Before coming to the introductory part of dual citizenship in India, it would be better to know what is meant by the term ‘citizenship’ and also to get familiar with the concept of citizenship in India.
Citizenship can be said as any relationship between a person and a State to which the person owes commitment and is thus qualified for its security. Citizenship is the most advantaged type of nationality. Citizenship suggests the status of freedom with accompanying duties. Citizens have certain rights, obligations, and duties that are denied or just partially reached out to outsiders and different noncitizens living in a nation.
Citizenship in India
India has its own citizenship rules as the other countries have. Citizenship carries with it certain advantages conferred upon it by the Constitution. Aliens do not enjoy these advantages. There are certain fundamental rights that are available only to citizens. These are as follows:
- Article 15
- Article 16
- Article 19
- Articles 29 & 30
The rights that are guaranteed by Articles 14 and 21 are available to aliens also.
How can one acquire Indian Citizenship?
Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 governs the Citizenship Law. Parliament, in the exercise of the power given to it under Article 11 of the Constitution has passed the Citizenship Act, 1955. This Act provides and says that for the securing of Indian Citizenship after the beginning of the Constitution, there are five different ways, i.e., birth, descent, registration, naturalization, and incorporation of the domain.
Essentially, citizenship in India is founded on jus sanguinis, that is, citizenship by the right of blood. However, to date, there is no provision of dual citizenship in India. In other words, it can be said that by no means would one be able to be a resident of India and furthermore be the resident of another foreign country simultaneously. One would have to give up their Indian passport on the off chance that he/she is tolerating citizenship in any other nation.
MP Shashi Tharoor had introduced a bill in the Parliament which was purposely for amending the Indian Constitution and in turn, allowing for the dual citizenship for the Indians. The bill emerges from a long-standing interest from different segments of India’s enormous worldwide diaspora for citizenship rights in their native country.
However, in 2006 at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas which was held in Hyderabad, so as to meet calls for dual citizenship, India presented the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card for foreign nationals of Indian descent, a plan that Prime Minister Modi further extended and smoothed out in his first term. The OCI card permits outside residents of Indian origin to visit, live, and work in India as citizens would. Be that as it may, there were many key limitations like the OCI cardholders couldn’t cast a vote or take an interest in Indian politics, involve in any positions in the public service or government, or put resources into rural land possessions.
Also, it is a punishable offense under the Indian Passports Act, 1957 if an Indian passport holder resumes using his/her passport even after obtaining the nationality of another country. Similarly, if an individual wishes to turn into an Indian citizen, he/she would need to revoke his/her other citizenship.
The foundation of dual citizenship is an incredible open door for India to extend its worldwide impact and draw on the world’s capability to help its residential development. All the more significantly, it will re-establish India’s inheritance as a civilisation that is open instead of isolated, worldwide as opposed to protectionist, and confident rather than insecure.
This blog is written by Rashi Srivastava, Amity University.
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