Stories of Rohingya women refugees from India
The Rohingya are “the Worlds’ Most Persecuted Minority,” according to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. This stateless Muslim people may constitute up to 7% of the total Burmese population of nearly 60 million. The Myanmar government continues to deny the Rohingya any legal status or rights, insisting that they are “Bengalis” illegally in the country. Bangladesh, however, does not claim them.
In the last four years, in an effort to “purify” the nation, these Buddhist supremacists have been committing rape, arson, murder and land confiscation on a massive scale. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas struggle to survive in “concentration camps.” They are denied freedom of movement, marriage, jobs and schooling. At least an equal number of refugees have fled to an unknown fate. Unknown numbers of people have drowned or been captured by traffickers to toil as slaves. Some found second-class residency in Malaysia, Thailand Bangladesh, India living at a risk of another expulsion. Till date an estimated 140,000 Rohingyas have been displaced from Myanmar.
Different socio economic factors that have brought close to 36,000 Rohingyas Muslims to India. However, the rise of the Hindu nationalism in India, has led to a sectarian divide amongst the Hindu majority of roughly 84 percent and the Muslim minority of 13 percent. Currently, Muslims, Tribals and Dalits-the untouchables are the most marginalized sections of Indian society. Conservative political parties have always invoked the migrant crisis, giving it a religious colour, for political gains.
Seven thousand Rohingyas have settled in Jammu, a north Indian district. These are the stories of Rohingya women who continue to survive the complexities of the sectarian divide in South Asia.