While earlier major migration from Doaba, Majha and Malwa
regions of Punjab were due to economic and financial reasons
due small land holdings and because these people had more
exposure to overseas through Army and in the case of South
East Asia via police recruitment. From Lachhman Singh’s
family story, the main reasons for migration can be summarized
1. This immigration is post independence phenomenon and in
fact post 1970’s phenomenon which accelerated in the
1980’s, 1990’s and is continuing to be so. With
no children settled abroad, the grand children are almost
equally split between India and in this case USA.
2. Earlier going abroad was for studies mainly higher education.
Scholarships for graduate work (Assistantships and Fellowships)
were easier to get while financial assistance for undergraduate
work was difficult and rarely covered full expenses. The situation
changed somewhat in later decades when Mini got almost full
financial assistance for undergraduate work.
3. In 1960’s going overseas was at a more mature age
(twenties) for higher education than at undergraduate level
(teenage). The chances of returning were more in the former
case when one was less vulnerable. It was also difficult to
get immigration till liberalization of the mid 1960’s.
USA appeared on the horizon as a more favorable destination
than the UK because of financial support offered to overseas
4. Migration to Canada or UK was possible but US laws were
more stringent up till mid 1960’s and even that to highly
qualified persons. Relatives and dependents were allowed a
bit later which opened the flood gates to exponential growth
5. Marriage was another avenue for migration particularly
for girls. In this family case, it just happened that the
bridegroom was from overseas These marriages were to professionals
and hence were not motivated by migration. In fact there were
considerable doubts on getting married abroad. One positive
factor of marrying abroad was expectation of better job satisfaction
and husband-wife relationship equity (contra to experiences
at lower income group or marriages to non professionals in
Canada and UK).....