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7 Jun 2022

Rejimon Kuttappan, Money Control (India)

India-West Asia Ties | Indian migrants, businesses could be at the receiving end

...these statements could have an adverse effect on the migrants, especially the semi-skilled, blue collared migrants from India. Migrants who interact with their Arab managers/sponsors regularly are likely to face bitter experiences.

Shortly after these comments were picked by social media handles and appeared across platforms I spoke to a few migrants working in West Asia and fear was a general emotion in many of them...

"On Sunday (June 5) evening, our Arab employer came to the camp and enquired about our religious identity. He warned the Hindu workers that if they share the same opinion as the BJP leaders, they will be terminated," an Indian working in Qatar told this author.

An Indian working as a manager in a private company in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, said that his Arab employer sent a voice message suggesting that those who were “problematic” should be watched and if need be asked to leave...

...For India, West Asia is an important trading partner, and is where some 8.5 million Indians are working in different sectors...

...documents reveal that 82 percent of the total remittances received by India originated from seven countries: the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United States (US), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Kingdom, and Oman.

For the Indian migrant worker who was looking forward to the economy picking up after COVID-19, and, thereby, better jobs and prospects, these remarks have been a punch to the stomach.