The Rohingya conflict: A critical look from a global and regional lens
Edited by Kudret Bulbul, a professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey, Md Nazmul Islam, a Bangladeshi who teaches at the Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, and Md Sajid Khan, a research scholar in the Department of Social Work at Hacettepe University, Ankara—Rohingya Refugee Crisis in Myanmar: Ethnic Conflict and Resolution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) observes critical aspects of the crisis that has seen over 1.3 million Rohingyas seeking shelter from Rakhine in Bangladesh.
In the introduction and also its first chapter, Abdur Rahman Fuad and Ali Dadan dive deep into the origin of Rohingyas and the glorious past of the Muslim Kingdom in Arakan. The second chapter touches upon genocide, forced migration, and forced labour from a global perspective with regards to international law. In contrast, the third chapter narrows down in its discussion of forced migration and human trafficking in context of the Rohingya refugees in South Asia.
The work in its entirety discusses the current as well as a hypothetical future for Rohingyas. The authors propose practical approaches to resolving an ethnic conflict of this magnitude. They have tried to consider the crisis as an international issue played out by two Asian giants, namely India and China, and a number of chapters deal with the Indian policy and realpolitik for the world's most persecuted refugees and interest in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. Asif Bin Ali critically develops the Myanmar government's policies and politics against the Rohingyas. And Sariful Islam analyzes the interest of the present Government of Bangladesh in terms of hosting Rohingyas as a humanitarian response.
The book has some flaws, however. While it does cover a wide range of topics, a significant number of the essays have been written by the same writers, including the editors themselves. Therefore, the discourse seems to create a bubble of ideas that could have been avoided by including more authors. Second, the organisation of the book has not been well planned out. And while some of the chapters have solid theoretical and empirical basis, the rest merely gather information that lacks any solid analytical support.
Conversely, the authors seek to analyse the grave issue under the theme of media representation in Bangladesh and India. In addition, the role of western countries, particularly in providing foreign aid through INGOs and NGOs, has been presented in the last two chapters of the book, along with accounts from the perspective of Rohingyas.
In its consideration of the nationalistic politics of the Myanmar government, the authors have shown how Bangladesh has become one of the primary victims of the crisis; in various capacities, they propose, Bangladesh has even made political profit out of the situation. Because of its various tools for analysing the problem, this book can be referred to for history, politics, sociology, international relations, and media studies.
Md Niamot Ali is a PhD candidate at the Doctoral School of Sociology and Communication Science, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.