Recently, an article published in the Times of India reported that the Indian Canadian community in Brampton, Ontario was protesting against International students owing to these students allegedly ‘stealing’ their jobs.
This primary accusation against the students was leveled at a town hall meeting which had representation by federal, provincial and municipal authorities to address the escalating tensions between the two communities.
In a letter to the PM, Justin Trudeau, Abhinav Patel from Brampton said,
“These students work overtime, stealing our jobs. Go to your homes, we have been here for twenty years and still feeding our kids. All we want is strong regulations in place. Employers benefit as they pay less than minimum wages to the students”
This stance seems a bit ironic when you take into account the history of this community. Indians are obviously not native to Canada. But due to the open immigration policy that Canada offers Indians, and Punjabis especially have migrated to Canada in droves.
This migration has been so extensive that the running joke is that Canada is a mini-Punjab. This claim is actually not totally unjustified. The Canadian cabinet has 4 Indian-origin ministers. While the geographical subtleties are ignored while assigning this nickname, the Indian influence is hard to ignore.
Now, when Indians initially started migrating to Canada, they were in the same financial and social position that the students are in right now. There has been a history of resistance to immigration in Canada, which these Indians no doubt also faced.
They too stayed in tiny homes, faced discrimination from the majority, worked hard, saved up to secure a future for themselves and their children.
And now, when another wave of people is trying to do the same, instead of recognizing the equivalence of situations, they adopt the same hardliner stance that they fought so hard to overcome and change.
This is where the hypocrisy really shines through. One would assume that people who have been through the same ordeal would feel for each other and work towards aiding those in need.
Instead, the assimilation that Indian-Canadians have gone through over generations has made them think that they are more Canadians than immigrants.
And it is this mindset which is fueling the backlash against international students. Students who have to take out huge loans just to pay the fee for a single semester.
These descendants of immigrants demean and devalue the tough circumstances that these students face, and the hard, grueling work they have to do to survive.
In doing this, not only do they not disrespect the similar circumstances that their ancestors faced, but they also set a poor example for ideal immigrant behavior which will further this behavior and defeat the very point of immigration, which is to create a more open and interconnected world that is more humane, understanding, and productive.
Image Source: Google Images
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