A protest from a Rakhine historian against a press release on Rohingya
By Habib Siddiqui
Khin Maung Saw's thesis on trying to de-legitimatize the Rohingya history in Arakan is not new. For the last three years, as an obsessed, xenophobic Rakhine, much given to pen-pushing, and spread of hateful messages, he is known for trying his best to re-write history that would obliterate Rohingya's historicity in today's Arakan. His pseudo-history has been already refuted by others.
In this short rebuttal, let me point out something that I have maintained in last three decades, is that the history of the geographical region we commonly came to know as the South Asia including what is today called Myanmar, which is sandwiched between South Asia and South-east Asia, has no one beginning, no one chronology, no single plot or narrative. This gargantuan fact is recognized by all great historians -- Professor David Ludden (who recently retired from the U Penn), Romila Thapar, R.S. Sharma and many others -- who spent their lifetimes to study the region. To these unbiased and genuine historians of the ancient India and Burma, the region did not have a singular history, but many histories, with indefinite, contested origins and with countless separate trajectories that multiply the more we learn about the region. Obviously, such an understanding and analysis of history is unpopular and loathsome with communal, racist, xenophobic regimes and their propagandists and vanguards. The latter bigots would rather have it their way in which the minorities or the have-nots in power simply did neither exist nor mattered. To them, the affected persecuted people just appeared in the recent scene through mere accident of history like those possible through a magic lantern! That is the level of their disgusting chauvinism, which is often reflected through the claims and counter-claims of pen-pushing polemicists like Khin Maung Saw.
I am sure if half-educated charlatans like Khin Maung Saw had genuinely tried to study history from a neutral mindset, away from malice and hatred, our world especially that of the South-Asia and South-east Asia would have been quite different. We would not have hateful criminals like the SPDC and BJP ruling either Burma or India. Through their communal interpretation of history, these two-legged animals have given credence to the Darwinist interpretation of the origin of species that in places like Buddhist Burma there are still entities that have not fully evolved into human beings. With all the signs we see around us from these half-beasts, half-men, I am afraid we may not see their full evolution in our lifetime!
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