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Should India accept Rohingya Refugees

The present "Rohingya" outburst in Myanmar has created a surge in the South Asian region. Presently Rohingya issue is no more a crisis in itself but has many legal, political and humanitarian dimensions as well. Now it is no more a concern of Myanmar but is also a cause of concern of neighbouring countries as well. But before delving deep into the crisis it is necessary to know the backdrop of the present day Rohingya situation.

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Defining Rohingyas: They are mainly Muslim minority group largely concentrated in Rakhine, a province in the South West part of Myanmar.

Present Status of Rohingya in Myanmar: The government of Myanmar recognizes 135 ethnic groups which excludes Rohingyas thus making them as "stateless entities" and this is the only reason that is leading to mass exodus of the Rohingya population to neighbouring countries like India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Reason behind Rohingya crisis: The crisis took a massive shape on 25th August, 2017 when there was a rift between the military forces of Myanmar and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on the 31 police posts and some army bases in the Rakhine province of Myanmar. The United Nations General Secretary Guterres has termed the situation as "ethnic cleansing" in Myanmar making it difficult for the Rohingyas both inside and outside Myanmar with a dark gloomy and uncertain future.

India and Rohingya crisis: It is very important to know that the total count of Rohingyas in India stand out to be about 40,000 raising a big question on the country's security and creating many social , political and cultural problems. The Rohingyas have migrated illegally into India and are living into the north eastern parts of the country and parts of Jammu and Kashmir making the border corridors more agile and vulnerable to safety issues. India is trying to deport the Rohingyas because Indians are suspicious of their involvement in various fraudulent activities and they can become a planned measure for the terrorist funded organisations to expand their networks easily and safely thus fulfilling their selfish motives. Thus refugees may pose a major security issue for the country.

India should help Rohingya refugees: I am very much for the fact that refugees pose a major threat to the nation but we cannot deny the fact that rendering innocent people homeless is no way out to curb terrorism. If India deports the Rohingyas then the entire world shall put a big question on India's hospitability. We ourselves cannot abandon the idea of humanity and become heartless people. Being the largest democracy in the world India should definitely extend their hands of support for the Rohingyas not for political diplomacy but for the sake of humanity. If India does so then to a certain extent it might create peace and stability between the two nations which is very important for India's economic investment and if we as a country do not want a strained relationship at a time when it is finding out ways and means to enhance its presence in the South East Asian Region through its well-known 'Act East Policy'.

Alternative searches to the Rohingya crisis: There has always been solutions and alternatives to the most difficult of situations. The only thing people need to is to carefully search for and approach in a constructive approach. The various measures that are taken to curb these issues are as follows:

  • India should develop a strong and constructive refugee policy to solve the present Rohingya crisis and lay a firm foundation stone for such similar crisis.
  • India should improve border security and keep a regular check and regulate the inflow of migrants in the country.
  • India can also help Myanmar by funding socio-economic developmental projects in the Rakhine region. This to a certain extent can help solve the strained relationship of both the countries.

Conclusion: It is often said that 'A friend in need is a friend indeed' and India should not miss the golden opportunity to show its true friendship to its neighbour and should definitely help those innocent people keeping aside all political diplomacies and differences. It is the time that we all should come to the aid of these innocent people giving a clear definition of friendship. Thus India should definitely accept the Rohingya refugees.

-Satarupa Mukherjee