“A generous heart, kind speech and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity”
Who are the Rohingya?
The Rohingya are an ethnic Muslim minority or followers of Sunni Islam. A majority of the estimated one million Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar they were used to live in Rakhine state. They differ from Myanmar’s dominant Buddhist groups ethnically, linguistically and as well as religiously. 90% population of Myanmar follows the Buddhist religion.
Origin of Problem:-
The Rohingya Muslims believed their origin is in the 15th century when thousands of Muslims came to the former Arakan kingdom but today they are 10,000 in population.
After those many others arrived during the 19th century and the early 20th centuries, Rohingya’s became an independent country in 1948 and in 1989 government of Burma changed its name and renamed as Myanmar. The government of Rohingya directly refuses the claim of Rohingyas that are the part of Myanmar from a very long time.
The government believes that they have only 135 ethnic groups and Rohingya does not there in their groups. They believe that Rohingya does not belong to Myanmar. Rohingya’s never got a proper citizenship in Myanmar.
The main problem with Rohingyas is that the government of Myanmar believes that they are different from them in ethinicity, the problem is not that they are Muslims so the problem is not related to their religion at all.
Legal Status of Rohingya’s-
The government of Myanmar refuses to grant the citizenship to Rohingya’s and as a result of that they have no legal documentation which consequently making them stateless.
They follow Burmese Citizenship law 1982- which clearly states that a Rohingya or any other ethnic minority is eligible for citizenship only if he/she provides proof that his/her ancestors have lived in the country prior to 1823. Else they are classified as “associate citizens”.
The Myanmar government always do discrimination against the ethnic group through restriction on marriage, family planning, employment, education, religious choice and freedom of movement. It is mandatory that they have to take permission if they want to marry, which require them to bribe authorities and provide photographs of the bride without headscarves and the groom with a clean-shaven face, which is against their religion.
There is a hope of light in the eyes of the Rohingyas for a better future not only for them but also for their coming generation.
By- Harshita Tripathi