By Prashanta Chandra Panda in Gandhnagar, September 27, 2017: A case by two Rohingyan refugees, Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir in Supreme Court pleading against likely deportation has drawn the attention of the whole nation. The Apex court will take up the matter on 3rd October, 2017.

There are merits in arguments in allowing these refugees to stay in India purely on humanitarian ground. At the same time, a beginning has to be made to state our stands on illegal migrants in action as promised by the Modi Government. Most importantly the practice of allowing them to stay for a longer time, history of institutionally making it possible for them to take part in our voting system and playing decisive roles in winning ability for contestants is to be stopped.

This sort of stands though are debated on merits of humanitarian grounds vis a vis identity of Indian uniformity in protecting regional community, resource pressure, proliferation of future divisive interest groups , there is some logic in supporting the stand of the Government. Timing of such announcement may not be correct.

Bangladesh is under tremendous pressure in negotiating the pressure of accommodating 425000 of Rohingya Muslim refugees. There are few hundreds of Hindus there in those camps. The cleansing operation of Myanmar army immediately aftermath of Arakan Rohingya Solidarity Army’s (ARSA) violent attack on Border Guard Police (BGP) of Myanmar on 25th August, 2017 has made these people to move to neighboring Bangladesh. 18 BGP police personnel died, 400 ARSA recruits were killed, scores of villagers torched. Myanmar police has found out two mass graves of around 40 Hindus being killed in the Rakhine state.

Now, it is suspected to be the handiwork of Rohingya militants. The stories of Rabia (previously Puja), Sadia (previously Rica) who were forced to embrace Islam, after brutally killing all the male members of their family are eye openers for the degree of Islamic fanaticism embraced by spokespersons of this community in the Rakhine state. Rohingya Muslims were hopeful of having their independent Islamic nation in 1940s.

Continuous display of religio-identity, being ignorant to state identity, in a way they also forced domineering revival of religious identity in Buddhists. Lack of health and education facilities forced them to study in Madrasas, failed them in planning family size and became easy prey for conservative fanatics. Fertility rate for most of the women is 6.

This is unbalancing the community representations in the province as well as a big drain of resources. Being poor and not being literate enough, they are vulnerable to be activists and sympathizers of Islam revival movement. They are losing sympathy for the current worldwide Islam-phobia created in the non-Islamic states.

Call for support from Hafiz Saeed’s Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), chances of establishing ties with the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) cell in Jammu and Kashmir is cautioning Indian Government to take an unpleasant step. Explosions in Bodhgaya, evidences of Rohingya Muslims’ link to terrorist organization are pressurizing government to initiate actions.

In between India sent humanitarian relief for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh camps through operation ‘Óperation Insaniyat’. Bangladesh is in no mood to accept these refugees as citizens. Myanmar government wants documents which are difficult to furnish. Intervention of Supreme Court, ground realities in Myanmar, India’s image of soft ground for asylum seekers may delay the process.

Government stand on this issue has arrested the likely massive flow of refugees from Bangladesh. Now people of Assam facing community crisis due to massive influx of Bangladeshis may be looking towards future directions from this case. And most important thing is Bangladesh looks to India to send these refugees to earmarked safe zones in Myanmar, which they can subsequently follow.

  • Prashanta Chandra Panda is serving as Associate Professor of Economics, School of Liberal studies, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhnagar, Gujarat

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