ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Migrant Crisis in Kerala

Need to Change the Political Culture

The Kerala government is under pressure to enforce action to deal with the rising migrant population in the state after the arrest of a migrant labourer as the suspect of rape and murder of Jisha, a Dalit law student. Keeping track of the migrant population in the absence of an identification database would violate the constitutional provisions of the right to work. By launching an insurance scheme to incentivise migrants to voluntarily register themselves, the government is planning to track migrant workers. Profiling by the state, even under the garb of welfare schemes, will further justify the existing middle-class ire against domestic and regional migrant labour.

With the rape and murder of a Dalit law student, Jisha, in Kerala triggering a series of protests on the gross violations of women’s rights in the state and becoming a massive issue during the recent assembly elections, the major brunt has been borne by the migrant population in Kerala. This only intensified further with the arrested suspect turning out to be a migrant worker. The place at which the murder took place was only a few kilometres from the town of Perumbavoor or the “mini-North India,” which houses the majority of migrant population in the state. Even prior to this incident, migrants across the state have been targeted heavily by the local population for crimes as petty as theft and on grounds of mere suspicion.

Construction of the Migrant

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