Globalisation’s many positive gains!
Migration has changed Indian employment pattern?
There has this aspect of Indian economic development that has not received much attention.
The migration of students and professionals from the developing countries to the developed countries.
These days you go to any European country and very soon you find yourself with groups of people coming to work there. If it is Turkish workers in Germany, then it is Punjabi agriculturists in very many European countries. There is this recent news that Georgia, the former Soviet Russian state, now an independent state, has announced openly inviting Punjabi agriculturists to come and buy agricultural land for very reasonable prices. And there has been an exodus of sorts! Groups of Punjab-based agriculturists, in groups, have bought land, from 50 hectares to more land and they have migrated to Georgia to grow wheat to other crops.
Punjabi agricultural migration is of course a good old story. They had gone to Canada long ago. Now also there is this continued exodus.
In Italy, though we have noticed some Punjabi youth working at Roan city shops as helpers, there is any number of agricultural labour living in the rural Italian countryside.
The entire city of Rome is populated with Bangladeshi workers; you can see them at every corner.
They stand in groups or in isolation and they sell all sorts of goods, from umbrellas to raincoats and other clothes, depending upon the season and in fact upon the day of needs.
If there is an unexpected shower, you can see there are any number of umbrella sellers and umbrellas are sold like hot cakes, so to say!
When asked what prompted them to emigrate to Italy the simple answer is lack of employment opportunities back at home. We met one or two Bangladeshi workers who are engaged in cooking. Some are serving at the hotels, restaurants and as table servers.
Now, the subject of migration to the USA is much written about. There are some estimated 4 million Indians in the USA and the American Dream is much written about and newly debated.
The IT industry revolution has changed the whole attitude of the entire generation of Indian youth.
You can see the parents too, mostly from humble backgrounds, accompanying there wards to Sanfrancisco and other regions in droves.
There is now many other issues about American visa regime and visas to the spouses.
This is all about the Indian middle class dreams.
The new Indian middle classes are also caught up in this dream and this has impacted every aspect of Indian life. Education, employment, marriage, migration, parent’s separation and other social and cultural issues.
Now, there is another angle to this migration.
This is the Kerala-origin Gulf migration.
In a new book by the two professors at the Centre for Development Studies(CDS), we find that between 1998 and 2011 there have been migration to the extent of 1.16 million in 2008 and slightly coming down to 1,15 million in 2011.
It was also higher in earlier years. In 2003 for instance, it was1.64 million worjkers1
The total remittances to Kerala in 2011 was approximately was Rs.50,000 crore!
This is a big money that is starved of funds from its very fragile geographical and physical space.
There are so many aspects to the migration story.
As one would expect, such large scale migration of male members of families have wrought havoc with the family life, the families are shattered in many cases. There have been other social and cultural and personal breakdowns.
The mental illness, the suicide rates, the break of families, the divorce rates and the family courts have all exploded!
This is the negative side of universal education, specially the education of girls and also family lives. Also, there are some other aspects. The regional imbalances. Also, the communal and social imbalances.
For instance, there are 60 per 100 families in the Muslim communities. The rate for Christians is 30.While for the Hindu families it is only 19 emigrants per 100 families.
But one thing.
There have been also great many changes in the Gulf countries.
While these new oil wealth has prompted new urbanisation drives and new cities in the desert countries, there are also other social and cultural and even economic booms.
For instance, some of these countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and even Abhu Dabhi and not to speak of Dubai, there are now new age industries, Take for instance the civil aviation sector.
There is intense competition from these countries that consider promoting their own national airlines is a symbol of their coming of age.
Qatar in particular is also noted for its number one airline, Qatar Airways that is now flying to some 120 destinations and it almost looks alike Western airline in management, services and comforts to clients.
Qatar is also making news, no making waves in television. The Al Zazira TV is now almost number one in the Gulf and middle eastern countries and also now in the USA! It had bought out the Al Gore promoted TV channel, the former US vice-president had sold it for a hefty price. Al Zazira had made news for very many controversial things. It is accused to triggering the Arab Sprint revolutions in the region!
It almost competes with CNN in the USA.
Much more unbelievable is its freedom to operate. Its media freedom is envied everywhere.
For instance, it refused to give first priority to the country’s chief, Sheik…….!
So, the Gulf economies are changing. So too the Gulf society, culture and arts and also other luxury segments. Even fashion shows, sports, tennis and other sports are now based in Qatar!
So migration, either to the Gulf countries or outside in Europe could be a great integrating global force for much good.