Recently, Bhangra Pop singer Daler Mehndi was sentenced to 2 years of rigorous imprisonment in a 2003 human trafficking case. Mehndi was found to be taking illegal immigrants to various countries abroad on forged papers, showing them as members of his troupe. Thus, several youths from Punjab ended up as illegal aliens on foreign shores.
Flying Off to Foreign Shores, Only to End Up as Jailbirds
Daler Mehndi was not the first (or last) person to indulge in this act of illegal human trafficking, a crime that is rather affectionately termed “kabootar-baazi” in India.
Since 2003, the problem of illegal immigration from India to the UK or Canada, or the USA has not abated in any sense of the word. Young men (and women), majorly from the states of Punjab and Haryana routinely embark on these lengthy journeys which are fraught not only with legal risks but mortal dangers as well. Making their way through dangerous water bodies, inhospitable climates, and even dense jungles, the danger that these illegals face doesn’t end once they end up in the promised land. Immigration control agencies in these countries routinely search for, detain and imprison foreigners who are found on their soil without the correct papers indicating their immigration status. Most of them end up being deported to India.
The Brain Drain is Real and It’s Happening Now
This issue in India, while fairly serious in its own right, also presents a much larger issue: Indians are increasingly opting to no longer remain in India, whether by means legal or otherwise.
Recent information released by the MHA has revealed that nearly 4 lac Indian citizens have left the country behind in the past 3 years, opting to settle abroad. While the USA remains the most popular destination, Canada and Australia are also widely preferred. So the question isn’t just about illegal immigration anymore. It is: why are young Indians so hell-bent on leaving India for foreign shores?
The contribution factors are several: ranging from relaxed and welcoming immigration laws in the target countries to a certain desire to seek greener pastures in developed lands. Indian professionals are increasingly choosing to settle abroad, seemingly for better career prospects as well as a more prosperous lifestyle for their families.
This great gold rush to the West may also be fuelled by a seeming lack of opportunities at home.
Kunal (name changed), a software professional stated: “It’s not just about getting a 9-5 job and earning a certain salary or driving a certain class of car anymore. Settling in Canada or USA promises me better growth in the time to come, better civic amenities and lifestyle, and a better way of life for my children. I might get that in India as well, but the odds don’t seem in the favour of that.”
Part of the desperation to leave India may also be driven by a seeming lack of career prospects or a dearth of guidance on how to seek better opportunities in India. Asking for advice outright on existing platforms is often not preferred by several people as they do not wish their identities to be known.
This is why Hood promises to be a social network with a difference: a place to connect with like-minded individuals and discuss subjects ranging from higher education to career prospects and much more. And all this happens with complete anonymity so that nobody knows what’s actually on your mind!