2017 -The International Year of Hate, Fear and Refugees

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2017 was a difficult year. Increasing hatred to one another, hatred leading to fear and migration dominated the year in many parts of the world. World Sikh News calls it the Year of Hate, Fear and Refugees. From the international standpoint -the World Year of Hate, from the Human rights perspective, the Year of Refugees and from the Indian angle, the Year of Fear.

At the global level, WSN recognises that Hate was the prime mover for many politicians and groups – from Donald Trump in the US to the radicals in the Middle East to Israel’s torture of Palestinians to ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to nuclear war mongering by North Korea, to Europe and North America not opening arms to influx of refugees and the tension of war in Iran.

At the drop of a hat, we had leaders of political parties and community forums indulging in hate-mongering oblivious of long term consequences. Without a pinch of doubt, for the world, hate was predominant.  

Human Rights Year of Refugees: The swollen faces, the seeking hand, the people in boats, the desperate children -all these images of refugees stunned the world throughout 2017.Though sadly nothing much could be achieved to alleviate their condition and  reduce their suffering, many countries like Turkey, Bangladesh and Germany stand out as shining examples of those who have welcomed the refugees with open arms, standing to the problems such a situation creates at the local level, man across the globe bolted their doors.

The United Nations has made the right noises regarding ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the war in Yemen and Syria, but the stream of thousands of people rendered stateless continues. For all of this and more, from a human rights perspective, 2o17 was Human Rights Year of Refugees.

Gauri Lankesh

Indian Year of Fear: In India, it was the Year of Fear  -fear of the wrath of the political establishment. It was a bad year for journalists, opinion makers and satirical artists in India. Facebook posts were dropped, Economic and Political Weekly editor resigned to keep the institution going, a young artiste was debarred from a TV parody show as he imitated the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the one in waiting. The sad thing is that the climate of fear and impunity to the perpetrators continues. Last year, India forgot to laugh or even smile, except on the Kapil Sharma comedy show.

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