Migrant issues – Qatar and Maharashtra,a comparison.
Lately almost all newspapers and blogs are loaded with discussions on drama scripts ,directed by Raj Bahaiyya.Although it’s been long since I was itching to write about him,I refrained as I don’t want him to get more publicity,even through my small blog..For some odd reason,well, maybe because of overdose of Raj news,I thought of sharing something that may seem to have ‘some’ relation to what Raj Bhaiyya is saying..
I take you to a nation called Qatar,a small place with an area of just 11,437 km²(Kerala is 38,863 km²) . After centuries-long domination by the Ottoman and British empires, Qatar became an independent state on September 3, 1971.Before the discovery of oil, the economy was focused on fishing and pearling. After the introduction of the Japanese cultured pearl onto the world market in the 1920s and 1930s, Qatar’s pearling industry faltered. However, the discovery of oil, beginning in the 1940s, completely transformed the state’s economy. Now the country has a high standard of living, with many social services offered to its citizens and all the amenities of any modern state.
Besides ethnic Arabs, much of the population migrated from various nations to work in the country’s oil industry.Expatriates form the majority of Qatar’s residents. The petrochemical industry has attracted people from all around the world. Most of the expatriates come from South Asia and from non-oil-rich Arab states. In July 2007, the country had a growing population of approximately 907,229 people of whom approximately 350,000 were believed to be citizens .Because a large percentage of the expatriates are male, Qatar has a heavily skewed sex ratio, with 1.8528 males per female.
The population in the current GCC states has grown more than eight times during 50 years; to
be exact,from 4 million in 1950 to 40 million in 2006, which marks one of the highest rates of the
population growth in the world. This increase has not been caused primarily by a natural growth of
indigenous population but by the influx of foreign workers.For every single national,there are three forigeners here.Isn’t that really disturbing when the ecomony as a whole is taken into consideration?Can you belive that the population of expatriate Indians in Qatar stood at 419,096 as of July 31, more than double that of the local Qatari population!!!
Since the discovery of oil, these countries, lacking a local workforce, have been employing a large expatriate labor force. That process has had a very significant impact on the economy, politics, and the social structure of the GCC states. Remittances from migrant labor back to their home exceed the value of regional trade in goods as well as official capital flows.
Migrants are outsiders, period. Such emigration has generally been supported by the governments of home-countries to ease the pressure on labor markets, reduce unemployment, and accelerate development. More plainly said, governments like ours who are not competent or responsible enough to provide for its own citizens, pack people to far away countries where they can earn a living and will sent money back to homeland and again the government is happy when it receives foreign money..Many of our states(Kerala for instance) have this oil-money as backbone of internal economy ,the money sent home by people who work as slaves here.Not to divert from the main topic, not only that government is happy that there is less employment issues ,but also there is lot of incoming money and thus development. So for them it is double dhamaka..What about the economy on the other end?
The migration of Asians and non Arabs to GCC countries have disrupted their societies. In contrary to Europe and like places, where foreign workers have only complemented the national workforce, usually by filling lower-status jobs, in the GCC states they have become the primary, dominant labor force in most sectors of the economy and the government administration.How good is that in the interest of Qatar as a country?
This development has posed security, economic, social and cultural threats to the local population . As a consequence, to maintain a highly privileged position of the nationals,numerous restrictions have been imposed: the sponsorship system, to limit the duration of foreigners’ stay, curbs on citizenship rights of migrants etc. However, many of these measures have not brought the expected results.The employers usually prefer to keep workers who have already gained some local experience rather than bring in the new ones. Moreover, importing a new worker involves additional costs to employers. As a result, the average period of time that foreign workers spend in the GCC countries continues to extend, and the number of ‘almost permanent’ foreign workers has increased.As the unemployment among nationals began to grow, which was a phenomenon unheard of in the past, the GCC governments decided to embark on the formulation of labor market strategies to improve this situation, to create sufficient employment opportunities for nationals, and to limit the dependence on the expatriate labor (the so-called localization, nationalization or indigenization of labor, depending on the country referred to as: Saudization, Omanization, Emiratization, etc.).
A number of measures have been proposed to achieve these objectives:some professions have
been reserved as ‘for nationals only’,the employment quotas for nationals and expatriates have been introduced in certain professions, wage subsidies and state retirement plans for nationals in the private sector were established parallel to fees and charges on the foreign labor to make it less competitive Private companies are expected to maintain certain percentage of nationals. Moreover, large efforts have been made to improve the education and training of nationals. Nevertheless, all these measures have so far brought only limited results. Only the public sector has become successfully nationalized. In the private sector, the localization is still very low.
The employment of foreign workers is both profitable and costly for the receiving countries. The benefits of importing foreign labor are fairly clear: foreigners provide a basic workforce as well as specialists to compensate for the limited number of nationals with required skills and attitudes, stimulate the domestic consumption of goods supplied by local merchants, and boost local property markets. The costs, although much more difficult to estimate, consist of salaries, and the increased spending required to expand the educational and health services, housing, and roads, communications and other elements of infrastructure in order to accommodate the needs of the newcomers. Moreover, the foreign labor force is a substantial drain of the GCC states’ hard currency earnings, with remittances to migrants’ home countries amounting to $27 billion each year.
On the other hand, foreigners benefit from their employment in the GCC countries. They are usually able to find better-paid jobs than they would have at home, enjoy a high standard of living, and often have a chance for a quick career advancement. In particular, they are able to save large sums of money and send or take them home, often significantly stimulating the economy in their home countries. The presence of a large number of expatriates constitutes, however, a major threat to the
stability of the GCC countries; it endangers the culture, influences the structure of society and, furthermore, has an impact on the foreign policy
***phew***Now over to a small place nearby..
Mumbai, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and the financial capital of India. With an estimated population of thirteen million, it is the most populous city in India and the most populous city in the world. Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment centre of India, generating 5% of India’s GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 40% of maritime trade, and 70% of capital transactions to India’s economy. Mumbai is India’s largest city. It serves as an important economic hub of the country, contributing 10% of all factory employment, 40% of all income tax collections, 60% of all customs duty collections, 20% of all central excise tax collections, 40% of India’s foreign trade and Rs. 40 billion in corporate taxes. Mumbai’s per-capita income is Rs. 48,954 which is almost three times the national average.
The late 1970s witnessed a construction boom and a significant influx of migrants, which saw Mumbai overtake Kolkata as India’s most populous city. This influx caused unrest among local Maharashtrians who worried about the loss of culture, jobs, and language. State and central government employees make up a large percentage of the city’s workforce. Mumbai also has a large unskilled and semi-skilled labour population, who primarily earn their livelihood as hawkers, taxi drivers, mechanics and other such blue collar professions. The port and shipping industry, too, employs many residents, directly or indirectly. In Dharavi, in central Mumbai, there is an increasingly large recycling industry, processing recyclable waste from other parts of the city; the district has an estimated 15,000 single-room factories.The media industry is another major employer in Mumbai.
According to the 1991 census, the linguistic groups’ demographics are: Maharashtrians (53%), Gujaratis (22%), North Indians (17%), Tamils (3%), Sindhis (3%), Tuluvas/Kannadigas (2%) and others.There are 875 females to every 1,000 males, lower than the national average
Like other metropolises in the developing world, Mumbai suffers from the same major urbanization problems seen in many fast growing cities in developing countries: widespread poverty and unemployment, poor public health and poor civic and educational standards for a large section of the population. With available space at a premium, Mumbai residents often reside in cramped, relatively expensive housing, usually far from workplaces, and therefore requiring long commutes on crowded mass transit, or clogged roadways. According to 2001 census of India, about 54% of the city’s population lives in slums.
Now tell me whether Raj Thackery makes some sense to you..I am not supporting his means of putting forward his thoughts,but I must say that I do support his cause and there are many many marathis who support him irrespective of his violent means because they feel the haven’t been given justice in their own land..Now you can claim that my example of Qatar as a disrupted economy due to migrants ,is out of scope and that Maharashtra and Bihar and Kerala are all parts of same country..Agreed..But don’t forget that states were formed based on linguistic factors and every citizen has more claim over his own state than an outsider.We are yet to evolve into the virtual boundary-less country where we can move around freely..When UP and Bihar or Kerala cannot provide for its own people,people like Lallu have no right to call Raj ‘a mental case’..Lallu is a gone case bcoz he has eaten and grabbed as much as possible from Bihar..Also,I was reading that Lallu was not takig into concern any of the petitions given by people regarding railway recruitment..So,why should marathis suffers simply because neighboring states are ruled by lazy greedy politicians who care least and provide for its own people.
And yeah,I know its unfair to ask people to leave who made up lives here ( Qatar or Mumbai for instance) after they have contributed as much as possible and asking them to leave once the economy is stable is mean..But life is all about survival of fittest..So when there is imbalance in people moving in and out of societies,we will have clashes over the same..And finally,there is something called central government,but sorry,they have no time to deal with petty issues like these..
Lastly the drama by Raj Bhaiyya is all about securing a seat in next elections and he care least for real cause ..If he had cared,he’ld not have caused 30 lakh rupee loss for his ‘soil’ in one single day..So,this post is not about hailing Raj,but the cause behind it..Afterall,I think that all non marathis should move out of Mumbai and teach mumbaikars a lesson on learnig themselves “How independent they are”..lol..Trust me,I am sure Raj and allies will knock door of all those people who left and ask them to come back..Society is all about giving and taking,well atleast that’s how I learned it..
I just knew he had “Z “ grade security protection till today..uh..Indeed a secular India..Jai hind..And oh yeah,Raj is not much bothered about western cultures like pubs and nightouts intruding his culture,rather he is bothered about ‘rest of India’-culture diluting Maharashtra..strange…
**phew**I took 4-5 hours to read articles and write this 2-page rant..The post seems too long..I hope atleast few people will bother to read the entire post..Do share your views..Good day..