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Tracing roots of migrant workers killings in Kashmir

Tracing roots of migrant workers killings in Kashmir
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By: Er. Prabhat Kishore

Migrant workers are those, who work away from their home, especially in other states or even abroad and earn for their livelihoods. They include not only the labourers engaged in various sectors, but also the bureaucrats and many other officials. Although these officials do not suffer as much pain as the lobourers, who have to work without counting the hours.

The term “Migrant worker” is not new in the global history and also in the multi-lingual lexicons. Old people recall, the “Kabuliwalas” from Kabul, residents of areas located thousands of mile away from India. They used to travel through the village streets to sell their dry-fruits and were much popular among the youngsters. These migrant people garnered love and affection according to the Indian culture and tradition of “Atithi Devo Bhavah”.

Interestingly, enough since ages, this perennial process of migration has been continuing at various levels across India. People often migrate from one place to another in search of livelihood; and, this is a positive sign for fostering integrity among diversity of cultures across our lovely India.

The progress and prosperity of some States is a testimony to the diversified contributions of such migrant people. When the migrant workers returned to their native destinations during the pandemic Covid-19, this cycle of progress got stalled in many states and the organizers eventually had to request their workers to return to the places of work.

Similarly, the people of Bihar, irrespective of their castes, religions, faiths, cultures, languages, food habits among various other factors, have spread to different corners of the country and have intermingled with local people in the respective regions. Of course conversely, Bihar is also welcoming the migrant people from various other states.

During the winter season, Kashmiri people often travel to sell their shawls and sweaters. The Lhasa markets of Tibetan refugees are famous places for woolen clothing in many towns. Once, Chinese dentists had a monopoly in the field of dental treatment across the Indian towns. Not only migrant workers or vendors, but Bihar has established several powerful politicians through its constituencies, notably George Fernandez, Madhu Limaye, M.J. Akbar, Syed Shahabuddin, I.K. Gujral, Sharad Yadav and others. Numerous bureaucrats and officials have also servedin various states for their entire service tenure, but the masses of those respective States have never treat them as migrants.

On the other hand, Bihari workers are often the soft targets whenever and wherever there is disturbance for local causes in any corner of the country. In this endless series, now the migrant labourers and street vendors, who are the poorest of the poor, are being massacred in Kashmir without any fault.

Old parents, life-partner wife and even young children were eagerly waiting for their kin to return home with new cloths for the Dipawali and the Chhath Puja; but the separatist forces dashed their dreams in the blink of an eye; and the hapless family found the dead bodies of their kin wrapped in shrouds.

After the abrogation of article 370, it was ardently hoped that the Central Government will crush the separatist forces. But the recent events indicate that the roots of these foreign elements are deeper in the region. The intelligence system has not been able to crack this net fully. Although some foreign terrorists have been gunned down; their whereabouts are yet to be traced out and razed.

More responsible for the latest killings of the migrants are the pro-Pakistan unemployed politicians, who are frequently praising Pakistan and China while provoking the terrorists. Such gun-men are just the branches and leaves of the “Anti-Indian” trees; the roots are those politicians, who ruled this beautiful State for their own petty reasons and never ever did anything for the State and the common masses. They were, of course, involved in brain-washing the public.

The deceased migrant workers were not foreigners; but were breathing at their roots. All of them belonged to the “Maharishi Kashyapgotra”, whose name Kashmir owns. They were engaged in the developmental works of roads, bridges, tunnels, telephone towers and other infrastructures of the Himalayan state; and in lieu of their variegated services at the ground level, they were supposed to be paid wages for the livelihood of their families. Any kind of development in the region is nothing short of a thorn for the masters of stone-pelters, communalists and anti-peace forces.

The most ironic aspect is the continued appeasement politics of the political parties. For instance, there have been a series of political tourism of leaders during the aftermath of the brutal incident at Lakhimpur Khiri. But no one has a word of condolences to the family of the unfortunate victims of the barbaric merchants of death of these innocent migrants. Such selective attitude of the parties is supplying oxygen to the communal agenda of the terror groups.

Now not only the Biharis, but also each and every son of the soil has Constitutional as well as the very vital spiritual right to live, learn, work and earn in any part of the Bharat Mata and that too with respect and dignity. Though, the migrants in Kashmir have shifted for a moment, yet they will definitely return to work at the same spot very soon.

If the Central Government wants the development of the natives across Jammu and  Kashmir, then along with the gunning down of the terrorists and local criminals, the white-dressed provoking persons have to be penalized for their anti-national, anti-social and anti-people activities. In the name of democracy, pro-Pakistan leaders cannot be left free to spread their poisonous messages, resulting in the massacre of the innocent sons of the soil.

(The author is a technocrat and an academician. He is based at Patna. The views expressed are his own)

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