Sunday, August 17, 2014

Immigration (good face, sad face)

.....Remittances from India....key role in making Scotland the most industrialised country by the mid-19th century....Dundee and Paisley were transformed by their trade in jute and textiles with India....a man has died after 35 people found in a shipping container....survivors from the Indian subcontinent....staff alerted by "screaming and banging" from inside...

The "trade" between India and the United Kingdom in the colonial period was an euphemism for brutal exploitation. Indian manufacturing was destroyed by unfair tariffs in the UK. Thus "trade" consisted of India exporting raw materials (cotton, jute) at dirt prices and to buy English-Scottish finished goods (gunny bags, clothes) at high prices.

For thousands of years, India was known far and near as the promised land. First came the plundering armies, the missionaries followed, and not far behind were the "flood" of job-seeking immigrants. It was the promises of the Indian empire holdings (East India Company) that encouraged Scotland to forge and continue with a union pact with England (01 May 1707). Now that the charms of a captive foreign market is gone, Scotland finds the centuries old bonds to be an irritant (Scotland votes for partition-independence on September 18, 2014).

The good face of colonialism we know: British gave us a sense of nationality (which was useful in the fight for freedom, many Scots played an important role), they taught us the first principles of democracy (which we are still learning to master) and all that.

The sad face of is now considered bad form to speak about it. The Victorian Holocausts which knocked off large percentages of the population is a good place to start. If there is any one event that stands out that would be the Bengal famine of 1943 when 4.3 million people perished. While Indian merchants certainly stocked grains and contributed to the problems in supply, it was a British administration  that was responsible in a direct (as well as indirect) manner.

Now the bowl has upturned and immigrants plan to leave India for the West...anyhow.  Their desperation is such that they do not care that they may end up losing their lives.
The good picture of Indians migrating to the West and living out the American (or Canadian, Australian...) dream is well viewed. There is a sad picture as well which mostly stays underground unless there is a explosion and then we discover the mess.

Surprisingly it is not just Indians (and other poor people) who are desperate to leave. As many as 58 citizens of the newly minted superpower also died trying to cross over to the UK from Zeebrugge in June. How come the Chinese (both poor and the super affluent) are fleeing their country? This almost never happens, people do not just up and quit the lands of opportunity....unless the Chinese know something about their country that we outsiders do not know about (see below).

A man has died after 35 people - including children - were found in a shipping container at Tilbury Docks. The survivors - believed to be from the Indian subcontinent - are said to be recovering "fairly quickly in most cases" at nearby hospitals.

They were discovered after a freighter arrived from Zeebrugge, Belgium at about 06:00 BST and was being unloaded. Essex Police have launched a homicide investigation and officers are being assisted by their Belgian counterparts.

Supt Trevor Roe said staff at the docks were alerted to the container by "screaming and banging" from inside. He said about 50 other containers on the freighter, called the Norstream, had been searched and no other people were discovered inside.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Roe told journalists the survivors were being held under immigration powers and would be taken to an immigration reception centre near Tilbury. He said they would eventually be interviewed through interpreters.

Belgian police say they believe the lorry which delivered the container in Zeebrugge has been identified through CCTV footage. They do not, however, have information yet about where it originated from. Mr Roe said the police investigation would look into "the gangs or whoever may be involved in this conspiracy to bring these people in this way over to this country".

It is not known where the container, one of 64 aboard the P&O vessel, originated. Mr Roe also said he did not know where the survivors had been going.
At Basildon hospital police vans were parked in between rows of ambulances in a clash of high-visibility stripes and chevrons. At the dropping-off zone in front of the entrance, patients came and went, glancing up at the news helicopter circling overhead.

Most were aware of the high-security patients being treated in a cordoned-off section of the accident and emergency unit; the atmosphere became more relaxed when it became clear that their conditions were primarily dehydration and hypothermia, and nothing more serious or contagious.

Immigration and security minister James Brokenshire said the incident was "a reminder of the often devastating human consequences of illegal migration". He said: "We know that criminal gangs are involved in what amounts to a brutal trade in human lives. We also know that illegal migration is a Europe-wide issue.

"That is why we work closely and collaboratively with law enforcement and port authorities, in neighboring countries, to target criminal networks and ensure that the organised gangs behind trafficking and people smuggling can't operate with impunity."

The East of England Ambulance service, which was called to the docks at 06:37 BST, sent seven ambulances, two rapid response cars, two doctors and a hazardous area response team to the scene.
Assistant Chief Officer Daniel Gore from the ambulance service said none of the people being treated in hospital was thought to have life-threatening conditions.

Part of Basildon Hospital, where 18 people from the container were taken for treatment, was taped off earlier. On its website, the hospital said its accident and emergency department was "responding to a major incident".

Seven patients were taken to Southend Hospital while nine were taken to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel. South Basildon and East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe described the incident as "tragic". Mr Metcalfe told the BBC: "The fact that so many people appear to have traveled so far and are so desperate to get into the UK - either on their own or being trafficked is really very sad."

The Conservative MP said it was important "to get to the root causes of what is motivating people to go to such extreme lengths to travel from other parts of the world to get into the UK" as well as tackle people trafficking.

The container was loaded on to the P&O freighter at about 21:30 BST on Friday at Zeebrugge.

A P&O spokeswoman said the Norstream, which had been scheduled to leave Zeebrugge at 22:00 BST on Friday, was also carrying 72 trailers and five lorries and their drivers.

Public Health England said it was not currently involved and had not been notified of there being any Ebola risk. Essex Ambulance said decontamination units had been set up at the docks as a precaution, not because of any specific concerns it had. A spokeswoman for the port declined to comment on the incident as it "was a matter for the police and Border Force".

The ship was sailing on a new service linking Tilbury and Zeebrugge which has only been operational since earlier this month, according to parent company Forth Ports.  

According to the UK Border Force, the number of "clandestine illegal entry attempts" by people to enter the country via ports in Belgium and France increased last year to 18,000 from about 11,000 in the previous 12 months.

The Freight Transport Association said it was "quite unusual" for stowaways to be found in containers, with most cases involving people attempting to enter the UK on lorries.

In June 2000, the bodies of 58 Chinese people were found in the back of a lorry smuggling them into Dover on a ferry from Zeebrugge. They had died of suffocation.

India's special place in Scottish history is partly a legacy from the union of Scotland with England in 1707 to create the United Kingdom. Under the deal, Scotland's landed families gained access to the East India Company, and gradually become its dominant force.

Scots flooded into India as "writers" , traders, engineers, missionaries, tea and indigo planters, jute traders and teachers. According to Professor Tom Devine, author of The Scottish Empire, by 1771 almost half of the East India Company's writers were Scots, and by 1813, some 19 of Calcutta's private merchant houses were dominated by Scots.

Remittances from India played a key role in making Scotland the most industrialized country in the world by the mid-19th century, and cities like Dundee and Paisley were transformed by their trade in jute and textiles with India.


Even when the emperors did their utmost to keep them at home, the Chinese ventured overseas in search of knowledge, fortune and adventure. Manchu Qing rulers thought those who left must be criminals or conspirators and once forced the entire coastal population of southern China to move at least 10 miles inland.

But even that didn't put an end to wanderlust. Sailing junks ferried merchants to Manila on monsoon winds to trade silk and porcelain for silver. And in the 19th century, steamships carried armies of "coolies" (as they were then called) to the mines and plantations of the European empires.

Today, China's borders are wide open. Almost anybody who wants a passport can get one. And Chinese nationals are leaving in vast waves: Last year, more than 100 million outbound travelers crossed the frontiers.

Most are tourists who come home. But rapidly growing numbers are college students and the wealthy, and many of them stay away for good. A survey by the Shanghai research firm Hurun Report shows that 64% of China's rich—defined as those with assets of more than $1.6 million—are either emigrating or planning to.

To be sure, the departure of China's brightest and best for study and work isn't a fresh phenomenon. China's communist revolution was led, after all, by intellectuals schooled in Europe. What's new is that they are planning to leave the country in its ascendancy. More and more talented Chinese are looking at the upward trajectory of this emerging superpower and deciding, nevertheless, that they're better off elsewhere.

Link (1):

Link (2): Indias-Scottish-heritage-remembered-in-renovation-of-Calcutta

Link (3):



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