‘Brain drain’ warning over Indian Muslim migration

Income from the Gulf has led to the emergence of an Indian Muslim middle and upper middle class. (AFP)
Updated 04 June 2018
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‘Brain drain’ warning over Indian Muslim migration

  • Gulf money ensuring financial stability for Indian Muslims
  • Leading Indian politician warns of ‘brain drain’ through decades of economic migration

DUBAI: For decades political and financial pressures have forced generations of educated Indian Muslims to leave their homes and travel as economic migrants in search of a better future overseas.
But while continuous migration has helped to bring financial stability, the trend has also exacted a heavy toll on the community at home, according to an Indian politician and member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
Speaking exclusively to Arab News during a visit to the UAE, Mohammed Adeeb said that economic migration had led to a “brain drain,” and the loss of “leaders and torchbearers” in India’s Muslim community.
“Be it partition, when the most of the educated and qualified Muslims crossed the border, and then economic migration to Gulf and now to the US and Canada, Muslims back home have been left without leaders and torchbearers. As a result they have become more vulnerable to political, economic and social challenges,” he said.
However, Adeeb said while migration outside India may be creating a “vacuum,” it was also providing thousands of Muslim households with financial stability because of money earned in the Gulf region.
“If on the one hand, it was a brain drain, then on the other it was a money gain as well. The financial situation of thousands of Muslim households in the country has improved because of money earned in the Gulf. Because of Gulf income, a middle and upper middle class have emerged in the Indian Muslim community. However, we need to ask whether it was a good bargain,” he said.
Adeeb is a former member of Rajya Sabha (the upper house of Indian Parliament), a member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board and alumni of Aligarh Muslim University.
He urged Indian Muslim graduates living around the world, including the Gulf, to “come forward and share responsibilities.
“There is a lack of leadership in the community. University alumni have to take the lead and become the voice of the Indian Muslim community,” he said.
According to Adeeb, Muslims in the country have their own challenges and are scared.
“Those who live outside India have to talk about the challenges of Indian Muslims in their adopted countries, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia. They are educated and privileged people, and must raise their voice in a way that the corridors of power listen to them.”
Last month, violent clashes took place between university students in Aligarh and local BJP workers over a portrait of Pakistan’s founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah in the university campus.
India has the world’s third-largest Muslim population and largest Muslim-minority population. The country is home to about 172 million Muslims, according to a 2011 census. A 2017 census showed Pakistan’s population at 207.8 million.


At least 161 dead in northeast Congo in apparent ethnic clashes

Updated 8 sec ago
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At least 161 dead in northeast Congo in apparent ethnic clashes

  • A series of attacks in Ituri province has mostly targeted Hema herders, who have long been in conflict with Lendu farmers over grazing rights and political representation
  • Open conflict between Hema and Lendu from 1999-2007 resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths in one of the bloodiest chapters of a civil war in eastern Congo

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo: At least 161 people have been killed in a northeastern province of Democratic Republic of Congo in the past week, local officials said on Monday, in an apparent resurgence of ethnic clashes between farming and herding communities.
A series of attacks in Ituri province has mostly targeted Hema herders, who have long been in conflict with Lendu farmers over grazing rights and political representation, although the exact identity of the assailants remains murky.
Open conflict between Hema and Lendu from 1999-2007 resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths in one of the bloodiest chapters of a civil war in eastern Congo that left millions dead from conflict, hunger and disease.
Tit-for-tat attacks between the two groups in late 2017 and early 2018 killed hundreds of people and forced tens of thousands more to flee their homes, but a tenuous calm had taken hold until this month.
Pascal Kakoraki Baguma, a national lawmaker from Ituri, said the latest violence was sparked by the killing last Monday of four Lendu businesspeople.
“Members of the Lendu community believed that these assassinations were the work of the Hema,” Kakoraki said. “This is why they launched several attacks on Hema villages.”
“Sources affirm that 161 bodies have been found so far. But the death toll goes beyond the bodies recovered, as there were other massacres of civilians and police officers,” he said.
Jean Bosco Lalo, president of civil society organizations in Ituri, said 200 bodies had been found since last week in predominantly Hema villages, including the 161 mentioned by Kakoraki. Lalo said the toll would rise once his teams gained access to other villages where killings had been reported.
Ituri Governor Jean Bamanisa said provincial authorities were still working to establish the exact death toll and declined to say who was responsible.
He said the assailants’ tactics were to “empty out the villages, burn them and pursue those who had fled to the surrounding areas with bladed weapons.”
Congo President Felix Tshisekedi, who took office in January, is trying to restore stability to the country’s eastern borderlands, a tinderbox of conflict among armed groups over ethnicity, natural resources and political power.
Several rebel leaders have surrendered or been captured during his first months in office, but armed violence has persisted, particularly in North Kivu province, south of Ituri, which is the epicenter of a 10-month Ebola outbreak.