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Showing posts from January, 2015

The Widening Gulf

Globe-trotting PM has not visited the region; no indication of any visit in 2015.Government’s openly pro-Israel policy has not gone down well. Why, Israel has become a partner state in Vibrant Gujarat.Lower oil prices mean migrants could lose jobs and be sent back to IndiaPerception that no outreach to 7 million poor immigrants, who actually provide a large chunk of remittances, compared to the wooing of diaspora in US, Australia *** It’s that time of the year when NRIs descend upon India in hordes. This time around, there’s plenty to celebrate as Narendra Modi has pulled out all stops to welcome an overseas Indian community that had (by and large) supported his successful campaign to become PM. However, even as the rich diaspora is feted at the two galas in Ahmedabad, there is a sense of disquiet that the BJP government has been careless about the welfare of the poorer migrants toiling in West Asia.
Though former diplomats and policy wonks cautiously say that it is still too early fo…

Everyone wants to go to Dubai

A line from the classic Malayalam film Ee Naadu captures all too well the mood of Kerala in the 1980s “Everyone wants to go to Dubai! They think we are Sheiks there.” Though the Gulf Malayalee toils in the sweltering desert sun all the yearlong; for a brief while, on furlough he lives it up quite like a little Sheik. The period also saw the price of goods was not governed by market forces but by the whims of the Gulf Malayalee. The dizzying growth of the manmade paradises in the desert kingdoms has the ineluctable stain of sweat and gore of the Indian migrants. And back home, Kerala’s economy, landscape and cinema was shaped by the Gulf migration. The enchantment with the Middle East which began in the late 70s peaked in the 90s and journeyed down the decades. Malayalam cinema, too, took the migratory route capturing the images of struggling migrant life with all its complexities.
Ee Naadu(1982)
Set in the political milieu of the 80s, Salim (Mammooty) works in the Gulf and comes home onc…