Punjabis across the world are famous for their inclination towards good food, bhangra (folk dance), their lovable nature and zeal to live life. But there is one more thing that can be added to the list – it is their love for foreign land and to become Non Residential Indians (NRI). This urge is so strong, especially among Punjabis living in villages, that they can do anything to fulfill this dream.
To move there, especially to the West, thousands of Punjabis sell their property and stake their lives. The most common way to fly is via arrange marriage with NRIs. Earlier these marriages were bit reliable but news of such marriage related frauds can be heard and read in every local newspaper of Punjab. But these sorts of news do not stop many Punjabis to become NRI. Parents keep looking for a NRI match for their daughters and sons. Though there is a drift in the thinking of educated strata of the society there but still this is the scenario in remote areas of Punjab.
Another very common way of going there is through visiting visa. After landing there, these visitors destroy the papers and disappear. The way in which they live their life after that cannot be explained as it is so depressing. Going along with cultural troupes is another way of entering the West. Several such agents and troupe leaders have been arrested for human trafficking. Each village of Punjab has more people living abroad than in their villages. There are many stories of fraud emphasizing not to do this but the urge to go abroad is so deep that people fall into the traps of travel agents and offer them lakhs of rupees on demand.
But why there is such a strong urge to go abroad even at the stake of education, money, proud and everything. The major reason for this is that Punjabis link migration with money, prosperity and better life. People going abroad send money to their families living in India though this is not the case with every NRI. Families back home use this money to construct or renovate homes in a flashy way, clear their debits etc. Also when the so called NRIs come back to India for few days or weeks, they feel as if they have achieved something very extraordinary in their life and they are the richest people in the world. Moreover their changed lifestyle, clothes, way of speaking, is enough to allure others to go abroad. But they never disclose the actual truth and sufferings behind the scene. For many Non Residential Indians, especially the one who went there on illegal grounds, living is no better than living in slums. Illegal Indians in UK and London are depreciatively called ‘faujis’. Many of these want to go back to their home town but cannot as they do not have papers and passport for the same.
Savyasaachi Jain produced a documentary titled ‘Door Kinare’. In this documentary troubles of illegal Indian immigrants were shown very nicely and it is a lesson for many Punjabis who want to cross the borders in an illegal way. Though these people are not at all criminals but the way they live their life in a homeless and painful manner is really shameful. Even they do not remain with enough money and food to survive and rely on free food given by gurudwaras and temples. While moving or crossing borders they also live like ‘donkeys’. This means such persons in groups are tied together and put into containers with small holes to breathe. Little food is given to them and some may have to experience the foreign jails and bear all the torture.
Almost every person knows these true tales but feels that this won’t happen to him or her. People back in Punjab who longed to be in foreign land still do not understand the complications involved with the illegal things. Because of this number of such immigrants and sufferers are increasing day by day worsening the condition further. On the other hand West have understood the concept very clearly that they are not getting two hands of cheap labor but their entire families, so now they have made very stringent immigration laws.
Though urge to go abroad and taking dreams to live a better life is not a mistake but one must be aware of all the consequences of illegal movement. One should never fall into the traps of immigration and travel agents who just need money but nothing else. They treat human beings like donkeys and force them to live life like that. All your dreams of earning big money will be shattered and you will then have only one dream and that will be coming back to your home and possibly you won’t be able to do that. It is far better to stay in your home and dream of doing something big rather than living a miserable life as NRI. Success is in your hands but all you need is proper guidance and right track. You can change your lifestyle with Indian currency, as we are no longer an ignorant society. Punjabis are really very hard-working. If you can do any type of odd job in abroad then why cannot you do this in your own country? For this you have to stop following others and try to live your life in your own way and with proud.