We have talked a lot about a crisis that has emerged in India due to Rohingyas fleeing from Myanmar and entering in Indian territories. We might think that this problem is recent, but No.
- You will be surprised to know that this problem dates back to as early as even before the 15th century. Here are 10 facts which you must know before diving into a much vivid debate of whether or not Rohingyas be allowed to stay in the Indian Republic.
Historically termed as Arakanese Indians, Rohingyas are the stateless Indo-Aryan people from Rakhine state, Myanmar. What makes them distinct is that they
- Resemble South Asians
- Speak Bengali
- And are Muslims
The original Arkan state was free from both Burmese empire and Mughal Empire. It was only later that the Arakanese king captured the Muslim populated area of Chittagong.
2. The word Rohingya was used for the first time in the 15th century. However, it got officially documented in 1799 by Francis Buchanan in ‘A Comparative Vocabulary of some languages spoken in Burma Empire’.
3. The Sanskrit inscription in the Arkan Region depicts that the Arakanese states were once Indian.
4. Even in 1946, the Muslims of Mayu region which was in close proximity with East Pakistan had requested Jinnah to merge them into the newly formed Muslim country. However, Jinnah denied the request stating that he was not in a position to interfere into Burmese matter.
5. Rohingyas were once a part of active politics and had proper representation in the constituent assembly of Burma and it was only after 1992 that Rohingyas were completed barred from the politics.
6. The 1982 Citizenship Act ripped the Rohingyas off their identity as citizens and were declined recognition as the valid minority, denying them of any citizenship rights.
7. The constant Military crackdowns in 1978, 1991-1992. 2012, 2015 and 2016-17 have costed so many lives that UN officials and HRW have described the Myanmar’s persecution of Rohingyas as ‘Ethnic Cleansing’.
8. ‘Clearance Operation’ launched on August 25, 2017, after repeated attacks and counterattacks between the military and Rohingya Rebels left around 400-3000 Rohingyas dead and many more injured, tortured and raped.
9. The clash on Oct. 9, 2016, resulted in the detention of 423 Rohingyas out of which 13 were children with the youngest being 10 years of age.
While the history suggests a lot of factors and multiple reasons behind the origin of Rohingyas, we still have to remember that they are humans before anything else. Ethnicity, religion, and faith does not make them any less of it. They deserve to live on the land they have lived since so long with complete protection and freedom. The women, the children, and the men are no different from you or me and hence. Myanmar Government instead of making shallow promises and giving out cover up speeches must be made to enact proper laws for the equal treatment of Rohingyas. Buddhism has been known as a religion of peace all across the world and in no way should it lose its identity.
for InCourt News