The coronavirus pandemic has indeed shown how stupid the human race can be. This stupidity brings to mind the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip where Calvin tells Hobbes that the reason why intelligent lives exist outside earth is that nobody has contacted earthlings.
This was proof once again on Saturday morning when people on Twitter began sharing stories on how they too were migrants. Some of them said that their family members moved from one part of the world to another many generations ago, which automatically makes them migrants.
Sociologically speaking, they aren’t wrong. Civilizations have been built thanks to migration from one part of the earth to another, and this has happened for millennia, but here’s my fundamental issue with this trend.
People on Twitter saying MeTooMigrant have their hearts in the right place. They feel that we should be compassionate and that is something I completely agree with.
However, the hashtag doesn’t make sense. People should not compare themselves to a migrant labourer. You receive a monthly salary and aren’t given Rs 300 per day to survive.
Secondly, people coming to a new city to work – especially those who are putting out this hashtag – are the ones who actually want to do it to get away from their families. It’s the independence they crave and the big city most likely is going to provide them that. How many of these kids even consider saving the money that they earn? Most of the money is spent – in a city like Mumbai or Delhi – on rent, while the balance is used to live comfortably.
The problem with this hashtag is it reeks of privilege and lacks complete empathy to the plight of the migrant labourers who are struggling to move from one part of the country to another during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of them have been walking to their native places ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown in March.
Are any of the MeTooMigrant followers even stepping out of their homes during the lockdown? Most likely, it will be to crowd around the wine shop and break every social distancing rule because you haven’t had alcohol in 30 days. Boo hoo!
Dear privileged person even talking about the MeTooMigrant thing, consider yourself lucky that you have a roof, you have food and access to drinking water, a proper toilet, and a good internet connection so you can order anything you want. You’re not a migrant. Your grandparents most likely were. And you’re not even a labourer. If you even worked 10% as hard as our labourers, you would be going places.