Guest Punjabi Nationalist Posted December 23, 2003 Report Share Posted December 23, 2003 The threat these migrants have brought to the cultural fabric of Punjab in terms of a racial, linguistic and cultural imbalance is actually more serious now with the threat posed by the re-arrival of Islam in the state. Since 1947 East Punjab has been almost Islam-free since all the Punjabi Muslims left for Pakistan. Not anymore. Islam is back in Punjab and is growing with the arrival of Indian Muslims... What can be done to stop the tide of Islam and Indian migration into Punjab and combat the negative changes that have already been brought into our motherland? BTW, this article is no joke. I have seen for myself in my own pind (on this side of Punjab) which is only 20km away from the border with Pakistan that there are Bihari Hindus and Muslims living there. Roughly 200 families infact... If migrants are found only 20km away from the international border, they are obviously found everywhere else in the state. The article also confirms my suspicion that Ludhiana (town) probably has more Indian migrants living there than Punjabis. When i visited Ludhiana it sure looked that way... ______________________________________________________________________ The migrant effect on Punjabi society Dalits lose jobs; social tension brewing by K.S. Chawla http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20031223/edit.htm#7 - Migrants charge less than local labourers. â€” Photo by Pawan Sharma THE demographic complexion of Punjab has changed sharply in the recent years with the influx of migrants from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, besides Nepal. No doubt the influx of a large number of migrants has stablised the agricultural economy and boosted industrial and commercial activities in the border state, this has also resulted in social tension among the various segments of the Punjabi society. The influx started in the 1970s following the Green Revolution. There was a shortage of labour for agricultural operations then. The migrant labour was cheaper to hire than the local labour. The migrants used to come in thousands initially and their influx was seasonal. They would return to their native states after earning good wages during the kharif and rabi seasons. Of late they have started settling down in the rural areas as well as in towns where they are engaged in factories and commercial units. The migrants picked up different jobs in the urban areas. They particularly dominate construction-related works. As a matter of fact, they have monopolised some jobs statewise. For example, Orissa labourers are known for their skill in the sanitation and allied works. Rajasthani migrants are engaged in the brick-kiln industry, besides road making and repairing. They are engaged by contractors of the PWD (B and R). There are different estimates about the presence of migrants in Punjab. According to Dr Joginder Singh, Professor and Head, Department of Economics of Punjab Agricultural University, there are about 22 lakh migrants in Punjab. About 80 per cent of them have now settled in the state. Some experts estimate that the number of migrants in Punjab is more than 30 lakh. However, the Punjab Government has not got any survey done as officials argue that this is a transitory labour and it is difficult to keep the records. These migrants have brought with them many problems and perhaps the foremost is the health hazard. Some of the studies have revealed that they largely suffer from TB, cancer and abdominal ailments. The urban scenario in Punjab has changed which has brought the Department of Local Bodies and the urban development authorities under pressure to tackle the problem of housing for them. Jhuggi-jhompri settlers have become a permanent feature of Punjab. The Dalits strongly feel that with the coming of the migrants, their relationship with the Jats has suffered. The Dalits had been providing all sorts of help to the Jats in agriculture and also meeting their household needs. The Jat-â€seeriâ€ (share cropper) relationship has had some sanctity in the Punjabi society and the Jat usually operated through his â€œseeriâ€ even in criminal acts. It cannot be denied that Dalits have improved their economic lot with the help of Jats, who while going abroad, took along Dalits also. This has brought prosperity to Doaba Dalits. Now the social tension between Jats and Dalits has started surfacing. Doaba witnessed it recently in the shape of violence at Talhan in Jalandhar district. Some other districts of Punjab have also faced similar problems. The Dalit, who now treats the â€œbhaiyyaâ€ â€” the migrant â€” as his rival, is fighting for his traditional privileged position. This explains why the Punjab labour â€” whether Jat or Dalit â€” is engaged at higher rates than migrants. Dr Joginder Singh explains that the arrival of migrants in the rural as well as urban areas has depressed the wages. They have also brought with them social evils like drug-addiction. Local youths have also started taking â€œgutkaâ€ and â€œjardaâ€. During a study of social unrest among labourers in the rural areas, Dr Joginder Singh says, they found resentment among Dalits in particular over the fact that the migrants have snatched their rights of sharing crops with Jats. With their permanent settlement in the rural areas, the migrants prefer to work on contract. On an average, a migrant earns between Rs 80 and 90 per day. Some of the migrant leaders have become contractors and are making good profits from such deals. The migrants are also allegedly indulging in various crimes, including robbery and murder, according to district police officials. However, Mr A.A. Siddiqui, Director-General of Punjab Police, does not agree. He maintains that those who come for â€œroti-rozeeâ€ do not indulge in criminal activities. They keep themselves busy in their daily wage earning, he says. At the same time, Mr Siddiqui admits that gangs of criminals come from states like Bihar and UP. After committing crime, they go back to their homes. Another important development with regard to the migrants in Punjab is that a sizeable number of Muslims have settled in the state. They have come from UP and Bihar. A majority of them are artisans and skilled workers. They have brought with them the dominant Muslim social order. The Muslim community has started setting up â€œmadrasasâ€ in Punjab. Teaching in Arabic, Persian and Urdu is imparted to students in these schools, says Maulana Ateeq-ur-Rehman, President, Indian Muslim Council, Punjab. Maulana Ateeq-ur-Rehman is a resident of Ludhiana and his grandfather, Maulana Habib-ul-Rehman, was a great freedom fighter. He says there are 20 lakh Muslims in Punjab. Five lakh of them have settled in Ludhiana alone. The Muslims are mainly tailors, artisans and barbers. They have migrated to Punjab because of poverty in states like Bihar and UP, he maintains. The Muslims have set up new mosques and some old ones have been renovated. They are also laying claims to some of the mosques with the Wakf Board which have functioned as Hindu-Sikh shrines since Independence. 0 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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