The Answer Is Blowin’ In The Wind
The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) sent a ‘private‘ delegation to Syria in March 2018 to assess the political situation in the war-torn West Asian country. For the so-called ‘liberal‘ people in Germany, it is a serious issue as the AfD is popularly known as a far-right ‘Neo-Nazi’ party in European politics. In post-Hitler Germany, the AfD has created its own space with ‘religious fierce’, ‘racial hatred’, ‘anti-Semitism’, ‘ultra nationalism’ and ‘right-wing populism’. The party had managed to secure just 4% of votes in 2013 National Elections and failed to send a single member to the Bundestag. However, the AfD got 13% of votes in September 2017 polls and won 94 out of 598 seats in the Bundestag. The AfD’s success in 2017 elections has changed the character of German politics.
AfD state MP Christian Blex (R) shakes hands with Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun (L)
After the elections, it became really difficult for the mainstream parties in Germany to form a national government. In the last week of March 2018, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and so-called ‘centre-left’ Social Democratic Party (SDP) formed a coalition government in Berlin. The CDU and the SDP took nearly six months to form a government, as their main aim was to prevent the AfD from capturing power. The political analysts are of the opinion that had the mainstream parties failed to form the government, another election would take place and the AfD could come to power with an absolute majority. According to analysts, the AfD has gained popularity mainly because of its stance on the migrant issue. Now, it’s the main opposition party in Bundestag with 94 seats.
If a party, like AfD, sends delegates to Syria, then it should be a matter of great concern! In the last week of March, the neo-Nazis held a press conference to inform the German people about the ‘current’ political situation in Syria. Speaking at the media conference, senior AfD leaders said that the overall situation was ‘peaceful’ there and Germany could send back the Syrian refugees to their homeland. They further said that the AfD would ask the Angela Merkel government to deport Syrian migrants as soon as possible.
As per a report prepared by the government, the number of Syrian refugees in Germany is more than six million! The report claimed that there was a decrease in the number of Syrians arriving in Germany in 2016-17. It is to be noted that senior AfD parliamentarian Christian Blex described Germany as ‘altruist’ and ‘rich’, saying that Berlin could send a huge amount of financial aid to Damascus after deporting the refugees. He also expressed hope that the ‘package’ would encourage the Syrian government to take back its people. Blex told the mediapersons that the AfD was ready to ‘help’ the refugees on ‘humanitarian’ (!) ground. According to the top AfD leadership, the party is also ‘worried’ about the condition of Turkish, Afghan, North African and even South Asian refugees. He sent two clear messages – migrants are destroying the German culture and also damaging the German economy. Interestingly, the German media considered the AfD leaders’ views as ‘recommendations‘.
Meanwhile, some German sociologists have opined that there is still some confusion as to the concept of ‘national identity’ in a modern nation-state. They have raised an important issue: whether the identity of a refugee is a part of the ‘national identity‘ in the 21st century…..
Europe had deported migrants in the past. However, the scenario changed in 2016-17, as Germany failed to deport more than 70% migrants (because their governments didn’t send the necessary documents to the German Immigration Department). According to sources close to Berlin, 10% migrants have no ‘address’!
In the 21st century, Germany – one of the world’s most famous Welfare State – is facing a philosophical (or real) crisis. However, the Indian Subcontinent has been facing a similar crisis for the last 70 years. In fact, the Subcontinent doesn’t consider it as a ‘crisis’. Some say that although the region has experienced ‘Partition’, the concept of nation-state is still not there. As a result, the words – like ‘migrants’, ‘refugees’, ‘infiltrators’ (as defined by the UN) – have no significance in South Asia.
The history of ‘migrant crisis’ is not restricted to time and events. As a share of the total population, migrants constitute a substantial minority in Germany (10-15%) and slightly more in entire Europe. But in South Asia (where ‘Toba Tek Singh’ was published six decades ago), the figure seems to surpass 50%.
So far, politics has tried to overcome the migrant crisis through temporary measures. But, the AfD’s politics recommends a long-term anxiety to solve the crisis. And, we know the rest of the story…….
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