The Tribune – Bangladesh Gurdwara Management Board comes of age

Shubhadeep Choudhury, Tribune News Service

Kolkata-West Bengal-India, 18 November 2017. The fledgling Kolkata-based Bangladesh Gurdwara Management Board, which made a wobbly start in 1972, has organised yet another successful pilgrimage. Pilgrims, numbering 200, reached Bangladesh on November 9. The last batch returned home recently.

Two dignitaries, including Obaidul Quader, the Bangladesh minister for roads, transport and bridges, visited the historic Nanakshahi Gurdwara at Dhaka and promised the pilgrims support for any programme organised at the shrine.

“Hands folded and eyes shut, he stood in front of Guru Granth Sahib and prayed,” said an evidently pleased Harbhajan Singh, a resident of Amritsar and follower of the Kar Sewa sect headed by Sukha Singh of Tarn Taran.

Sukhdev Singh, also from Amritsar, recalled how the “nagar kirtan” in Dhaka on November 10 had drawn an overwhelming response.

“We were looked after well. People from all religions attended the gurdwara functions. It seemed we were celebrating communal amity,” said Bhai Gurbux Singh of Takht Hazur Sahib, Nanded, Maharashtra. “Awami League MP Quazi Rosy also visited the gurdwara and interacted with the pilgrims,” he added.

The Sikh pilgrimage circuit in Bangladesh consists of five gurdwaras, two each in Dhaka and Chittagong and one in Mymensingh. As Bangladesh does not have any Sikh population, there is no Sikh on the Dhaka-based Gurdwara Management Committee.

Headed by a Hindu, Parashuram Begi, and with local Hindus, Muslims and Christians as its members, the committee looks after the gurdwaras as well as pilgrims visiting the shrines during Baisakhi and Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary.

Controlled by Kolkata panel

The Bangladesh Gurdwara Management Committee is controlled by Kolkata-based Bangladesh Gurdwara Management Board.

Members and office-bearers of the Kolkata board are chosen by the Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib. Pilgrimage to two Dhaka shrines associated with Guru Nanak and Guru Teg Bahadur began in 2008.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/bangladesh-gurdwara-mgnt-board-comes-of-age/499922.html

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The Telegraph – Sikh volunteers give aid to Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Burma

Mark Molloy

16 November 2017

A team of Sikh volunteers are providing aid to some of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution and violence in Burma (Myanmar).

Khalsa Aid, a UK-based international humanitarian relief organisation, have been helping refugees as they cross into neighbouring Bangladesh, where thousands are already living in overcrowded camps.

They were one of the first international organisations to reach the Bangladesh / Myanmar border in September, where refugees from the stateless minority have been waiting in lines stretching for kilometres across muddy rice fields.

The volunteers are returning next week to progress the project and focus on providing food and sanitation.

Volunteer Jeevanjot Singh, from the Indian branch of the organisation, was pictured sharing his last bottle of water with Rohingya refugees, who are described as the “world’s most persecuted minority”.

“We had come prepared for providing relief to some 50,000 people, but there are more than three lakh (300,000) here,” Amarpreet Singh, director of Khalsa Aid India, previously told The Indian Express.

“They are living without water, food, clothes and shelter. They are sitting wherever they can find a corner.

“It is raining, but people do not have anywhere to go. It is miserable to say the least. We will be providing them langar food (community kitchen) and shelter.

“We are arranging tarpaulins, but since the number of refugees have overwhelmingly exceeded our preparations, it [could take] some time to make arrangements.”

He also spoke of the overcrowded refugee camps, designed to accommodate 50,000 people, which are housing more than double that number.

“The priority is to not let anyone sleep without food,” he said. “Children are roaming without clothes and begging for food. Those who do not get space in camps are sitting along roads in hope of getting food from someone.”

The United Nations has described the treatment of Rohingya Muslims as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, with Human Rights Watch accusing the Myanmar military of widespread rape of women and girls.

Rohingya Muslims are seen as illegal immigrants from the Indian subcontinent in the predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, where the government refuses to grant them citizenship status, effectively making them stateless.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/16/sikh-volunteers-give-aid-rohingya-muslims-fleeing-persecution/

The Asian Age – Mob torches 30 Hindu houses in Bangladesh over Facebook post

Agitation over ‘a religiously defamatory post’ in Thakurpara village, Rangpur.

Dhaka-Bangladesh, 12 November 2017. A mob of protesters has set on fire at least 30 houses of Hindus in Bangladesh following rumours that a youth from the minority community published an offensive Facebook status, media reports said on Saturday.

One person was killed when police opened fire to disperse the crowd that launched the arson attack on the houses of Hindus on Friday the, Dhaka Tribune reported. The incident took place in Rangpur district’s Thakurpara village, about 300 km from Dhaka.

At least five persons were injured when police fired rubber bullets and lobbed tear gas shells to bring the situation under control, it said. The protesters claimed that they were infuriated by a defamatory status published from the Facebook account of a person who hails from the Thakurbari village a few days ago, the report said.

Before the police intervened, the perpetrators had torched at least 30 Hindu houses before looting and vandalising them, the report said. A crowd of 20,000 people had reportedly gathered from six to seven neighbouring villages before the attack was launched by a group of people, it said.

The police had a tough time dealing with the protesters and restoring the law and order situation in the area, the report said. Six persons with bullet injuries were rushed to a nearby hospital when one of them succumbed to his injuries, the report said. Police have detained 33 people in connection with the incident, bdnews24 reported.

There were traffic snarls after the mob blocked the Rangpur-Dinajpur highway to protest against the police action. A large number of police personnel have been deployed in the area where the situation was tense, Kotwali police station Officer-in-Charge (Operation) Moktarul Islam said.

http://www.asianage.com/world/asia/121117/mob-torches-30-hindu-houses-in-bangladesh-over-fb-post.html

Gentbrugge – Gent ‘City Pavillion’

Gentbrugge Schooldreef
28 October 2017


Gentbrugge Schooldreef
Tram 2 to Zwijnaarde

Gentbrugge Schooldreef
Tram 2 to Zwijnaarde

Gent ‘City Pavillion’
Voem – Rohingya
28 October 2017

Zen Buddhist Frank and Voem’s Ann

Pictures of Rohingya refugees
Turkish delegation

On the left Bangladeshi man who visited the refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar 

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Indian Express – Rohingya Muslims crisis: ‘Guru ka langar’ begins at Bangladesh-Myanmar border, target 35,000 meals per day

On the first day of the langar, Sikh volunteers served cooked rice and vegetables

Divya Goyal

Ludhiana, 14 September 2017. Three days after Sikh volunteers from Khalsa Aid (India) arrived at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border to begin relief work for Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar, they finally got the go ahead from the Bangladesh government to start ‘Guru ka langar’ (community kitchen preparing and serving fresh hot meals) on Thursday.

The Khalsa Aid team, which is camping in the border town of Teknaf, told The Indian Express that the Bangladesh government finally gave all the clearances and permissions required to serve meals to the refugees. The team was initially distributing packed food items and water to the refugees.

On Thursday, the langar sewa began at a spot on Shahpuri Island where the refugees from Myanmar are landing after traveling for days in rickety boats.

Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone, Amarpreet Singh, managing director, India for Khalsa Aid, said, “We cooked and served the first langar meals here today. We had purchased raw materials like rice, vegetables and big utensils on Wednesday after getting required permissions from the government of Bangladesh.

The initial target is at least 35,000 meals per day. However seeing the increasing number of refugees here, we know it won’t be enough to feed all but we had to start somewhere.”

Seeing the ‘miserable state’ of the refugees, especially children who haven’t eaten for days, it was difficult for the team to decide from where langar should start, he added.

“We feared that there might be a stampede seeing food being served here. There are at least 3 lakh refugees here already. But a beginning had to be made though we cannot feed everyone here in a single day. People are in dire need of food here. Children are roaming and begging on roads for food. The condition continues to be miserable,” he said.

On the first day of the langar, Sikh volunteers served cooked rice and vegetables.

However, starting the community kitchen and making all preparations in the border town of Bangladesh, which continues to be flooded with Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, wasn’t easy as the team initially faced some hiccups.

“We went to local markets to purchase utensils and raw materials. But some shopkeepers inflated the rates and quoted double prices seeing that we are outsiders.

However many locals also helped us in making arrangements. We managed somehow. Attitude of the locals towards Rohingyas is varying at individual level. Some are really compassionate and trying to help them. They are even coming from far off areas to help them but then some are not. They are seeing them as burden on their country,” said Singh.

Before serving the meals, an ardaas (a prayer) was performed.

On Monday, The Indian Express first reported that a team of Sikh volunteers from India reached the Bangladesh-Myanmar border town Teknaf to start relief operations and provide food to the Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing Myanmar.

The team told The Indian Express that the “condition at the border was miserable to say the least” and that their first priority would be to “provide food” to as many persons as possible.

Meanwhile, the Khalsa Aid volunteers back home are organizing fundraisers for the langar sewa at Bangladesh border. Gursahib Singh, a volunteer in Ludhiana said, “The langar there can continue only if we have requisite funds.

We request people to donate for the sake of humanity. Please forget about religion barriers and think about the children who are sleeping with empty stomachs. They are also humans.”

Rohingya Muslims crisis: ‘Guru ka langar’ begins at Bangladesh-Myanmar border, target 35,000 meals per day

The Hindu – India for safe return of Myanmar nationals, says Sushma Swaraj

Bangladesh has sought India’s ‘sustained pressures’ on Myanmar for its resolution of the Rohingya crisis

Haroon Habib

Dhaka, 22 October 2017. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday expressed deep concern at the spate of violence in Rakhine State of Myanmar and said India wanted the safe return of Rohingya to their homeland.

Ms Swaraj, who is in Dhaka on a two-day visit, was addressing a joint press conference after meeting Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali.

“India is deeply concerned at the spate of violence in Rakhine State of Myanmar. We have urged that the situation be handled with restraint, keeping in mind the welfare of the population. It is clear that normalcy will only be restored with the return of the displaced persons,” she said.

The Minister, however, did not use the word “Rohingya” and only referred to “displaced persons from the Rakhine State”.

She said India also supports the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission, headed by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The Commission has suggested a number of measures for a “peaceful, fair and prosperous future for the people of Rakhine”.

Ms Swaraj said the only long-term solution to the situation in Rakhine is rapid socio-economic and infrastructure development that would have a positive impact on all the communities living in the state.

India, for its part has committed to providing financial and technical assistance for specific projects to be undertaken in Rakhine in conjunction with the local authorities, she added.

Mr Mahmud Ali said Dhaka has urged India “to contribute towards exerting sustained pressure on Myanmar to find a peaceful solution to the crisis including the sustainable return of all Rohingya to their homeland”.

Though the Minister was in Dhaka for the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission meeting, the Rohingya issue dominated talks as the crisis took a new turn, with more than half a million of them entering Bangladesh since August 25, fleeing ethnic cleansing.

Bangladesh has been seeking international support, including from India, for their safe return.

The Bangladesh Foreign Minister thanked India for its support and said India is “our most important, trusted and friendly neighbour”. He added that the relations now stand on a “historic new height” due to initiatives taken across sectors.

Attaching the “utmost importance” to its relations with Bangladesh, Ms Swaraj said, “Our relations are based on fraternal ties and are reflective of an all-encompassing partnership based on sovereignty, equality, trust and understanding that goes far beyond a strategic partnership”.

“India has always stepped in to assist Bangladesh in times of need,” she said recalling the 1971 war of independence when the Indian army shed blood with Bangladeshis to liberate the country.

The India-Bangladesh meeting, which was co-chaired by Sushma Swaraj and her Bangladesh counterpart, reviewed cooperation in countering terrorism and extremism with both side vowing to maintain zero tolerance to terrorism and extremism.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Ali said both reiterated their commitment “not to allow use of our soils against each other’s interest”.

Teesta sharing

The pending Teesta water sharing issue was also discussed, with Mr Ali recalling the statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April during Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India that the Teesta agreement would be signed during the current tenure of the two Prime Ministers.

Both ministers also witnessed the signing of three bilateral documents which include capacity building in SMEs, sale-purchase agreement between Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation and Numaligarh Refinery of India.

Ms Swaraj also met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Leader of the Opposition Raushan Ershad and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Sunday.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/return-of-displaced-persons-can-restore-normalcy-in-myanmar-swaraj/article19901490.ece?homepage=true

BBC News – Myanmar Muslims fear further ‘turning of the tide’

Anbarasan Ethirajan, BBC News

Yangon, 16 October 2017. For Tun Kyi, Myanmar is home. He was born and brought up in the country and, like thousands of other Burmese, he was also protesting in the streets for democracy during the military junta’s rule. He spent 10 years in prison.

Today, he is playing an active role in the Former Political Prisoners Society of Myanmar. He was one of those Muslims who hoped the community would get its rightful place in society after the end of military rule in 2010.

“The situation changed after the violence in Rakhine state in 2012,” he said. “The tide is not just against Rohingya Muslims but also against the Muslim community as a whole.”

Mr Kyi’s ancestors migrated from India to Buddhist-majority Myanmar, also known as Burma, generations ago.

The clashes between Buddhists and Muslim Rohingyas in western Rakhine state in 2012 drove 140,000 people out of their homes. Most of those displaced, particularly Rohingya Muslims, ended up seeking refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh.

I was invited to a mosque in Yangon during Friday prayers. Hundreds of men, many wearing their Islamic caps, were streaming in and getting ready for prayers.

The discussions I had with some of the worshippers reflected a sense of uneasiness among the community following the latest round of violence in Rakhine.

The violence was triggered after Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa), a Rohingya Muslim militant group, launched simultaneous attacks on Myanmar security check posts in the region on 25 August. The Myanmar military swiftly launched what it described as counter-terrorism operations.

More than half-a-million Rohingya Muslims have since fled the violence, bringing with them reports of rape and extra-judicial killings.

Senior UN officials and human rights groups have described the exodus of Rohingya Muslims as “ethnic cleansing”- a charge vehemently denied by the government of Myanmar.

“The problem there in Rakhine state is terrible,” says worshipper Muhammad Yunus. “There are concerns that the violence may spill over to Yangon and other places.”

He says that Muslims in other parts of the country are very careful about what they say and do in their day-to-day affairs.

“There are people who were born and raised in Rakhine state now living in Yangon,” says Mr Yunus. “They are worried about their family members and relatives back home.”

Senior UN officials and human rights groups have described the exodus of Rohingya Muslims as “ethnic cleansing”- a charge vehemently denied by the government of Myanmar.

“The problem there in Rakhine state is terrible,” says worshipper Muhammad Yunus. “There are concerns that the violence may spill over to Yangon and other places.”

He says that Muslims in other parts of the country are very careful about what they say and do in their day-to-day affairs.

“There are people who were born and raised in Rakhine state now living in Yangon,” says Mr Yunus. “They are worried about their family members and relatives back home.”

The elections in 2015 brought Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) to power, but even the NLD did not field any Muslim candidates.

“We feel that we are being discriminated against in every way, you name it,” says Al-Haj U Aye Lwin, the chief convener of the Islamic Centre of Myanmar.

He says that has been the case since 1962 – when the military seized power – and Muslims have been weeded out from important government positions.

“Now you don’t find even one junior [Muslim] officer in the police force, let alone the army,” says Mr Lwin. He argues that the discrimination mainly emanates from the government and is not so widespread at grassroots level.

Mr Lwin is one of the members of an Independent Advisory Commission, headed by the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to find solutions to the conflict in Rakhine state.

The commission was set up by Ms Suu Kyi in 2016. It submitted its recommendations on 24 August – a day before the latest round of violence started.

Mr Lwin says Ms Suu Kyi may not be perfect, but “she is our only hope”. He argues that the state counsellor has done whatever she could to solve the Rohingya issue.

“If she comes out openly and started to speak for the Muslims, it will be a political suicide for her,” he says. “We don’t want that to happen.”

He warns that the West should understand that if she is discredited and removed from power, Myanmar risks a return to authoritarian rule.

“Only the dictators will come back,” he cautions.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41587478

The Hindustan Times – Supreme Court says human rights of Rohingya refugees cannot be ignored

The top court set the next date of hearing for November 21, and asked petitioners to approach it in case the government begins any deportation exercise.

New Delhi, 13 October 2017. The Supreme Court on Friday said that problem of Rohingya refugees is of a “great magnitude”. However, there is a need to strike a “right balance” to address concerns of national security that might arise due to their stay, it said.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was about to issue a directive to the Centre not to deport Rohingya refugees but was stopped by additional solicitor general, Tushar Mehta, who said an order of this kind would embarrass the government on international fora.

The bench fixed November 21 to give a detailed and a holistic hearing on the petitions filed against the government’s decision to deport Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar.

At the request of senior counsel, appearing for representatives from the community, social activists and NGOs, the bench gave them liberty to approach it in case any contingency arose during the intervening period.

“It is a large issue. An issue of great magnitude. Therefore, the state has a big role. The role of the state in such a situation has to be multipronged,” the bench said.

Mehta was told that the government should not be oblivious to the plight of children and women. “They do not know anything. We expect the executive will not be oblivious to their condition. Do not deport them. You take action if something wrong is found,” the bench said.

On behalf of the petitioners, senior advocate Fali S Nariman said that all Rohingyas, be they Muslims or Hindus, are not terrorists as the government has stamped them to be. “It (Centre) cannot pass a blanket order like this,” he submitted.

The bench felt the government’s concern over national security, too, cannot be ignored. “There is no iota of doubt that a humanitarian issue is involved but national interest has to be kept in mind,” said the judges.

They also emphasised that the court will go by the letter of the law and not get swayed by the “emotional arguments” offered by the two sides.

Centre should deal with migration: MHA

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) said the issue of Rohingya migration had to be “dealt with only by the Central government” as it is an executive function of the government.

“The central government is of the opinion that deportation of illegal immigrants has to be dealt with only by the central government because it is essentially an executive function of the government,” said an MHA spokesperson after the hearing.

The spokesperson added that the apex court had not stayed the deportation of Rohingyas.

“No interim order has been granted. The SC has merely recorded the statement of the learned counsel for the petitioner to the effect that in case of any contingency he can move the court for appropriate interim order.”

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/human-rights-of-rohingya-refugees-cannot-be-ignored-says-supreme-court/story-P1QnPPLgdQdzsQPOWkwH9M.html

The Statesman – Deport Rohingya Muslims, save Hindus: VHP

New Delhi, 27 September 2017. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Wednesday urged the Narendra Modi government to deport Rohingya Muslims but grant refugee status to Rohingya Hindus and provide them a “secure and blissful life in India”.

The VHP’s International Joint General Secretary Surendra Kumar Jain said in a statement that Rohingya Hindus need to be seen in a different light from the Rohingya Muslims, who he alleged were “indulging in terrorist activities”.

“To handle the Muslim Rohingyas, the policy of ‘no more newcomers, oust the existing ones’ needs to be implemented,” he said.

He claimed that Rakhine’s Rohingya Hindus don’t want Indian citizenship but are ready to relocate to any Hindu or Buddhist majority area in Myanmar.

“It is the government’s moral and constitutional responsibility to grant them refugee status and provide a secure and blissful life in India,” he said.

“VHP also appeals to the central government to pressurise the Bangladesh government to provide security to the Rakhine Rohingya Hindus. The central government should appeal to the Myanmar government to relocate and settle the Rohingya Hindus to a safe place,” the statement added.

Jain said that a VHP delegation will meet the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as well as the envoys of Myanmar and Bangladesh to request them to take quick action for the security of Rohingya Hindus.

http://www.thestatesman.com/india/deport-rohingya-muslims-save-hindus-vhp-1502500812.html

BBC News – Are the Rohingya India’s ‘favourite whipping boy’?

Soutik Biswas, India correspondent

New Delhi, 25 September 2017. At home in Myanmar, they are unwanted and denied citizenship. Outside, they are largely friendless as well. Now the government says that Rohingya living in India pose a clear and present danger to national security.

First, a government minister kicked up a storm earlier this month when he announced that India would deport its entire Rohingya population, thought to number about 40,000, including some 16,000 who have been registered as refugees by the UN.

The Rohingya are seen by many of Myanmar’s Buddhist majority as illegal migrants from Bangladesh. Fleeing persecution at home, they began arriving in India during the 1970s and are now scattered all over the country, many living in squalid camps.

The government’s announcement has come at what many say is an inappropriate time, as violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state has forced more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh since August.

When petitioners went to the Supreme Court challenging the proposed ejection plan, Narendra Modi’s government responded by saying it had intelligence about links of some community members with global terrorist organisations, including ones based in Pakistan.

It said some Rohingya living here were indulging in “anti-national and illegal activities”, and could help stoke religious tensions.

Experts agree the threat from Myanmar’s newly-emergent Rohingya militant group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa), should not be underestimated. Analyst Subir Bhaumik describes Arsa as “strong and motivated”, although its exact size and influence remain unclear.

The current crisis began in Rakhine in August with an Arsa attack on police posts which killed 12 security personnel. Reports say the group has at least 600 armed fighters.

Bangladeshi officials claim that Arsa has links with a banned militant group Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which was held responsible for the July 2016 cafe attack in Dhaka in which 20 hostages died. Delhi believes groups like Arsa pose a threat to regional security.

But critics of the move wonder how much credible intelligence India has on Rohingya refugees on its soil with terror links.

They say India has fought long-running home-grown insurgencies with rebel groups in the north-east and Maoists in central India, which have arguably posed a greater threat to national security than what they say is a rag-tag and scattered Rohingya population.

Also, many question a proposed move to punish a community for the perceived crimes of some – in other words, is it right to consider all Rohingya a security threat?

On the other hand, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh insists Rohingya are not refugees or asylum-seekers. “They are illegal immigrants,” he said recently.

But critics say this is untenable because India is legally bound by the UN principle of “non-refoulement” – meaning no push-backs of asylum seekers to life-threatening places.

Also, India’s constitution clearly says that it “shall endeavour to foster respect for international law and obligations in the dealings of organised peoples with one another”.

Like much of Asia, which is home to a third of the more than 20 million displaced people in the world, India has a curious track record in refugee protection.

Although the country is not party to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and its 1967 protocol and doesn’t have a formal asylum policy, it hosts more than 200,000 refugees, returnees, stateless people and asylum seekers, according the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

These include more than 100,000 Tibetans from China and more than 60,000 Tamils from Sri Lanka.

At the same time, India has always taken in refugees based on political considerations. It took in tens of thousands of refugees from Bangladesh during the country’s 1971 war of independence from Pakistan even as it trained and supported pro-liberation guerrillas, for example.

Many like Michel Gabaudan, former president of the advocacy group Refugee International, believe that India distrusts the international refugee process partly “because it [has] received little recognition for taking in refugees” in the past.

Unenviable

A 2015 paper by a group of Indian researchers said the image of Rohingya in India was “unenviable – foreigner, Muslim, stateless, suspected Bangladeshi national, illiterate, impoverished and dispersed across the length and breadth of the country”.

“This makes them illegal, undesirable, the other, a threat, and a nuisance,” the paper said.

This also makes them, says analyst Subir Bhaumik, “a favourite whipping boy for the Hindu right-wing to energise their base”.

“Remember how the issue of the Bangladeshi illegal migrant was invoked by Mr Modi and his party during the 2014 election campaign?” he said, referring to the prime minister’s efforts to generate support from his Hindu base in areas with many migrants.

In the end, many say, what is is deeply troubling is a country talking about returning Rohingya people to Myanmar even as they appear to be the target of what the UN says “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

“Any nation has a right, and indeed a responsibility, to consider security risks, but that cannot be confused as an excuse to knowingly force an entire group of people back to a place where they will face certain persecution and a high likelihood of severe human rights abuses and death,” Daniel Sullivan of Refugees International told me.

That is something India would possibly do well to remember.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-41318225