The worker, the outsider

The worker, the outsider

News: A serious concern to protect interstate migrants from all forms of violence must be reflected in the draft National Migrant Labour policy and its future implementation.

 The recent social media rumours in TN about attacks against migrants reportedly kept them away from work. Their absenteeism badly affected the state’s industries, creating state-wide panic and raising several concerns, especially for north Indian migrants. Consequently, many migrant workers started to leave TN for fear of being attacked.

What is the Migrant worker issue in India? Why are they targeted?
 Hostility and negative attitudes towards migrants are not new, and several such incidents have occurred in the past in Maharashtra, Assam etc.
 Their victimisation is deeply rooted in the politicisation of migrants, the stigma, power dynamics of the labour market and scapegoating, which need to be understood with broader and intersectional perspectives.
 The strong antipathy towards migrants starts with “sons of the soil” politics, and results in conflicts between “insiders” and “outsiders”.
 Interstate migrants are selected as “scapegoats” as they are the easiest targets.

Scapegoating is a psychological process that describes prejudice and discrimination as a means to express hostility arising from frustration. For example, let’s say a state has failed to provide quality education or develop essential skills and create employment opportunities. To hide such failures, they blame interstate migrants of stealing away jobs of locals and are portrayed as outsiders.

 Another major concern is that violence or the constant fear of it adversely affects the mental health of migrants. In absence of family and care groups, the migrant workers face enormous stress and anxiety.
 Migrants are not only victims of physical violence but also of structural violence.

How do we protect physically and mentally interstate migrants at their destinations?
 Promoting their unionization is one aspect.
 Portability of entitlements.
 Ensuring universal social security provisions at the destination state could prove fruitful.
 Strong and committed political will and bureaucratic structures are required to reduce xenophobic and violent acts against migrants.

Way Forward
 The draft National Migrant Labour policy must strive to protect interstate migrants from all forms of violence.
 Adequate steps should be taken to make migrants aware of their legal and civic rights by providing legal-aid and counselling services.
 Migration is a constitutional right in India and a symbol of hope and prosperity and comprehensive steps are important to ensure meaningful inclusion of migrants. 

DICS Branches

Our Branches

DICS Ahmedabad


(Head Office)

Address : 506, 3rd EYE THREE (III), Opp. Induben Khakhrawala, Girish Cold Drink Cross Road, CG Road, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, 380009.

Mobile : 8469231587 / 9586028957

Telephone : 079-40098991



Address: A-306, The Landmark, Urjanagar-1, Opp. Spicy Street, Kudasan – Por Road, Kudasan, Gandhinagar – 382421

Mobile : 9723832444 / 9723932444


DICS Vadodara


Address: 2nd Floor, 9 Shivali Society, L&T Circle, opp. Ratri Bazar, Karelibaugh, Vadodara, 390018

Mobile : 9725692037 / 9725692054


DICS Surat


Address: 403, Raj Victoria, Opp. Pal Walkway, Near Galaxy Circle, Pal, Surat-394510

Mobile : 8401031583 / 8401031587


DICS New Delhi

New Delhi(In Association with Edge IAS)

Address: 57/17, 2nd Floor, Old Rajinder Nagar Market, Bada Bazaar Marg, Delhi-60

Mobile : 9104830862 / 9104830865