Migrant is who?

By Rasika Pote

Are you an outsider or are you a localite? But who are we to decide? All I want to do is stop subscribing to the information provided by prejudiced and biased political people. There has been constant bombarding of information that our minds have stopped asking basic questions of whether we are completely justified as localites.
People of Mumbai are known as Mumbaikars and the people who come from any state other than Maharashtra are known as “Migrants” or “outsiders”. According to the research papers presented by eminent professors during the conference ‘MUMBAI – in Socio-Cultural perspectives’ there is a complete different history of Mumbai, which rests all these arguments.
Mumbai was formed due to various communities, which came to Mumbai for trade and has contributed to city’s economic growth and are staying here for decades. These communities were the Gujaratis, Marwaris, Parsis, Muslims and other various communities who are now part of the city’s culture and heritage. Mumbai is alive due to the rich heterogeneous mixture of various communities residing here and have shaped the city in the way it is today.
Maharashtra was formed a state of the Marathi speaking people after the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement. Mumbai definitely belong to Maharashtra but the city has grown and has gained a complete different and unique identity of its own. The city is the financial capital of India that means it’s a part of a larger whole rather than just an entity of its own.
According to the Constitution any person can move freely to any part of the country without legal permission. Then I m forced to ask how can a person in his/her own country be called a migrant if he has moved to another state in search of work or any other personal reasons?
Migration is a worldwide phenomenon. No structure has come into being without people of various mindsets, culture, race or religion coming together.
While taking my pledge in school we said it loud and clear that “All Indians are my brothers and sisters” so how will you have problems when your brother or sister comes to stay in your city? There will be space problems I agree but that shouldn’t affect the humanity connect between the two citizens of the same motherland. I am not sure how far this is correct but we should stop taking opinions of these political ideologies and reflect back upon the pledge taken in school. Life is simpler when we deal with humans as humans because labels and tags are for objects and not for a person of flesh and blood.

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