On our way back from a beautiful village on the Konkan coast, me and my wife got talking about why Indians are abandoning the vast countryside and moving to ever so cramped and inhospitable cities. We have long toyed with the idea of moving out of the city but never have actually done much in the matter. So we decided to list the things in the city that mattered to us. We rated them on a scale of 1 to 10 and found that only a few made it over 5. Basic amenities like electricity and water got a 10 on 10, while business amenities like banking, transportation and Internet connectivity got an 8. Schools, hospitals and security got 7. Social life and recreation facilities got a 6. Surprisingly the hotels, restaurants, multiplexes and shopping malls that take up so much of our attention in the city barely made it on our charts.
A few days back, a friend told me about his plans to head for a foreign country because he has had enough of India. He isn’t one of the ‘crazy about US’ kinds who think that all things American are cool or who only talks about English music and Hollywood. He is as connected to India as most of us. Yet he is convinced that he has to move out of India.
That discussion has got me thinking about the topic of young Indians migrating from India. This article is my attempt to put down the various factors that are at work in this matter.
I will discuss the history of Indian migrations and then look at why people migrate and why they don’t. If you are expecting a yes or no answer about migrating, I unfortunately can’t provide that.
Although I am taking an Indian perspective, I think most points would be relevant to all developing nations.
Also please note that I am trying to take an objective view on the subject and not a patriotic or emotional one.