A Resident’s point of view on migrations. Written by Kamna Tiwary.
The world which we inhabit holds promises for different peoples in different ways. Not far too long ago, humanity was getting amazed by the possibilities of a world that will live in a more interconnected way than ever before. The idea of connecting with people living far off gave a new sense of excitement and enthusiasm in what is otherwise a routine life. That is what made us believe that we live in a “global village”.
The pain of seeing someone going far away was reduced to a large extent as the sharing of ideas and of thoughts became more possible through a communication revolution. Humanity continued to exult in this new experience until opinion formation about someone or something far away became much easier. The enhanced ability to know what goes on in someone’s else life also led to an increase in the capacity to influence decisions in the same person’s choices.
These influences kept growing until it became interferences and a conscious choice for the protection of personal inclination became mandatory. Communication revolution evolved from one to one communication to group communication via social media. The opinion formation became easier. This opinion formation created a picture of different people residing in different parts of the world, in one’s mind.
This made people more apathetic or insensitive to what’s happening around them. The events happening far off became a discussion point which was carried out more zealously and even at the cost of fulfilling immediate necessities. Today, the images of people whom we never meet or never talk to are more ingrained in us than required. The ability and enthusiasm of meeting and seeing something new is almost lost. We are already loaded with some information about something or almost everything beforehand.
An interconnected world which was supposed to nurture the values of humanity and brotherhood is shrinking itself by creating barriers of the closed opinions on things, people and places. It is more likely that, a beggar in the street is looked not as a needy but as someone who survived some hard conditions in far off land and is managing to survive in the streets of a developed country.
At one time humanity prided itself for being able to espouse ideas of human values above everything else but in the present times, the ideas of insecurity is gripping almost everyone.
The poorer countries are gripping with fear of protecting themselves from the harsh economic policies imposed upon them by the rich countries and the rich countries are fearing immigration as their biggest obstacle. Immigration which can be understood as mobility or moveability of people from one part of land to the other has never been a new phenomena, as globalisation is, though the idea of immigration varies, because the image the present time is able to cast is different from the other time.
Immigration, on the one hand, is seen as an ability of those few who manage to survive in harsh conditions or rather different conditions from where they are from, and on the other hand it is also viewed as giving rise to criminal elements. Immigrants at one time were seen as extremely brave for being able to survive and acclimatise in conditions they were not used to but somewhere now, the atmosphere suggests that their mere presence triggers a fear bell in people’s mind about their intentions being filled with nothing else but greed. It is unfortunate that immigration has attracted such a huge attention for wrong reasons.
The causes can be the prevalent prejudices amongst people that are easily formed now without any objective understanding. The communication revolution that made interconnectedness possible also made way for prejudiced opinions.
An immigrant in the new land initially remains a fearful person. He is someone who is equally amazed as well as feels pressured to cast an impression as someone who is not an alien or very different. The rising suspicion of the country’s dwellers towards immigrants leads to a situation of discord in society. Yet this discord is less real than it is created. It tries to build fears strong enough for inhabitants to believe and act upon it and many times actions are unrequired.
The world took pride in being able to share and cooperate not too long ago, which was mainly demonstrated when governments advocated these bold ideas. Human understanding regarding sensitive issues has kept changing and evolving. The immigration issue is also one of those where human understanding has developed a new set of standards to accept it for its own needs. This understanding is more repulsive and limited. Though the people struggle to understand and act, the political platforms around the world are also generating this fear by leaps and bounds. In this scenario, it is important that some sensitive hearing is given to the stories from the other direction too.