What does this means for the world today? Tomorrow?
Criticism on the US inaction or the controlled silence is enraging the entire world and it is likely soon to erupt in to even a wild cry and outrage. Already voices have come out calling this tragedy is a US making.
The US invasion of Iraq, supported by the UK, then the interventions in Afghanistan and now, the Syrian developments had all contributed to this new unprecedented crisis.
Is there a task for India here?
Some hard questions need to be asked. New and bold thinking, why even, a new world scenario needs to be drawn up. Here are some thoughts. The world is agog with new crises on the Syrian and other countries’ refugees’ influx into Europe.
Every day brings in new influxes of people in flight across the national boundaries. Hungary and Macedonia are the entry point s at the moment, may be tomorrow some other country’s name might prop up.
Human tragedies on this scale we haven’t witness for almost a lifetime, since the days of the Second World War. India is seen by the outside world, if not by we, as the largest democracy. As such we have a duty to speak out our minds freely and in a transparent manner.
But it is a shocking that both the Prime Minister Mr.Modi and the Congress President Sonia Gandhi are seen indulging in some cheap verbiage and it is demanding our own image as citizens of a free world and the at too as a great democracy.
The BJP may be in power but India is seen as a bastion of democracy and a leader of the Non-Aligned nations which had seen these sorts of exodus of people, as it was at the time of Independence in 1947.Since then there had been many such exoduses, the exodus of the Bangladeshi refugees on many occasions.
Yes, we have had many controversies, that too by the BJP on the issue of Bangladeshi immigrants. We are even now facing the issue in many parts of the North east.
Apart from our own experience, we have now a duty to speak out our minds. It is unfortunate that our media is ironically cynical and no TV news channel chose to show on its screens the mind-racking scenes, the daily pictures make the world today a very dangerous place.
The latest developments, from the sight of the 3-year old toddler and following it, the opening of the doors of Germany, Austria and France, also the happenings on the crossing of the refugees through Hungary, Greece and other national frontiers.
Now, what to do?
The question till date is: Is this a European crisis? Or a global concern?
Why the UN is silent? Or much more seriously, why the USA is also in such a disgusting non-seriousness?
Mr.Ban-Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the UN says, rather openly and sadly too, that the UN Security Council has failed in the Syrian crisis?
What sort of an admission is this? The SG is not here the culprit. It is the members of the Security Council, the bigfive, USA, UK, France, Italy and China that we have to blame.
Yes, the world is baling these big nations who, by accident of history, find themselves cast in this crucial role. But then, these big countries and of course besides other big nations, like ,say India and China and of course we can’t forget the great role Germany and France are playing in welcoming the pouring refuges population a,, heart-rending scenes and the way the EU responded is very laudable.
But then, as the international media is reporting that it is the big responsibility of the great nations, great economies like other countries in the Gulf and also outside, even Venezuela and other South American countries, every national must touch its conscience and see that refugees are the most persecuted peoples of any country, like the ones from which these people fleeing now, it is a universal phenomena. Migration is one thing. It is owing to economic factors. People have always been migrating.
For a country like India it is a historic experience. In the 1860s Indians went out as “coolies” to South Africa and elsewhere.
Today, Indians go out as technical hands to the USA and Australia and elsewhere. The Indians are very large population in all the Gulf countries. But this time, the great refugee crisis is the biggest after the Second World War.
Now, what next? How long this uncertain future for a looming crisis that is likely to persist, it seems, and no one, we mean, no one great country or great leader is speaking out.
Angela Merkel has emerged as the great voice of sanity.
She is a sure winner of this year’s Nobel. All good luck to the great lady.
Mr.Barack Obama is not talking at all these days. He must have done it already. Each day the US President remains quiet he is the loser. That would also tell on the country great many strengths and traditions like the media, academics and the great many sane voices.
So too the UK whose Prime Minister David Camera had made some weak noises.His words have no punch. Nor other great leaders.
Where is Vladimir Putin? This is a great opportunity for him to revive his fortunes. So too others like Mr.Modi who wants to project India on the international scene and who also wants a place on the Security Council.
India can emerge as the articulator of the issues and can also do many things.
We call upon the government of India and Mr.Modi in particular to constitute a high-power committee to deliberate and come out with a suitable response to this great humanitarian crisis.
India had played significant roles in many international crises. This is India’s great moment of reckoning. Please do something. Time is the essence of things.
The world as a whole can respond .It is for the UN to take the initiative.
Now, in a very belated and disappointing way the USA has chosen to speak out.
President Barack Obama, as the news reports put, in a brief Reuters report, “hundreds of Americans offered to take Syrian refugees into their homes and in an online petition to lift the limit on Syrian refugees”. President Obama “ordered his team to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees next year.”
Why this delay? When the flow of refugees everyday is increasing why this reluctant message from the richest nation on the earth. A country of migrants at that!
In fact, the USA should do more, more and comprehensive initiative to face this almost greatest humanitarian tragedy in the wake of the Syrian and other crises in Iraq and Afghanistan and in all of which the USA is the chief player!
The response of Obama is not very appropriate to say the least. It is not robust and it is not even adequate.
When the smaller nations of Europe, in terms of space and funds, it is the USA and its neighbours, say, Canada which can really accommodate more refugees.
Fortunately, this is not a migrant population and it is plain refugees escaping from persecution and other suppressions and oppressions and it is plain that is what is happening in all these countries from which these people are escaping.
The plight of the boat people is really terrible and there is a need to respond to this challenge with all our modern equipment to save and take these people to safe locations on the shore.
No less is depressing the plight of the people who face in human persecution from the middlemen, the brokers and other exploiters, not the least from the national border guards, policemen and even women journalist who, as the pictures from Hungary flashed on the screens and that led to the immediate suspension of the journalist who tripped a man running, sprinting with a child in Roszke village in Hungary. That outraged the whole world and the solution to the entry through the national frontiers became somewhat easier, as the days went on.
Now, the serious question is about the next stage of the crisis.Beginning October 1st, the USA will let in 10,000 refugees. The US is already letting in around 70,000 people from conflict zones as refugees each year. Fine. We have to appreciate that the USA is an open society and the refugee issue is not new to it.
In fact, it is one of the biggest issues faced by the USA ,the biggest economy and power.
But then, this current situation is unprecedented.There is a new global scale crisis and the IS and other terrorist groups are entrenched in Syria and the war, the civil war, is going on for some years.
The UN is almost non-functional.Even for this world stand still, the USA has to bear some responsibility for it.
Even the UN reforms is a very weak appeal by other nations and the USA is non-committal in re vivi9ng the UN agency.
There are now ,as we see, no sane voices.
Most of the sane voices, where they are, the Nobel Laureates and others who have some credibility to speak out, are intriguingly silent.
This is very disturbing. Even such personages like Pope Francis is talking something else!
Anyway, as far as some other nations are concerned, like Finland, why even the EU Council President Lithuania’s foreign minister, Linas Linkovicius, says, thankfully, a good word for the helpless victims of this exodus. He says the educated migrants (refugees) could help create jobs! Oh, how nice, these positive messages.
Each and everyone can contribute at this hour of crisis.
This is how humanity benefits.
The crisis is not within any sight of a solution.
The UN Refugee Agency has said that the number of people expected to cross the Mediterranean seeking refuge in Europe is likely to reach 4,00,000 this year and 4,50,000 in 2016.So,by 2016 the total number is likely to reach an unprecedented 8.50,000 people. And President Obama promises to take in only 10,000 in 2016!
Obvious, this US response is very inadequate to the current challenge faced by EU.
The US should more and takes in more number of people. Also, the US and its allies and others also can explore other countries, more in the Balkan region which are willing to take more refuges and can do more to help to manage the situation.
All these arguments don’t let out other countries, say in the Gulf region, even in Turkey and other neighbouring countries.
Some sensible and positive suggestions have come out. More would be expected in the coming days. How to engage the world energies to find a tolerable world spec for everybody to live in human dignity.
Just now I read a column by Steve Hilton, a former adviser to British PM, David Cameron outlines some policy initiatives. Creating a special economic zone near Jordon, Obama’s Open Government Partnership to create new opportunities even in such countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Algiers.
Whatever may be the compulsions on the Western governments, this crisis is not the one to vacillate or delay decisions.
This is really a US-UK triggered chain of events.
It is for the wisest to act in some real seriousness.
Also, something has to be done to ease the current and expected harsh measures countries like Hungary and Macedonia are imposing to prevent entry of new people. They are passing anti-immigrant laws and erecting fences across their borders. The TV news channels are also doing their bit of great service by showing footages of people in thousands travelling in buses and trains .
These are in any case the most harrowing experience of a generation of people who were least prepared to see such horrors of man-made tragedies.
The world has to wake up and get doing things that only an enlightened political leadership can do.