26 November, 2020

Don't Fail The Migrants; Don't Forget Them Again

This issue’s cover story is a reminder of the challenges that the migrants returning home face, and our collective responsibility towards them, writes editor-in-chief Ruben Banerjee.

Don't Fail The Migrants; Don't Forget Them Again

India is working from home; Bharat is walking home—the short tweet by a friend summing up what we, as a locked-down nation, have been witnessing over the past two months was definitely smart. The wordplay was interesting and impressive. But I am not too sure if it was still adequate to encapsulate the scale of a disaster that has befallen millions of migrants frantically attempting to reach home in distant towns and villages that lie beyond urban India. We have not seen this in our living memory—certainly not since Partition. It is not easy to fathom the misery that the profusely sweating and mostly starving mass of people find themselves in.  I, for one, am at a loss for words in trying to articulate their tragedy.

What I can safely presume, though, is that their sufferings are manifold more than our middle-class angst. As the migrants trudge home, they are negotiating unthinkable odds. The absence of proper transport is simply appalling. Cocooned inside our urban comforts,...



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