Caught in the crossfire between Myanmar’s military and Rohingya insurgents, hundreds of Hindus who have fled to Bangladesh are placing their hopes on the Hindu nationalist government in neighbouring India.
Nearly 500 are sheltered in a cleared-out chicken farm in a Hindu hamlet in Bangladesh’s southeast, a couple of miles from where most of the 421,000 Rohingya Muslims who have also fled violence in Myanmar since Aug. 25 are living in makeshift camps.
The Hindu refugees say they are scared of going back to their villages in Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state, but also wary of staying in mostly Muslim Bangladesh.
Modi’s government, meanwhile, is making it easier for Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and other minorities from Bangladesh and Pakistan to gain citizenship in India.
Hindus make up a small but long-standing minority in both Myanmar and Bangladesh.
It will not be easy for secular India to accept the Myanmar Hindu refugees’ demand while the government is pushing for the deportation of Rohingya Muslims.
Modi’s government has already been criticised by activists for not speaking out against Myanmar’s military offensive, and accused of vilifying the Rohingya in the country to seek legal clearance for their deportation.
Source: News agencies