India’s Tryst with Dual Citizenship: A Two Step Back One Step Forward Approach?

  • Karamjit Pal Singh and Gurdeep Singh
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  • Karamjit Pal Singh

    Student at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab. India.

  • Gurdeep Singh

    Student at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab. India.

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The debate on citizenship has raised far reaching issues both domestically as well as in the international humanitarian context. The debate on citizenship has been a precarious one specially in our country. One might say that it is the most undervalued right, but it is the most pertinent right of a human being given the rise of nation state model in our polity. Apart from equality of individuals in society, it is largely based on the normative understanding on who is an appropriate member of the society. While it is imperative for the legislators to organise their approach and understand the debate on citizenship, it should not be at the detriment of an individual. There is a blur line when we define who is a foreign national, citizen or a stateless subject. Citizenship is a tale of belonging of an individual, to the constitution, the state and the nation, in India to the concept of the Indian-ness and the affinity to one’s motherland. Statelessness as various scholars have argued before is the anathema to the rights of an individual, which equates a person having no legal identity and potentially to their detriment no rights under law. While a debate on citizenship brings out passions out of everyone, the present discussion would be an academic one, with its main focus on the concept of ‘dual citizenship under the present legal framework’. Dual Nationality is something that has been incorporated by legislators, accepted as a concept and acted upon quite evidently in the 21st century with the rise of globalization and the possible rise of transnationalism. This rise is can be attributed to both internal and external factors, it can be seen by deconstructing the segmentary traditional concept of nation state and a growing integration of economic, cultural, political and social ties across the geographical boundaries. More than 100 countries have in the last 20 years introduced this concept of dual citizenship, with a significant rise in the European and African continent. The present discussion would be subdivided into two parts, Part I would focus on the rise of the movement for dual citizenship throughout the globe. It would also focus on the arguments for and against the concept of dual citizenship. Part II would focus on the present Indian regime and the necessary implications thereto on a large population of migrants, NRI’s and OCI card holders. This part would also discuss the recent amendments and a need for a robust understanding of the concept. The author would critically examine the recent amendments that would potentially have a detriment towards free speech and dissent, which has been a general course for quite some time now. Lastly, to conclude the author would also stress on the Forward-backward approach towards the present issue, the lack of political will and a lackadaisical approach by the lawmakers to deal with the issue of dual Nationality and Indian diaspora in general.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 3, Page 2214 - 2225


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