Of A Stateless State

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Tasneem Kabir

While revolutions take place in our minds every single day, there is one revolution that has gripped the composite nexus of the world forum: The Plight of The Rohingya. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about this distraught populace: The Rohingya people are a stateless Indo-Aryan-speaking people from Rakhine State, Myanmar.

Towards a distraught people that the internet’s most consulted website has declared ‘stateless’, our Government sure does know how to portray just how exceptionally compassionate and empathetic it is. I mean it, in all sarcasm. Moreover, one simply does not accuse the government, without supporting evidence. The Government of India is said to have told the Supreme Court, “We don’t want India to become the refugee capital of the world. People from every other country will flood in our country.” When thinking over such statements, is one to laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it all or to cry out loud for all the lullabies of anguish the Rohingya sleep to every night, not sure if the dawn of the next day would even furnish a shelter for the following day.

Moving on, to absolve myself of the blasphemous blame of quoting out of context, allow me to define the context under which the above quoted statement was asserted. The Government was responding to a submission made by Rohingya refugees that the Border Security Force (BSF) was ‘pushing back’ their compatriots, fleeing persecution in native Myanmar, at the borders with chilli spray and stun grenades. May I, and countless others, beg pardon for expecting something of minimum humanitarian morality. It sure wouldn’t require being an Einstein figure to allow this fact to penetrate the human skull that once ousted, humiliated and subjugated to the point that one feels the need to go knocking on borders of lands never seen before, going back remains as good an option as self-immolation.

To rest it all, I can’t resist mentioning this little anecdote: This January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a rendezvous with Ma’am Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese diplomat. Among the issues discussed were bilateral and regional ties and defence. Was the issue of relocating the ailing and displaced Rohingya touched, even if tangentially? I hope you’re laughing as mirthlessly as I am right now! The United Nations had remarked, in September 2017, that the Rohingya situation of the Rakhine State could turn into a humanitarian catastrophe. How many more homeless children need to die of starvation and how many more Rohingya youths must go in vain till it sinks in that the remark made by the United Nations is now a reality? To each and every distraught Rohingya, their cries echo in all the four directions, as though each direction was responding. The truth remains unbroken to them, and they cling on to this frail hope for dear life.

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