As Islamic State warriors are closing on to Sinjar Mountains, the Yezidi fighters, most who took up whatever arms were available even kitchen knives, are finding it hard to believe that world is still not worried about the fate of thousands of innocent men, women and children whose sole mistake is that they worship Taus Melek or Peacock Angel whom Hindus know as the Commander of all Gods Murugan/Karthikeya/Sanath Kumar. While discussing with them the situation they are in, they show fear that either they will be killed or be converted; the latter of these two fears is what they consider as bad as death itself.
But the most potent question that many Indians are asking is why are Yezidis trying to forge bond with Indians and particularly with Hindus? What is their motivation? Is there something sinister behind this outreach? Some even argue as to why must Hindus get involved with a group that does not even identify itself as a ‘Hindu’ and has traces of what several feel, concepts, that do not exactly blend with Hinduism.
Keeping these questions in mind I asked a Yezidi man, as to why do the Yezidis feel that Indians, and particularly Hindus, would like to help them? His answer was straight; he said that it was because ‘there is no one else who would like to help us without converting us and we are aware that only and only Hindus are like that.’ This 44-year old man, who goes by the name of Hatim is a guide by profession and based in Dohuk, is absolutely sure that the ‘Hindus will help and India will help.’
But the question is why must India help Yezidis who have no known connection with India for thousands of years? To this he did not have an answer except that ‘will you not try to help your cousins if they are in danger and left India for Iceland? I know you people help (everyone)… (those too) who have no bond but we know you and we like you. Won’t you help?’
Many may not find this argument or should we say a helpless and defeated plea convincing, certainly when we shun emotions and measure each thing in terms of value addition, then this helpless community of a few millions (some claim them to be as less as 5, 00, 000) staring at the biggest genocide of the 21st century that promises to wipe it out completely, is not worthy of investing in. Assuming this to be the way forward, now let us consider why India or Hindus ‘should not’ help the Yezidis. The only reason of not helping the Yezidis is as that they hold no value, and in any case there is always the defensive argument like when there is a fire in our very own house then why go to Iraq (youngsters waving Islamic State flags is a reality in India). Plus there is one more like has India done anything for Pakistani and Bangladeshi Hindus and Sikhs, who share immediate ties with us? Then why bother?
The Chief Editor, International Strategist and Founder of http://www.AmritWorld.com Mr. Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’ explains this aspect in a conversation by saying that ‘India went to Sri Lanka to fight LTTE. Indian Army was sent to Maldives in 1988; in the case of Yezidis none of this has happened nor may this happen. But we are still in a position to help; all that are needed are manpower and money.” Explaining further he also gave another example of Fiji, where Mahinder Chaudhary, a Hindu Prime Minister was thrown out by the army. He said “everyone spoke against his removal, he was a staunch Hindu, but India did nothing, on the other hand New Zealand went ahead and sent a warship and Fijian Army hastily retreated. Mr. Chaudhary traces his roots to Haryana but did India bother? For no less than 56 days did the Fijian Army keep him captured.”
For Yezidis, he said that they are a very tiny minority in Iraq and now, since Kurdistan will soon be an independent nation hence they (Yezidis) will again be a minority there, but not as small as they are in Iraq. They will be just a religious minority and not an ethnic one so considering this scenario if India or Hindus help Yezidis it would be helping the soon-to-be independent state of Kurdistan. And therefore any help will only strengthen the bond between this new state with India, and the benefit? Well! This would be an oil producing friendly country in the heart of Middle East.
But keeping the money dynamics aside, even if India, or Hindus as Yezidis want, come to their aid then it only makes sense as they are a very small minority, plus the adoration and loyalty with which they look up to India with is something that several crore illegal Bangladeshis will never be able to do. So the choice for India is simple, and surprisingly, without any dilemmas. Just manpower and money is needed to help this minute minority, no need to send armed forces. Protecting Yezidis today makes sense as it will benefit Indians tomorrow.
How Yezidis and Hindus are forming a bond slowly but surely
Hindus and Yezidis must be credited to be looking at each other with curiosity and that too with extreme positivism. Small efforts have already been undertaken by both the communities, like Yezidi students in Bangalore going to celebrate Diwali with Hindus after visiting Murugan temple, Yezidi kids especially asking Hindus to help them, Qasem Sesho appealing to Hindus and Yezidi groups meeting Hindu leaders etc.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has already gone a step further and has promised to aid Yezidis displaced by current turmoil. So, we can presume that so far everything is positive from both the sides, but yes, only time will tell how Hindus and Yezidis take this relationship forward and whether both are ready to cement the bond further.