country.

Today, some of the self-proclaimed champions of human rights are protesting against the move to deport Rohingiyas from India and demanding shelter for them in India. Unfortunately, they are the same human rights activists who remained silent when Kashmiri Pundits are massacred and forced to leave Kashmir. They are advocating to give shelter to illegal Rohingiya migrants in India but they refrain them from talking about the Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pundits as it may not be an integral part of their agenda. Indian culture is known for welcoming everyone but it simply does not mean that we can keep compromising with the security of 125 cr Indians.

Few politicians and religious leaders are even trying to portray the step to deport Rohingiyas as a step against Muslims. How can someone try to politicize the subject of national security and protest a step which is being made for the safety of nation? It is also unfortunate that world’s most prestigious institution United Nation in a time, when they should put international pressure on Myanmar to take these Rohingiyas back and stop bloody game with Rohingiyas, the UN is passing a statement asking India not to deport Rohingiyas. However, India reserves the full right to deal with her internal security and as per the constitutional rights, India can deport anyone who are staying illegally in India. The whole world is talking about the human rights of Rohingiyas, but no one is coming forward to give them a place in their land. The question also need to be asked from the self-proclaimed boss of “Islamic Nations”, especially the middle east countries who are rich enough to accommodate these Rohingiyas. Why are they in a sleep mode? They must come forward and show humanity by providing shelter to Rohingiyas. When there is a lot of evidence that some people in the Rohingiya community are involved in terrorist activities, why do pseudo liberals want to see India becoming a dumping ground for Rohingiya?

By showing the mirror of humanity, can we play down the threat to the security and integrity of our country and how can it be justified. Atrocities against Rohingiya in Myanmar are condemnable in any form but first of all, India has the right to think about the security of the country. This is the time when Jihadist terrorism inside India is continuously expanding its footprints and if Rohingiya stays longer in India then there is a fear that Jihadi terrorists can easily make them their weapons.

Instead, the need of the time is to put constructive pressure on Myanmar to accept Rohingiyas and allow them to have them access to the basic facilities including education, so that they can emerge as a sensible community in near future.

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Alok Choudhary
Alok Choudhary
Columnist | Writes on Politics, Society, education | Nation first
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