Institutional Strategies of Identity Constructions and Exclusions: Exploring the State of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

Ashwati CK, Rajeesh CS


This article elucidates how the widening cultural and ethnic differences are likely to exclude some identities featured by dissensions in terms of their cultural and ethnic origins in the context of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The core intention is to explore the process of exclusion of Rohingyas from a specific national identity. The findings show that Rohingyas access to the national identity can be undermined by the perspectives of the majority, who claims for straightforward sense of national identity. In addition, this work notes down the historical evolution of Rohingya Muslim identity from pre-colonial time to post Independent era with number of skirmishes and scuffles. It is found that through various processes of exclusion, Rohingyas in Myanmar are being compartmentalized and restricted to live in an enclave like situations. Even the squeezed socio-political, cultural and economic lives inside these enclaves are supervised. It makes them socially deserted, culturally discriminated, economically marginalized and politically under-represented. The study employs historical and analytical method to dig out the connection between historical evolution of Rohingyas and their present day status.


Rohingyas; Identity; Exclusion; Citizenship; Bamar; Military Regime

Full Text:



Abrar, C.R. (1995). Repatriation of Rohingya Refugees. Colombo: Regional Consultation of Refugee.

Abrar, C. R. (2000). On the Margin: Refugees, Migrants and Minorities. Dhaka: Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit.

Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS). (2009). The Rohingyas: From Stateless to Refugee (Panel discussion), July 22.

Bhattacharya, B. (1927). Bengali influence in Arakan. Bengal past and present. Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society, 33(65-66), 139-144.

Blackburn, T. R. (2000). The British Humiliation of Burma. Bangkok: Orchid Press.

Bond, R. (2006). Belonging and becoming: National identity and exclusion. Sociology, 40(4), 609-626.

Brookes, S. (2000). Through the Jungle of Death: A Boy’s Escape from Wartime Burma. London: John Murray Publishers Ltd.

Callahan, M. P. (2004). Making Myanmar’s: Language, Territory, and Belonging in Post-Socialist Burma. New York: Cambridge.

Castells, M. (2011). The Power of Identity. UK: Wiley Blackwell Publications Ltd, pp. 17-19.

Charney, M. W. (1998). Rise of a Mainland Trading State: Rahkaing Under the Early Mrauk-U Kings, c. 1430-1603. Journal of Burma Studies, 3(1), 1-33.

Craig, C. (1994). Social Theory and the Politics of Identity. London: Wiley Publications, pp. 112-113.

D’Costa, B. (2011). Nationbuilding, Gender and War Crimes in South Asia. London: Routledge.

De Haan, A. (1999). Social Exclusion: To-wards an Holistic Understanding of Deprivation. London: Department for International Development, pp. 22-23.

Dupont, A. (2001). East Asia Imperilled: Transnational Challenges to Security. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Etzioni, A. (1994). The Spirit of Community: The Re-Invention of American Society. New York: Simon and Schuster, pp. 212-213.

Farzana, K. F. (2010). Identity Formation and Policies of Exclusion and the Ethnicisation of ‘Minorities’ in Bur-ma: A Comparative Study of Burmese Policies towards the Rohing-ya, Karens and Shans. Kuala Lumpur: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre.

Farzana, K. F.. (2017). Memories of Bur-mese Rohingya Refugees: Contested Identity and Belonging. New York: The Palgrave Mcmillan.

Gibney, M. (2008). Who Should be Included? Noncitizens, Conflict and the Constitution of the Citizenry. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 17-18.

Giddens, A. (2013). Modernity and Self Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, pp. 5-7.

Harvey, G. E. (1967). History of Burma: From the Earliest Times to 10 March 1824 the Beginning of the English Conquest. London: Frank Cass and Co. Ltd.

Jilani, A. F. K. (1999). The Rohingyas of Arakan: Their Quest for Justice. Dhaka: The University Press Limited.

Khan, E., & Khan, S. S. (2009). Bangladesh forgets to Look East [Issue name: The Burmese Equation]. Dhaka Courier, 26(14), 7-10.

Khan, M. S. (1936). Muslims Intercourse with Burma. Islamic Culture, 10(3), 409-27.

Mattern, W. (1978). Burma’s brand of apartheid. Far Eastern Economic Review, 14, 30-32.

Moscotti, A.D. (1977). Burma’s Constitu-tion and Elections of 1974. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Oberoi, P. (2006). Exile and Belonging: Refugees and State Policy in South Asia. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Peiris, D. (1978). Disturbance on the Bor-der of Peace: The Exodus Reversed. Far Eastern Economic Review, May 19, p. 36.

Phayre, A.P. (1967). History of Burma: Including Burma proper, Pegu, Taungu, Tenasserim, and Arakan. Lon-don: Susil Gupta.

Razzaq, A., and M. Haque. (1995). A Tale of Refugees: Rohingyas in Bangladesh. Dhaka: The Centre for Human Rights.

Serajuddin, A. M. (1986). Muslim Influence in Arakan and the Muslim names of the Arakanese Kings: a Reassessment. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, 31(1), 17-23.

Silverstein, Josef. (1981). Minority Problems in Burma since 1962. Singapore: Maruzen Asia Press Ltd.

Smith, M. (1994). Ethnic Groups in Burma: Development, Democracy and Human Rights. London: Anti-Slavery International.

Smith, M. (1999). Burma: Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity. London: Zed Books Ltd.

Taylor, Charles. (1992). Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition: An Essay. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Taylor, R.H. (2009). The State in Myanmar. Singapore: National University Singapore Press.

Tinker, H. (1957). The Union of Burma: A Study of the First Year of Independence. London: Oxford University Press.

Yegar, Moshe. (1972). The Muslim of Burma: A Study of Minority Groups. Jerusalem: Hebrew University press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Otoritas : Jurnal Ilmu Pemerintahan

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Creative Commons License

Otoritas : Jurnal Ilmu Pemerintahan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
View My Stats