Kerala worried over turmoil in West Asia

West Asia crisis that has engulfed Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen, and Libya reflects the crisis of Kuwait two decades ago. Kearalites in particular are anxious about the unrest in these countries as tens of thousands of Malayalees will be adversely affected if the trouble escalates further. Although an advisory has been issued by the Union Department of Overseas Indian Affairs providing all safety measures to ensure the well-being of Indians in these countries, but, the kith and kin of those working abroad are apprehensive about their safety.

The present crisis is likely to have the most effect in Kerala as about 150,000 Keralites are working in Bahrain in various capacity. During the Kuwait crisis, tens of thousands of people working there, hailing from Kerala had to return leaving all their belongings. Even in monetary terms the turmoil in West Asia is likely to affect the Indian economy. Of the total Rs 35,000 crore about 10 percent comes from Bahrain to Kerala.

SK Pillai, an expert on migration studies said, “We cannot rule out the possibility of a repeat of the situation we faced during Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and during the recession two years ago.”

MG News Desk

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2011 on page no. 5

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