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Mr. Barun Mitra on the Sonia Issue



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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Hi
I had read Mr. Mitra's article in the E.T..

The object of his article I presume is to give the Foreign Origin Issue
Perspective.

While Mr. Mitra did raise a lot of relevant points on the credibility of
those questioning Mrs. Sonia Gandhi's aspiration to the top job, I beg
to differ with him on the issue of "Should Naturalized Citizens Be
Admitted to the Top Offices of - PM, President, VP, etc.
" Putting things in perspective ":-

a) Why Lack Credibility of those questioning Sonia doesnt make their
argument less credible?

I agree with Mr. Mitra that those questioning the credentials of Ms.
Sonia are terribly low on credibility. But that doesnt in any way water
down their argument. They have a point, its a different issue that their
conscience and sense of duty for the country had gone into hibernation
when it was convenient for them and have now come into the open when
things became inconvenient for them. That not-withstanding the mere fact
that they lack credibility doesnt bring down the credibility of their
contention.

My justification: IPI has drawn and referred from the USA Declaration Of
Independence of July 4 1776 which to me appears most "Hollow" in the
whole of history because its proposers lacked immensely in credibility.
They believed that: "That all Men are created equal, that they are
endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among
these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" but they
paradoxically - enslaved, patronised, marketed fellow humans for
centuries and built their entire national economy thru slavery before
endeavouring to abolish a century later. Does the fact USA patronised
and legalised slavery at the time of "Declaration of Independence" make
its contents low on credibility. If that was true IPI wouldnt have
adopted and referenced to it. Its fact that those who proposed it were
extremely hollow in their ideology that they so passionately supported
but that didnt take away the credibility of what they said.

b) Their deman being Unconstitutional:

I agree with Mr. Mitra that their deman has no constitutional sanction
as our constitution doesnt distinguish between Naturalized & Born
citizens. But does that mean we dont debate any changes to constitution
does the constitution forbid us from doing that. What I would like to
know - "Why did the Constitution not distinguish between these 2
categoriies of citizens, Why did it not deem it necessary to forbid
Naturalized citizens from holding high posts? Was this a result of a
debate or was it an oversight on the part of the drafters who never
accounted for this scenario ?" I would like some constitutional
historian to throw light on this. If the drafters had good reasons then
enlighten us if they didnt then they perhaps goofed up on this - lets
accept it, after all the Indian Constituion is the most voluminous
document.

c.) Why Forbidding Naturalized Citizens From Holding High Posts doesnt
make us Xenophobic ?

I have been hearing this argument about Xenophobic and narrow minded
while drawing the example of Fiji & Trinidad. I think people seem to be
missing a basic point here. The argument here is clearly against "A
Citizen of a different country naturalizing and attempting to hold high
office in India". The argument has nothing to do with the "Ethnicity or
Heredity" of the individual in question. If a "Person of Indian Origin"
born in a different country and then naturalized in India after
migrating stakes claim to a High Office "THE SAME YARDSTICK SHALL APPLY
TO HIM/HER" as should be to Sonia. Fiji & Trinidad have ethnic Indians
who were born there and thats different from me migrating and attempting
to become the PM of Trinidad.

A Naturalized Citizen should be forbidden for the following reason with
the following exception: In the event of a conflict of interest between
his/her country of birth and his/her naturalized country where will
his/her loyalties lie, and would it be wise to even allow such a
situation to arise and unduly burden him/her to make such a choice. I
came across some correspondence from some Serbian Profs in USA who feel
cruxcified making such a choice. I think its thoroughly unwise to allow
them to hold such offices where the duress of making such a choice is
bound to inhibit their ability to function, make their commitment
suspect and bring about a nation-wide lack of confidence in their
leadership.

One exception may however be made in the constitution such that a
Referendum or a process as Bi-Partisan as a Constitutional Ammedment is
necessary to approve on a Case by Case basis so that we dont "Preclude"
the option of availing the services of a genuinely capable
administrator. But the process be Bi-Partisan and complicated enough so
that no 1 single party can push thru such an appointment.

There are other socio-emotional reasons too but I feel this one single
reason is IMPORTANT enough to forbid them as it is the question of the
Chief Executive who has to take decisions which affect the security of
the entire country and to place him in a situation where he has to make
choices under such personal/emotional duress would be extremely unwise
which probably is the reason why countries like the USA have also chosen
to forbid. There is nothing Xenophobic about this, yes there is
something definitely Paranoid about National Security & National
Interest. But what in the devil is wrong about that.

Some time back I saw a thread on IPI on "Foreign Poilcy" where someone
made a statement that "Foreign Policy should not be dictated by National
Interests" or words to the effect implying we take a stance even if it
jeopardizes our national interests. Thats the most RIDICULOUS line of
thought I have seen on IPI.

It in effect means that we can go to town upholding some Ideals in a
Void even if there was no Nation left to live and practise those ideals
in. I think National Interest preceedes everything else in as much as
the willingness of other Nations to forsake the same for some common
good in which case the Common Interest shall override National Interest.
In the absence of such a consensus which cannot be enforced or made
binding upon, National Interest alone should be deemed important.

cheers
shashi

Sanjeev Sabhlok wrote: >
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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE > ___Help make this manifesto
better, or accept it, and propagate it!___ >
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for the debate > > ---------- Forwarded message ---------- > Date: Sun,
23 May 1999 20:37:25 +0500 > From: Liberty Institute > To:
bmitra@bigfoot.com > Subject: Could a foreign born become PM? >


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