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Mainstream, VOL LIII , No 38, New Delhi, September 12, 2015

Refugees in Europe, Rohingyas in New Delhi

Sunday 20 September 2015


No, I can’t get over the picture of the little Syrian boy, three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, lying dead by the sea-shore. Each time I look at it, tears continue trickling and a huge sense of helplessness-cum-sorrow overtakes...The innocence of a helpless fleeing refugee child, compounded by the pain of his father and that of the thousands of fleeing refugees ...fleeing into a nowhere of sorts. No country wants to accept these refugees. European political heads and tails coming in way, sealing the fate of hundreds and thousands of Aylan Kurdis.

And though till date Syrian refugees haven’t reached this part of the subcontinent, possibly because of geographical barriers, but if they do they would experience another set of the dark realities. Foremost, their entry would be banned, as ban is the new happening thing here! But if they manage to somehow sneak in, they could be hounded as suspects of the ISIS or any other outfit. Those fringe elements, together with those so-called senas—official-cum-unofficial—will not let them survive.

Ironical it is that though more than half of New Delhi’s population had been refugees at some age—they themselves, if not their parents or grandparents fleeing from the undivided Punjab during the Partition—yet their third-class attitude towards refugees. In fact, last year hundreds of fleeing Burmese refugees—the Rohingyas—reached this Capital city in a condition that is hard to describe. They hadn’t eaten for days, most looked weak and malnourished and as though about to perish. Their condition remains unchanged, surviving they are in one of those disease-infested locales of New Delhi—near Kalindi Kunj, close to the exteriors of Okhla. They are surviving in that highly polluted atmosphere. Living like outcastes, worse than animals. As though banned to move out, here and there.

ISSN : 0542-1462 / RNI No. : 7064/62