New Delhi: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi's association with India goes back many years. Suu Kyi is the alumna of the prestigious Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi.
That was before she got into active politics and was incarcerated by the military junta in Myanmar, much before she got the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1991.
It is quite natural that her college in Delhi wanted to accord recognition to one of its most illustrious students. So they have named a Department after her - the Aung San Suu Kyi Centre of Peace. It was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 2013.
Five years later, so much has changed in the international politics. When she got the Nobel, no one would have though that Suu Kyi would one day come out of jail to win elections. That she would be welcoming the foreign heads of states and governments around the world.
In the process, however, Suu Kyi's metamorphosis from an activist to a power wielding politician has come under severe scrutiny. Especially her response to the persecution of Rohingya Muslim minorities in Rakhine state.
Riya Agarwal, an LSR student pursuing Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, expects Suu Kyi to be more compassionate in dealing with the crisis.
She feels that since Suu Kyi has studied in India, the expectation comes naturally. “She has studied in India, which is a land of compassion, we can refer to what Jawaharlal Nehru did with the Tibetans, and try to replicate in our own challenging circumstances.”
India and Myanmar- In the joint press statement on Tuesday- resolved to cement bilateral ties. Simran Bains, another student at LSR, asks , “What is stopping Suu Kyi from taking a stand? We expect she should voice her opinion on what’s happening in her country.”
A student who did not want to disclose her identity felt that Suu Kyi's silence may be due to political compulsions back home. "We expect her to act as a political leader and check what’s happening in her own home. We might sit here and pass judgment at her inaction and silence over Rohingya crisis but maybe her challenges are different.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also called for the Muslims of Rakhine state to be given either nationality or legal status, and voiced concern about violence that has since late August forced nearly 125,000 people to flee and risk destabilising the region.
Naini Bhandari, from the BA program, said, “Not just Myanmar, it is the responsibility of all the nations to speak on Rohingya issue, including India. We cannot shut doors either. It is the world’s problem and cannot be looked as Myanmar’s issue. The people who are dying are human beings. We need to do something about it.”