As Begum Bahar crawls out of the most devastated territory in her homeland and crawls into the foreign domain with her eight-month-old baby in her lap, she finds herself in the throes of mankind’s worst and the most horrifying ethnic cleansing she was born to survive.
Her hunger pangs reminded her of the harsh truth that she is unacceptable in a country she believed was her motherland; tortured, vilified, threatened and humiliated to the such an extreme that her sheer existence has taken her to the brink of extinction as a human race.
And as her pale eyes look beyond the circle of waves rocking the boats on the shore, she finds a faint glint of hope for her baby, who is otherwise nothing more than mass of bone and flesh. On such crescent-shaped boats sways the fortunes of thousands such Rohingya Muslims ferried across to Bangladesh for their safety, from Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
For each such boat ride which involves a tumultuous journey of braving the raging river and the sea waves, with an occasional detour to ensure a safe ride, the refugees are charged 10000 Bangladeshi Takas. The Rohingya Muslim refugees have virtually remained stateless for decades, and have been fleeing Myanmar to seek refuge in their neighboring countries like India and Bangladesh.
According to a report around 14000 Rohingyas are residing in India are registered with UNHCR and the figures can rise based on the circumstances, and around 3 lakh Rohingya immigrants have crossed borders to seek shelter in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar.
The Indian government filed an affidavit to the Supreme Court on the issue of deportation of an odd 40000 Rohingya Muslims, citing security concerns arising from the suggested links of Rohingyas with some Pak based terror outfits.
In a statement issued to the apex court the government stated: “As far as Rohingyas are concerned, they claimed to have entered from Myanmar using porous border between India and Myanmar. The total number of such illegal immigrants into our country would be more than 40,000 approximately as on date.”
The question that immediately tickles our senses is that while India has tolerated the influx of so many cultures over centuries and patiently blended into them, is it really hard for it to accommodate a population of 40000 which is relatively small compared to its 1300 million mass? Think about that.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stern decision to deport the 40000 Rohingya immigrants appears like harsh thorn among the roses before Bangladesh Premier Shiekh Hasina’s commitment to rehabilitate 7 lakhs Rohingyas who have fled their homeland to escape ethnic cleansing, against all odds.
Currently, the Rohingyas in India are spread across the states of Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan awaiting their fate.
As of now Myanmar’s Defacto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi Nobel Peace Laureate herself is caught up in the balancing act of international human rights convention violation, which puts pressure on her to reverse militant attacks on Rohingyas and Myanmar’s military junta which holds a veto to exercise control over the administrative affairs of the state.
Amid such a tightrope walk counselor Aung San Suu Kyi can’t figure out what to deliver as she affirms that the entire crisis is being reported as a ” huge iceberg of misinformation.”
In a statement issued with the BBC, the UN secretary general Antonio Gutierres said, that Suu Kyi has “the last chance” to stop the violence in Myanmar.
He reiterated that “If she does not reverse the situation now, then I think the tragedy will be absolutely horrible, and unfortunately then I don’t see how this can be reversed in the future.” Guterres warning comes in the wake of Bangladesh limiting the exodus of more than 4 lakh refugees from Myanmar.
With mounting pressure to solve the Rohingya crisis, Aung San Suu Kyi will be skipping the UN general assembly scheduled to begin on Monday.
Will she be able to restore faith in her citizens and the international community that censures her for staying numb to the ongoing violence in her country? Let’s see.