E-Pao! Essay - Moving away from home

Moving away from home

By: UA Shimray *

"Economic unfreedom can breed social unfreedom, just as social or political unfreedom can also foster economic unfreedom."
Amartya Sen, (2000), Development As Freedom. New Delhi: OUP.

Recently, I read Jacob Shaiza's article entitled, "The Mumbai dreams" in The Sangai Express [Internet version: dated 14th September 2006].

The article began with the unpleasant phrase:
"Everything that glitters in Mumbai is not gold."
The author cautions cohort of Tangkhul Naga girl (not men folk) about the "vulnerability" and "life and beauty" of the Indian Metros...
"The Mumbai dreams is creating waves and visibly everything appears to be going well as hundreds of our girls are finding ready employment with hundreds lining up to be there at the earliest opportunity.

The fairer sex of our backward society choosing Mumbai as their job hunting destination is curiously worth giving a glimpse with a new perspective with Tangkhul girls of Ukhrul district as a case story."

The article interrogates on women's vulnerable logic (not men). In contrary men become sedentary as the statement goes: "The streets in Ukhrul town is almost empty of any eligible girls and the glamour has faded to a frustrating extent.

The boys are left high and dry and for them Sunday glamour is no longer worth waiting."

The author "partially and unjustly" depicts the vulnerable logic without considering women's "ability" to take care of her conscience. I partially do agree with the article but my problem is "unjust" presentation on vulnerability aspect, underestimate tone and not bearing in mind of one's "ability and capability."

Underestimate statement like: "Girls of our society with no employment scope migrating to Mumbai and other metros is nothing usual.

The only hitch is the danger of being carried away with wrong imitation and false show of lifestyle. Immoral imitations are the most vulnerable social lifestyle that one will care to venture at her own risk." Moral is different issue and its individual agenda.

Jacob conclude as: "But since the focus is on the vulnerable fairer sex of our society migrating to big metros it is to be sharply pointed out that it has its own pitfalls. In such hi-fy places one can be her best friend and her worst enemy."

Is Migration (Education and Employment) really vulnerable...?

In Imphal, a couple of seminars are organised regarding the students' migration. Dr TS Gangte [retired Director of Education (University)] rightly points out: "The root cause of the students' migration is mainly due to absence of a proper academic system, unstable law and order situation and lack of basic infrastructure in educational institutions."

Not only absence of a proper academic system, but a frequent call of bandhs, strikes, blockade and cease-work is also affecting academic calendar as well as educational environment.

In conceptualising migration there are certain factors associated with the decision to migrate. Firstly, factors associated with the area of origin; in second, factors associated with the area of destination and third is personal factors. People move across the political borders because of various reasons like economic gain, education and employment.

As propounded that migration is said to be selective of occupation as well as education. Education and employment related migration has become more prominent with improvement of transport and communication and globalisation.

Undoubtedly, education is a major migration facilitating factor. From areas where the number of young educated persons is in excess supply, they tend to move to areas where there is demand for their services.

The decades 1990 and 2000 witnessed tremendous flow of people coming from the North Eastern region particularly indigenous communities from Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal, Meghalaya and Manipur to Indian Metropolitan cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta.

The reasons are mainly related to education and employment guided by certain motivated factors. Also, envisioning of getting better "opportunities, choices, facilities and achievements." Indian's Metros offer wide range of opportunities from quality higher education, employment and economic activities.

In realm of education and employment, the question of opportunities, choices, facilities and achievements is crucial enough. Today, the State failed to provide adequate infrastructural support [education and employment] for the youth.

In fact such situation compels the youth to migrate in search of opportunities, choices and facilities. Through education, they acquired "ability" and capable to be "independence." Also, equipped with "competence" in decision-making.

These youth are not "lazy-educated-person" but they stand by themselves and earned for living. So the question is working in Metros is a kind of "indecent" and blame as vulnerable... If the vulnerable logic goes then sedentary lazy-educated unemployed would be considered as good citizen of the moral society.

No one wants to live elsewhere, places or society. Everyone wants to live his or her native soil.

Life in Metro is hard. Often share small room, travel good distance, feels social isolation and earn peanuts. Inspite of all these odd circumstances, this youth struggle and even manage to send remittances to their parents.

Hitherto, there are inevitable situation like abuse, tendency to indulge negativism, frustration and depression so on. All these are environmental social circumstances and are not only happen in Metros alone but everywhere where human dwelt. As I said, when there is acquired "ability and capability," then why worry about vulnerable aspects.


The current socio-political turmoil in Manipur is "indirectly" contributed by the high growth of unemployed population particularly youth, HIV/AIDS and poor delivery system. This social problem also bears "positive-correlation" with the aspect of individual laziness [looking for easy money], non-creative and non-utilisation of one's capability in a constructive manner.

Today, many youth are moving way from home ["outsourcing"] and look for the opportunities in the Metros.

In Manipur case, the decision to migrate is mostly associated with the problem related to the area of origin with "Little Choice, Little Opportunity and inadequate Infra-structural-Support."

The plight of the higher education and employment in Manipur is really disquieting. Getting employment is somewhat becoming a "distant dream."

Indeed, the issue of educated-unemployed youth is causing serious human resources crises and disturbing features.

UA Shimray wrote this article for The Sangai Express . This article was webcasted on December 23rd, 2006

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