Plight of Rohingya Hindus
The international news headlines have been covering the plight of the Rohingya Muslims – many who have lost their lives and homes and what the UN and international humanitarian organisations see as ethnic cleansing. The Myanmar Government has been slow to explain or act to stop the massacres.
Since the violence hit the international headlines in 2016, around 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. Caught up in this tragedy has been many Hindus that the world has only recently begun to take notice.
The Hindus who have had their villages torched and many have had to flee with the Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh. Only a few months ago, the Myanmar authorities had uncovered mass graves containing 45 bodies of Hindus thought to have been killed by insurgents. The Government is accusing the Rohingya insurgents who they blame for the massacre.
Reported in the Jerusalem Post, armed militants are infiltrating Hindu areas, where they are stabbing, shooting and raping the residents. As one Hindu refugee woman reported, “They dug three holes. One to dump the bodies of women, one to dump the bodies of children and a third one for the men they kill. All of the holes are overflowing. That is where I last saw my husband’s body.” This particular Hindu refugee’s life was spared but she was forced to flee across the border to Bangladesh on foot despite being seven months pregnant.
Many of the Hindus who have fled do want to return back to their homeland in Myanmar. Others would prefer to get to India where they feel will be safe for them under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi.
But regardless as to who is to blame, Hindu men, women and children continue to suffer. The international community seems to be paying a lot of attention to one set of refugees and forgetting the minorities of the minority. All refugees should be treated the same and given equal priority.
The world cannot ignore the plight of the Rohingya Muslims. But the world should also not forget the Hindus caught up in the brutal conflict of Myanmar. Bangladesh has become the relative safer haven for the refugees and it too should treat the Hindus and Muslims equally in terms of safety and future resettlement.
The Times of India reported that in an atmosphere where everyone is trying to prove secular credentials by showing sympathies to Rohingya Muslims, the pains and sorrows of Hindu Rohingyas have gone unnoticed. Being Hindu has become another name for being tortured and insulted. Rohingya Hindus are made to pay the price of being loyal to Myanmar’s territorial integrity and living peacefully.
India perhaps needs to proactively intervene and do more to protect the Hindus and take them as it is after all the motherland of all Hindus.
Photo Courtesy : Times of India & VOA.
Useful features on the subject, see
Forgotten by India, Rohingya Hindus stayed home on Durga Puja: Times of India.
Rakhine State Hindu Refugees Are Anxious to Return to Myanmar: Radio Free Asia