“ Punjab did not abandon them, they abandoned Punjab ” – Joyce Pettigrew.
(Most of the thinkers are now upset over the increasing trend of Punjabi youths, a majority of them Sikhs, migrating to England, Canada, USA, Australia and other countries. This process has led to an exodus of precious wealth and human material from Punjab, they argue. For most of the youths, getting higher education abroad is a costliest ruse to get entry into the country of destination. What makes the young people to leave their home and hearth ; what has alienated them and why they are losing a ‘sense of belonging’ with Punjab and the country? To find an answer to these question, please go through the comprehensive article by celebrated writer Darshan S Tatla, the conclusion of which has been given here).
Editor : Jaspal Sidhu
What Darshan Tatla has concluded:
“The Punjabi emigration during the last three decades requires a new explanation. This paper has proposed an alternative hypothesis. It argues that the migration process should be fundamentally linked to the modernisation experience of Punjabi peasants and also to their perception of being stifled by the political and social system. In this explanation, the role of governance emerges as a crucial factor where the state has failed to deliver ‘good governance’to a highly politicised and educated peasantry. That is the chief reason for the emergence of Punjabi peasantry’s collective behaviour of mass migration. Faced with official nepotism, and being at the mercy of a hugely obstructive bureaucracy on a daily basis, the Punjabi peasantry’s optimism and hopes of ‘green revolution’ era have turned into ‘despair’. Further experience and memories of the post-1984 period, when the death stalked rural countryside, the Indian state had effectively turned into a ‘rogue state’ which affected the lives of thousands of young Punjabis jeopardising their future. Taking into account the above considerations, migration should be seen as a rational reaction of the Punjabi peasantry. Disenchanted with their homeland, they have seized opportunities to fly away. The paper thus suggests that Punjabi migration process of recent years ought to be studied in a wider context of socio-political framework of Punjab under the rules of the post-colonial Indian state. An explanation situated in the Punjabi peasantry’s socio-psychological experience of modernisation and their perception of governance experience should yield a more satisfactory analysis. By integrating the collective behaviour and perceptions of the Punjabi peasantry into consideration, we can construct a better theory of emigration process. Further research by taking a larger sample of oral testimonies of Punjabis settled abroad, as well as of those in the process of migrating, should enable researchers to test this hypothesis more fully.”
To read the full article, click here