This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Mihika Jindal. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

The Ongoing Genocide In Burma That The World Has Chosen To Ignore

More from Mihika Jindal

By Mihika Jindal:

It aches my heart to read about the ongoing brutality and a nightmare that has lasted 2 complete years. What are the odds that the victims of this huge massacre in Burma will find solace in the near future, especially when the state government seems to have chosen to side with the oppressors? The continued saga makes me believe the chances are nil.

rohingya muslims

Burma is predominantly a Buddhist state with an Ethnic Muslim Minority Group — Rohingya — residing in Rakhine State in Western Burma, bordering with Bangladesh. Burma, since 2012, has showcased high levels of intolerance towards Rohingyas, making it exceedingly difficult and almost impossible for them to co-exist. What started as a massacre in 2012 continues till date with situation only worsening by the day! Dangerous sequence of events has led to the displacement of around 200,000 Rohingyas, most of who are living in pitiable conditions as refugees in rescue camps set up in border areas with Bangladesh.

The story that is being narrated in Burma is shocking and nerve stirring beyond words. There are over 1 million Rohingyas who have been residing in Burma since age-old times and despite their ancient and continuous existence, they are being denied the citizenship of Burma in light of the Citizenship Law of 1982. Burma, in its wake of turning into a democracy after all these years of existence, is not doing any justice to the word and concept of Democracy. As reported in The Washington Post, Thein Sein, the Burmese President, clearly denies Rohingya their status as an Ethnic Group and calls them ‘Bengalis’ instead. Such a tagging openly reeks of discriminatory undertone clearly implying illegal immigration from Bangladesh, which in the present case contributes to the unrest in the nation and victimisation of Rohingyas.

The horrid events that are being witnessed since 2012 have been gruesome and mighty shameful for the Burmese Government. A UN report confirmed that horrific murders and slaughters have taken place, in light of which it directed the Burmese Government to set up an independent investigation agency to look into the matter and take immediate measures to stop these acts of violence against the minorities in Rakhine state. What reportedly happened next left me, as a reader and as a human being, in a state of dismay and hopelessness. The Burmese Government looked down upon the direction of the UN and refused to carry out an independent investigation. Further, to cover up for the act, they conducted a shoddy investigation by private persons which presented a false report that did not speak of any massacre and the guilty along with the perpetrators walked away scot-free.

The government is clearly veiling the heinous acts that are taking place in Rakhine state where culprits of numerous murders, slaughters, rapes, tortures et all are going unpunished and Muslims are finding themselves stuck in the vicious circle becoming victims of a humanitarian crisis.

The story doesn’t end here. Like inflicting crime was not enough, the Burmese government also withdrew the services of MSF (Medicins Sans Frontieres) — a sole medical group catering to 750,000 people of Rakhine, majority of who are Rohingyas. Since the time MSF has been expelled (February, 2014), the deaths and number of patients in the affected region has increased manifold, creating miserable conditions for the people there to live, forget live peacefully!

Rohingyas have fled to Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh. Refugees have become victims of sexual assaults and violence, human bodies are being bought and sold, they are being used for drug dealing and peddling, and the list is never ending. The story of massacres and killing in name of race and religion is a common concept across globe, but the story of Rohingyas is different for they are being trampled over with no hope whatsoever. For about 2 years, they have been facing atrocities at the hands of Buddhist native groups where the government is an accomplice. The riots and killing that are happening in Burma in the name of ethnic cleansing are nothing but a glaring example of genocide. It is probably time for the international community to take serious action to save lives of fellow humans. Take an action like we mean it and possibly hope for some respite.

You must be to comment.
  1. naval

    In someways its just a retaliation of locals .. its going on everywhere ….. burma(mayanmar) is nothing special ..

  2. naval

    Similar to kashmiri pandits …

  3. Sonal Jamuar

    It indeed is deeply saddening and perturbing.In a Nation which is Buddhist dominated how can act of violence be tolerated !

    1. Mousumi Mukherjee

      Sonal, that’s the irony of this situation. But if you would look beyond just religion and look at the issue through the lens of social and political ideology, then probably rationalizing such barbaric acts would make some sense (however, unfortunate that sense might be). When religion (Buddhist, Christian, Islam, Hindu etc.) becomes Cultural Nationalism, this is what happens to ethnic minority and refugees in most countries. The ideology of the cultural Nationalist State is like the social institution of Patriarchy, which dominates and crushes those who are in positions of less power to maintain the “ruling” relationship. This is why perhaps Tagore, despite his critic and opposition of colonialism, support of the Indian freedom movement and “swaraj”; was actually against Cultural Nationalism. This was the big difference between Tagore and Gandhi within the Indian context and both had heated debates over the dangers of Nationalism. As a philosopher and above all “Peace activist”. Tagore’s idea of the independent Indian Nation was essentially feminine and inclusive, as expressed through his songs. He called for intellectual cooperation between Nations to achieve the common goals of human freedom; rather than a vain ego boosting crazy competitive Western model of Patriarchal Nation State, which went to war and caused mayhem as discussed in his essay “Crisis of Civilization”. Unfortunately, over a century later the divide he observed between East and West has disappeared

  4. Sulaiman

    Thank you for highlighting this issue. It is extremely sad how the world is turning a blind eye to them…

  5. pramod

    i think admin is himself a muslim , who is only seeing muslim oppression around the world , but at the same time ignoring what muslims are doing in the wold ..bro post some stuff like atrocities of muslim also like terrorism ,fake jihad ,Kashmir genocide ,etc to show an unbiased views..!

    1. Saurya

      I believe SHE is just giving us some information about one part of the world. If you know about Kashmir genocide, write about it! I’m sure she would read it and appreciate it as well. I don’t understand how this article is biased….whatever other muslims are doing in other parts of the world, how is it related to these people? and why should these people suffer because there are muslim terrorists? and why would you call them muslim terrorists anyways? they made their own choices not islam. I think you missed the whole point of the article dude!

    2. pramod

      its not about this page..its about this website..!! can you show me any post on this website showing oppression faced by other religions apart from seems like only muslims are facing problems ,others are having all comforts ..!! The same thing is happening to Hindus in Pakistan and nobody cares about it..!!

    3. pramod

      and it wont surprise me if the admin put some post about how Israel is killing Hamas (innocent muslim terrorist ).

    4. Mihika

      Thank you Shaurya for highlighting the point. With all due respect to all ethnicities and religions, I only wished to shed some light on the atrocities that were happening then…nowhere do I compare people from different regions because that’s not the point. The entire point is to bring the fact to light that some major massacre happened and should be reported.
      My upbringing has been absolutely secular and I don’t hold biased views to anyone/any religion/any ethnicity et al.

    5. Saurya

      And I am a Hindu by the way!

    6. pramod

      u can be anyone but open your eyes..!!

    7. Concerned

      Why do people always associate terrorism with Islam? U asked for unbiased views but in actual fact you were only asking the writer to pin point the bad things that had happened and caused by Muslims. Why didn’t you ask for things that the Zionists had done? How Muslims were persecuted and tormented in the EU and US? You disgust me.

    8. amaan

      bcz u r a disgusting creature ..!

  6. mit

    Why u people are not writing on the condition of hindus of pakistan who are doing the same thing that is happening to them in burma

  7. Babar

    The people commenting here touting the words “Kashmiri” & “Pakistani” & trying to make strange correlations between those groups and the Rohingya, are idiots. The Rohingya have nothing to do with Kashmiris & Pakistanis.
    Sure part of the reason the Rohingya may be being targetted is because they’re Muslim, but that doesn’t even begin to describe the real reason they are being targetted & that reason is because the Rohingya are an Indic ethnic group and are being targetted for their skin color and Indian appearance. They are called “kala” by the Burmese (go figure since that word is Indic origin) & a recently a Burmese member of government called the Rohingya “ugly as ogres”(referring to their ethnicity/skin color). These reasons have nothing to do with Muslims and Islam and have everything to do with racism & the deepset xenophobia the burmese have towards indians & indic ethnic groups (in light of the forced expulsion of indians in 1962 from Burma & the subsequent creation in 1982 of the “burmese citizenship act” which is designed to reserve burmese citizenship for mongoloid ethnic groups only while keeping out indic & indian peoples from attaining Burmese citizenship. If anything, people from india should be outraged over the slaughter of the Rohingya (who look just like them). Instead people here are condeming the Rohingya based on their religion; utterly disgraceful.

    1. Saurya

      completely agree!

  8. Fatima

    The Hindus in pakistan are living a very comfortable life. They are in good posts and enjoy a good living. How can you compare them to the Burmese Muslims who ARE in terrible condition.
    Muslims all over the world are being oppressed and that’s the truth

    1. Pramod

      haa..biggest joke of the decade..!! madam even muslim minorities(ahmadi) in pak is not even safe .so how Hindu can be safe there ..!! stop lying as we are not blind..!

  9. Rami

    I am ashamed to admit that I never knew the situation was this drastic. I, like many other people, have likely seen a short headline or saw a FB post in passing, but this is truly horrifying. Is there any way to get involved to help- e.g. charities, demonstrations, petitions, etc?

More from Mihika Jindal

Similar Posts

By Bidisha Bhatacharya

By Raj Iyre

By Yash Johri

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below