The Rohingya refugee crisis is a genocidal humanitarian disaster that has grown
rapidly in numbers and yet, not everyone is aware of what exactly is happening
to these people. This is an intensified conflict between the majority Buddhist
Burmese and the minority Muslims who were formerly living in the Rakhine State
within the province of Myanmar. The article aims to examine the condition of the
Rohingya people and their identity as to who they are, what does their history
hold, where do they belong?
In this context, the article conveys the Rohingya
refugees being part of India and the challenges confronted on national security
in India which lead to its socio-economic complexities. The article also shares
an outline of international responses and India's MOU towards Rohingyas. The
article highlights the opinion based on the findings that have been clearly
stated as to why India needs a concrete refugee policy and law to deal with such
a refugee crisis.
The Rohingya tragedy has been the longest conflict that has been subjected to
violence and oppression for decades. The unidentified identity of these Rohingya
communities has begun an identity crisis in Myanmar which has led to the
displacement of a large number of people across the Myanmar-Bangladesh border.
The Rohingya are considered to be one of the many ethnic minorities which
represents the larger ratio of Muslims in Myanmar with the highest population
living in Rakhine state. The Rohingya community has its language, culture and
said to be the descendants of Arab traders who have been for generations.
brief timeline that indicates the history and other key events that elevated the
scathing and the emergency alert status of the Rohingya refugee crisis:
The main cause for the violent attacks and clashes lies between the Myanmar
government and the Rohingya people is because of the religious and ethnic
||The military rule became the supreme law
throughout Myanmar. This resulted in the fleeing of refugees to
Bangladesh as the Muslim population was overpowered by the militants and
||Declaration of 135 nationally recognized
ethnic groups in Myanmar which excluded the Rohingyas leaving them
stateless and denied their citizenship
||The violence that broke out in the Rakhine
state noticeably targeted a large group of Rohingya community where more
than 200 Rohingya people were killed
||The first official census was conducted where
the Rohingyas were forbidden to take part.
||After the easing of military rule, democratic
elections were held. The Rohingyas were forbidden to take part as both
candidates as well as voters
||Armed conflicts in the Rakhine state has led
87000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh
||The violence once again broke out and there
were series of attacks, gang rapes, deaths that have led to the movement
of Rohingya into camps within Cox’s Bazar to which more than 600,000
Rohingyas fled since their communities were destroyed.
||An estimation of 781,000 refugees have set up
camps in nine settlements within Cox’s Bazar.
Rohingya Refugee In
Rohingya Refugee In India
After years of long denial of asylums and citizenship rights in Myanmar, the
humanitarian crisis has been channelized to pervasive discrimination and violent
attacks due to which many minorities Rohingya Muslims have escaped or expelled
from the Buddhist-majority country to neighboring Bangladesh and other countries
India's longstanding principle of welcoming refugees have been with the highest
number of refugees in entire South Asia. India in its 73 years as an independent
nation has dealt with one of the biggest refugee crises that started with
Partition itself. Statistically, Rohingya Muslims scattered across different
states in India, it was also estimated that 40,000 Rohingya refugees lived in
India. The Union government considered these people not as refugees but as
“illegal immigrants” or “infiltrators”
Challenges Confronted On National Security In India
The Indian administration has challenged to deport 40,000 Rohingyas living in
India posing a threat to national security
in an affidavit submitted to
the Supreme Court, this was in response to a case filed by the Rohingya refugees
against the involuntary deportation of refugees. India has customarily adhered
to the policy of nonrefoulement as it is neither a signatory of the 1951 UN
Convention of Refugees and its 1967 protocol nor possessing a domestic legal
framework for refugees.
The Supreme Court in the response has advised the Indian administration “to
strike a balance between human rights and national security interest”. While
Myanmar has been more approachable to Indian concerns to which India fears that
any reproval in Myanmar's treatment towards Rohingyas might affect the growing
security of the relationship between the two nations.
The current situation in India is that there is no separate statute for refugees
and until now it has been dealing with refugees based on the precedents. The
presence of the Rohingya refugees in India has imposed a serious threat to
national security ramifications which have led to the serious possibility of
eruption of violence against Buddhists who are the citizens of India and who
stay on Indian soil by radicalized Rohingyas.
International Responses And India's MOU
Under the International refugee law, the definition of the term refugee
crucial treaty given by the Protocol relating to the status of refugee. A
half-century ago on 4 October 1967, the treaty entered into the force, and 146
countries are the protocol. The Rohingya crisis burst onto the international
stage in 2015 where the Myanmar government eliminated down the Rohingya people
Another report by the UN investigators where Myanmar's military was accused of
carrying out mass killings and rapes with “genocidal intent”. The Burmese
Politician rejected the accusations of genocide when she appeared at the court
in December 2019. In January 2020, the court's initial ruling ordered Myanmar to
take emergency measures in order to protect the Rohingya from being persecuted
and killed. UNHCR is a UN Refugee Agency has asked for renewed support and
solutions for displaced and stateless Rohingya communities both within and
outside of Myanmar.
India and Myanmar have signed an agreement for socio-economic development. This
was the first government-to-government agreement that has been contracted
between India and Myanmar has focussed on Socioeconomic development and
livelihood initiatives in Rakhine state. Under this MoU, the Government of India
proposes to take up, among others, a project to build prefabricated housing in
Rakhine State so as to meet the immediate needs of returning people.
To sum up, India needs a concrete refugee policy and law to deal with such a
refugee crisis. India's ad hoc refugee policy and strategic legal ambiguity, due
to its lack of domestic and international legal restrictions allow states to
differentiate between their groups while treating refugees and put other
interests over humanitarian concerns. The ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis
requires urgent attention. Otherwise, the current ethnic cleansing will mount
into full-fledged genocide.