The administration of the current Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi has announced a plan to deport all members of the historically persecuted community
In 2013, Rohingya Muslims were declared the most persecuted people in the world by the United Nations. Arguably, they can still hold this title today. 'People without a home'; Rohingya Muslims have been granted the title, and rights, of refugees by the UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, but the Indian Prime Minister does not see them as such: “The UNHCR registration means nothing. For us, all of them remain illegal migrants”, he declared.
The Rohingya people are mostly Muslims, while a minority identifies as Hindu. The Muslims members are the ones that have been primarily persecuted throughout history. The latest declarations of the Indian Prime Minister stem from a long trajectory of displacing said group. Forced to leave their homes in different Southeast Asian countries, these people have settled in Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Myanmar borders with India and Bangladesh on the west. This Asian country refuses to give Rohingya Muslims citizenships, and it is unclear whether the Indian government plans on deporting these stateless people to Myanmar or Bangladesh. In fact, if Rohingya Muslims are deported from India, it is unclear where they would go because of their lack nationality.
Rohingya Muslims are not welcome in Myanmar for various reasons; for one, they are seen as terrorists. The country has a complicated history of civil wars. One of the actors in these internal conflicts was al-Qaeda, back in 2014. Due to the actions of this armed group, Muslims do not have a positive reputation in the country. On top of said conflict, Rohingya Muslims have not been the most peaceful. On August 25th, Rohingya militants attacked border police posts in the northern part of Myanmar. Major media outlets reported that 12 members of the security forces, around 71 individuals in total, were killed in these attacks.
Buddhist nationalists seem to believe that the UNHCR is protecting terrorists when granting Rohingya Muslims a refugee status. The Indian Prime Minister apparently agrees with this. However, beyond granting these people said governmental aid, the UN has gone as far as accusing the Myanmar government of attempting social cleanse through systematic rape and murder. The accusations were made by the General Assembly in June of last year, but have recently been dismissed by the nation's government through a commission appointed to look into the allegations.
A conflict as long and as complicated as the one the Rohingya Muslims is not easy to solve. The one question that remains from this particular chapter is: where will these people go if the Indian government decides to deport them?
Latin American Post | Laura Rocha Rueda
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