Aug 25, 2013


It is surprising to see violence in a non-violent Buddhist Myanmar. I have known that country as a tolerant place that spent most of its modern history under the strict rule of the Junta. Even many Myanmar students with whom I spoke said that there is no problem between Muslims and Buddhists of Myanmar. Muslims have been in the business line for centuries and virtually the entire Yangoon resembles a bustling business city with strong Muslim presence. This was fine when the military was in charge as they faced opposition from fellow Buddhists who want to ride the bandwagon of democracy. Thus after the much-awaited release of the daughter of revolution people thought that the real prosperity has arrived. Even a close friend of her who was known to me returned to Myanmar after nearly twenty-five years only to die there of cancer. The late Salim bhai as I affectionately called him spoke highly of the Buddhists and painted a very rosy picture of life in Myanmar. I for one wanted to follow him to Myanmar in the early days of the democratic fever. But what followed after that belied that mirage.

We have been hearing and reading about plunder, arson, rape and killing in Myanmar that have been systematically carried out with vengeance that targets Muslim businesses, places of worship and houses, all by hatred fanned by unscrupulous criminals cloaking the garb of pious monks who agitate the public to do such heinous crimes. There is a need to look at the picture differently. I do not see this as a Myanmar problem. In fact I see it as more of an attempt by the West to create a wedge between Muslims and the Buddhists who have been living in relative peace for centuries. Their real aim is to turn China against the Muslim world. They feel unhappy with China's principle position towards the Muslim world and its unflinching moral stand behind many Muslim problems in the world. That is why the joker Netanyahu visited China to discuss about Palestinian problem. The West is trying its level best to bring about a collision course between the two religious communities through their agents planted in a number of countries in this region to kick start their dirty war. Even in Sri Lanka the Muslims were attacked by Buddhists recently, not to mention the problem in Thailand.

I only hope religious leaders of the both these communities do play their positive role in bridging the rift created by uncalled suspicions and false accusations and work towards a prosperous future for all.


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