As citizens, we more than often complain about the hardships of living in our country. Whining about our economy, politics and government is our favourite pass time. And its generic isn’t it? But for a moment, pause, and try to imagine what it is like to be homeless? What if one fine day you realize that you have no nationality, no belongingness? What if you are denied all basic human rights like education, healthcare, marriage and employment? This is just a tip of the ice berg for the Rohingya Muslims who are facing much worse. Many of you might have never heard of them, it’s not your fault though because their own country refuses to recognize them.
The Rohingya Muslims are a religious minority of Myanmar; they claim to be descendants of the Arab traders who settled there generations ago. However the term Rohingya is a taboo in Myanmar, they are referred as the” Illegal Bengali migrants”. Myanmar which is a Rakhine Buddhist state is witnessing what is known as “Ethnic cleansing”. These people have been subjected to genocide, slavery, human trafficking, infanticides, gang rapes and all other brutalities known to the modern world.
In 2014, the UN branded them as the most persecuted community in the world. Myanmar calls itself a democracy; it recognizes 134 ethnic communities and yet refuses to recognize the Rohingyas. The military, the government and the Buddhist nationalists attack them, burn their homes, force them to live in ghettos, rape their women, traffic them and make them live in the most unhealthy and dirty settlements in the country. They are hated and hounded in their own homeland. Their women sold as slaves and wives to the neighbouring counties.
In 2015, as the situation worsened and as the massacres continued they were forced to flee. A mass migration took place; several thousands of Rohingyas fled Myanmar on rickety boats. Seeking asylum, begging for mercy and humanitarian support from the neighbouring countries. Yet the world turned a blind eye to them. When they reached Bangladesh the border guards refused to admit them and Myanmar refused to take them back. Hence they were stuck on the boats for several days in the sea. Finally they started making attempts to enter various South Asian countries illegally.
Today 14,000 Rohingyas live in India spread across Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana and Delhi. India has been one of the few countries to provide them with refuge. The world has shown blatant disregard to their miseries. They remain stateless entities. No one wants them. They keep hiding, begging for mercy and yet every single time their cries go unheard.
It stirs my conscious and makes me question do we really live in a just and equal world.
Where is Justice?