By SHAZIA ALAM | INNLIVE
The Indian community in the Kingdom on slammed irresponsible reporting by the Indian media on labor issues between an ailing private firm and its Indian employees.
They said these are some isolated cases. About three million Indians are working and living happily in Saudi Arabia, they pointed out.
They expressed sincere thanks to the Saudi government for hosting such a huge number of non-resident Indians (NRIs), which not only constitute the largest expatriate group in the Kingdom but also the largest number of Indian passport holders living anywhere in the world.
They thanked the Kingdom for ensuring the safety and welfare of the Indian community. Akhtar-ul-Islam Siddiqui, a long-time Indian resident and a businessman, told INNLIVE that a few construction companies in the Kingdom have gone out of business due to financial constraints and it resulted in layoffs for workers of different nationalities, not only just Indians. “I do not know why there is hue and cry in the Indian media over this.”
He said: “Private firms in India like Kingfisher, Sahara and many others went bankrupt and their workers lost jobs. Has the Indian government given them jobs? Forget about helping the workers, Kingfisher owner Vijay Mallya ran away from the country to evade loans repayment and the government failed to catch him.”
Abdulhaq Bastavi, an Indian IT expert, said there is no point reporting that Indians are starving or stranded here as they can solve the issue with the employer and go home. “In labor disputes, workers have the option of approaching the courts.”
Mojib Siddiqui, who is working with a media group here for years, said: “There are serious issues of atrocities against poor Muslims and Dalits, which need to be reported extensively to curb growing intolerance. Instead, the Indian media is planting stories on labor issues here in a deliberate attempt to shift the focus from the government, which is under fire for not stopping violence against these communities. It’s a ploy to appease the principal minority that they are concerned about Indian Muslims working in Saudi Arabia.”
He added: “If the situation had been alarming for Indian workers, how come remittances sent by NRIs from the Kingdom is highest?”
If the government is really concerned about Indian Muslims and Dalits, it must put the act together to stop anti-social elements going on rampage in the name of cow protection, said Saquib Hamza, a Dammam resident working at a recruitment firm.
Mohammad Akram, a marketing head at the Saffat Aviation said the Indian media exaggerating the number to blow it out of proportion.
“Laying off workers by an ailing firm is nothing new,” he said adding there are dozens of Indian firms firing their staff for financial reasons.