ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Strengthening ‘Alternative Voices’

A Durable Solution to the Rohingya Crisis

The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide by Azeem Ibrahim, New Delhi: Speaking Tiger, South Asian Edition, 2017; pp xx + 235, ₹ 599.

 

Who are Rohingyas? Why are they persecuted in Myanmar? These questions have come to the fore in international media in recent years. The horrific accounts of Rohingya survivors detailing stories of mass murders, rapes, and arson perpetrated by the Myanmar military and ultra-nationalist Buddhist forces continue to emerge from different agencies, including the United Nations, as new investigations are conducted into the latest bout of violence in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar. Known increasingly to the world only recently, the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority community in a country they called home is as old as the emergence of the modern nation state of Myanmar.

Delving into these issues with the objective of shaking the conscience of humanity to the unfolding tragedy of the Rohingyas in Myanmar, Azeem Ibrahim’s book explores uncharted roads on their history and the factors behind their discrimination. The book makes a strong case that for decades the Myanmar ruling elite adopted “state propaganda designed to ensure that most Burmese now regard [the Rohingyas] as foreigners and as a threat to Buddhist culture” [p 10]. The hazy interpretations of the Rohingyas’ history in Myanmar have acquired deeper meaning as political forces redefine the nation’s identity in the context of a complex political transition to democracy after decades of military rule.

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Updated On : 4th Jan, 2019

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