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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 20:37:25 +0500
From: Liberty Institute <liberty@giasdl01.vsnl.net.in>
To: bmitra@bigfoot.com
Subject: Could a foreign born become PM?

Dear Friend of Liberty:
Even before the election campaign could begin, the politicans, bereft of
any other achievement, are trying to find an issue that might help them
sail across the turbulent electoral sea. So a debate has been started over
the foreign origin of Sonia Gandhi, and the unsuitability of some one born
abroad to hold highest political offices in the land.
The two op-eds below seek to put this issue in perspective. You may visit
the locations given below, or visit the _Liberty Features_ section, where
the we have provided links to these articles.
Your comments will be most appreciated. If you think these articles make an
useful contribution to this debate, please forward this mail to others who
might be interested. Thank you.
Barun Mitra

P.S. If you are receiving this mail inadvertently, or would like to be
removed from this mailing list, please send me an e-mail indicating the
same. Thank you.
Barun S. Mitra, op-ed in The Economic Times, 22 May 1999.

It is ironic that the Prime Minister has sparked off a "national debate" on
whether any foreign-born person should be allowed to hold the highest
political offices in the land. Because just the other day, he quoted from
Tagore, broadcast live on national TV. In the lines immeidately above the
ones which the PM quoted, the poet says 
"The Indian civilisation has successfully assimilated the Aryans, the
non-Aryans, the Dravidians, the Chinese, the Shakas, the Huns, the Pathans,
the Moghuls."
Much more is at stake, therefore, than the future of one polical party or
its leader. It is the future direction of our civilisation and our identity
that is being put to test. 
A longer version of this article is also available at the Liberty
Institute's web site.<www.angelfire.com/mi/libertyinstitute/foreign.html>

This is another thought provoking article.
SHE IS HERE TO STAY: The rights of citizen Sonia
Prof. Mushirul Hasan, op-ed in The Indian Express, 22 May 1999.

India belongs to each of its citizens, regardless of birthplace, and each
one has rights and obligations attached to citizenship. Politicians always
have something up their sleeves. Now, they have triggered a debate that may
influence the political landscape and the future of Sonia Gandhi and the
Congress, a party she rescued from virtual political wilderness. Indeed, we
are a witness to a fierce power struggle and not just a struggle between
impotent rivals locked in motionless and simulated combat.

Prof. Hasan is a noted historian. He is at the Jamia Milia University, New

Barun S. Mitra				E-Mail: bmitra@bigfoot.com
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