Overseas Indians, whether they hold Indian passports or have foreign passports, have an emotional bond with India. That holds true for a majority of people of Indian heritage. When major democratic and developed countries have no issue with dual citizenship, there can’t be a real justification for India to treat its own people unfavourably.
The promise of dual citizenship was made by fo r me r Pr i m e Behari Vajpayee in 2003. Since then there have been statements from senior politicians about them fa vouring dual citi zenship. But the matter has not progressed fur ther. Statements are not enough. The following actions should be taken: 1. Granting Indian passports (dual citizenship) to overseas citizens of Indian heritage with full rights including voting and political rights.
2. Granting of convenient voting rights to such dual passport-holding overseas Indians as well as overseas Indians with Indian passports (NRIs), which can be EXERCISED either at the consulate, high commission or embassy premises in their country of residence and through postal or online facilities.
India should consider taking a cue from Australia‘s repeal of Section 17 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 that took effect from April 2002 permitting dual citizenship.
The author is a resident of Sydney, Australia