Majoran Vivekananthan is editor of Norway’s first multicultural newspaper, Utrop, and has a background as an advisor at the Norwegian Directorate of Children, Youth and Families and as a project advisor for Diversity Year 2008 at the Ministry of Culture.
Vivekananthan, who lives in Sri Lanka, from where he runs the newspaper Utrop, makes mildly sensational statements about asylum seekers in Oslo.
The editor believes that when the city councillor for the environment and transport in Oslo, Sirin Stav from the Green Party (MDG), made public transport in Oslo and Viken free for absolutely all asylum seekers, the damage had already been done.
Vivekananthan then thinks about the fact that the offer has already existed for about a year, but exclusively for people who had fled Ukraine.
“Even when the scheme was introduced, some reacted to the discrimination. Those who had fled Afghanistan, for example, had to pay for themselves if they wanted to take the bus. Otherwise, they couldn’t travel,” writes Utrop’s editor in an editorial.
Vivekananthan displays enormous hatred in his article and it is clear who the hatred is directed at:
The white ones.
“Many people found it reasonable to prioritise free travel for those who come from Ukraine, or the ‘white asylum seekers’, as some rather unpleasantly, but correctly, pointed out. Those who noted this phenomenon were largely dismissed as being squeamish, “woke” or that they lacked understanding that it “is natural to help those you look like”, he writes.
But it will get worse. Much worse.
After initially complaining that no one in the media made big headlines about the fact that only Ukrainian refugees got free travel in the first place, Vivekananthan opens a can that contains far more than worms.
“One of the differences between the treatment of Jews during the war and the way certain asylum seekers in Oslo and Viken – mainly those from Africa and Asia – have been treated in the last year is that in 2013 the NSB had the sense to officially apologise for their own behaviour.
The situation of the Jews during the war was not identical to, for example, the situation of Afghans in Norway today, but if you go into the core of the sentiment behind the treatment both groups received, you find a frightening number of common denominators. Most central: The idea that some people are just worth less than others, and the dehumanisation of these – on all fronts – is important in order to later do them even greater injustice.”
Shocking as this is, even the editor in Utrop has so little decency that he defends his comparison in the following way:
“And no, it is not unreasonable to draw parallels to the Second World War. It must stop that drawing these parallels should be taboo. Something you just can’t do because the atrocities from that time surpass everything else and can therefore only exist alone in a vacuum in the history books. Something we should sort of put our heads down and hear stories about – before we writhe on the floor, get up and move on with our own lives,” he writes.
But the worst is yet to come.
In a surreal way, Vivekananthan is able to believe that Jews and others who lost their lives during the Second World War would have been relieved if they could have experienced his comparison with the fact that all asylum seekers in Oslo only received free public transport services one year after “white Ukrainians” received theirs.
“I choose to believe that the many who lost their lives in horrific ways during the Second World War would feel a touch of relief from their graves if they were able to experience from those of us living, the ability to draw parallels and thus see how the story from that time still has relevance. It is only then that we really take the persecution of the Jews seriously.”