Migrants in Tamil Nadu: case of much ado about nothing? -Vignesh Radhakrishnan & Pon Vasanth BA
There is now an opportunity to temper the rancour in Tamil Nadu over ‘migrants taking over’ jobs meant for locals, thanks to the data on migration — inward and outward — from Census 2011.
Chennai: Controversies witnessed in recent months over the recruitment of non-Tamils in government jobs in Tamil Nadu have triggered a perceptible rise in voices against migrants taking up jobs in the State.
The slogans demanding ‘protection’ of jobs in Tamil Nadu have not only become louder among the Tamil nationalist groups but have found traction even among a section of mainstream political parties. Andhra Pradesh government’s recent legislation to reserve 75% jobs in the private sector for locals has only strengthened these voices.
Despite migration becoming a sensitive issue, comprehensive data that can help start an informed debate on migration and the perceived fears of jobs being lost to ‘outsiders’ in Tamil Nadu is hard to come by.
The Census 2011 data on migration released recently has come as a handy tool in this context. While stressing the need to exercise caution in using this data, as it has come out after a delay of eight years, academics agree that the data proves that the fears about migration are often exaggerated and misconceptions abound.
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