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Dangerous trend of migration overtaking Punjab

Dangerous trend of migration overtaking Punjab
November 02
12:35 2018

Punjabi columnists and writers at the seminar, displaying copies of a magazine

Jaswant Singh Gandam & Raman Nehra
India Post News Service

PHAGWARA: Pointing to the dangerous trend of migration during the last 25 years in Punjab, Punjabi columnists and writers here maintained that in the fifties and sixties, Punjabis migrated to other countries under impelling economic compulsions, but during the last 25 years their flight to foreign countries was more out of disillusionment with our stinking system than economic constraints.

They were speaking at a Seminar on “Why Punjabis are disillusioned with Punjab.” It was organized here by Punjabi ‘Kalamnavees and Pattarkar Manch, Punjab’ headed by Gurmit Palahi.

Some NRIs also attended the function.

Citing the example of Doaba, the hub of NRIs and the ‘waiting-in-wings fliers’, some speakers pointed to a reverse trend that was overtaking the region.

They said, “Earlier Punjabis went abroad due to small land holdings of peasantry here .They earned sterling pounds and dollars and sent these back home, thus proving assets for their families. Land holding expanded and big bungalows sprung up in villages. But now the trend had reversed. Fourth or fifth generation of Doaba NRIs are brought up abroad. They have no emotional attachment with villages of their elders. They simply do not want to come here.”

NRIs are now selling their lands while the erstwhile free flow of dollars and pounds has virtually dried up. Villages have become empty with migrants from UP and Bihar living in NRI houses either on paltry rent or freely.

Among the reasons they cited behind Punjabis foreign flight were: Utter failure of system, alarming unemployment, atmosphere of terror and insecurity, collapse of law and order, lack of work culture, apathy of political leadership to public, rampant corruption/dishonesty, scourge of drugs, burial of the concept of welfare state providing affordable education and health care, lack of social security in old age and peer pressure (in some cases).

Noted columnist cum economist Dr SS Chhina and Dr Shyam Sunder Deepti, though attributed the flight of youths abroad to economic reasons and ‘roti-rozi’ (livelihood). They admitted that even reasonably-resourced people were going abroad due to a failed system (‘vivastha’) here.

Besides the USA-based Punjabi writer Vasudev Parahar, others present were Gurbinder Manak, Darshan Riar, SL Virdi, Gian Singh, Banso Devi, Parvinderjit Singh, Ravinder Chot, Raghbir Mann and Prof Jaswant Singh Gandam.

On this occasion, Dr Deepti gifted a set of books to Reference Library here.
He also presented copies of a Punjabi magazine ‘Mini’ to the writers.

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