The recent migrant crisis in Gujarat where Hindi-speaking migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have been forced to leave the state has bought a question into the national narrative. It is a question that has been asked before in some form or the other – Is India a country for its citizens or are we natives of a particular state and our identity, safety and security depend on the nativity?
We believe that India is one nation – no individual should fear their safety in any part of the country. The movement if labour across state boundaries is important for economic activity and cultural integration.
People move from a state when employment opportunities in that area are hard to come by. They move to the place where they find a better job and quality of living. It benefits both geographies.
Such incidents, where labour is forced to leave will have harmful economic impact. The political parties have to look beyond the narrow electoral issues to national interests. Only then will achieve 7.3% growth along with a high-rank Human Development index.