(By Abdul Majid Zargar)
A silent genocide of Myanmar (also known as Burma) Muslims is in progress. Such is the urgency shown by Burmese Govt. to annihilate its Rohingya Muslims that it has even used Gunship helicopters to fire lethal & heavy ammunition on fleeing Muslims. The international community is a mute spectator to the organized holocaust and 57 Muslim Countries, except with the honorable exception of Turkey, is watching the carnage with disbelieving eyes. UN has issued a warning to Mynamar sans any action. It has also issued an advisory to Myanmar to accord a legal status to Country’s Muslims but sans a response.
Indian Prime Minster, Narendra Modi, in his recent visit , has endorsed & supported the Burmese leadership in dealing with the unfolding humanitarian crisis. This amounts to a clear signal to the leadership to go ahead with its ethnic cleansing pogrom. In an earlier tweet, Modi had extended cooperation to ruling dispensation to deal, among other things, with counter-terrorism (read Muslim persecution) operations. People who expected a different response from Modi tend to forget that he is basically & essentially an RSS man wedded to its anti-Muslim ideology and bound by an oath to spread it nationally & internationally. And the present anti-Muslim pogrom in Myanmar has definite & explicit connections with RSS.
Traditionally Buddhism has remained a peaceful religion with around 500 million followers around the globe. But in India’s vicinity, RSS has made deep inroads to radicalize the Buddhist society in Myanmar, Sri-lanka & our own Ladakh. To achieve the objective, RSS and its tributaries use the time tested weapon of spreading falsified version of history to the point of convincing them about the injustice meted out to Buddhists during Mughal empire rule. The self-exiled Buddhist community from Tibet and living in Himachal Pradesh is also used as grist to the propaganda mill of RSS. Incidentally the capital of Tibetian Govt. in exile is in Macleod Gunj, a small hill resort in Himachal Pradesh.
Few people know that RSS has a branch in Burma fully beholden & dedicated to promotion of its wicked ideology . It is known as Sanatan Dharma Swayamsevak Sangh (SDSS). This organization has developed close relations & rapport with military dictators in Myanmar who have propped up characters like Ashin Wirathu to propagate hatred for Muslims in the country. This organization is freely allowed to indulge in political activities. How close RSS is to the military junta can be measured from the following report which appeared in ‘Organiser’ , the official organ of the RSS, in issues dated February 28 & March 5, 2000:
“The 50th anniversary of the Sanatan Dharma Swayamsevak Sangh (SDSS) was held at the National Theatre on Mayoma Kyaung Street, Yagnon, recently. Secretary of the State Peace and Development Council, Lt. Gen. Tin Oo attended the meeting. The programme was attended by ministers and senior military officers. Minister for Commerce, Brig. Gen. Pyi Sone; Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Maj. Gen. Sein Htwa; Minister for Health, Maj. Gen. Ket Sein were among the prominent persons who attended the function…The Secretary delivered speech at the function.”
This report appeared with two photographs. In one photograph five military Generals including second in command of the military junta, Lt. Gen. Tin Oo, were seen standing on the stage in the midst of SDSS leadership wearing khaki shorts. In the other photograph leading lights of the Burmese military junta were seen sitting in the front row of the auditorium.
Besides Burma, RSS has also made a deadly alliance with ultra-orthodox Buddhist organization ‘Bodo Bala Sena’(BBS) in Sri Lanka for cleansing minorities in general & Muslims in particular. The marriage of ideological convenience with this anti-Muslim extremist organization can be gauged from the following face-book post dated March 28, 2013 of Mr. Ram Madahav, one of the important functionaries of RSS.
“The Muslim population in Sri Lanka is growing fast…There are mosques and madrassas sprouting everywhere in the country. A rough estimate suggests that of the 1.2 million Muslim population every 50 households have a mosque. In Colombo itself a new magnificent mosque is coming up, so are in many other places. Increasing number of burqa-clad women and skull cap-wearing men can be sited on the streets of Sri Lankan cities and towns now.”
Ram Madhav also noted that Muslims in Sri Lanka have been insisting on halal products. He noted approvingly that “the BBS essentially talks about protecting the Buddhist culture of the country from foreign religions. By this it also means the Christian missionaries who are trying to convert people”. He was happy to note that “the BBS has maintained that Hindus and Buddhists of the country should work together on these issues.” He ended by commending, “So far, the issues raked up by the BBS are worthy of active and sympathetic consideration.
On Twitter, Madhav wrote :”BBS is able to capture the attention of the Buddhist population of Sri Lanka.” BODU BALA SENA – A NEW BUDDHIST MOVEMENT IN SRI LANKA Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) – a Buddhist organisation many wish”.
Madahv has since deleted these posts from his social media accounts least realizing that there are many ways to preserve & retrieve such posts .
The relations between Sri Lankan Buddists & RSS can further be measured from the statement of Sri lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesing when he visited India in September 2015. At his only public address function, he said “There were only two appointments in Delhi -I wanted to confirm: one with Prime Minister Modi, and the other with the India Foundation.”Remember India Foundation is a Delhi based core strategic RSS think tank.
In our own state, RSS is spreading hate & venom among the Ladakhi Buddists. As Ajay Shukla writes in rediff.com-April 21,2016 “Identity politics have spread to Ladakh, with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh instigating Buddhist groups there against the Muslims who comprise half of Ladakh’s population.
We, should, therefore , be least surprised if we witness more anti-Muslim pogroms in Sri Lanka, Ladakh etc. in near future.
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. Feed back at firstname.lastname@example.org)