While communal tensions in Myanmar are on the rise and the atrocities against the “boatpeople”- the Rohingyas, are increasing, another door has been slammed shut for these”stateless entities”. As the crisis escalates, the Indian Government has declared that it woulddeport more than 40,000 Rohingyas living illegally from the country on security, economicand geopolitical grounds.The Rohingya Crisis, like many of the problems in the world, is one of the gifts of the Britishcolonisation. It was due to the British policy of favouring Rohingyas over the majority of theBurmese that fostered hatred towards the community. The hatred grew as most of theRohingyas fought for the British against the independence of Myanmar. In 1982, when theCitizenship Law was passed, the Rohingyas were denied citizenship and were even notrecognised as one of the 135 ethnicities of Myanmar. Due to this legislature, these people losteven the most basic of rights. There were restrictions on them travelling, marrying, havingchildren and even repairing their houses of worship.1n 2012, the violence against the Rohingyas increased to such a level that many of them wereforced to leave the country and look for a more secure level as they received no protectionfrom the government.As of today, more than 78% households of Rohingya community live below the poverty line.The majority resides in Rakhine region, wherein satellite images show how some villageshave been completely burned down. Since that region is rich in mineral reserves, it is alsospeculated that the military and average citizens attack Rohingyas in hopes of getting accessto wealth. Targeted attacks have rendered more than 140,000 Rohingyas homeless in the pastfew months and violent assaults are on the rise.The researchers at Queen Mary University of London released a report on the basis of theleaked government reports that indicate increase in “ghettoisation, sporadic massacres, andrestrictions on movement” on Rohingya people and the researchers proposed that thegovernment is in the final stages of an “organised genocide”. They expected to find a refugein other countries on humanitarian grounds. On one side, the Pope, the countries of China,USA, Germany and even Bangladesh are trying to contain the situation, on the other side,India is standing back.India, Myanmar’s biggest neighbour, was the ray of hope for the Rohingyas. They flocked tothe country looking for a safe haven. Since India does not have any specific refugee plan, allthose who could get into the country, stayed where they could find a means of livelihood.They mostly live in camps in the states of Assam, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, AndhraPradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala, the majority of them being in Jammu. According to theCentral Government, the number of Rohingyas living in India has multiplied by four times inthe last two years.The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked all the state governments and Union territoryadministrations to “sensitize law enforcement and intelligence agencies” to begin the processof “detection and deportation of such illegal immigrants from Rakhine state, also known asRohingyas,” and to do this “expeditiously.” The Government of India is not only facingmajor threats to security but also a fear of spoil in relations with Myanmar, whose goodwill isof extreme importance to us. Also, India is not in a capacity to accommodate the large influxof Rohingyas because of plausible economic and diplomatic pressure. India’s conspicuoussilent stand and efforts to act invisible are making the apathy stand out.This article aims to examine the reasons and the social, political and economic implicationsof deporting Rohingyas from two contrasting perspectives.LEFT RIGHTLEGAL:? The Indian Government denounces theirresponsibility of ensuring the safety ofthe Rohingyas by allowing them to stayin the country, stating that they are not asignatory to the 1951 Convention onrefugees but India has ratified a numberof United Nations and WorldConventions on Human Rights, refugeeissues and related matters like theUniversal Declaration of Human Rightsand Protection of All Persons AgainstEnforced Disappearances, Conventionagainst Torture and Other Cruel andInhuman or Degrading Treatment orPunishment.? India has even accepted the Principle ofNon-Refoulement as envisaged in theBangkok Principles, 1966 and Indiawould violate this international law bysending back the Rohingya Muslims toMyanmar where they face a seriousthreat of human rights violation.? More importantly, Article 14 of theIndian Constitution provides forequality before the law & equalprotection within the territory of India,not the citizens but anyone living inIndia, and prohibits discrimination ongrounds of religion, race, caste, sex orplace of birth, or any of them. Article21 of the Indian ConstitutionLEGAL:? India is not a signatory to the UnitedNations Convention Relating to theStatus of Refugees of 1951 or the1967 Additional Protocol. TheUNHCR facilitates long term visasfor refugees based on internationalrecommendations. A UNHRCdecision to grant refugee status tosomeone in India is meaninglessunder Indian law, as the finaldiscretion to grant Visas rests withthe Centre.? As a consequence of this, India isentitled to treat the refugees at parwith the foreigners. Under theForeigners Act, 1946, unless therefugees have the permission of theGovernment to reside in India, theymay be ” arrested, interned ordeported” to their home country.? The Constitutional Frameworkguarantees certain rights to refugees,irrespective of their nationality,however, there is no legal code thatregulates or justifies their stay inIndia, unless permitted by the Court,which is done on a case-to-casebasis.? Thus the Government of India isentitled to argue against the stay ofover 40,000 Rohingyas in India oncategorically states “No person shall bedeprived of his life or personal libertyexcept according to a procedureestablished by law.”? When one combines Article 14 and 21with the fact that India is bound by thePrinciple of Refoulement, it becomesimmensely clear that it is not onlyIndia’s duty but also its responsibility toensure that the Rohingya Muslims arenot deported to a land where they facepersecution.ECONOMIC:? While people have a popular belief thatallowing refugees into your countryleads to a drain of country’s resourcesand is hence, detrimental for a country’seconomic development, recenteconomic studies debunk this beliefcompletely.? A recent study by UC Davis shows thatif refugees are given cash-aids then theeconomic benefits exceed the amount offunds given in aids as theses aids give asubstantial boost to the economicsdevelopment of the country.? The UC Davis Study observed theimpact three refugee camps in Rwandahad on the local and national economy.The study showed that in the two campswhere the people were given cash aids,with an addition of one refugee therewas an increase in the local annual realincome by 63 and 96 per cent. This wasbecause with the aid that the refugeeswere given they purchased local goodsand services and hence wereinstrumental in increasing the demandand supply of products in theneighbouring region.legal grounds, because it is not aparty to the international conventionslaid down by UN with regards torefugee status.ECONOMIC:? In a country like India, which suffersfrom large levels of unemploymentand underemployment, it is evidentthat the influx of refugees would leadto an economic pressure on thecountry’s monetary and naturalresources.? The recent studies which show thatrefugee influx can be beneficial tothe economy are based on the factthat labour integration has beensmooth in those economies. Howeverthe major barrier for labourintegration in the Indian economy isthe religious and demographicbarriers the refugees will face.Germany stands a witness to thecircumstance where the integrationcost exceeds the increase in incomelevels during the Eurozone crisis.Thereby, this validates the illeconomic impact refugee influx canhave on India.? The job market mismatch faced bythe refugees will be extreme, as mostof them would find a common labourmarket. According to a report by? If one looks beyond the local impact, hewould notice the positive impact thatthis has nation-wide. The researchers inRwanda noticed that when the refugeeswere allowed to interact with theeconomy there was a positive incomespill over.? Therefore, the archaic belief that therefugees are an impediment to theeconomic growth of a country seemsill-founded too.POLITICAL AND GLOBAL:? India stands alone in its decision of notrebuking the Burmese government fortheir lack of action in controlling thiscrisis. Even though many major worldleaders and personalities have criticisedtheir inaction, India has stood byMyanmar and shown their solidarity.? One of the most important reasons forIndia’s peculiar stand is the India’spolicy of appeasement for Myanmar.While China aims to woo Myanmarwith monetary funds, India isendeavouring to do the same but withtheir diplomatic stance. It seems that inIndia’s weighing balance, diplomaticties weigh on the heavier side whencompared to the basic acts of humanity.Carnegie Endowment forInternational Peace, the influx canlead to an excess supply of workersin a particular field, the correction ofwhich would lie in the fall of wagesor an increase in investment. Adecline in wages would not bepolitically and economically healthyand simultaneously, new investmentsmight take a long time to occurbecause of a fragile economicclimate. As a result, the migrants willnot be absorbed into the labour forceand depend on the humanitarian aid.? The dependence of refugees on aidprovided by the public authoritieswill exert a fiscal pressure on theGovernment.? All these factors confirm the standthat refugee influx is detrimental tothe Indian economy.POLITICAL AND GLOBAL 😕 Humanitarian arguments on theIndian Government’s nefariouspolicies and programmes for aparticular community are unfounded.India has been receiving refugees inthe past from the Rakhine state andalso made donations in 2012 forrelief in the violence-hit state. India’spresent cautious stance to stay awayfrom the crisis is that this is aninternal affair of Myanmar and anysuch stand will break down ASEAN,the probable economic powerhouseof the future. This crisis has thepotential to weaken the ASEAN asthe scenario entails the silence of notonly authorities from Myanmar butother countries as well.? India has always shared stronggeo-political relations with Myanmar? Though not the most crucial point inthis situation, one most also considerIndia’s wish to establish itself as aglobal leader in the world. India aimscement its position in the world as asuper-power but it seems that thegovernment thinks that the only way todo so is grow economically. Theyforget that America and Russia emergedas the world leaders after World War IIafter being on the right and the winningside of the war. Similarly, India too candistinguish itself by openly taking astand against the violence against morethan a million people and extendingtheir benevolence and quashing theirplan of deportation.SOCIAL?:? It seems that India which has alwayshelped and lent a helping hand torefugees is thinking of deporting the40000 Rohingya Muslims based ontheir religious belieFS and ethnicity.? The Indian Government has proposed toamend the Citizenship Act of 1955 tomake the naturalisation of refugees inIndia easier. It would indeed benefit theHindus, Jain, Christian, Sikhs andBuddhists from countries likeAfghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan,where they are considered as minorities.But it does not aim to help the Muslimsthat being persecuted in their owncountries like the Tamil Muslims in SriLanka and the Rohingyas in Muslims.and it is of extreme significance touphold the same relations and unityin future for defence and diplomaticgrounds. 1600 kms of boundary isshared by India and Myanmar, whichis why it becomes of utmostimportance to maintain strong tieswith Myanmar. In 2015, followingthe attack of the Naga rebels, Indianforces were covertly grantedpermission by Myanmar governmentto carry out a raid. Moreover Chinahas been appeasing Myanmar withmoney, India can do so by culturaldiplomacy.? The argument of weighingdiplomacy over humanity isunfounded too because the lives ofcitizens of our own country dependon defence which in turn depends onthe geo-political relations.SOCIAL:? A new insurgent group in SaudiArabia has already been trained andprovided weaponry by Rohingyas,causing military tensions. In somestates of India, like Assam andJammu and Kashmir, security isalready a major concern and someparts of these states are inaccessibleto the citizens of India too. In suchsensitive conditions, refugee influxwould only prove to be a threat to thesecurity and a breeding ground forterrorist activities.? The foundation of a stable,prosperous society is the presence ofnon-porous borders and no countrycan function smoothly if itsdevelopmental efforts are constantlythwarted by refugee influx. With thenorth-eastern states already facingthe possibility of communal trouble? India continually helpsrefugees(non-Muslims), throughUNHCR, from Sri Lanka and Tibet byproviding them all kinds of help evenlegal. But this kind of assistance ishardly seen in case of refugees fromMyanmar, Palestine and Somalia.? The most religiously diverse countryhas to be more tolerant and should aimto help people from any country whosebasic rights are being violated,irrespective of their faith.due to changing demographics, it issignificant to check and restrict therefugee influx.? Another threat is the militarization ofthe waterways, which are the primaryroutes of Rohingya refugees fleeingpersecution. It is highly probable thatthe South Asian seas become aflashpoint of military forces leadingto newer disputes in maritimeboundaries.

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