NRI Conference Failed To Address Our Concerns

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Dear Editor:

I have had time to reflect on the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) conference and I believe the conference failed to fully address the major concerns of this community.

While there were positive steps to address the concerns of NRI, there’s more to be done. The ordinary folks who experience day to day problems have been ignored. Unfortunately, the leading government has ensured to avoid criticism of them by inviting select media, politicians and friends”.

NRIs are essentially afraid to speak out due to the fear of passport confiscation as a result of false bogus cases raised against them. Land Mafias are grabbing our Kothies, agricultural lands and investments. We don’t have the resources to fight for our rights and we feel that our concerns are not addressed.

NRIs have reached a point of selling their lands and properties because their children avoid visiting India due to unfounded rape cases and complaints registered against their parents and relatives. Unfortunately, NRI’s are now discouraged to invest in Panjab as several people lost their investments and returned home penniless.

While a few positive steps have been taken such as registering NRI marriages and issuing Privileged Cards, the corruption of the unfortunate parties will overshadow these initiatives. Our past negative experiences have unfortunately leaded to us losing trust in this government. I call for the governing bodies to restore trust with the NRIs, otherwise Panjab risks losing its good skilled workers to Canada, Australia and USA.

Unfortunately, many are suffering in this state. Badal Group is taking over profitable business in Panjab and there’s enormous political intervention with administration and other systems. It has reached a point where police are used as a tool to intimidate people and support the Land Mafias.

Several politicians from Canada have been invited to India at the expense of the Panjab Government. Canada’s Conservative Government requested these politicians to pay back those costs to the poor people of Panjab whose salaries are not paid at times. These politicians shouldn’t be enjoying visits to India at the expense of the poor people in Panjab. Essentially, Badal Government is keen to gain political gains even if it means harming the people of Panjab.

This needs to stop and the money and resources must be spent on the needs of the Panjab folks in that province.

Charan Gill

CEO of Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society