The fact that everybody deserves to have a safe life of his/her own regardless of creed, color, race or religion is widely accepted throughout the world. The world body which is the United Nations has been endeavoring to ensure this basic right. Yet, with a great regret we have been experiencing that a community has been totally uprooted from their homeland and has been being driven out of their home with such force that they are simply incapable of fighting back against this. The community I am talking about is the Rohingya people of Burma.
We must accept the fact that the Rohingya are very close to us Bengalis in terms of culture, language and religion. They speak a kind of Bangla which has a strong resemblance to Chittagoniyan Bangla and at the same time they are Muslims. So, it wont be an overstatement to say that these Ronhingyas are a kind of offshoot of Bengalis. It has also been suggested with strong justification that they are descendants of the people who went there to preach Islam and to do business, including the people from the Arabian peninsula. They reside in Arakan province of Burma where they have a significant proportion , though they dont comprise the majority. Nonetheless, they are a sizable minority in their homeland. Now, the point is that as I have said earlier everybody has the right to lead life in his/her own way. But these Ronhingyas have been inflicted with so much systematic persecution of all sorts in the state of Burma that they have lost even the idea of what is called freedom, let alone experiencing it. The question that naturally arises is what is the problem with this group of people as we know that in Burma people of many different ethnicities live. Some of them have been trying to manage things on their own, that is, pushing for independence. This can be illustrated by the fact that The Karen and The kachins have locked themselves in a bloody battle against the Burmas Military Government to get freedom. Surprisingly, they don’t suffer the same fate as the Ronhingyas. The Ronhingyas are deprived of the basic right of citizenship of that country. Therefore, despite the fact that they have been living in that country for no less than 200-300 years and now the 6th of 7 th generation of them are there(This is a very conservative estimate as many deem that The Ronhingyas have actually been living there for no less than 800 years) , now they are nobody.
Is it their religion for which they have been targeted? Is it something else? Is it their Bengali connection that has been the cause of their misfortune? We must ponder over this and think about a right strategy. We have been led to believe by traditional texts on different religious teachings that the Buddhists are very much peace loving and it is blasphemous for them to kill any living beings. “Live and let live” is their philosophy of life. As far as our understanding is concerned, the people who are behind the massacre of the Rohingyas are the followers of Buddhism. By killing Ronhingys and by raping their women, in what way they are ushering in a beautiful dawn for the Rohingya is beyond the common understanding of our intellect. Brutas was indeed a very kind-hearted man! The reasons provided by the those Buddhists that the Ronhingyas are evil and intruders in their holy land! According to this standard, most of the inhabitants of the New World encompassing North America, South America, some parts of Africa, Australia are intruders. What should be done to these people in those parts of the world? However, now We must ask ourselves how much evil the Ronhingyas are. Is trying to save their lives a kind illustration of their devilish activity? If attacked, shouldnt they try to flee to save them? Shouldn’t they try to protect themselves? Now, our peace loving mongol-faced buddhist Arakanese are so harmless that they find it playful activity to kill the Ronhingya man and women. Isn’t it baffling? We might think so. But those Burmese think it is not. In their opinion, you cant be innocent if you are Ronhingya. So killing and driving them away from their home can’t be regarded as a bad thing. This is so peaceful!!! If it was a battle between two ethnic people , we would at least think that they had been influenced by issues beyond explanation. But the case is different. This systematic annihilation of the Rohingyas is backed by Burmese government. There are so many supporting pieces of evidence that it requires no example. Just keeping in mind that The Police are responsible for killing many Rohingyas is convincing enough.
The truth is that like every society in Arakan as well, there are supremacist groups. They want to wipe out the Ronhingyas. But the Ronhingyas are tough customer. However, if broken, this resilience does not come into effect, which is exactly what has happened this time. In the past , whenever they were evicted from their homeland, they found solace in thinking that people here in Bangladesh would help them. This was the reality as well, as many flocked to Bangladesh in the past from the oppression. But what has happened this time is shameful indeed. Many of them finding no other alternatives boarded on the small boats without any food or safety equipments and having starved , spent weeks in the sea, tried to enter Bangladesh. But how unlucky, how cursed, they were that BD border force denied entry and sent them back in the harms way. Think about the young children, the aged women and able bodied young men. How pale they looked in the newspaper photos! How dejected they were! how much rejected they felt in this harsh world! What was life towards them being rejected everywhere! Where else could they go? Think about those starving 6 years olds looking at the face of their mothers with the hope of getting some food and with the realization that their fathers were already killed. What is life towards them. One thing is sure that many of them have got their place in the sea after being driven away by BGB. The sea is indeed spacious enough to give place to these people. The sea would be an eternal abode for many of them. They got peace getting drowned. How many of them shared this luck, we don’t know. But we sure know that many of them suffered that. What else could they do. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Conflicts are common throughout the world. But people live in the belief that others will come forward when they are imperiled. The world helps the endangered. People spend millions of dollars in conservation projects for different animals. What an irony. In this world, when there are so many human lives neglected, rejected, deprived of basic rights of remaining alive, we spend so much on animals. There is no denying that animals should be conserved as well. But who should get preference? A big question? Possibly. But answer should be obvious.
What would have happened to our country if we allowed some other Rohingyas to come to our country? Ours is country of 160 million people. Yes we have poverty. But would we get more impecunious for them? Would we suffer from famine? Would there be a civil war? What? Nothing of these would have happened. But we could have provided hope in the lives of many people. We could have brought a ray of smile on face of those 6 years old children. We could have given them a little happiness. Is it the right way to treat fellow human beings by sending them back in the land of fire knowing that they cannot survive without our help. They are humans as well, aren’t they? We are humans, aren’t we? We are following neither religious teachings nor humanism. What is called humanity if humans don’t help each other when most needed! Where is humanity? Isn’t it now only a big word uttered by so called modern people who don’t believe it?