When you walk into any village of Punjab, you are immediately stuck by what you don’t see.
THERE ARE NO YOUNG MEN IN THE NARROW, DUSTY STREETS! None hanging out in the village square, laughing, playing games and poking fun at each other, none sloshing in water in tube wells on the edge of the lush rice fields.
NO YOUNG MEN ANYWHERE!
Punjab was once called ‘Sone Di Chiri’ and still, is one of the wealthiest states of India. Now, you may ponder over this statement! INDEED, It is! And that’s because of the resources these Punjabi families have with which they send their children abroad for education, and they hope for a better future. Doaba region of Punjab had been the most active in this context, but, now every region is contributing in the same amount. The men have moved away to the States, Australia, particularly CANADA, and now Europe, as students, temporary workers or simply new immigrants, in search of a better life.
IS IT EASY TO LIVE AWAY FROM YOUR OWN MOTHERLAND WITH A NEW MOTHER TONGUE AWAY FROM YOUR OWN FAMILIES, WITH NEW FACES ALL AROUND?
I don’t think so!
There, they live in cramped basements or apartments while struggling to build a life thousands of miles away. And also, FEW EVER RETURN FOR GOOD!
But, What’s left behind?
Left behind are the spooky villages bereft of an entire generation and where senior and elderly people fend for themselves in large mansions, which once built for their children and grandchildren to live together, hoping to see their children once more before they die!
But, Why only Indians or particularly, Punjabis, are most active in going abroad?
Typically in the past, if one son left, the other stayed behind to look after the family. But, the lack of jobs and unemployment even if you are educated ,and the country’s increasing corruption is forcing men to leave their nation. All families have relatives abroad and the next natural step is to go away, even if it means really far away, to build a new life on their own.
According to people, there is no sense of hope, direction and jobs. PUNJAB IS ACTUALLY, HOLLOWING OUT! In India, you have issues of life and death, clean air, clean water….the most important fundamental issues of human life. In society where there is a lot of frustration, people rise up at a certain point of time, but if you fail to lead them properly, the decades are lost! So, is the case with Punjab.
Another side of this issue, if seen, is also balancing. Punjabi culture has now been greatly infected! The youth of Punjab has now no interest in literacy and only believes in stupid stuff which is non-beneficial! They don’t question themselves even once that WHERE DO THEY SEE THEMSELVES 10 YEARS DOWN THE LINE, WHEN AND WHERE THE WORLD WILL SO BE EDUCATED, FAST AND COMPETITIVE?
Do they see themselves bragging about their new gadgets, girlfriends and boyfriends, blasting away music in their newly shined ‘Daddy’s cars’ and peeping at the girls upside down from their windows’?
Punjab and its people must re-mould themselves!
But, the question also remains the same!
When asked from a studious Punjabi student who immigrated to Canada to stand on his own feet, about his decision, he responds as:
“Indeed, I miss my people but Let’s just be honest…! WHAT WOULD I HAVE DONE IF I’D STAYED THERE?”
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