By Aatreyee Dhar
I have been an ardent fan of documentaries. I had an assorted list of collections sorted out in the wake of Trump imposing a travel ban on refugees and six Muslim countries.
When I cut into the heart rending scenes of the White Helmets risking life and limbs to save the civilians from the violence eschewing normalcy in Syria or Italy being fortuitously accepting of the refugees that manage to reach Lampedussa at the cost of suffering chemical burns from leaked oils dripping the floors of their burned-out boats, I had a tangible feeling of pride reflecting our country’s stance on the refugee situation.
Yes, the tangible feeling belying the precepts of civility, hospitality and compassion that existed under vulnerable situations and touch-and-go settings in our country for years irrespective of caste, faith or religions.
With Jawaharlal Nehru allowing Dalai Lama a home in our country or Indira Gandhi breaking down all barriers by looking for abandoned islands and remote places veritably for the refugees of East Pakistan, my self-regard for our nation passed muster with a gleam of formidable hope and unity.
And my country was right to have condemned the West with their set-back ideologies and hostility to the refugees of warn-torn countries.
But the new-fangled ruling of deportation by the Union Home Minister for State, Kiren Rijiju, declaring 40,000 Rohingyas to be illegal migrants left me reeling in shock with all those touts of merciless suffering and humanitarian values shaken to the human core.
The world’s most persecuted minority of Sunni Muslims, Rohingyas, have been cracked down by the Burmese military junta contending their provenance as not being a part of the ancestors of Burma.
The indispensable right of citizenship was lost on them with no access to education, health and an autonomous cultural status. The silence of Aung San Suu Kyi has drawn flak in contrast to her being a decorated luminary of ethics and human rights.
Deporting back to their country would entail mass genocide and violation of ethics along with human rights. With fellow Islamic nations closing in a no-welcome sign amidst the brazen suspicions of them being drug peddlers exacerbates the instability with the Centre bent on a collision course.
Abandoning the principles of what our country is meant to be shatters the age-old dream of intolerance. But can we live with this broken dream?
No, we need to fight back through the red tape of political bureaucracy that clouds our conscience.
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