Bill presented in Indian Parliament seeking dual citizenship for Indians

July 19, 2019
A Member of the Indian parliamentarian introduced a Bill seeking allowing the dual citizenship for overseas nationals who are of Indian origin. Under the present laws, Indians must renounce Indian citizenship when they acquire citizenship of a foreign land.

Bill presented in Indian Parliament seeking dual citizenship for Indians

The Draft legislation 

A Draft legislation of Shashi Tharoor, the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, introduced this Bill for amending the Article 9 of the Indian Constitution which has a provision for automatic termination of Indian citizenship when the person acquires citizenship of a foreign land. Indians are the largest Diaspora and many of them migrated to other countries for better opportunities. By Taking an overseas passport does not make them less Indian in any way he added.

The UN World Migration Report 2018 says that 15.6 million Indians lived in other countries, followed by residents of Mexico and the Russia.

There is a huge demand from many sections of global Indians for allowing dual citizenship. The government in the past met this demand, and introduced the card designating Overseas Citizen of India. The OCI was streamlined and promoted under the present government.

India is a top source for pursuing Australian citizenship 

Presently, India is the top source of people pursuing Australian citizenship. It has overtaken the United Kingdom. 118,000 migrants born in India pledged allegiance to Australia after 2013.

The OCI permits overseas nationals having the Indian origin for living and working in India for an indefinite period but they do not possess the right to vote or contest in an election nor own any agricultural land in India.

Indians are highly successful and also tech-entrepreneurs. Some of them have taken up top public offices abroad. The globalization provides an array of opportunities for more people to work abroad. Termination of their Indian citizenship while they seek citizenship of other countries in effect cuts them from their roots and makes them feel like strangers in the stake in their original country.

The thoughts of Indians

Many Indians become citizens of other countries but are strongly committed to India in many ways. They are the agents spreading the global influence across the world. 

There is a strong political lobby in Indo -American community which affects the decisions Indians are also strong in and influence the Australian government.

The UAE, the USA and Saudi Arabia are the three countries where people of Indian origin reside most outside India. Also as per the 2016 Census, the Indian Diaspora in Australia accounted for 619,164 persons. Between 2013 and 2017, 118,000 Indians obtained Australian citizenship.

Indians who live abroad possess a wealth of experience and also contribute to India immensely.  Not having an Indian citizenship is a great hurdle in making a large contribution. People can return and work in India in the research as there are more growth opportunities in India.  


Finally, the Indian Passport Act sates that not surrendering the Indian passport is an offence and not renouncing Indian citizenship after taking up a foreign citizenship, attracts a penalty of $1,050. 
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