Wednesday, January 12

The Indian Schindler

We all have heard about the Schindler List, a movie which talks about Oskar Schindler who saves thousands of Jews from the concentration camps. But not many people know the history of India taking in refugees. The land has a very long history of welcoming persecuted people from other lands and giving them succour. Think back about the Parsi’s or the Zoroastrians who fled the fanatical Muslim invaders who had invaded Iran. They settled in India and are now one of the most advanced components of Indian society. The second example are the Tibetans who with Dalai Lama, escaped from Tibet and settled in India. The next example is that of the Sri Lankan Tamils who escaped the civil war in Sri Lanka and then settled back in Tamil Nadu. Another example are the Bengalis who escaped the genocide and persecution of the Pakistani’s and settled in India. India also offered Palestinian and Afghanistan leaders a safe place and many leaders and their family know India as a safe place to live and raise their kids. Hamid Karzai, the current Afghan President studied and lives in India for a long period of time.

But I did not know about Sassoons. The Sassoon family and the Prime Minister of Cochin state (now Kerala) offered to harbour Jewish Refugees. So at a time that USA and UK were actively stopping the relief of Jews who were desperately trying to escape the Nazi’s, a small corner of India was welcoming them with open arms. Here are some references. Incidentally, some Indian Jews in North East India are claiming to be Jews and are emigrating to Israel. Now that the Church, bloody hypocritically, is whining about losing adherents. When the shoe is on the other foot and all that.

Anyway, found this quite interesting about how India welcomed refugees.

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