Taking a dig at the Shiv Sena for their "regional chauvinism", Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh today said that migration has been the fuel for the growth of cities like Mumbai and Bangalore.
"Migration has been the fuel for Bombay as well as Bangalore's growth," Ramesh said criticising the linguistic and regional chauvinists for targeting migrant workers.
Strongly supporting migration within the country, Ramesh said politics of regionalism is the "biggest barrier" to the process helping the national integration.
"Internal migration issues have not received much attention. It receives attention only when Shiv Sena leaders make an issue out of it. Thats when migration becomes an issue in the media," Ramesh said.
"Migration from rural to urban areas is taking place due to distress factors, survival factors... Biggest barriers to migration is political borne out of linguistic chauvanism... borne out of regional chauvinism," he said after launching an UNESCO publication titled "Social Inclusion of Internal Migrants in India" here today.
Maharashtra-based parties like Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena are known for targeting migrant labourers from other parts of the country particularly from Bihar, arguing that their presence in the city would hit job opportunities for locals.
"Internal migration is a force for the growth of the migrants' family... It is a force for the growth of the local economy which eventually helps the growth of the country," Ramesh said.
The minister, who recently went to Chennai, also welcomed the increasing presence of migrants from Odisha there.
He, in lighter vein, said that the TamBrahms (members of the Tamil Brahmin Community) were shocked to see that a lot of "Odiyas were finding jobs in Chennai".
During the peak of Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu, members from the Tamil Brahmin communities were forced to migrate to other parts of the country and foreign nations.