Migration Patterns

Migration from the Rural Region: A Study from Bihar in India

Author : Mahmood Ansari | 2016
Published By: ACADEMIA

Bihar presents a picture of the exemplary region, characterized by a pretty long history of distress as well as voluntary outmigration in India. The colonial forced migration had its own specific place in the demographic history of India during the nineteenth century. There had been a heavy exodus of Bihari labourers even during the post-colonial period of the second half of twentieth century. Punjab was the western El Dorado. It had the capacity to absorb the rural Bihari out migrants. It was not only because of enhanced seasonal requirements of labour but also due to continuous out migration from Punjab itself towards other attractive destinations. The cumulative effect of these favourable situations had been witnessed in the form of improved bargaining position of the migrant labourers in Punjab in the seventies and eighties in twentieth century. Such a bargaining advantage did not exist at all in the semi-feudal backward agrarian region of Bihar. The steady flow of Bihari out migrants to the destinations in rural Punjab indicated therefore the operations of not only considerable differentials in money wages but also in real wage earnings of rural labourers during seventies between the two regions. The pretty high labour earnings had been inducing the rural Bihari out migrants to be ready to work at destination even in such odd jobs like crushing sugarcane, loading and unloading, and that too at a lower wage rate relative to that acceptable by the local workers in Punjab. In the light of the Rural Labour Enquiries data on wages, employment and unemployment, it was an established fact that nearly negligible differentials in the mandays of employment availability in the two states existed during seventies and eighties of twentieth century. The claim of the decennial Census Migration Tables of 1981 with regard to the employment being significant reason for outmigration was thus essentially ill-founded, misleading and erroneous. The earnings aspect had probably got subsumed in the Census category of employment. It was a fault to be rectified in the light of findings of both the Rural Labour Enquiries and microlevel researches.

URL : https://www.academia.edu/4679123/Migration_from_the_Rural_Region_A_Study_from_Bihar_in_India

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