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The Syrian Refuge Crisis: Some Things Cannot be Forgotten With The New Year.

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With a new year already on its way, the Syrian refugee crisis grows its roots further and enters into a new year too, though ignored by the international community.


Three years old Alan Kurdi’s lifeless body washing up on the seashore near a Turkish resort, as if it were a dead whale lying on the beach, has already become a relic of the past. As the numbers threaten to cross the 11 million mark this time, the Syrian refugee crisis has already gone out of hands. The international community is having a hard time evading the stark truth, since those nations now undertaking the rehabilitation have been, in part, responsible for propelling the crisis too.

With thousands flocking the borders, the U.S. and European Union now find themselves in a murky pool. Where sheer numbers have overwhelmed order and structure, it is a blot on humanitarian efforts to term these people ‘migrants’. The media and the international community use the term in tandem. But it just seems too polite, compared to the word refugees. As refugees, they stand outside the periphery because they do not have choices. Mass scale events like the recent Global Citizen concert in Mumbai, are all but an eyewash for the real victims. And as refugees, as the homeless, they can let their pathetic conditions be exposed—stark naked under the spotlight of a global media circus which ran their stories for a few months maximum, merely to increase its ratings.

As of today, the global scenario is one of extreme apathy. The refugee goes knocking from door to door, receiving no favourable replies. The Kurdis were themselves denied asylum by Canada’s Conservative Party in June, 2015. Also, let us not forget that these refugees are fleeing not only from the attacks of The Islamic State, as terror-inducing as that is on its own, but also from bombings of the U.S. in their region. The ones caught between the crossfire did not make it out alive. The others who were not so unlucky, now find the EU meting out a step-fatherly attitude. It goes without saying, of course, that the United Nations peace missions are grossly under-staffed and under-funded to deal with a large scale pandemonium such as this. The makeshift tents which try to hand over their childhood to them, can never be called ‘home’ by the children.

Keeping aside the question of whose mess it was, the most pertinent issue raised should be about ‘criminality’. The fact that the media tries to skillfully tiptoe over the line by only focusing on the terrible plight and living conditions of the refugees, should come as nothing short of an embarrassment. Though that is important news too, the media should do more than merely focus on poverty or it becomes a veil to evade the real issue—why are the Syrians, in particular, being regarded with suspicion. Moreover, does such an attitude not find itself embedded in graver discourses of racial and religious discrimination, given that it is aimed particularly at the Syrian community? If it is not just about regarding refugees in general with suspicion, then is it a larger re-playing of Islamophobia across the world? These are questions raised implicitly by the refugees themselves, perhaps a tad too bold but nevertheless significant, which the media seems to shy away from. And when it does, it only digs its own grave deeper by exposing a wealth of hypocrisy.


 Deepannita Misra

([email protected])

Image Credits: www.ibtimes.com and www.famousartistsgallery.com


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