Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeOpinionsEnough is enough, time for GOI to review PIOs and OCIs

Enough is enough, time for GOI to review PIOs and OCIs

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The contents of this article are extensively sourced on the ideas and knowledge base of two proud 90-year-old Hindus, one living in the west, the other in India with extensive travel experience within India and overseas.

I am pretty sure neither of them will mind me doing so.

We all know about the origin of the unambiguously dark side of this fanatical and terrorist movement (“Khalistan Menace” to be benign) which took off 40+ years back, in the Indian Punjab province that claimed the lives of thousands of Hindus there and, was eventually stalled by a legendary man like KPS Gill, during  Mr. S.S. Roy’s rule.

One can go on, analyzing endlessly about the types of zealots and the types of Sikhs who were easily radicalized and how. Let us touch on just one analysis. below:      

Re: the menace of KHALISTAN:

After 1971, when the erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) was set apart from the then British created Pakistan, the Pakistani Government was fuming with anger & planning how to counter India by breaking it also by any means. One option they took, was to send their terrorists specially in Muslim majority Kashmir expecting full support of local Kashmiri MUSLIMS but found out that their then strategy was quite a slow process, So its next option of breaking India was raising the Khalistan Issue knowing well how sensitive it could be to SIKHS owing to their being  in the Minority and, owing to their love of Guru Granthi Sahib.

So, Pakistan started funding this Khalistan Movement, in a big way to which several thoughtless Sikhs fell into that trap, forgetting  the mass murder and gang rapes of thousands of Sikh women and girls by the fanatic Muslims. A number of greedy Sikhs and a few from “Sikhistan” was the term then changed to KHALISTAN because term “SIKHISTAN” used earlier by Master Tara Singh had already lost its verb. Thus, two parallel strategies emerged- one from India  and the other from Pakistan. One from Indian Side, was to break Baluchistan to which, has largely succeeded and the formation of a separate country Baluchistan could be on the horizon. 

To break up the Sikhs, who are mainly, the Warrior Class of India, as a whole, was being done through working on the disgruntled SIKHS settled overseas. But so far Pakistan has not been successful excepting this Khalistan movement has become more aggressive in extent, in Canada, Britain and to a certain extent in Germany. The demand for Khalistan became more visible or effective after the killings of Sikhs in Delhi by the Congress goons in late 1984, aided by the money power which Pakistan Is pouring in to take Sikhs on its side by supporting them in every which way in their demand for a separate Khalistan (Punjabi Hindus be damned). 

Their continual demand for a separate Khalistan which many thoughtless and greed driven Sikhs are due to falling  into the Pakistani trap. They keep raising their voice, totally oblivious to the history of genocide that befell on the MILLION PLUS Sikh men, women and children during the “Partition” days. Khalistan Sikhs are acting so brainlessly that they are demanding Khalistan out of India instead of Pakistan forgetting even the Damages to their Gurdwars in Pakistan & the forced conversion of the Sikh girls into Islam in Pakistan.

Since KHALISTANIS  in Canada  and the UK  earn billions of dollars each year, they are welcome by the many an India based Punjabi Sikhs and, subsequently, fall into a foreign driven unmeaningful Khalistan propaganda.  

More importantly, what needs to impressed on the Government of India, now?

In the prevailing circumstances, many of the holders of PIO and OCI appear to be engaged in nefarious activities against India and, colluding to demanding the creation of Khalistan.

  • Consequently, I am of the opinion that the Government of India should ask the card holders in foreign countries to reapply for these cards and new cards to be only issued to the deserving candidates. 
  • Furthermore, Indian High Commissions in Australia, Canada, UK and the Indian Embassies in USA should restrict processing of visas to India until further notifications. Foreign airlines should be disallowed to land at the airports in Amritsar until further notifications. 
  • (Although it is impossible to stop bus journeys to Punjab of all new arrivals from Delhi airport, but random inspections would have some deterrent effect.)
  • Foreign exchange control or some other similar “follow the money’ trail measurers can be imposed, especially, for restricting money transfers from Punjab to the four countries noted above.

Let us also, review the stipulations and the privileges of the PIOs and OCIs.

PIO/OCI CARD PERSON OF INDIAN ORIGIN (PIO) CARD: A Person of Indian Origin (PIO) means a foreign citizen (except a national of Pakistan, Afghanistan Bangladesh, China, Iran, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Nepal) who at any time held an Indian passport Or who or either of their parents/ grand parents/ great grand parents was born and permanently resident in India as defined in Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of any of the aforesaid countries ( as referred above); Or Who is a spouse of a citizen of India or a PIO Benefits of a PIO card:-
(i) PIO card holders do not require a visa to visit India for a period of 15 years from the date of issue of the PIO card.
(ii) They are exempted from registration at FRRO/FRO if their stay does not exceeds 180 days, Incase if the stay exceeds 180 days, they shall have to register with FRRO/ FRO within the next 30 days.
(iii) They enjoy parity with NRIs in economic, financial and educational benefits like:- Acquisition, holding, transfer and disposal of immovable properties in India, except agricultural/ plantation properties Admission of children to educational institutions in India under general category quota for NRIs, including medical and engineering college, IITs, IIMs etc Availing Various housing schemes of LIC of India, State Government and Central Government agencies All future benefits that would be exempted to NRIs would also be available to the PIO card holders.

However, PIOs do not enjoy employment rights in Government of India services nor can they hold any constitutional office in the Government of India. They need prior permission for undertaking mountaineering, missionary activities, research work and to visit restricted areas in India. 

OVERSEAS CITIZEN OF INDIA (OCI) CARD: A foreign national, who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26.01.1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947 is eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such person are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.

Benefits: OCIs are entitled to a multipurpose, multiple entry, lifelong visa allowing them to visit India at any time, for any length of time and for any purpose. They are exempted from police reporting for any length of stay in the country. They have also been granted all rights in the economic, financial and education fields in particular.

If the contents of the five bullet points, stated above, sound harsh, one has to remember that only extreme measures can produce moderate solutions.

(Basu Bose is an NRI whose pre-pandemic work related journeys covered many countries.)

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