A few days back, I read a short story written by Jack Finney. The story was titled ‘The third level’. The protagonist of the story is a guy named Charlie. No, not Charlie Sheen. The story deals with the ever so serious problem of growing insecurity in a common man’s life. There’s a paragraph in the story which claims that the modern world is full of fear, war, worry. The years that followed WW II were undoubtedly full of insecurity and uncertainty. It was a time when anybody and everybody was bound to be insecure.
The story was written by Mr. Finney during the 1950’s. The WW II had ended and many countries, including the US, were trying to come out of the clutches of misery and destruction which the war had given birth to. Well, more than 70 years have passed since the world drew curtains on the WW II, but the situation keeps on getting worse by the minute.
In a world of widespread fear, war and worry, the members of the western media fraternity have become increasingly squeamish about showing what war, famine and death actually look like. When you show images depicting war, a major part of your audience is bound to get disturbed, but some upsetting images demand to be shown and seen, simply because they are nothing but a true and unbiased representation of reality.
A talk about images and pictures reminds me of a 3 year old lifeless body lying face down on a beach. Beaches are believed to be a perfect holiday destination, but unfortunately, over the past few months, a lot of beaches in Greece and other European countries have become a highway and a graveyard for a countless number of desperate travellers. Europe’s migrant crisis is a lot more that what meets the eye.
There is no simple solution to the problem simply because the problem itself is humongous. But one thing at least has become quite clear that Europe is badly mishandling the entire refugee crisis. The EU can no longer reconcile labour mobility inside open borders. The bankrupt and depression ridden Greece, where many refugees have been landing over the past year and a half, cannot afford for them to stay and moreover, Greece is not their destination.
There should not be an attempt to confine a large number of asylum seekers to Mediterranean Europe as the unemployment rate there is already high and the security itself is already strained. At the same time, the belief that the entire European continent is working itself into a panic over the idea that it is being swamped by the human tidal wave needs to get a grip. The people entering Europe are clearly in crisis but why on earth is Europe trying to act as if it is in crisis?
The year 2015 saw as many as 1 million refugees arriving in Europe but that accounts for merely 0.4% of the EU’s population. Canada takes in about 1% of its population each and every year, in the form of immigrants and refugees. Canada is not in the middle of the crisis. It’s quite the opposite.
Hungary, people say, is a more desirable destination. It is a stop on the way to get to more prosperous parts of the European continent, but unfortunately, the cultural and ethnic nationalism that prevails in Hungary has quite a lot of ugly results. Recently, there have been some ugly scenes involving attempts to get into Austria and above all, Sweden and Germany.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, had claimed that her country could absorb and accommodate close to 800,000 refugees, who would help an aging workforce from shrinking, but Germany cannot and should not bear the whole burden.
There have been countless allegations that many of the asylum seekers are economic migrants and not real refugees, is simplistic. The Syrians, the Iraqis and many others are coming from bloody war zones and war and poverty are deeply intertwined.
Presently, the real crisis in Europe is not about migrants but about morality.