‘India’s refugee policy is an example for the rest of the world to follow.’
Then’s United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres made the above remark of praise about India’s flexible refugee policy when he visited India in 2013.
Those, the self-proclaimed patrons of social harmony in the country, often bawl at Right-wingers for increasing the intolerance should hang themselves in shame that India is the alone country where the refugees reside from as the most as numbers of nations, religions, and breeds.
But that doesn’t mean, we should have our boundaries porous and forgot internal security aspect. Rohingyas issue cannot be evaluated on the basis of humanitarian grounds. Rohingyas have their history associated with terrorism.
According to UNHCR latest report of 2014, India accommodates 2,03,383 population of concerned refugees including 4,718 pending cases of asylum seekers. Besides this, there is a vast number of people those have been already settled and provided accommodation in India due to various conflicts in neighboring countries. This variety of migrants spreads across as many as 40 odd origins which indeed is an example of India’s tradition to welcome all in her heart and allow them to live happily.
Long back before Independence, Parsis and Jews were provided shelter In India. More than 120,000 Tibetan refugees remain in India today. The Tibetan diaspora maintains a government in exile and functions from McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharmshala.
During the Bangladesh Liberation War, India gave shelter to the Bengalis fleeing genocide by the Pakistan Army’s SSG units. Indian states such as West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura established refugee camps along the border.
There are almost 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements in Indian cities, some cities being Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat and Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, and Jaipur in Rajasthan. More than 60,000 Afghan refugees came to India during the 1979 Soviet-Afghan War. There is almost one lakh Sri Lankan Tamils affected due to LTTE crisis staying in India. India has several Nepali and Bhutanese living peacefully, and they are securing their livelihoods in India. The refugees from China, Burma, Somalia, Palestine also live in India. The people of African origins including Negroid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid races are also in the countable figures in India. Further, the people from Middle East countries like Turkey, Arab and Gulf also have their presence in India. India too hosts a significant number of Rohingyas in Delhi, Hyderabad, Kashmir, West Bengal and Northeast India
Further, there is a small but recognizable Russian community in India which comprises Indian citizens of Russian heritage as well with Russian expatriates and migrants residing in India. Most of them live in the state of Goa. Likewise, Luso-Indian is a subgroup ethnicity from Luso-Asians and are people who have mixed varied Indian subcontinent and Portuguese ancestry or people of Portuguese descent born or living in the Republic of India.
India has a free approach in relation to all people, and a proof of that is the granting of long-term visas and work permits to refugees. But It’s the bizarre scene when a few intellectuals charge India’s current condition for raising the intolerance towards Rohingyas Muslims.