Research Article

Why is dual citizenship the need of the hour for India right now?


Author: Pratham Singh, 1st year student in NUSRL, Ranchi

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this research is to present an insight to the issue of citizenship in India and to define various terms and procedures relating to the dual citizenship issue in the country. The Author terms Dual citizenship in the country as a favourable suggestion that can do good to the national development criteria.
The author will first present a brief understanding of the various terms pertaining to Dual citizenship and then move forward to present advantages of the perceived good step. then  comes the current perspective of the Indian government and the Parliament. A broad conclusion and citations of 2nd and 3rd party sources will follow.

PREFACE

India has one of the largest Diaspora populations on the planet with populations of around 17.5 million(1)  with familial, cultural ,religious and social ties with  more than hundred countries formed from the 1930 to the high skilled technological employment from the 1980s to the current scenario linguistic cultural religious and social ties are present with many generations of a family present in a variety of countries so why does India need to access and enable the use of these ties for a population for the betterment of the primary country of access that is India.

India has seen large-scale by Migration of highly skilled labour and has brain drain there our knowledge and ethics and Technology and education is used by our populations to settle in abroad countries.

Due to over Red Tape/ high licensing requirements and other measures companies do not prefer to settle and invest in the country and they prefer labour of India in other countries this has also called for  communities to shift their outlook towards going for the better life in Abroad countries we can provide are citizens and all those looking to invest in our country so why not start with start with dual citizens?

Dual citizenship was recommended for a long time by the Singhvi committee (L.M Singhvi chairman of high level committee on Indian Diaspora) in 2005 but nothing instrumental came out to the committee as it was rejected by the parliament.
We need to understand that dual citizen service a lot of great purpose with the world the presence of a high educated and literate based will provide our country with efficient political functioning and efficient dissemination of of beneficial technology to our parts of the country in a democratic set of very highly required and Indigenous technological knowledgeable base of citizens for two development of a country as we need India homegrown companies for sovereignty on matters of economic political and social importance in the international Arena.

India has been dependent on foreign technology in weapons Technology, agricultural Technology and other places which can be replaced by indigenous technology and have us during times of International animosity and negative outlook of economy.

We urgently  require an  educated indigenous base population which  can provide optimistic and highly accurate policy decisions so that our country can prosper in our  political democratic setup as soon as possible.

Why do Indians renounce their citizenships?

Indians renounce their citizenship due to reasons ranging from economic prosperity, opportunities available and government efficiency.
Indians also usually renounce their citizenship due to the ineffectiveness of the Indian passport compared to other nations. Indian Passport ranks 82 out of a list of 106 countries in the Henley passport index.(7)

WHAT IS DUAL CITIZENSHIP?
“Originally a nation state would claim all of the people within its borders as it’s own. There was a feudal theory of allegiance to the sovereign of the country and it was presumed to be permanent.
After a number of international incidents where citizens of one country were persecuted or prosecuted for treasonous acts against a country that was not actually their own, the United States Congress passed the Expatriation Act of 1868 which enabled Americans to renounce their citizenship.
The British Parliament followed suit and gradually the idea that a person was perpetually attached to a country was questioned. Despite this, countries were not keen on the idea that a person might be attached to more than one nation at a time.
Two of the goals of the 1930 Hague Convention were to abolish dual citizenship and statelessness. It was only ratified by twenty countries.”(2)
Where Did Dual Citizenship Originate?
European Union was formed on   1 November 1993 with the aim of collective security , Economic prosperity and to an extent to stop warring European countries and bring forward a way to solve disputes in the continent. Eu also aimed to unite and bring various people of many European countries together and this was the watershed mark for Dual citizenship.
In other places, such as Canada for example, it was only on the passing of the Canadian Citizenship Act in 1976 that restrictions towards dual citizenships were removed.
Similar acts had been passed in 1948 in the UK and 1967 in the USA.

Is Dual Citizenship Good Or Bad?

There are a number of difficult to define emotions that nationality and a passport carry. Where we are born and to whom are intangibles that are built into our psyches and are interpreted differently by each person.
Having many citizenships brings forward ethical questions which cannot be answered with one possible answer. One of which is that does having another citizenship mean that you are against the ideals of any one nation?
Another of which is that it brings questions to your loyalty towards one nation in case of national war.
There are certainly some people, often categorized by their career path, that see a second nationality as being unpatriotic and a bad thing.
In contrast, there are many people that have some level of libertarian political views that see a second passport as being an extra level of freedom from the national  government.
On a purely practical level, there have been many times in recent history where there has been some level of trouble or conflict and it has been impossible for residents to cross a border to safety. In these times, being considered to be from a neutral country and allowed to exit the situation would be very useful, perhaps even life saving.
Most countries allow naturalization, marriage and descent as reasons for nationality, which therefore means that countries that allow dual citizenship including those that have not specifically prohibited a second allegiance.

INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND DUAL CITIZENSHIP

ARTICLE 5
Citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution At the commencement of this Constitution every person who has his domicile in the territory of India and
(a) who was born in the territory of India; or
(b) either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or
(c) who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India

ARTICLE 6
Rights of citizenship of certain persons who have migrated to India from Pakistan Notwithstanding anything in Article V , a person who has migrated to the territory of India from the territory now included in Pakistan shall be deemed to be a citizen of India at the commencement of this Constitution if
(a) he or either of his parents or any of his grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted); and
(b)
(i) in the case where such person has so migrated before the nineteenth day of July, 1948 , he has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India since the date of his migration, or

(ii) in the case where such person has so migrated on or after the nineteenth day of July, 1948 , he has been registered as a citizen of India by an officer appointed in that behalf by the Government of the Dominion of India on an application made by him therefore to such officer before the commencement of this Constitution in the form and manner prescribed by that Government: Provided that no person shall be so registered unless he has been resident in the territory of India or at least six months immediately preceding the date of his application.

ARTICLE 8 
Rights of citizenship of certain persons of India origin residing outside India Notwithstanding anything in Article 5, any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted), and who is ordinarily residing in any country outside India as so defined shall be deemed to be a citizen of India if he has been registered as a citizen of India by the diplomatic or consular representative of India in the country where he is for the time being residing on an application made by him therefore to such diplomatic or consular representative, whether before or after the commencement of this Constitution, in the form and manner prescribed by the Government of the Dominion of India or the Government of India).

Article 9
of the Indian constitution prohibits  dual citizenship in the language no person shall be a citizen of India by virtue of article 5
or deemed to be a citizen of India by virtue of article 6 or 8
if he has voluntarily  acquired the citizenship of a foreign state.”(3)

TALKING POINTS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Influence on foreign policy

DUAL CITIZENS of India  countries can provide a much better and a clearer view to lawmakers in India regarding foreign policy matters. Indian origin communities presented foreign governments lobbies pertaining foreign relations in a positive manner even though the communities had acquired citizenship of there newly domiciled country so we can stop further alienation of these citizens and provide them with legitimate reasons to benefit Indian foreign policy.

Dual citizens have been employed in the functioning of various diplomatic machineries of countries to accertian great diplomatic solutions. India can utilize dual citizens for correct standings on various issues of international importance.

  • Indian business ecosystem

Indian business ecosystem has been plagued with the lack of capital available form friendly foreign nations. The emergence of China as the largest importer of Indian products has negative consequences in times of tumultuous bilateral relations between the 2 Asian giants.

Dual citizens utilizing their citizenship can provide Indian home grown industries with the much needed technical, management and technological know-how along with huge potential for investment into the nation.

The presence of highly skilled Indian labour in multinational companies can help in the Indian industries.

The Indian community can provide free of cost promulgation of business sentiments in the far corners of the world thereby helping in attracting investment in the nation.

  • Development of indigenous technologies

The help in the formation of Indian indigenous technologies cannot be ignored.
A third of American startups are formed by Indian Americans so in that sense dual citizenship will open The floodgates to 2 unlimited potential in the startup industry of India.
Dual citizenship will provide the highly educated Indian origin citizens to invest their capabilities and knowledge in indian homegrown technology development to sustain critical sectors of the economy from foriegn animosity that may arise from straining bilateral and multilateral ties in the international arena in the future.

This will also sustain our supply chains from major natural calamities or recessions in the world economy.

  • Soft power discussions

If India dreams to become of major world economy and have Global influence and the perfect way to start is dual citizenship it will help the diaspora population to stay and engaged in a positive manner in the development of our nation and  the promulgation of Indian interests abroad as we have seen after the Indian Nuclear missile tests the lifting of sanctions was due to the wholehearted endeavour of the Indian American community and the Indian Australian community in the respective countries so we can say that it will be a great way to enhance our Soft power abroad.

The acceptance of Indian diversity in the international arena will present positive cultural and social influence in the domestic culture in various countries. The up and coming influence of Yoga as an activity has picked up pace in many countries and that is a metric of India’s growing influence in International soft power discussions.

Dual citizens in various countries will spread these Indian practices to help Indian soft power as a force to be reckoned with.

  • International trade

We have seen many cases of engagement of Indian Origin citizens in the bilateral agreements of many nations as we have seen such as the top brass of Indian American  officials in the  United  state’s administration and other countries.  Dual citizenship will present an opportunity that will engage dual  citizens of India to create beneficial trade agreements and help in the Indian business Outlook and will further enhance our participation in international trade. Dual citizens provide lawmakers of both the countries to find middle ground on real contentious issues on the ground.

Dual citizens can help India in formulating mutually beneficial trade agreements with various countries thereby expanding India’s role in the international economy.

  • The naturalization of new apt accurate and research based agro-techniques by dual citizens

OCI cards which were introduced in 2005 to quell the desire of Indian domiciled citizens abroad have the major drawback of prohibiting the OCI card holder from investing/purchasing agricultural land for agricultural purposes.

I believe that with the investment and purchasing of agricultural land dual citizens will present Indians with an alternate level of farming practices in the country that are scientific and accurate.

If these practices trickle down to the Indian farming community then our production capacity will increase and we will be able to strive for self sufficiency in food.

WHAT IS THE HOLDUP?

25/07/2019
“A Bill introduced on 25th of July 2019  by Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, gave hope to millions of Indian foreign nationals of acquiring dual citizenship. However, the data together with experts suggest that it is less than likely to become a reality amid current practices.    Former Secretary General of Indian Parliament’s Lower House PDT Achary told SBS Malayalam that the House, or Lok Sabha, has not passed a single Private Member’s Bill in many decades.   Data from PRS Legislative Research – a Delhi based institute researching on the Indian parliament proceedings – also reveals that no Private Member’s Bill has been passed into law since 1970.
Vayalar Ravi, the then cabinet minister for Overseas Indian Affairs told SBS Radio during the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Sydney in 2013 that “it (giving dual citizenship) is impossible.”
India has more than 1.2 billion population already,  and dual citizenship doesn’t serve any purpose there. It is not a simple process either,” he said.”(4)

Potential “Safeguards”

Dual citizenship comes under fire when it pertains to the matters of official state secrets and national security so what are the safeguards the Indian Government can use? Many countries have restricted dual citizenships to certain countries which may be friendly or neutral in nature. Many countries mandate that the dual citizens should render there foreign passports to the prerequisite government authority when the dual citizens may enter the country. Signing Dual citizenship agreements also may safeguard sovereign interests to a certain level.
Countries like Australia and Switzerland have added certain constitutional safeguards to protect sensitive official technologies whilst permitting Dual Citizenship.
”If the notion is that official secrets and sensitive technologies can be stolen then countries have barred their dual citizens from certain sectors of the government like presence in the armed forces like Pakistan”.(5)

CONCLUSION

Dual citizenship is the need of the hour as the potential of benefits and advantages outweigh the potential disadvantages. As described earlier we need to understand that we can counter the disadvantages perceived with able safeguards like restricting them from certain security sensitive positions. The authors believe that Indians abroad are an asset that might provide the Indian leadership guidance and help in major international political decisions and will eventually be a big role in making the next coming decade as the decade of Indian prosperity.

Between 2014 and 2017, 4.5 lakh Indians opted for citizenship of another country. As foreign countries offer easy citizenship in exchange for cash and investments, the trend is only set to grow.”(6)


Reference 

1.AT 17.5 MILLION, INDIAN DIASPORA LARGEST IN THE WORLD : UN REPORT
In-text: (At 17.5 million, Indian diaspora largest in the world : UN report, 2020)
Your Bibliography: The Hindu. 2020. At 17.5 Million, Indian Diaspora Largest In The World : UN Report. [online] Available at:<https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/at-175-million-indian-diaspora-largest-in-the-world-un-report/article30105882.ece> [Accessed 22 November 2020].

2.WHAT IS DUAL CITIZENSHIP? – CITIZENSHIPBUREAU.COM
In-text: (What Is Dual Citizenship? – CitizenshipBureau.com, 2020)
Your Bibliography: CitizenshipBureau.com. 2020. What Is Dual Citizenship? – Citizenshipbureau.Com [online] Available at: <https://www.citizenshipbureau.com/dual-citizenship/> [Accessed 22 November 2020].

3. CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

4.SIVADAS, D.
Dual Citizenship Bill unlikely to become law in India, says expert
In-text: (SIVADAS, 2020)
Your Bibliography: SIVADAS, D., 2020. Dual Citizenship Bill Unlikely To Become Law In India, Says Expert. [online] SBS Your Language. Available at: <https://www.sbs.com.au/language/english/dual-citizenship-bill-unlikely-to-become-law-in-india-says-expert> [Accessed 22 November 2020].

5.ZEESHAN, M.
Why India Should Allow Dual Citizenship | Freedom Gazette
In-text: (Zeeshan, 2020)
Your Bibliography: Zeeshan, M., 2020. Why India Should Allow Dual Citizenship | Freedom Gazette. [online] Freedom Gazette. Available at: <https://www.freedomgazette.in/2019/07/why-india-should-allow-dual-citizenship/> [Accessed 22 November 2020] 6.VIJ, S.
It’s time for India to adopt dual citizenship
In-text: (VIJ, 2020)
Your Bibliography: VIJ, S., 2020. It’s Time For India To Adopt Dual Citizenship. [online] ThePrint  Available at: <https://theprint.in/opinion/its-time-for-india-to-adopt-dual-citizenship/307701/>[Accessed 22 November 2020].

7.HENLEY PASSPORT INDEX 2008 TO 2020
In-text: (Henley Passport Index 2008 to 2020, 2020)
Your Bibliography: Henley Passport Index. 2020. Henley Passport Index 2008 To 2020. [online] Available at: < https://www.henleypassportindex.com/global-ranking > [Accessed 22 November 2020].

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Himanshu
Himanshu
11 months ago

A great read. Thanks Pratham for putting this subject in light.

Nilanjana saha
Nilanjana saha
11 months ago

The explanation is easy to understand and very informative. Good job pratham.