CM Laxmikant Parsekar’s statement that Goans with Portuguese passport will lose their citizenship either in Goa or Portugal while, the rest of the Goans who only have their births registered in the Lisbon will be able to retain their Indian citizenship is an act of political brinkmanship and conscious “divide and rule” policy with which Goans are quite familiar since colonial days
Dual Citizenship is a Global problem created by the process of Globalization. Every country is struggling to find a solution. This is an inevitability created in the post-modern society. If the process of Global mobility of labor and capital is irreversible then so is the phenomenon of Dual Citizenship inevitable. In response, most of the developed western countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany (with some restrictions), Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain (with some restrictions), Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Turkey allows or accept or tolerate dual citizenship.
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So much for the Global dimension and precedents. The Indian context is even more strange and BJP Parivar has no compunctions of being inconsistent about it over the years.
The persistent proponents of the demand for Dual Citizenship concept have been the Indian diaspora some 20 million persons of Indian origin who are settled in various countries and hold the passport of their host country. A large part of this group has been important but invisible constituency furthering BJP’s/ parivar’s interest in India. These are the very people, the euphoric millions in Madison court in New York or Wembly Stadium in the United Kingdom who experience orgasmic pleasure when Modi appeared on the stage.
It was under sustained pressure from this lobby that then BJP Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee appointed a high-level committee headed by BJP Rajya Sabha MP and legal luminary LM Singhvi in the year 2000 to study the Indian Diaspora and their expectations of Dual Citizenship and check if it is in conflict with and constitutional provisions.
Justice Singhvi Committee resolved most issues about dual citizenship and opined that the Constitution is no longer a hurdle because it permits the government and Parliament to do what is proper in this matter. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee accepted this report and declared that the issue of dual citizenship was resolved. This followed a statement by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the first Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) that, “Dual Citizenship will soon become a reality”.
This euphoric announcement proved rather premature. Despite the fact that, no constitutional amendment was required, the Government of the day did not follow up on commitment by its own Prime Minister. For the Indian Diaspora staying overseas, the Indian Government came up in 2005 with The Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) scheme, to facilitate engagement with parent country in terms of easing travel restrictions and aid the economic development of India.
It is a common expectation from the Goa Government of the day to protect interests of its citizens. Hence quoting precedence of its own government at the center, the current BJP Government of Goa state should formulate some scheme which mirrors the policy architecture of The Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) scheme and formulate scheme for Indian (or even Goan) citizens with foreign passport. Because passport is no certificate of citizenship. The real definition of citizenship is by birth or naturalization both conditions being fulfilled by existing and even future aspirants of Portuguese passport. After all, their desire for the Portuguese passport is to enhance their careers and material status by working abroad. Their inward remittance will help Goan and in turn Indian economy. After all Inwards remittance by Indians working abroad is backbone of our foreign trade sector as it constitutes over 30 % of our total foreign exchange earnings!
In the light of above the approach of BJP led government is anti-people and the way its own sister organizations project it as anti-national, it smacks of the Saffron Agenda and communal fires being stoked on the eve of forthcoming elections.