Friday, 28 June 2013

Is it Buddhist Terror: Monks leading mobs to attack Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar

The communal violence unleashed against the minority Muslims in Myanmar, formerly known as Barma (or Burma), has stunned the world.

One of most persecuted minorities, Rohingyas, are being attacked, tortured and killed across the country with impunity.

This is happening even as a horrified international community is urging the Burmese military leaders to check these crimes against humanity.

Now the Time Magazine's cover on the monk who has been described as 'The Face of the Buddhist Terror" has led to angry reactions from a few sections among the Buddhists.

A recent report suggested that 1,25,000 Muslims have been displaced internally in the large-scale attacks and violence against minorities in Myanmar. In fact, it is almost an ethnic cleansing. The issues are manifold.

First, the Myanmar's military government is least interested in protecting the minorities. The regime in Rakhine state treats the Rohingyas as outsiders. They consider them as Bangladeshis despite living in Myanmar for ages.

There is no citizenship for Rohingyas. With monks delivering hate speeches and spreading communal hatred, the local population is also turning against the Muslims. They are now seen as illegal immigrants and are referred to as Bengalis.

When they are forcibly deported, the authorities in neighbouring Bangladesh also refuse to admit these refugees in their country. It is such a humanitarian crises for this persecuted minority. Innumerable people including women and children have died when trying to leave the country, their boats have capsized.

The massacres in which even children were brutally killed last year have shown how the fringe lumpens are now taking centre stage in the country. The Buddhist majority is not doing enough to save or protect the religious minorities.

Yes, it is sad to link terrorism with any religion. Yes, Buddhism is considered a religion of peace. But when religious people like monks issue diktats and lead mobs to kill and rape, the situation in Myanmar has clearly gone out of hand. Even Aung San Suu Kyi has remained a mute spectator to the killings and mayhem.

She has done little to speak on the issue or even intervene in this conflict. The junta remains passive and international pressure hasn't prompted it to act. Even Dalai Lama, an international Buddhist figure, paid mere lip service, rather, than taking a bold stand in order to mediate.

The Time Magazine must be congratulated for exposing this religious fanaticism. One just hopes that the Buddhist majority would realise how their religion and the message of Buddha has been hijacked by the monks, who are giving bad name to Buddhism. 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Jain family gets separate water connection to avoid line shared with Muslim, Christian families

A Mumbai-based Jain family got a separate water connection because they didn't want to share the same line with Christian and Muslim families.

This shocking case has once again shown how communalism permeates our society. The 'educated' and 'affluent' remain no less afflicted by this communal bug. Interestingly, the Jains are also considered a religious minority in India.

Though there instances when a few Jain, Bania and Gujarati families denied houses to Muslims or non-vegetarians across India, this incident has brought to fore the communal divide and deep seated religious prejudices in the country.

The report was first published in Times of India's Mumbai Mirror. It was later carried in other papers. Communals exist in all sections of the society. But this tendency reflected in Chogmal's Jain's application to BMC when he requested for separate water connection citing his religious reasons, is sickening.

It a sad story. To some, it may seem a small incident that could be ignored but in reality it shows how we lack values and all talks about our 'grand traditions, culture, history and civilisation' are just farce because there is nothing of that sort visible on the ground.

More so, when Jains who follow the path of Ahimsa or Non-Violence and Peace, turn to communalism, it looks distressing. For 70 years, these families were living together. The Aman Villa had a Amar-Akbar-Anthony till the revelation but not any more. Read the Mirror report here.

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