Who exactly are the Rohingiyas? What has been done to them by the Buddhist Myanmarese? And why? Ninety-nine per cent of the do-gooders have not the foggiest notion about answers to these questions, but are talking about a “Rohingiya Genocide” and why India (of all countries, why India?) should offer sanctuary to them. Here’s a reality check.
Back in 1824 the British colonized Burma and took a number of labourers from neighbouring Chittagong District of Bengal (now part of Bangladesh) to start cultivation there. The bulk of these were Muslims, a very small number were Hindus. This is why their spoken language is very similar to the spoken language of Southern Chittagong. This language is very different from standard spoken Bengali. Bengalis from elsewhere, whether Bangladesh or West Bengal, do not understand the Rohingiya language, or vice versa, nor do the Rohingiyas use the Bengali script. However, the ethnic Burmese have off and on referred to them loosely as ‘Bengalis’.
After the British left India and Burma the Rohingiyas continued to live there, and for some reason began to get involved in anti-social activities, such as thievery, smuggling, dacoity and crimes against women. This brought them in direct conflict with the local Buddhist Burmese (now Myanmarese). During the Pakistan Movement in the 1940s, Rohingya Muslims in western Burma organized a separatist movement to merge the region into East Pakistan. Before the independence of Burma in January 1948, Muslim leaders from Arakan addressed themselves to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and asked his assistance in incorporating the Mayu region to Pakistan considering their religious affinity and geographical proximity with East Pakistan. The North Arakan Muslim League was founded in Akyab (modern Sittwe) two months later. The proposal never materialized since it was reportedly turned down by Jinnah, saying that he was not in a position to interfere into Burmese matters.
After Jinnah's refusal to accept northern Arakan into the Dominion of Pakistan, some Rohingya elders who supported a jihad movement, founded the Mujahid party in northern Arakan in 1947. The aim of the Mujahid party was to create an autonomous Muslim state in Arakan. By the 1950s, they began to use the term "Rohingya" which may be a continuation of the term Rooinga to establish a distinct identity and identify themselves as indigenous. They were much more active before the 1962 Burmese coup d'état by General Ne Win.
In 1971 the Rohingiyas again raised the slogan of an Islamic state and started an armed Jihad. Ne Win carried out military operations against them over a period of two decades. The prominent one was Operation King Dragon, which took place in 1978; as a result, many Muslims in the region fled to neighbouring Bangladesh as refugees. In addition to Bangladesh, a large number of Rohingyas also migrated to Karachi, Pakistan. Rohingya mujahideen are still active within the remote areas of Arakan. On 28 April 1994 the Rohingiyas burst bombs in Maungdaw town and mounted attacks on the Burmese police. In 2012 three Buddhist women were raped. This completely broke down relations between the Buddhists and the Muslims.
Meanwhile Rohingiya emigrants to Saudi Arabia set up a terrorist organisation called Arakan Rohingiya Salvation Army (ARSA). This is led by a Pakistan-born, Saudi-bred Rohingiya called Ataullah. They are carrying on attacks against the Myanmarese state forces, but at the same time attacking in disguise the Hindus of Rakhine. This is because they want to provoke India to fight Myanmar and give them refuge. They are sure that Bangladesh or any other Islamic country will never take them in any significant number because in any country they go to they’d be a nuisance, at the very least – and a serious security threat in all probability. So their target is to be rehabilitated in India, which they know has a soft underbelly of Pan-Islamists, Muslim appeasers, misguided do-gooders and assorted busybodies based in Lutyens’ New Delhi who feel their place is threatened by Narendra Modi.