Migrant Labour Exodus Shines a Light on the Dark Side of Modi's 'Gujarat Model' -Rajeev Khanna
Those leading the campaign against the migrants are largely local, unemployed youth that the ‘Gujarat Model’ has failed, who now vilify 'outsiders' for having snatched away jobs.
The much touted ‘Gujarat Model’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party stands stripped bare once again. The migrant labour in the state fleeing in the face of a violent campaign is a grim reminder of the failure of Modi’s ‘Gujarat Model’ on both the social and the economic front.
Even though the state government is attempting to bring the situation back to the normal, the cat is out of the bag for now. Most of the labourers who have fled hail from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The irony here is that many of the same migrants fleeing today had rushed home ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha to campaign for Modi and the BJP, acting as salespersons of the very same ‘Gujarat Model’ that has let them down.
The trigger that led to the present exodus was the arrest of a migrant labourer from Bihar for the rape of a 14-month-old girl near Himmatnagar in Sabarkantha district. The incident was followed by a hate campaign against ‘par prantiya’ (outsiders) that is aimed at forcing them to go back home.
Over the last four days, thousands are said to have fled the state, mainly from North Gujarat – by trains, buses and any other mode of transport that they could find or afford. A few who have not fled but are afraid to return home are currently lodged in a camp set up by the volunteers of Uttar Bharatiya Vikas Parishad in Vastral. A majority of the incidents against the migrants have been reported from Sabarkantha, Patan, Mehsana, Gandhinagar and Aravalli districts.
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