Patriarchal Traditions vs the Military Caste – Myanmar
who are conversant with East or South Asian political trends would be aware that Burma, India and Sri Lanka formed part of the British Empire up until immediately after the Second World War when India gained its Independence in 1947 (Burma’s self-rule as complete independence was sealed on January 4, 1948).
What may not be as well recognized is that the ‘division of labour’ in Burma reflected the migration of several thousands of Bengalis and other Hindu centred people from India into Burma, where these peoples consolidated a rural as well as urban petit bourgeoisie together with an increasingly influential Chinese mercantile class.
Under the weight of a rural patriarchal system many Rohingya remained underdeveloped and oppressed; and it is against this dialectic with Moslem insurgencies trending in Bangladesh, Kashmir, Thailand as well as Indonesia that the Yangon based military elite declared a campaign against so called Rohingya extremists.
It is not surprising that Aung San Sui Kyi has been unable, unwilling to condemn the military/police violence and massacres carried out against the Rohingya, especially since the August 25 guerilla campaign was initiated by a mixed collection of local and foreign Moslems in various parts of the country.
The Myanmar military continues to wield extraordinary powers. Credit banks and facilities, construction firm and transportation networks have been associated with military ownership and control.
Additionally, similar to elsewhere in Asia religious extremists have issued xenophobic calls for expulsions.
Rohingyas have very little hopes for genuine reforms. The system excludes them from participating in critical social activities.
Education, gender, health and employment opportunities are routinely denied.
And whilst India’s Prime Minister NarendraModi was recently assured of the rights of its citizen’s protection by Aung San Sui Kyi, no one is aware of whether similar assurances have been sought or provided to the Saudi aristocracy considered as “the protector” of adherents of the Wahabi and all other Believers in the teachings of Mohamed – the Last Prophet on Earth”.
Myanmar, some aspects of the militarized bourgeoisie dictatorship
With the historical exception of post Meiji Japan (reflected in Tokyo’s 1934 Amau Statement – modeled on the Munroe Doctrine of US imperialism) and the DPRK (or North Korea), the most powerful militarized dictatorship, based on the consolidation of hegemony over the state apparatus has developed in Myanmar ( formerly Burma). At an empiricist level, this East Asian paradigm represents a historic process that witnessed Myanmar, a mainland country of some 676,652 sq km being transformed into a territory where the national bourgeoisie collaborates with the military backed oligarchy to maintain a Buddhist spiritual domination over the proletariat and revolutionary peasants.
In fact, it is impossible to comprehend the Myanmar ‘complexity’ without first investigating the emergence of the ‘multipolar’ provincial (or state) blocs based on ethnic affiliation or heritage. In terms of an ‘Asian” influenced ‘sociology’ this process is not exclusively a result of divide and rule engineered by external colonial forces; but was part of the territory’s evolution dating from we could suggest, the dissolution of what the historians described as Pagan Burma-along the IrrawadyRiver – by the end of the 13th century.
And that ‘ long wave’ of eight centuries has been characterized by literally scores of local and territorial wars, conflicts of provincial resistance and reformations based on the development of a centralized political class either in Rangoon or Yangon.
The Rohingya inhabit the Rakine state or province geopolitically adjacent to Bangladesh. The bulk of the Rohingya are rural villagers. However, similar to other minorities in East Asia these communities migrate, or form part of diaspora-influenced neighbourhoods (migrating to Bangladesh being the most favoured option.
During the period of British colonialism (18861948), it is claimed that for whatever reason and faced with a pro-Japanese stance adopted by the predominantly Buddist political movement, the Rohingya sided with the British. It is also possible that sections of Rohingya were recruited to fight against Japanese occupation. However, there are other states or provinces of ethnic minorities such as the Arakan, the Karen, the Mon, the Kashin as well as the Shan.
Armed i nsurgencies for greater autonomy and eco- social freedoms have been made or launched by the Karen, the Kashins well as the Shan through organized liberation movements.