February 13, 2017 2:20:08 am
SPEAKING AT a session on ‘Migration: To be and Not to be’ at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee, artist Sharmistha Ray and sociologist Ashwani Kumar discussed the current migrant crisis and predicted the situation was here to stay. The panellists were responding to Nikhil Premnath, an Indian-origin New York resident, asking if globalisation and increased ease of travel, which allows for greater understanding of other cultures, will increase migrant acceptance in the US.
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“The Neo-liberal capitalist dream of unchecked consumption and absolute globalisation has failed. I think we are seeing the result of a global failure,” Banerjee said. He said that one of the ways to divide the world is into ‘haters’ and ‘non-haters’. “When the global economic system is crumbling today, the haters say that situations will improve only when we get the ‘dark-skinned’ people, the ‘slant-eyed’ people and others like them out,,” he said. According to him, the non-haters will have to get together and figure out what they can do to counter the situation.
Ray,a victim of forced migration during the Gulf War, also described the increased racism as a fallout of globalisation. “If America, a leader in immigration policies, is regressing, it shows where the world is going. It’s getting to a more fearful place and it will get much worse before it gets better,” she said.
Ashwani Kumar concluded the discussion saying, “All of us are migrants. Permanently settled native is only a myth. Migrants is a stalemated condition and will remain for a long time to come. We have to be ready for that.”
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