Left Menu
Development News Edition

India chided for revoking overseas citizenship of British Modi critic

India chided for revoking overseas citizenship of British Modi critic
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File photo) Image Credit: ANI

Press freedom watchdogs rebuked the Indian government on Friday for revoking the overseas citizenship of British writer Aatish Taseer, calling it retribution for criticism of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In May, weeks before Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) overwhelmingly won election to return to power, Taseer wrote a scathing piece in TIME Magazine that appeared on its cover with a headline: "India's Divider in Chief." A spokeswoman for India's Home Ministry said late on Thursday that Taseer was ineligible for Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) status - which allows foreigners of Indian ancestry to visit, work and live in the country indefinitely - because he concealed that his late father was Pakistani.

India does not grant OCIs to individuals who are or whose ancestors were citizens of arch-enemy Pakistan or Bangladesh. It also does not allow dual citizenship. Taseer - born to Indian columnist Tavleen Singh and Salman Taseer, a Pakistani politician assassinated in 2011 - said the government had "weaponized" a technicality to punish him.

"I feel that anybody in my position has been sent a chilling message," he told Reuters on Friday, saying he now fears he may be unable to visit his mother and grandmother in India. "What they have done is make an example of me. They are really showing that they are willing to go after writers and journalists," added Taseer, 38, from the United States where he lives.

Taseer said his mother had always been his sole legal guardian and he did not have contact with his father until the age of 21. He added that he was unsure what nationality he had listed for his father, who was also British, on his application but stressed he had never sought to hide his Pakistani links and wrote about his father extensively in a book a decade ago. "I've not been given an opportunity to explain this," he said.

The Home Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Daniel Bastard, head of the Asia-Pacific Desk at Reporters Without Borders, said it was revenge for criticizing Modi, whom Taseer wrote had helped create "an atmosphere of poisonous religious nationalism" in India and failed to reform its economy.

"The revocation of Aatish Taseer's Indian overseas citizenship is just another example of how the Indian government tends to intimidate every journalist who does not toe the line of the BJP's narrative," he told Reuters. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also urged the Indian government to withdraw any directive to strip Taseer's overseas citizenship.

Also Read: Writer Aatish Taseer stands to lose OCI card, to be banned from entering India

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....

Hyderabad Encounter: Time to review modern judiciary and restore people’s confidence

Its probably for the first time in the history of independent India, the parliamentarians, chief ministers and ministers in the Union and State governments are openly supporting an encounter. This indicates the people from top to bottom hav...

What happens to your outstanding loans if the bank falls?

... ...

Time for a change! Innovations to stop the growing plastic pollution

As the planet is drowning in plastic pollution, many new innovative approaches and solutions have emerged to effectively deal with the menace....


Latest News

US Captain Woods likely to play three times at Presidents Cup

Melbourne, Dec 11 AFP Tiger Woods will combine his captains duties with playing most likely three times during the Presidents Cup, his deputy Fred Couples revealed Wednesday. There has been fervent speculation leading up to the biennial mat...

Opposition speaking language of Pakistan on Citizenship Bill: Sources quote PM Modi as saying at BJP meet.

Opposition speaking language of Pakistan on Citizenship Bill Sources quote PM Modi as saying at BJP meet....

EXCLUSIVE-Disasters, downturn challenge New Zealand's Ardern going into election year

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern faces tough challenges as she heads into a general election campaign next year, with economic growth slowing, divisive referendums looming and a country reeling from disasters both natural and man-m...

UPDATE 2-Huawei's CFO wins Canada court fight to see more documents on her arrest

Lawyers for Huaweis chief financial officer have won a court battle after a judge asked Canadas attorney general to hand over more evidence and documents relating to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, according to a court ruling released on Tuesda...

Give Feedback