Migrants, Immigrants and Refugees – the crisis?


Migrants, Immigrants (legal and illegal) and Refugees – the crisis?

1. The first of the refugee crisis probably happened in India some 2300 years ago when Alexander of Macedon swept over Persia and refugees swarmed into Takshashila. Then on and probably earlier too refugee movement within the land mass / sub continent could have taken place due to political uncertainty and economic / climatic conditions.

2. Internationally wars and conflicts zones have resulted in refugees and migrants.

3. Historically these three categories have contributed to the wealth of the nation to which they moved, improved their own personal wealth and also improved the wealth of the nation they came from. Indian folks in the Gulf countries, Vietnamese refugees in the US, Asian and African refugees in Europe are a few examples. Applications like WhatsApp was the co-invention of a Ukranian migrant in the US.

4. The commonality in all these were – a quiet dignified existence; keeping to themselves without interfering in local customs and traditions; not meddling in the politics of the host nation; enjoying their own peace within themselves and harmony with others and above all as dutiful law abiding citizens of the host nation.

5. What has changed of late –
a. So long as the issue was economic there was only a manageable problem. The labour market had to find a balance which was not too difficult. Later a mix of toxic religion and opportunistic politics got into the situation
b. Large groups of people were looked upon as possible tools to be utilised when required such as creating turmoil, possible citizens / future electorate, influence groups etc.
c. It is possible that both groups travelled the half distance towards each other for mutual gains ( the illegal immigrant towards religion and politics and politics and religion towards the illegal immigrant)
d. International agents / countries slyly and slowly got into the situation. A nation surrounded by enemies and with no real friends but only time-to-time opportunists masquerading as friends the government had little choice to protect the nation from further harm.
e. In sensitive states that have borders with neighbouring nations the issue becomes a security risk in addition.

6. The way ahead.
a. Bio metric identification of the three categories
b. Stringent laws and fool proof legislation against unlawful activities of the three categories.
c. Limit their participation in activities and engagements to which they have been assigned such as economic, trade, commerce, labour etc.
d. Debar them from all gatherings, associations, groups etc. akin to a permanent sec144 as long as they are on Indian soil
e. While they enjoy the freedom of movement and to live in dignity their duties and responsibilities towards the host nation should be so specified that there is no scope for deviation from the purpose for which they are here.

7.There is an apparent crisis situation but it could well become real and dangerous in the times to come.


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Suresh Nair