When can someone say, “You don’t belong here”? In fact can someone say that to another person at all? This fear is always there in the inhabitants’ minds when a prosperous geographical location welcomes new residents. There are several questions that arise, “Will these new people take our jobs?” “Will they destroy what we created?” All these questions are nothing but an apprehension of the unknown.
In India, immigration to cities is very common and people who moved to those cities probably several years before also cultivate the feeling of fear against the new immigrants. So this fear is only understandable when it pertains to new countries and cultures. But why must we fear, is a question that we all need to ask to put an end to this hatred.
Sukhjit Kaur in ‘Australia’s got talent’ expresses her angst at the prevalent discrimination and violence against people of colour, and specifically Sikhs. When I listen to her I want to ask after what time period do we get the right to ask someone to leave ‘our’ land? When does it start belonging more to us than to someone else, although we ourselves moved here may be eons ago? Can we then tell a new born that the earth doesn’t belong to him or her because we were born several years ago?
If we never say that to a new born and are in fact now trying to make a better earth for coming generations, why do we do this when it pertains to immigrants? Every human being has the right to choose his or her future, so why can’t we as a society let that happen? Usually whenever a country accepts immigrants it invites the best talent from other parts of the world. This is beneficial for the country as well as for the immigrants because they are both adding value to each other. Not only that, the social fabric gets richer with a new culture and forces the society to reinvent itself so that it does not stagnate.
Today we must keep reinventing our social fabric. It is time for us to have a mixed world so that we are more open to differences. In a global world that is ideal; we can’t have a global world and a closed nation state! More than ever it is important for us to understand our differences but not discriminate based on them. We need to understand that we are creating a world for humanity and not necessarily for only our biological descendants or for a particular geography. We can’t choose which part of humanity benefits from our actions and let’s not try to choose what we can’t and create chaos! Let’s cultivate the attitude of benefiting the world or earth at large, that’s definitely the need of the hour so that we don’t end up with emotionally disturbed generations in the future.