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Re: indians & citizenship



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Administrative Note:
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Week's Agenda: Political & administrative reforms
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Charu wrote:
> IMO, people do not choose where they live, or the passport they hold
> based on some abstract notions of patriotism or nationalism but
. . .
Ash Mahesh wrote:
>I don't think anyone will disagree with that. But it is besides the
>point.
. . .

I agree this thread is wandering off point. I was replying to a conjecture by
Barun that nationalism was the reason India was considered a less attractive
place to live than elsewhere.

Getting back to the point of foreign policy, I believe Prabhu suggested that
foregn policy should include some kind of position towards expatriate
Indians/NRIs/PoIOs and I agree. The motivation for such a position is that
expatriate Indians represent a huge pool of potential friends of Indian
interests and to ignore the potential benefits of their interest in India, and
their willingness to lobby, invest, donate aid, and otherwise keep the rest of
the world aware of India is short sighted.

If we agree on this as motivation, then we can debate what the policy of India
should be towards expatriates. One suggestions has been dual citizenship- if
expatriates can keep their citizenship, their ties to India have some sort of
official recognition and may increase their motivation to invest, advocate, or
otherwise contribute and make it easier to return if they so decide. Another
lesser possibility is to simply keep open lines of communication- for embassies
and consulates to make some kind of effort to keep in touch with expatriate
Indians and expatriate Indians associations & organizations as a way of building
& maintaining goodwill, and listening to concerns and letting the expat
community know of opportunuties to contribute in the betterment of India. For
example, many expats may consider spending a few months in India in a capacity
where their expertise can make a big difference for reasonable or nominal pay,
or even as part of a vacation. Part of consular activities might include helping
match people with positions. Similarly, expats can be very effective in
lobbying, and educating the local media when the interests of both countries are
involved. A starting point could be for consulates to maintain mailing lists
I seem to recall reading that many SE Asian countries did or still do maintain
contacts with their expats and I suggest this is one factor in a higher rate of
return.

The outcome of this discussion I'd like to see is some policy statement in the
foregn policy section that facilitates tapping the potential contribution expats
can [and want to] make to India. What arguments are there, for and against?

-Charu

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