Is it significant to give Equal Rights by Law to the Diaspora Population of Country?
This Blog is written by Kashish Batta from University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun. Edited by Karan Dutt.
India’s Diaspora a diverse international community which is representing types or forms of geographies and also the periods of formation. Hence, it requires different and distinct approaches to engage them and connect with the country India. The common thread which is there that unites them is the idea of India and its intrinsic values. The term diaspora derives from the Greek word which is diaspeirein which means dispersion. Diaspora refers to the people who live far from their homeland for various reasons. Hence, the meaning of the Indian diaspora is the group of people currently who are living outside India either temporary or permanent and those who can trace their origin back to the country India. The formation of the Indian diaspora community and also the dispersion of people to other country is the result of several migratory waves driven over hundreds of year for a number of reasons like of slavery under the mercantilism, contract work which is under colonization and guest work programs after the colonialism period. This transnational the involvement of people has been strengthened and that is riding on the processes of globalization through global networks of families as well as friends and also the businesses, which are symbiotic and which allow the exchange of shared interest and ideas of the social, cultural and also of the economic. It gratifies all the Indians when the overseas Indian community is respected for its culture of work as well as discipline and successful integration with the local community, as well as for its outstanding contributions to their countries of residence. This community that has overcome considerable adversity represents a very successful diaspora in the host countries with many of its representatives occupying leadership positions there.
SIGNIFICANCE OF DEVELOPMENT
The diaspora of India is one of the wealthiest minorities in many developed countries, which has helped them lobbying for the favorable conditions regarding the interests of India. This can be explained by an example-at 2.8 million, Indians may represent only 1% of the U.S. population, but they are the best-educated and wealthiest minority, according to the Pew poll 2013. Also the migration of the less skilled labor especially in the West Asia has also contributed to reducing the disguised unemployment in country like India. In general, remittances from migrants have positive systemic effects on the balance of payments. Remittances of $ 70-80 billion help fill a larger trade deficit. By weaving a network of transnational networks, migrant workers have facilitated the flow of tacit information, business and entrepreneurial ideas and technologies in India. This is the economic front. If we consider the foreign policy front in that diaspora of India then it is not only about the soft power but this is transferable political vote ban also. Our Indian Prime Minister- Narendra Modi reception at Madison Square Garden is a way to thank members of the Indian-American community who played an important role in his electronic campaign and election funding. The institutionalization of the diaspora diplomacy is a clear indication that a country’s diaspora community has become considerably more important as a topic of interest for foreign policy and associated government activities. Many people of Indian descent hold top political positions in many countries, in the United States themselves they are now a significant part of Republicans and Democrats, as well as the government. The political influence of the Indian diaspora can be gauged from the fact, from the role it played in turning dubious lawmakers into voting for India-US nuclear agreement.
There are various challenges which are faced by the India some of these are India must also realize that the diaspora in West Asia is semi-skilled and mainly engaged in the infrastructure sector. After the infrastructure boom is over, India should be ready for the eventual return of Indian workers. With the growing anti-globalization wave, there has been an increase in incidents of alleged hate crimes against the Indian community. There are many inadequacies in the Indian system for the Diaspora to partner with India or invest in the country. For example, grievances such as bureaucracy, multiple authorizations, distrust of the government act as obstacles in fulfilling the opportunities presented by the Indian diaspora. It should be remembered that having a strong diaspora does not always translate into benefits for the country of origin. India has had problems with negative campaigns and foreign funding for separatist movements such as the Khalistan movement.
PROVISIONS IN THE LEGISLATURE
The Indian Constitution guarantees some fundamental rights to Indians. These are the rights that can be legally enforced in a court of law and are of prime importance. Any law made in India must conform to these fundamental rights and cannot be a violation of these. The guiding principles of the state of state policy are the guidelines that the legislator follows in drafting the laws, however, no law can violate the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India as was established in the case of the State of Madras vs. Champakam Dorairajan.
NON- RESIDENT INDIAN– there are certain rights which are available that are mentioned such as they have the same protection under that law and the same rights as Indian citizens with few exceptions. They are also given all fundamental rights in the Constitution. They also have the right to vote and the right to participate in elections. They are exempt from paying tax on income earned abroad as long as they are duly taxed in the country where they are received. They need prior approval from the RBI for the purchase of agricultural or agricultural land. They don’t need a visa to enter India.
OVERSEAS CITIZEN OF INDIA– Equal opportunities in public employment are guaranteed under Article 16 of the Indian Constitution. OCI also have the voting rights under Section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950. They may also call elections for the office of President pursuant to article 58 and for the office of Vice-president pursuant to article 66. They can also stand for the office of judge of the Supreme Court (art. 124) and of the High Court (art. 217). OCI no longer need visas to enter India. However, OCI are not eligible to conduct research work in India without the Indian Mission’s permission (unlike NRIs who do not have such restrictions) and OCI cannot acquire agricultural land in India, while NRIs can.
INDIAN ORIGIN PERSON– Since this class of people has the citizenship and passport of another country, they are treated as foreigners. PIOs have no right to vote, right to acquire property, right to be members of legislative assemblies, etc.
In India, the diaspora is commonly understood to include NRIs, people of Indian descent or origin that is PIO and OCI, of which PIO and OCI cardholders have been merged into a only category that is OCI in the year 2015
As there is disparity of the rights which are conferred on the Indian diaspora, the community has played and continues to play an important role in India’s development and improvement. We should not forget our rich history, when the Indians abroad relentlessly supported the Ghadar Party and, in turn, the struggle for Indian freedom. Even in the period of the post-independence in that the diaspora was an important player that helped in shaping the India’s present. Since they live abroad most of the time, they also act as our country’s unofficial ambassadors to their country of habitual residence. The influence of more liberal and prosperous countries by our own people can serve as a very progressive way to plan the future course of action for our country. When we divide rights, especially political rights, we are somehow blocking the influx of these much needed recommendations. Most of the diaspora have moved overseas due to their high qualifications and liberal mentality, which, unfortunately, don’t find much space in India. With the current crackdown on dissent and the numerous comedians arrested for sedition, there seems to be only one way to draw global attention to the problems facing modern Indians. In an effort to escape the shackles of conservatism and free ourselves from the traditions of extreme tolerance of tyranny that has acted as an obstacle to our development, we must ensure that our voices are heard. As it stands, the diaspora has continuously contributed to India with philanthropies, donations, establishing offices here and sending feedback from abroad. There are countless examples of things that can be improved within the country. These have continued for years and more realistic solutions can be found in partnership with the diaspora, which can make its invaluable contribution to the resident Indian community. There is a need for a strategic policy of evacuating the diaspora from conflict zones in a world where crises materialize without warning and give governments very little reaction time. India’s foreign policy aims to translate partnerships into benefits for key projects such as Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga, Make In India, Digital India and Skill India, the diaspora has many possibilities to contribute.
The government must change the laws in consultation with the learned Indian diaspora overseas. Only when we give them more political power, the power to vote, the power to call elections and the power to be members of legislative assemblies, will we be able to involve them to improve our country. Increasing the reach of rights will also increase the faith and love that the diaspora possesses for India, which will encourage them to contribute even more enthusiasm to India. When the situation is optimal, with a good ratio of input from the diaspora population, there is also the possibility of less brain-drain from India. India will incorporate things and policies that will make the West seem so profitable for young people and create a perfect environment for inclusive growth, development and modernization within India itself. In practice, giving equal rights to the diaspora population will only serve as a win-win situation.