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Mein Kampf for Myanmar: Go Myanmar Nazis, Go!

By Dr Maung Zarni 
RB Opinion
October 15, 2017

Ethnicity and Race are INVENTIONS, MADE-UP, CONSTRUCTED with an identifiable political purpose.

But the country is moving in the different direction on this, that is, Hitler's blood-based, "real", notions of RACE.

In the most recent Irrawaddy "Debate" hosted by Ye Ni who advocates openly "surgical operations" against "Bengali", one Burmese anthropology professor from Mandalay raised the issue that there are no people called Rohingyas in Chittagong.

(In fact, it was Hitler who used the term "surgical operations" in his Mein Kampf or My Story.

There are no Chins in India North East (across from the Chin Hills of Burma. They are called Zo. That's identities shifting across geographic space.

Time/context wise, here is another example of fluidity of identity.

In the colonial period, the flag raised against the ruling British colonizers is: Burmese.

Coastal region Rakhine commercial, Lower Burma cultural elite Buddhists, Mon commercial, and Dry Zone-rooted cultural elite Buddhists forged a political identity called "Burmese", using the common oppression as a common bridge and Buddhism as an additional pillar of their newly forged umbrella identity.

General Council of Buddhist Association (GCBA) U Soe Thein was a Mon, but adopted the Burmese identity, as head of the majoritarian cultural - and later political movement from which the Peasant Uprisings sprang up under the local medicine man - Saya San. PM U Nu was a lower-Bama Mon. The late UN Sec. General U Thant, was a Lower Burma Kular-Bama mix, who adopted Bama Buddhist identity.

After independence, Rakhine and Mon shed that umbrella identity, and hoisted their primary identities as Rakhine and Mons and sought autonomy and equality in the post-independence period.

The most famous Rakhine leader, the Cambridge-trained ICS U Kyaw Min, my friend Prof. Ko Kyaw Tha Paw Oo's grandfather, was initially Burmese nationalist in the service of the British Colonial rule. He led the above-ground parliamentary push for autonomous Rakhine Statehood.

As a widespread phenomenon, Burmese of Chinese and Indian or Pakistani Muslim ancestry frontload their primary identities as "Muslim" or "Chinese" when the new social context is more accepting, liberal and tolerant, for instance, the United States or UK.

So my friends, Khin Khin of Chinese background in Burma would become Phillipa Tan, Win Ko would become Akbar Hamid, or Kyaw Zwa, Mohammad.

Even within a single political unit as Frontier Areas of Burma, Jing Hpaw (Kachin) would morph into Shan, a more powerful ethnic group.

After the waning of their dominance in the pre-colonial Burmese feudal entities, the Shan feudal elites, geographically closer to the Burmese Dry Zone centers of power, they would emulate Burmese power symbols, rituals, feudal customs and manners while those Shan feudal elites closer to Northern Siam or Thai kingdoms would be more culturally and politically tied to the Thai or Dai or Siamese.

Given the way the NLD and the military are leading the country, ideologically, it is conceivable that the Ministry of Education will use Mein Kampf as a prescribed text for Ethnicity and Race - 101. Go Myanmar Nazi, Go!

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