PACHU MENON, MARGAO
If news-reports are to be believed, the migrant ‘threat’ in Goa has risen to alarming proportions. After the construction boom, the flourishing industrial scenario in the state has had Goa being likened to Dubai and other Middle Eastern Sultanates for the workers migrating from other parts of the country. The advent of the Konkan Railway has further exposed Goa to the ‘migratory’ problems that it can presumably well do without. The government feels that the influx of the migrants is robbing the Goans of gainful employment as most of the multi-national companies which have set shop in Goa are recruiting workforce from outside the state to cater to their manpower needs. With murders, thefts and robberies being the order of the day, the locals believe that the rise in crimes is directly linked to the proliferation of the ‘outside’ population in the state which in turn is disturbing the peace and tranquility that Goa is known for. But would it be wrong to aver that Goans are today outsiders in their land of ancestors! Their susegado attitude, more than anything else, is responsible for this peculiar situation. The lack of blue-collar workforce in the state is a direct consequence of the bias shown by the locals towards traditional occupations which has offered people from outside the state a chance to exploit the demand-based market. Today a majority of the plumbers, electricians, carpenters, masons and other tradespersons in the market are outsiders. The reluctance shown by the local youth to opt for jobs in the private sector has had a direct bearing on the unemployment quotient in the state. Moreover studies show that Goa faces a high skill gap due to lack of sufficient training infrastructure in the state. Without envisaging a roadmap to strengthen the state’s employment scenario, Goa is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to the government insisting on maximum number of jobs for locals in the private companies. But with jobs getting hard to come by these days, the impact of the deteriorating economic slowdown is evident in Goa too. Crimes are the natural fallout! But how right is it to blame only the migrants for the escalating crime graph in the state when police arrests conclusively prove a ‘local’ angle to most of the offences registered!