De-Lurking on the Net

July 19, 2012

Indian Migration Around The World – Unmitigated Joys And Sorrows In Equal Measure

Usually, there should be no surprise as there are two major countries China and India with the biggest population and no matter how much progress these two countries have made, their citizens are always craving to leave their motherland. Both countries not only compete in terms of growth but also in terms of migration to the western world. Indians have the advantage because of English and having good understanding of democratic norms of governance that allows dissent. It helps them settle, integrate and grow better in a foreign land. So, it is not a surprise that they are most prosperous ethnic group in US. But they are usually the cream or the most talented bunch of India. Indians provide the third biggest migration to US after Mexico and China. This was the data in 2010



Mexico 139,120
China 70,863
India 69,162

Interestingly, the Australia has just published their data too saying that Australia took more permanent migrants from India than any other country for the first time in the year to June, 2012. India was the largest source of permanent migrants in 2011/12 with 29,018 places, or almost 16 per cent of the total. China was the second most fertile source with 25,509. “Skilled migration is essential to support our economy and help overcome the challenges of an ageing population,” said Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen.

Some migration will always take place as there can never be an equitable world. There will always be poorer areas and rich areas. Some areas will have more opportunities and therefore, more potential to individual growth than others. Not all migration ends on happier note. There was a news – An Indian’s suicide in a Bahrain park highlights workers’ nightmare“. The agencies who recruit usually are the first to exploit the emigrant. After landing the employer does the same, so the only escape route is that of the suicide as one can’t escape a continuous exploitation or modern day slavery and return home. By now, everyone realises that Indian govt. wants to ship the human capital as much as that can be absorbed by another country. India clearly can not absorb the number of engineers and other graduates itself  that it produces annually by providing them meaningful employment without frustration. It is not creating such jobs in equal number. So, whether it is right or wrong, why should govt. policy bother to stop that migraion. After all, there are plenty of benefits of migration. It generates FDI inflow to India, reduces the need to generate employment for these people back home. Moreover, the other country becomes more Indianised. Also, the migration to the west in particular of highly educated, skilled persons brings another benefit. It creates the absence of those people who may prove restless and critical of govt. functioning by not bringing changes fast enough. It is like quietening the voices without an active action on the part of the govt. but akin to the outcome Pol Pot of Kampuchea sought by actively eliminating intelligentsia. Besides this, migration results in yet another outcome. The Indian immigrants as they all are getting absorbed by west, so they are inculcating the western values affecting the govt. policies in both west and India itself. There is a big Indian voice now in US. So, the inter-government harmony is taking root. So, no matter how many socialist or left leaning parties, politicians and media outlets may be present in India, the Indian govt. policy will start leaning more and more towards the capitalism and the west.

Migration brings both joy and cringe in equal measure. If a migrant wins a coveted award like ‘Noble Prize’ or recognition, people feel puffed up at home and feel helpless when someone gets caught doing something un-mentionable like terrorism, fraud, crime etc. Migration causes some headaches too for both countries when one country wants to act according to its own laws but the other country wants to intervene. This was the case when Germany sought pardon in 1992 for two twins brothers ‘Walter’ and ‘Karl’ ‘LaGrand’ for murdering a couple in 1984. Germany remained unsuccessful in spite of Vienna convention ruling and Arizona went ahead with death penalty. In some situation, the migration become even bigger headache as was the case in second world war when the Japanese Americans living in US were taken away after ‘Pearl Harbour’ and kept in relocation camps away from their homes from January 42 until Dec 1944. They were suddenly considered aliens.

Migration was slated as brain-drain in ’70s India and was looked down upon by the then govt . of India. It will be silly to stop the migration to the west by any Indian govt. regulatory moves as it is a free democratic country. The west already puts the visa restrictions. But, should India be actively seeking to overcome those restrictions? If someone looks at the longing for the home and uneasiness that lingers on during the whole life time of an uprooted person, settled in a foreign soil, one may a have different view. India may recall that even after centuries of adaption abroad e.g. the Indians in west-indies, Surinam, Fiji , that feeling of belonging to Indian roots never went away. India has certainly not been able to help all those settled abroad or going to settle.  It will need ever growing funds to help people in trouble. So should there not be a neutral policy on migration – neither encouraging nor discouraging?

Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, 2009 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry

It is quite clear that world is becoming more homogenised due to migration but there is personal as well as national pain with every joy or benefit that each migration brings. My own migration to the west has brought me both – pain and the joy. I clearly decried every struggle back home when I was growing up and even working. The only solution and dream was to escape from that struggle to a foreign land. I never wanted to go back home because I was clearly enjoying the life abroad. But, the realisation of my folly of short-term gain dawned on me recently after the death of my mother and younger brother in less than a month when it was too late to be able to help them in more meaningful way. Gazing through their funeral pyres reminded me that my sin was not to consider that my original home was still the home, I should had been looking after. There, I was needed not only by my family but also by that country itself, I had left behind and that I had yearned to escape from. The yearnings for both, family and country linger very deep even today after roughly quarter of a century of creating a home abroad.



  1. With havin so much content do you ever run into any
    problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of
    completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but
    it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all
    over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any ways to help reduce content from being ripped off?
    I’d certainly appreciate it.

    Comment by Beverly — September 26, 2014 @ 6:07 am | Reply

    • Sorry, I would not be able to say anything at all about how to prevent people from stealing anyone’s material. My objective, whenever I write (which alas I only do rarely) is to make people introspect & to think of solutions. I have also done criticizing too in some articles even though my intention even there is only to make people change course. Though, in general, I do not want to criticize. So, the purpose of this blog is to make more like-minded person as me in the world. So, if some people choose to copy this, in a way it’ ll help in building more people with my kind of thoughts. More & more people when they think alike, the things start changing which is what I want to see happening otherwise I am merely a squeak in the world. But of course, I would prefer people to acknowledge me as a source & direct others to my blog where the new people reading would have an opportunity to question me as well. In contrast to your situation, I seldom read other blogs, so I never discover anybody copying me. In some way, it stops me having to think of building a fighting strategy to prevent people from stealing my material.

      Comment by Geekay — September 26, 2014 @ 11:24 pm | Reply

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