Rohingya : India Must Tread Carefully

The decision of government of India to deport 40000 Rohingya muslims settled in different parts of India, has come under a lot of criticism. Some say, it is inhuman to deport Rohingya people to a country where they will be killed. Others say, Rohingyas are being deported because they are muslims, whereas other people from Tibet, Afghanistan, Bangladesh are allowed to stay. It is also said that such a deportation goes against India’s open door policy to all persecuted people since ages. Infact, given stature of India in the neighborhood, India must do much more and accept refugees. All these arguments are valid and true. But one must consider the following arguments against retaining Rohingya people and accepting more :

Terror Potential : Rohingya people are in a bad situation at the present time. One cannot rule out Rohingyas embracing pan islamic idea of creation of a islamic country. Terrorist violence may be a tool to achieve their goal.

In Myanmar, during second world war, Buddhist people were armed by Japan and Rohingyas were armed by British. Idea was Rohingyas would stop Japanese advance. Rohingya fought Buddhists, instead. Around 1946 – 47, Rohingya muslims wanted to integrate Rakhine province to East Pakistan. Jinnah did not agree. Realistically, if you want to break up a country, you are not going to generate a lot of goodwill. There is a lack of trust. Buddhists of Myanmar do not recognise Rohingyas to be their citizens. There is no certainty, that such a situation would not arise in India in distant future.

At the present time, terrorist groups like Harkat UL Jihad Islami Arakan (HuJI-A), Aqa Mul Mujahideen (AMM), Harkat-ul Yakin (HaY), Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) are operating in Myanmar. These groups are trained in Pakistan. These group are connected to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the Al Qaeda, theother Gulf-based jihadi groups.

An Al Quaida operative, Samiun Rahman, was arrested in New Delhi. This gentleman is an British citizen of Bangladesh origin. He has been a soldier of islam and fought all over the world. He was sent to India to set up base to recruit disgruntled Rohingya people to fight Myanmar government.

Abdul Quddus Burmi a Rohingya muslim based in Pakistan is an associated of Hafiz Saeed of Let. Burmi shared stage with Hafiz Saeed where threat was pronounced against India.

Terror attacks were organised in Bodh Gaya, Bihar as well as during election rally of Mr. Narendra Modi in Bihar. These attacks were believed to orchestrated as a protest to persecution of Rohingya muslims in Myanmar.

Rohingya issue has assumed pan islamic dimension with many governments of islamic countries and jihadi groups are speaking out in favor of Rohingya muslims.

Do not get involved in internal problems of Burma. India should not get involved in internal problems of Myanmar issue. Terrorists from Sri Lanka had killed one prime minister of India. India helped creation of Bangladesh.  Pakistan has not forgiven or forgotten the matter. Not every government of Bangladesh has been friendly to India. tied withAs and when Sheikh Hasina government loses power, next government will make India’s life miserable with jihadi groups operating in Pakistan as well as in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

India has a long border with Myanmar. Many terrorist groups take shelter in forests of Myanmar. So far, government of Myanmar has cooperated with India in tracking terrorists down. India cannot lose this cooperation. Besides, China is also eyeing business opportunity and military cooperation with Myanmar. If India becomes too preachy, we may lose our leverage with Myanmar.

Spend resources on Indian Citizens : India is not a very prosperous country? India is inhabited by nearly a billion plus people? Nearly 600 million of them do not have healthcare, education, drinking water facility. Many are desperately poor. Because of exploding population, Indian environment are degraded. There is pressure on forest. There is pressure on wild life. For every development work for greater good, people have to be displaced. Many cannot be rehabilitated. Every year, a large mass of humanity is displaced by flood. Should India take care of her teeming masses or should she be hospitable to outsiders? More so when rich countries stand by and plead helplessness? Finally, Rohingya people around 1947 wanted to secede from Burma and wanted to be part of East Pakistan as a muslim country.

Find Alternative Solutions Many open minded opinion makers has dubbed present Modi lead government to be biased, anti-muslim, anti-minority. This government is believed to curtail minority rights. Minority people are not considered safe in India. So why would any sensible person want to push Rohingya people, most of whom are muslims, into a cauldron of unsafe environment in India?

India had given refuge to many persecuted people. In those days, Indian population was not 1200 million plus. It has often been argued that Hindus are allowed in India. It must be remembered that India was partitioned because muslims did not want to live with Hindus. In that case again why bring Rohingya muslims to India. They should go to an Islamic country. By contrast, India is the only place on earth where a Hindu can take refuge in.

  • Myanmar Should Resolve Internal Problem : I think there should be pressure on Burma to give more representation to Rohingya people in administration. What is the guarantee that likes Kashmiri people, Rohingyas will not ask for independence? May be they will resort to terrorism. Already there is evidence pointing to that direction. Rohingya problem can be solved if world leaders ask Myanmar to accept Rohingya people, give them so say in decision making. And Rohingyas must be told that there may not be separate country coming out of Rakhine.
  • Rohingyas should be sent to resource rich and less populated Islamic nations : India was partitioned on religious lines. Though India is a secular country, it is still predominantly a Hindu country. Many muslims decided to stay back. They are welcome and given full right as citizens. Many well meaning distinguished individuals are requesting, pressurising government of India to take more Rohingya people. It is prudent for distinguished members of world community and islamic community should ask prosperous islamic nations to take Rohingyas. Some argue if India can give shelter to other refugees from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal etc, why not Rohingyas? It must not be forgotten that India was partitioned along religious lines. So muslim Rohingya people should go to muslim countries. On the other hand Hindus who are fleeing from other countries may get refuse in Hindu majority India.

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