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Five Communities That Took Refuge in India

Updated on August 21, 2016

Over the millennia, people have been taking refuge in far away land they are not familiar of. In the modern times, the United Nations is doing all it can to help conflict effected people. In the ancient and medieval times, the world was different, and there was no world body to look after the needs of the people who take refuge. They had to rely on the king or the monarch of the land they would take refuge.

The recent refugee crisis has seen lot of people being displaced. Some people can afford to move easily because of their financial situation. They can start a new life elsewhere, however, some people cannot afford to get by, and they have to wait a long time to be legally let in. The recent refugee crisis has seen lot of people struggle to find a place to start a life. Europe is closing its doors on the refugees, or are selectively letting them into the country.

India is a land of many religions, communities. It has a history of thousands of years. over these years many people have stepped foot in this land, and many of them decided to stay. Some people came to stay because of the fear of being persecuted in their land, and some people moved here for a better life.

India does not have a policy that restrict the entry of the Syrian refugees, but India is geographically tough to reach. People choose Europe because of the fragile geo politics. There are many Syrian refugees in Delhi. India has had many refugee situations in the past, and here are some of the most notable. Below are some of the important events that made people seek refuge in India:

1) The Civil War in Sri Lanka: In the Civil War in Sri Lanka, the common people were the most effected. The Tamil people living in North Sri Lanka where the war was concentrated, were effected, and over a hundred thousand people have crossed the sea, and reached Tamil Nadu in India for better life. The was has ended, however the people are still struggling to find a happy life despite politicians promising them of better facilities.

2) The 1971 Genocide in East Pakistan: After the 1970 elections in Pakistan, the Bengali majority Awami League came to power, unable to let Mujibur Rehman of the Awami League become the President, the current President ordered the army to keep the Awami League from power. The genocide that was orchestrated to keep the Awami League out of power led many Bengali people in East Pakistan take refuge in India.

There was an influx of people, and the world community chose to ignore the situation. This culminated in the Bangladesh Liberation War, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. However, many years later now, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh are trying to increase trade and co-operation between them now. I hope travelers of the above mentioned countries can backpack in the others.

3) Invasion of Tibet: Tibet was a peaceful region that is also religious. Besides, the Dalai Lama is chosen here. In the year 1959, Chinese army overran Tibet, and occupied it. The current Dalai Lama crossed the Himalayas, and reached India. many people of Tibet followed the Dalai Lama, crossed the Himalayas and reached India. There are more than 150,000 Tibetans living in India, mostly in Dharamsala, and Bylakuppe in Karnataka.

4) The Siege of Jerusalem: The Holy City of Jerusalem was attacked and taken numerous times. When the Roman Empire laid siege on the city, many Jewish people escaped to nearby Syria, and many other countries surrounding it. There was also Jewish influx into India between the 2nd century BC to the 6th century AD. When the Jews arrived at the coast of Kerala, the King welcomed them. He even let them participate in trade and business. There are many Jewish people in india today, and there are many new communities that are thriving in India. Some of the communities serve Jewish backpackers in India.

5) The Annexation of Poland: During the late 1930, and early 1940, Hitler's Nazi Party was obsessed with world domination. When the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union attacked Poland, many Polish people, including officials and army men were arrested. Many among them were women and children. Many were executed in various camps.

About 110,000 Polish people who escaped the gulags of Siberia were able to reach Africa, New Zealand, and the UK. Some of them escaped to India. A ship containing Polish refugees landed in Nawanagar, and the King of Nawanagar, called Jam Saheb took in the refugees. He also adopted 640 Polish children, who now call him bapu, father in Hindi. There are many Polish refugees around the world who owe their existence to him.

These are the most important refugee crisis in Indian history. India has let in refugees many times before, despite it not being a signatory to the Convention in 1951, and 1967 Protocol relating to Status of Refugees. As per the Convention, asylum a Human Right.


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