Using ‘Bengali’ as a slur is racist and ignorant

your say February 14, 2018 01:00

Re: Stephff’s View, yesterday.



I realise that Stephff is merely satirising Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese junta when he depicts The Lady insisting that the Rohingya are Bengalis. And I loathe politically correct thinking. But I find it disturbing that, so far as I know, nobody has pointed out the racism implicit in the Myanmar government’s constant use of “Bengalis” as a pejorative term.

The Bengalis are a justly proud people who have made great contributions to world culture in fields like literature, music, theatre, religion, and a variety of disciplines. Think of such eminent Bengalis as Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, Sir JC Bose, and, in more recent times, Amartya Sen, Ravi Shankar and Satyajit Ray, and you’ll get the idea.

For the Myanmar government and its acolytes to use the term “Bengalis” as an insult and a slur to denigrate members of this ethnic group merely highlights the ignorance, malevolence and sheer wrongheadedness of the users.

William Page

Samut Prakan