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Last Updated Friday November 22 2019 04:27 AM IST
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Refugee crisis: Europe eyes mutual benefit

P. Kishore
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Refugee crisis: Europe eyes mutual benefit

As per a stereotypical notion, Malayalees, who suffer from work aversion back home, automatically transform into hard workers once they leave the State. The Malayali diaspora is known for its discipline in the workplace across the globe as they are ready to work long hours without complaining. You need not to scratch your head to fathom the secret of this phenomenon. The same is the case with immigrants and migrants anywhere in the world. 

This subject gains importance in the wake of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s declaration that her country would absorb 8,00,000 potential Syrian refugees. Many other member states of the European Union have also shown keenness to accommodate the Syrian asylum seekers on a quota basis. The proposal is not just to provide temporary shelters to the refugees, but to enable the tens of thousands of displaced people change their nationality by granting them citizenship. 

A broader perspective would enable one to gauge the cleverness of German authorities in protecting their own interests by responding to the migration crisis!

Migrants and refugees come equipped with a self-starter when they arrive in a new country.  They will kick-start things themselves to ride out of poverty and desperation because they know nobody would be there to protect or take care of them. Their hard work and positive attitude would contribute to the country’s economy as well.  

The total population of Germany, which is larger than Tamil Nadu in terms of geographical area, is just about eight crores. So vast unoccupied areas are available for permanent settlement. As per the latest census data, the required manpower has rose to 80 lakhs in the central European country. There is an acute shortage of people who take up small and petty jobs. All these factors would have influenced Germany to offer asylum to eight lakh Syrian refugees as the ‘benevolent gesture’ will definitely benefit Germany in the long run. 

Let's take a look at another kind of migration that happened centuries ago. America is built by European immigrants who were driven away from the continent by the British Empire. Take the case of Israel, one of the strong economies in the world. It is built brick by brick by Jewish refugees who returned to their homeland at the end of World War II from every corner of the globe.

When we talk about successful migrant communities, the contributions of Parsis, who migrated from Persia or Iran to India centuries ago, deserve a special mention. Jamsetji Tata, the founder of the Tata Group, one of the largest business empires in the world, was a descendant of the Zoroastrian lineage. Eminent persons such as industrialist Ardeshir and Piraj Godrej, scientist Homi J. Bhabha and Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw hailed from Parsi families. Manmohan Singh and L.K. Advani, two acclaimed statesmen, belong to Punjabi and Sindhi families, respectively, that migrated to India during Partition. 

Moreover, thousands of people, who fled Vietnam in the 70s on makeshift boats to start a new life elsewhere following the American War, went on to form one of the influential diasporas in the world. The victims of the 1970's forced migration of Ugandan Asians to the United Kingdom by dictator Idi Amin are part of a wealthy community in London today. 

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