Even as thousands of Rohingya Muslims are fleeing Myanmar to escape violence and persecution at the hands of the country’s military and police, the chief of India’s premier body on social sciences believes they should not be tolerated in India.
Earlier this year, Kumar succeeded prominent academic S.K. Thorat as the head of the ICSSR, an autonomous body established by the Indian government in 1969 to promote social studies research.
Kumar, 76, served has the editor of two journals, Dialogue and Chintan Srijan, published by Astha Bharati, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting “India’s unity and integrity.”
The online news outlet, Scroll, has previously reported on the opinions that Kumar has professed over the course of years, including, “There is none in India, who has suffered more due to intolerance than Narendra Modi.”
Kumar’s remarks come at a time when the Modi government is making a legal case to deport Rohingya Muslim refugees from India, branding them as national security threat. The central government’s position has been condemned by human rights activists and lawyers who argue that even those who are not citizens are guaranteed protection under the Indian Constitution when they are on Indian soil.
Speaking at the ICHR event, Kumar said, “We should like to know about the Rohingyas also. What is their record? In 1943, when war was going on between the British and the Japanese, the British government of Burma supplied arms and ammunitions to the Rohingyas to fight against the Japanese, and the Rohingyas turned the gun towards the Buddhists,” he said.
“How can Burmese forget such enemies? They are not fools like Indians. The Burmese remember their enemies,”” Kumar continued. “My point is that we can’t placate illegal migrants. We should not do it. This nation should not tolerate them as a part of India.”
The Hindu further reported that Kumar had also claimed that Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan beat Ghori 17 times but did not kill him. The newspaper pointed out that history tells us there were only two battles.