Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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NRI Punjabi Interference in Punjab Politics

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NRI Punjabi Interference in Punjab Politics

It’s dangerous – Meddling in political affairs of a distant country! With the election year approaching, it is becoming more and more apparent, the high level of interference NRI Punjabis have in local politics in Punjab. These are Punjabi families that voluntarily moved abroad to countries like USA, UK, Canada, Australia etc. They are well established there and hold positions of social, cultural, and legal importance. They, along with their sponsored family members and relatives, took oaths to the constitutions of various developed countries for betterment in their personal life. They have social security nets such as free medical care, pensions and other welfare schemes. No doubt they have done well in their life. But they forget they gave up their moral and legal right to have a say in matters of Punjab when they took oaths of citizenships of Canada, US, Australia, UK.

It’s  hypocritical behaviour when money is raised to influence electoral results of Punjab, through sponsoring and funding one political party over another, accepting leaders of one Political party and rejecting the others. It is gladly suggested that USA is bad and overreaching when they interfere in middle-east or south-Asia or anywhere else in the world.

But they wouldn’t think twice before donating to organisations and political parties trying to alter the result in favour of the government that would treat their political goals (eg. separatism, low taxation on NRI investments, political reservations for NRIs) as primary than to the local needs and requirements of local citizens.

Imagine if people living in a different country (Lets say Pakistan or Canada) start interfering by sending money or favouring some political party in an Indian state (lets say Kashmir or Punjab) that would keep their interests above and beyond the local citizens interests? What would u call it?

Yes NRIs send money to their families in India or Invest in property here. It’s not for social work. Its either for their family or for better returns on their investment (higher interest rates and faster real estate growth compared to western economies). If they left their inherited their land here, but moved abroad for greener pastures, whose problem Is It? Having investments in any place doesn’t give them right to interfere in the local politics. They are free to take their investments to any country that gives them high returns or back to their countries of Current citizenships. Holding Land in USA, UK, Canada wouldn’t allow any Indian Citizen voting rights in their Elections.

Why should Citizens of Punjab, whose income per capita is much lower than NRI Punjabis and cannot match the donations made by NRIs, be held ransom to the political agenda of those who aren’t even part of the local society?
Yes, intentions of a few NRIs would be betterment of Punjab, but it wouldn’t be more than any citizen who is paying taxes here and holds the voting rights locally. Every single day – a local farmer, a local doctor, a local student, a local labourer, a local widow has to deal with elected government. Someone sitting abroad with their jobs and social security net would never have to deal with with local government like citizen.
It’s dangerous for me as a citizen of Punjab that a new upcoming political party, leaders of which have been going abroad and wooing NRI Punjabis for donations, has been financed and influenced by vested interests sitting abroad who don’t seek the same things that I as a local citizen do – peace, prosperity and industrialisation. Its important to have a political representation that is free of foreign influence and foreign funding. Only God knows what Promises these new political parties have made to these foreign financiers, and how it will affect us in the coming days.
-A Concerned Voter of Punjab

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