13 January 2010

Migration of the "Bhaiyya"

Why a migrant from Uttar Pradesh or any other state for that matter is not so different than us urbanites? (The fodder for MNS to be in the news)

To understand this I request the reader to be objective and forget that he is a Maharashtrian, Punjabi, Tamilian, Bengali or anything else what he deems fit to be called as.

The change took place around 1850, the advent of Industrial Age. Till this time man lived his entire life in just one place, often one home. Industrial Revolution shook the permanency of man. What I mean by permanency means man was always dependent on agriculture till this time. Agriculture implies taking root at one place. One cannot move. From root came the concept of “rootedness” and house became “home”.

But industrialisation as we all know changed the world! In search of better economic prospects man started traveling to distant places, and since then continued to do the same.

Industrialisation shifted the man from permanency to transience, and since then man has always been traveling.

Now the basic question is how I can compare a man from Uttar Pradesh to a man from, say Mumbai or Delhi.

Till 1970’s the small town man was happy with his “do bigha zameen” and his “upjaau khet ka dhaan”. Then arrived the marvel of technology – Television. It exposed him to the never ever looked at place called “city”. This gave him hope. He started dreaming that if he lands up in the “city”, he can make a good future for himself and his family. A major chunk came to Mumbai and are still dripping in, courtesy clich├ęd Bollywood movies proclaiming Mumbai to be the land of opportunities (although its true!)

So, the down-town man started traveling up-town and to the cities.

What happened to the up-town man or the man in the city? Well pretty much the same thing. In 1970’s TV revolution took place here too. But the man of the city was literate and semi-educated if not completely educated. Like his rural counterpart he saw a dream. His dream was similar too like his rural cousin. His dream was to go to “Vilayat” or “Amreeka”. So he worked hard, saved money and flew to his destination and did everything under his purview to settle in “Vilayat” or “Amreeka” and by the grace of God, still continues to do so.

We’re nearing 2010 and still the dream is the same. We still want to go Europe or North America to study and work and sometimes, eventually to settle there.

Even today the rural folks want to come to the city and make a Life.

The foreigners are complaining to their governments that the immigrants are taking away their jobs and bringing in new cultures.

The urbanites are complaining to their State Governments that the other state’s immigrant is taking away his job.

So tell me what gives us the right to say that we should not allow the other state’s population to come here and work when we too are doing the same.

There are two arguments doing round. One is reservations – which will inadvertently kill competition and force the “others”, specifically in Maharashtra, the “bhaiyyas” to be forced out.

Well, then I just pray to God the same happens to the urbanites settled abroad.

I have no personal enmity with them; it’s just that, we, the torch-bearers of equality for the right to work in our lands, should foresee this happening very soon. (The intolerance has already started. E.g. Australia)

Second is acceptance - what North America and Europe have been doing. This promoted cultural diversity and more importantly the progress of man in these two continents. Had they not accepted us there wouldn’t have been a Bose Speaker, A Vikram Pandit (Citibank), an Indira Nooyi (Pepsi)…or was we Indians proudly boast with inflated chests…35% of doctors in England are Indians or x % professionals in USA are Indian.

I mean do I even have to explain myself what North America and Europe offers in terms of opportunity for us educated people. That is exactly what the humble man from the “other” state feels about the city.

If there are still some people who feel that this argument is wrong, I only wish them luck in their lives, because they seriously can never look at the other side and understand…

As far as politicians (no names please) are concerned, do you want me start?

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