The Verdict of different kind !
So she has proved to be the dignified person I expected her to be. If she had agreed, I would have disappointed in her – notwithstanding my faith in her as a good person. I feel relieved because she has proved to be a sensible human being and averted all kinds of future chaos based on her origin of birth. Critics may point out that she has scripted a smart move. But seeing her read the text of her decision this evening, seeing her face and the expression, she comes across as genuine – and determined in her decision. This post is written soon after the CPP meeting tonight and one can never predict what is in store for you tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I have this to say about Sonia’s Foreign Origin issue.
She IS Indian. Nothing more and nothing less. Just a simple fact.
I am apolitical. My judgments about people are not based on any political leanings. I believe in larger good and I have always felt that Sonia is genuine – as a person and as an Indian.
When our fore fathers wrote the constitution they made sure that the origin of birth should not be a base for any kind of discrimination. And that includes citizenship, provided the requisite merits of domicile status are met. Some argue that the authors of constitution did not envisage this kind of situation. This doesn’t hold water and I feel it is an insult to the memory of those great men. Let us not under estimate the vision of those stalwarts.
I stand by my strong faith in seeing people as human beings first. Geographical barriers, caste, creed, or any aspect of birth should not come in the way of upholding universal human values /sentiments. And choosing one’s nationality and living to that effect, to the best of one’s sincerity, is one such value.
One problem with us is that we always look for “precedents”. Preferably from the west. I can assure you, if the nations in the west were to allow naturalized citizens to hold top posts, there would not have been such uproar here today. Why can’t we set a precedent, to create a more meaningful society, transcending man made barriers and build a society on human values? Why can’t we set a precedent to build a more pragmatic, society? Pragmatism has been the unique character of Indian civilization. And that is the reason why the civilization has survived while many older civilizations have been wiped out.
However, for arguments sake I want to ask a few questions to those who rail against this factor.
1. Hypothetically speaking, if Mother Theresa had, by any queer chance of destiny, was in a position as Sonia is today, would the origin of her birth been an issue? I don’t think so. Because she was seen as an Indian.
2. If a foreign origin Indian citizen wins Nobel Prize would his/her origin be an issue to claim his/her identity as Indian? We would be the first to proclaim to the world about the person’s Indian “Identity”.
3. Another hypothetical situation. If a person with Indian parents is born abroad and grows without any touch with Indian roots; value systems / heritage; grows completely as a citizen of that country in outlook, tastes and lifestyle, except for his/her “Indian” physical features, would he /she be accepted by our people, should he/she returns and stakes claim to India’s top post, after taking up the citizenship here? In short, Could People of Indian Origin who have lived and settled abroad as the host country’s citizens for all their lives, come back one fine day and have the claim on Top Posts in India – purely on the basis of their Indian Origin status? Where would his allegiance and attachment be? To the foreign country where he was born and grew up or to the origin country – that is India? What guarantee is there that this person would not do a Fujimori or a Hope Cook? This situation can happen too – given the dynasty mindset of our people. Second and third generation of our present leaders are potential candidates for this.
Meanwhile, just to remind ourselves of our Preamble and the Citizenship Definitions, I have given below:
THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a _1
[SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC] and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the _2
[unity and integrity of the Nation]; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
Amendments: 1. Subs. by the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976, s. 2, for "SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC" (w.e.f. 3-1-1977).
Amendment: 2. Subs. by s. 2, ibid., for "unity of the Nation" (w.e.f. 3-1-1977).
Articles on Citizenship:
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 immediately preceding such commencement,
shall be a citizen of India.
8. Rights of citizenship of certain persons of Indian origin residing outside India.-
Notwithstanding anything in article 5, any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grand-parents 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 therefor 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
9. Persons voluntarily acquiring citizenship of a foreign State not to be citizens.-
No person shall be a citizen of India by virtue of article 5, or be deemed to be a citizen of India by virtue of article 6 or article 8, if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of any foreign State.
11. Parliament to regulate the right of citizenship by law.-
Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Part shall derogate from the power of Parliament to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship.