Syrian refugees and India

All those watching the international news every day, know about the Syrian refugees’ saga. Them trying to seek refuge in any which country makes for a pitiable sight. They have every right to lead a life with dignity..

Few of them have crossed over to neighbouring countries like Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. However, there are countless who are in search of safer havens. Really like the way Germany and Sweden have taken the lead in assimilating these refugees into their countries and it’s a welcome step. Other European nations need to step up as well. These countries should not just provide them with food and shelter but also make sure that they are brought into the main stream and lead a dignified life.

None of us can imagine how painful and horrendous it can be to leave your own motherland. And I can only pray for such people.

I’ve seen quite a few people suggest that India should fulfil its role and take up a few such refugees (few corresponds to a few thousand). Though poetically it seems so perfect, in my opinion, INDIA SHOULD NOT ACCEPT ANY SYRIAN REFUGEES.

Before any “so-called secular” pundit develops any pre-conceived notions against it, please take the pain of reading the whole post. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION.

Leave all the morality aside for a while and think practically. India is a developing nation. Its population is second largest in the world. Almost half the population in India has to strive in order to eat one square meal a day. We have our own problems to deal with. If you cannot provide for countless number of Indians, then why strain it more by getting in the Syrian refugees?

How many of us would take such orphaned Syrian kids into their families? People here can barely feed their family. Why would they face additional burden by adopting a Syrian kid, let alone a family? I am sure most of us wouldn’t. And there is nothing wrong in that. You wouldn’t be called heartless for it. Even if we could, why don’t we do it for the countless homeless Indian families first?

Imagine the plight of the governments which struggle to manage their budgets on a regular course. Something like this, and the budget would collapse totally. Also, wouldn’t it be unjust if the Syrian refugees get shelter and two square meals a day courtesy the Indian Government while the farmers in Vidarbha have to commit suicide because they fail to repay loans owing to poor monsoon? There are many such practical difficulties involved and it’s a very complex process. Wax eloquent about humanitarian considerations. But would you, if you have to foot the bill for it?

India has accepted countless number of refugees in the past. Be it the Nepalese, the Bangladeshis, the Tibetans, the Afghanis, Lankan Tamils etc. The greatest testament to this fact would be that the religious head of the Tibetans- the Dalai Lama has seeked refuge in India. So to say that India is against accepting refugees wouldn’t be right.

The hard reality is we do not have enough money, infrastructure, facilities, housing, food, or schools to sustain this, not to mention the sheer population nightmare that we’ll face. There is tremendous strain on the limited resources that we have.

India first needs to gets its house in order first before accepting any refugee in the country, be it a Syrian or a Lebanese or a Korean.

It is not a competition of who is accommodating more. Even if a country accepts ten refugees, it should promise them a decent living. Are we really that strong economically that we can provide them with that kind of a living?
Better do nothing, than do it wrong.

At best what we could do is provide them with any military aid if requested by Syria to help them solve their civil war.


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