Saturday, 22 May 2010

Opposition to Retroactive Rules regarding Compulsory Surrender of Indian Passport for all who have become citizens of other countries

If you are of Indian origin, may I encourage you to sign the following on-line petition, which I have signed.

The petition draws attention to yet another scandalous method which our Government has produced to harass people who once held Indian citizenship.

This particularly affects all such people who wish to avail of consular services (including issue of visas, and in theory even simple enquiries for information!)

The petition has been drawn up by my friend, Ashook Ramsaran, who has just been given yet another Award in recognition for his services to the community.

The TEXT of the petition is provided immediately below, and the petition itself is ONLINE AT:


Opposition to Retroactive Enforcement of New Rules for Surrender of Indian Passport

Hon. Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of INDIA
New Delhi

Subject: Opposition to Retroactive Enforcement of New Rules for Surrender of Indian Passport

Hon. Prime Minister:

I strongly object to the retroactive enforcement of new rules regarding the surrender of Indian passport upon acquisition of citizenship of other countries. The new rules impose undue and unnecessary burden on Persons of Indian Origin. In addition, I object to the prescribed fee as being unreasonably high.

The notice posted on the website of several Indian embassies and consulates stipulates that Persons of Indian Origin who have acquired citizenship of other countries are required to surrender their Indian passports to the nearest Indian Consulate within 90 days of their acquisition of citizenship of those other countries. I have no objection if the enforcement of the new rules takes effect from the date of issue. But retroactive enforcement and requiring people of Indian origin who got citizenship of other countries years ago, could cause unimaginable hardship in thousands of cases. The minimum service fee of $175 for the surrender certificate is also unduly very high.

There can be a few millions of people who have obtained citizenship of other countries over the last fifty years, since the passage of Indian Citizenship Act 1955 – the law quoted in asking for surrender certificate. Many of the former Indian citizens have been travelling to India on passports of countries of their adoption but with Indian visas granted by the same consulates whose websites now have posting of new rules. If the law did exist in the past, Indian embassies and consulates everywhere should have asked for the surrender of Indian passports before first time granting Indian visas to Persons of Indian Origin. Requiring Persons of Indian Origin to surrender their Indian passports after the lapse of many years of acquisition of such citizenship, would cause undue hardship and delay in getting consular services. In case an applicant has lost, damaged or surrendered his/her Indian passport to a foreign Government, he/she is required to furnish certified copies of following documents, as per notice on website postings of Indian embassies and consulates:

1. Details of last held Indian passport (Passport No., Date of Issue & Place of issue). The onus of providing details rest on the applicant.

2. Official documents submitted to authorities of new country at the time of obtaining citizenship/naturalization & documents used for entry such as US Form I -130.

3. Notarized letter explaining reasons for loss.

4. Police report.

A large majority of the new citizens did not have any use for their old Indian passports and may have lost, misplaced or never kept in their possession after naturalization. The production of items 1 and 2 above, in particular, will not be easy and could take months to obtain from the immigration authorities. In the meantime, consular services will not be available to visit the mother country, even for emergency situations.

I urge the Government of India to reconsider the retroactive enforcement of the new rules as thousands of people who have acquired citizenship of other countries could suffer undue and unnecessary hardship for no fault of their own, in addition to reducing the fee to a reasonable amount of $25.

End of text.


Thursday, 20 May 2010

India slips in the World Competitiveness Index

Only from the 30th position to the 31st position, it is true.

But that indicates that while we tinker with minor adjustments and think we are making good progress, the rest of the world is moving faster and actually overtaking us - even if ever so slightly.

Given the way that economics and finance are constructed around the world at present, there are only winners and losers.

India is winning at a few things (e.g. IT). But we seem to be unaware that our competitive advantage even in IT is under threat.

And we are still doing too little to improve our global competitiveness.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The "puzzling" rise of Hitlerism in India

Readers who keep up with my "general" blog will be aware of my post titled "American versus Indian philanthropy":

In response to this, someone who calls herself/himself "Jeremy" draws my attention to the following:

As "Jeremy" provides no information about herself/himself, I regard that communication as an anonymous one, and I try very hard never to post anonymous comments on my blog - though there may be some lapses, as I am often responding from some strange time-zone in the middle of the night.

However, as the communication itself is worthwhile, I have provided the link above. The post at this link shows the puzzlement of a Western young lady at the pro-Hitler mania that possesses our country. The young lady is not aware of the decades-long promotion of Hitler by the Hindutva brigade, so she is naturally puzzled. If she is interested in following up the history of how pro-Hitlerism has been propagated in India, there are several books on the subject.

The whole attempt by the Hindutva brigade has been to glorify "strong" leadership (such as that of the despicable Narendra Modi) which provides economic benefits at the unnecessary cost of thousands of human lives - or I should say: the cost is unnecessary to economic progress, but necessary only to keeping the particular leader in power. At least in the perception of such "leaders", and the perception of those who support such "leaders".

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Quality standards in India

Some 20 years ago, the family decided not to buy factory-made British beds, side-board, dining table etc and to buy Indian hand-made products and import them into Britain instead. Because we were not there to oversee the actual packing, the products all arrived soaked and warped. The seller in India was a renowned one, and he worked with a British importer...!

Just a few weeks ago, my son, on a visit to India, decided to buy a nice tailored bespoke jacket. After repeated failures to get the jacket ready at promised times, the jacked was eventually ready just before he flew out, but still needed some last-minute adjustments as is often the case. So he had to leave without his jacket. I was visiting India last week, and picked up his jacket for him. You can imagine his disappointment (and mine) when he reported that the adjustments had not been done as instructed and that the jacket is not up to what it was promised to be.

Our quality standards in India may have improved for some things, but they are still not up to scratch. What is lacking is a work ethic that knows how to work backwards from having made a promise, to having the processes and commitment to deliver on the promise - on time. We either take on too much, or we don't have mastery of processes.