Saturday, July 4, 2020


Shah Muhammad Shirajis Shadik :
A public uprising is shaking the world right now, being originated in the USA, spread through the borders, amid a highly communicable COVID-19 pandemic, from the same old ghost of xenophobia that was declined in the long past. Hashtag #blacklivesmatter is now rampant on every particular media, social media along with the customary print and electronic media. The unrest is attaining its triumphs in its melee as well. Following the story, other communities of beforehand marginalized people around the world, having a longstanding history of deprivation, persecution, and oppression, are trying to focus their issues with similar hashtags as well. For example, the Indian minority Muslims are hovering their issues with hashtag #muslimlivesmatter, Kashmiri peoples' issues did come up with hashtag #kashmirilivesmatter. The overturning issues of occupied Palestinian people had its induction with hashtag #paletinianslivesmatter to protest against their occupiers.
But what about the Hashtag for the rights of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who have international entitlement as "Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMNs)"? Perhaps none of us did notice that much any hashtag as "#rohingyalivesmatter" in both in the formal or informal media. Why there is still no global consensus for the Rohingya Refugees? Albeit, we are getting used to seeing news where tiny boats overloaded with malnourished Rohingya people are drifting on the Indian Ocean for engine-failure, leading the passengers baked to death. And again we see the news that the Malaysian government or the Indonesian government has rejected to host any Rohingya man, women, or children, even stopped sending rescue missions for the sinking boats on the Ocean.
A community over 1.1 million people, being persecuted from their homeland, being the pray of ethnic cleansing, being tortured, murdered and gang-raped, being deprived of all kinds of civil rights from their very birth, living in captive spaces called "refugee camps" with the lowest living standards, fighting against the COVID-19 Virus, carrying legitimate and illegitimate young babies, are simply being partially overlooked by us, the world communities. Here are the most interesting characteristics of us, the civic-humans that-we do protest, we do be vocal at times and again we do forget the matter over time. And the Rohingya community, having hardly any graduated representation of their own, are being simply disremembered in loads of humanitarian issues focusing our attention.
It's not an attempt to be judgmental to the uprisings that have been undergone in the USA or the other parts and it's our honest obligation to show our agreeableness to the insurgence tagging- Black Lives Matter. But, as an add-in, let us not forget to care for the homeless, foodless, shelterless, education-deprived, hygiene-deprived, and malnourished Rohingya population. It should not be an exaggerated proposition that the hashtag for the persecuted Rohingya Community should be #rohingyalivesmatter. The rhetoric is that we all are very humane to them, but perhaps none of us are that much attention to them compared to other "educated" refugees like the Syrians or Libyans.
After all, the host Bangladesh has played a commendable role by accommodating, feeding, and serving them, it's now being overstrained with them, with such a gigantic number. And in the meantime, the refugees are becoming involved in illegal activities like theft, robbing, mugging, prostitution, drug-trafficking, human trafficking, etc. either for enduring financial catastrophe or for being with a traumatized psychology. It's not about blaming the victims, rather it's all about a fact-finding. The world is now well-known that they pray of racial violence in a state that has clandestine agenda to establish a "state of pure ethnicity". If we closely look into the definition of 'Xenophobia' or 'Racism', this should be a form of it. So, it's an urgency to stand for the rights of the Rohingya Community, time to raise our voice against verified persecution, likely to be with the Hashtag- #rohingyalivesmatter, and with a heartfelt conscience to ask for their birthrights, breaking the shackles of political polarization, ethnic identity, religion, or caste.

(Shirajis Shadik is a lecturer in Public Administration at the University of Barishal and a Social Researcher. Contact: shirajisshadik@gmail.com)