2 Aug 2010

Is there scope for a new multicultural nation under the aegis of UNO?

                                                                 Image courtesy: www.shop.xyzmaps.com

                                      Some countries have huge tracts of uninhabited land due to their relatively smaller population. While there are many countries, which have huge population struggle to find enough land to accommodate the increasing population. It is easy to play down the significance of non-availability of land to accommodate people, by stating the lack of population control measures. The countries struggling with poverty cannot afford the luxury of educating the citizens about population control, when their immediate aim is to provide adequate food, shelter, and healthcare to the citizens. Creating artificial islands on the vast seas across the world can provide lands for people to live. It is an escape route for countries with good financial backgrounds and coastlines. What will landlocked, poor or developing countries do?                          

                                                   There are huge countries that   have dwindling population and they earlier encouraged immigration to make up for the short fall. Now the issue of job loss, cultural integration, as well as ethnicity is coming into the equation of how many people can be accommodated in future. The threat of terrorism will make it difficult for people from particular regions to migrate in future. Many countries will bring caps on migrations to keep the migration levels down. I wonder if it can be classified as communalism, but many societies are worried about the increasing percentages of migrants. They fear that migrants who are ready to work in lower wages might take their jobs away. The natural citizens have every right to think about their own prospects in their country.

                                           However, I have a feeling that now it is the reverse migration that is taking place. In the past westerners moved to their colonies and owned land. After the end of colonial era many of them returned, but a good percentage chose to stay there as local citizens. Western colonizers set up many modern multicultural countries.  New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada are best examples of nations set up by colonizers. Many such colonized settlements initially involved bloody wars and even caused extinction of many civilizations. If you check the demographics of such multicultural countries, the proportion of native people are meager, compared to the immigrant population. Moreover, the native populations had to content with the secondary role in society and governance for long time, though things are different now. There were no international rules against forced takeover of lands from natives. Now all of these countries have international validity. However, now if someone wish to start a new country, it is quite impossible. Even the breakaway provinces have to get support from international countries to be known as countries. Even in grand old eras, there were massive expansions of kingdoms through wars. Now it is virtually impossible for anyone to add land to their country by attacking distant country or neighboring countries, which I feel is a good thing.

                                                    The fears of multiculturalism affecting the local historical and cultural values are valid. No country would want to lose their traditional identity, just because migrants come there to settle down. There is agony over the lack of strict imposition of integration of immigrants to the local society and culture. Many migrants are happy to live in their own closed community, with some people having no intention to integrate with the local community. The rise of China towns or ethnically polarized towns due to the concentrated settling down by immigrants is a big concern for the local citizens. In this era in some countries, there are some towns or states dominated by the immigrant population, with the native citizens dropped down to the minority. This is going to be a serious issue in near future as conflicts between cultures; religions will have big impact on the demographics.

                                               The demand for tougher tests and rules for awarding citizenships to immigrants is being raised by the native citizens to protect their culture and rights. The lopsided immigration policies by many countries are now causing unrest between the immigrants and the local populations. The riots by descendants of immigrants in many countries cannot be seen as standalone cases. The rise of right wing political parties, which stands for local culture, language, and society, with strong opposition against immigration is also going to increase worldwide. The examples of decimation of Mexican languages after Spanish colonization or decimation of African languages after French colonization are in front of us as examples of impact of foreigners’ migration or colonization. The reverse migration to Britain or France or Holland can be seen as a natural phenomenon. Due to the grasp of their colonial languages, people from former colonies prefer to move to the former rulers’ countries. Presence of greater African population in France, Asian population in Britain has direct relation with colonial past.

                                                   With time, many countries are going to bring stricter caps on number of migrants per year. This brings the question, whether humans have equal rights to live in this world. In colonial era, some countries conquered lands and made colonies, later these countries became independent. With lesser native population, these countries are virtually immigrant nations. They have small population compared to their size of landmass. However, due to their wish to keep their western identity, many such countries are averse to allowing more people to settle from other cultures. This is not matter of sovereignty. It is the matter of right to live. If people endure hardships to reach the main lands of hope, there might be even tougher situations they face in their native countries, which prompt them to be trafficked to prosperous countries in hope of getting asylum. Some get asylum. Others are kept in camps in difficult conditions and they get deported. Some keeps taking risks and move to other countries. The ever-burgeoning number of people leaving their country to settle abroad through illegal ways shows that they cannot afford to move in normal conditions. Many such moves help their families back home, if they are able to survive and settle down.

                                       The Arizonia’s law for cracking down on illegal immigrants raises the broader issue of who are legal residents of nations! Those who claim as Americans, not even 5 % can call themselves as the real natives as they are all descendants of immigrants from Europe and all parts of the world. Rather than having, more conflicts involving people wishing to immigrate and those who reside, it is time to have a solution.  Now that colonialism is over, it is high time that many of those colonial nations to free the distant landmasses that they still possess. This might sound crazy, but I feel that just as they freed their other colonies, they should surrender their distant islands and landmass to the UNO.

                                                           If Dubai is able to reclaim land from sea and create islands to bring people from worldwide, it is a feasible idea too. Only rich people could afford to move to such artificial islands. Greenland or Falklands or Cook Islands, the list can go on if we take list of overseas territories of many colonial nations even today. If UNO and all nations can accept the concept of overseas territories, then they have to accept the right of all humans to live in spacious environments. A country like Singapore virtually had to build skywards to provide accommodation to its citizens. Japan has to create more islands to cater its population in future. If uninhabited islands or landmass of colonial nations are taken over by UNO and then create infrastructure, they can help many struggling people. If there are massive amount of money available to create big islands, it is possible to create new nation. It is possible for rich people to own their private islands and If poor people wish to migrate, it is a crime and they are deemed illegal by descendents of immigrants itself, which is an anomaly. In fact, if you search the history, humans always kept migrating from all continents from time to time depending on climate and other aspects. No one can stop the human urge to migrate. If Pilgrim Fathers can go and create a country, everyone can accept it. Now if people wish to migrate or wish to have a country, it is seen as greed or unethical. So that is why, UNO should take initiative to create such nations where people from densely populated countries or asylum seekers can move and set up their lives. 

                                        Well, we should not close eye on the fact that USA has bought Alaska from Russia and it is very much part of USA even now, though it is away from USA. Therefore, UNO can also buy uninhabited land from huge countries, if they are willing and help the people to have shelter. There cannot be two rules for colonial era and new era. All these colonial powers conquered inhabited landmasses and let their citizens to live in those colonies. Even people from developed are migrating to other countries. Israel was created under the eyes of UNO. They let Jews from all parts of the world to migrate and become Israelis.  Therefore, I am sure, if UNO wish, they can create nations for whole humanity.

I have posted this on pleasantly-disturbed-thursdays-vol-8 . Please visit and read other entries too.Thanks.

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