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A Project in Business Ethics

Submitted to Capt. Dagaonkar

Mahatma Gandhi Missions Institute of Management Studies and Research

Team Members : Ms. Sweta Seshan 24

Ms. Renuka Salian


Mr. Faisal Ropewala


Mr. Gaurav Kalra


Ms. Trupti Damania


Introduction The Indian Diaspora The Indian Diaspora is a generic term to describe the people who migrated from territories that are currently within the borders of the Republic of India. It also refers to their descendants. The Diaspora is currently estimated to number approximately twenty million. Composed of "NRIs" (Indian citizens not residing in India) and "PIOs" (Persons of Indian Origin who have acquired the citizenship of some other country), the Diaspora covers practically every part of the world. It numbers more than a million each in eleven countries, while as many as twenty-two countries have concentrations of at least a hundred thousand ethnic Indians. PIO are heterogeneous, and comprise four distinct groups. First, and oldest, are those who were despatched as 'indentured' labour to other colonies in the 19th century: hardy, humble, peasants. Second are the one million-plus Indians who went to Britain in the last century, some via East Africa. Most of them were petty shopkeepers, blue-collar workers, bus conductors and postal clerks. The third group comprises the post-1973 temporary migrants to the Gulf -- workers without full residency rights. The fourth groups consists of affluent professionals and businessmen who migrated to the US, Canada and Western Europe from the mid-1960s onwards. The Diaspora is very special to India. Residing in distant lands, its members have succeeded spectacularly in their chosen professions by dint of their single-minded dedication and hard work.

Case Outline India finally discovered the overseas Indian in 1991 -- when our economy went bankrupt and when we discovered we had only sufficient foreign reserves to fund one month's worth of imports. It was then that out of the blue, this new species of animal called the NRI was discovered -- and elevated to the position of saviour of bankrupt India. The government's apparent intentions on the issue of dual citizenship make it clear that certain elite Non-Resident Indians are to be treated differently from ordinary Indian citizens, both at home and abroad. What explains this sudden urge to provide dual citizenship when it has been firmly rejected by the Government of India for more than five decades? What, after all, are the benefits of citizenship? Remember that almost all NRIs who have taken citizenship of another country have done so voluntarily. It is possible to be resident in another country for many years or even decades, and yet retain one's Indian citizenship; indeed, most countries have special resident status arrangements that dramatically reduce the bureaucratic hassles involved in retaining Indian citizenship. So the choice of taking on another country's citizenship is just that - a choice, and therefore a statement on essential loyalty. The growing importance of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) has been far in excess of the actual economic role that they have played in terms of net new investment in the country or any other material contribution, but it reflects quite a significant shift in the nature of the ruling classes in India. More Indians are migrating now than before (which in terms of numbers is actually not the case) but that there has been a change in the class composition of the emigrants. Indians from the and upper and middle classes have increasingly been going abroad to study and work, and then choosing to stay on and even take on citizenship in their new homes. This is almost always in the developed countries of the North Atlantic or perhaps Australia. Dual citizenship may carry with it certain benefits, but it may bring unexpected difficulties -- legal proceedings, taxation and financial responsibilities, military service, denial of emigration, even imprisonment for failure to comply with obligations in one of your countries of citizenship.

What is meant by dual citizenship? Every independent nation makes its own decision as to who its citizens are. You possess dual or multiple citizenship when more than one country recognizes you as its citizen. Consequently, you may have the rights and obligations conferred by each of these countries on its citizens. Whenever you are in a country that recognizes you as a citizen, its laws take priority over the laws of any other country of which you are a citizen. International treaties may, however, allow exceptions to this rule. How does dual citizenship occur? Citizenship is a complex matter because of the great variety of citizenship laws throughout the world. Some countries allow dual citizenship while others take away the citizenship of a person who acquires another citizenship. Some do not recognize a person's new citizenship. The laws that apply to your case are generally the ones in force at the time of the event that affects your citizenship (your birth or marriage or your parents' birth or marriage, for instance). This is why determining your present citizenship status can be a difficult and lengthy process. Dual citizenship: An important issue Dual citizenship may carry with it certain benefits, but it may bring unexpected difficulties -- legal proceedings, taxation and financial responsibilities, military service, denial of emigration, even imprisonment for failure to comply with obligations in one of your countries of citizenship. Dual citizenship: Advantage or disadvantage? Suppose you learn that you (or a member of your family) have dual citizenship or might acquire it. Would dual citizenship be good for you? Would it have more advantages than disadvantages? For some people, dual citizenship offers practical advantages, e.g. social security or employment. It may also enhance their feeling of belonging, because they have strong personal ties to more than one country. However, it is important to realize that there can be difficulties and disadvantages as well. The following paragraphs suggest some consequences of having dual citizenship. In general, the laws that apply to you at any time are the laws of the

country in which you are physically present at that time. The laws of a country may provide, for example, that persons residing in the country of their second citizenship may travel only on the passport of their country of residence. Possession of a second passport could result in its being confiscated, or even in a fine. If an Indian has legal or other difficulties outside the country, Indian diplomatic and consular representatives in that country can try to help. However, if the Indian in difficulty in another country is also a citizen of that country, Indian officials may be entirely unable to help. That country will be dealing with one of its own citizens, and probably will not welcome "outside interference." Indeed, foreign authorities will definitely consider you as one of their citizens, especially if you choose to travel under their passport. Travelling with an Indian passport and another country's passport simultaneously might also lead to certain difficulties in a third country. There may be laws in a country to which a foreign traveller is not subject, but which apply to you as a citizen of that country -- for example, restrictions on exit, compulsory military service, and special taxes or financial compensation for services received in the past, including educational costs. There might even be special circumstances relating to you in particular -- for example, friends or relatives may be affected by your visiting that country, or there may be legal proceedings pending against you that could begin again if you return. You might be affected if countries of which you are a citizen are involved in political upheavals or military conflicts. These are some of the possible drawbacks to dual or multiple citizenship. Why Dual Citizenship Should Be Granted? The real reason NRIs are so important now is not only that they are officially viewed as potentially important sources of capital inflow and transmission of skill and contacts developed abroad, but also that they have close links with (which makes them almost indistinguishable from) dominant groups within the domestically resident society. Remember also that NRIs who are not citizens are anyway given various rights and benefits, as well as special incentives for investment, as Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs). So the main advantages that they would gain if they could acquire Indian citizenship while retaining citizenship of another country would be in two areas:

ownership of various forms of property in the country, and the ability to participate in electoral politics, through voting and standing for elections. Quite simply, the ruling classes of India have decided that their children and other kin, many of whom have chosen to acquire citizenship in the developed countries of the world, must be allowed to retain all their existing privileges in their adopted countries in addition to acquiring or retaining greater economic and political power back in India. It is one more statement by the Indian ruling elite, that it now sees itself as part of a globalised world that is in effect independent of the rest of the Indian population, except for the right to profit by it and exercise political control over it. This type of measure should come as no surprise given the character of the ruling party in government, which is so heavily dependent upon a certain type of NRI support both for financial subscription and political sustenance. Nor is it surprising given the general pattern of behaviour of the Indian ruling classes in the recent past. But if Indian democracy is actually as vibrant as it is so often declared to be, and if the interests of the mass of people have any voice at all, then surely such a patently undemocratic, elitist and even potentially dangerous proposal cannot be considered.

Why Dual Citizenship Should Not Be Granted? This is in fact a major departure from existing practice, and it also involves changing the Constitution. The Prime Minister, welcoming the proposal, declared that this does not involve any amendment of the Constitution. But Article 9 of the Citizenship Act clearly states that persons voluntarily acquiring citizenship of a foreign state are not to be citizens. "No person shall be a citizen of India by virtue of Article 5 (which defines criteria for citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution) or be deemed to be a citizen of India by virtue of Article 6 (which deals with citizenship through immigration) or Article 8 (which deals with the citizenship rights of persons of Indian origin residing outside India) if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of any foreign State," the article states. The statement is therefore quite clear: dual citizenship is not permitted under the Indian Constitution at present. And the reason for this is also fairly obvious - that dual citizenship can create dual, or divided loyalties which can be problematic. This seems so obvious that until recently it was not even considered a matter for discussion, except among a small group of NRIs themselves. It is the contradiction inherent in this recommendation that apparently led the Prime Minister to make what must rank as one of the most confused statements ever, even by the standards of this government. According to The Hindu (January 9, 2002), Vajpayee is reported to have said: "We are in favour of dual citizenship but not dual loyalty. The loyalty to India will remain but they will also remain loyal to the country where they have taken citizenship and will fulfil their responsibility. Therefore it is not a question of dual loyalty." Problems of Dual Citizenship The demands of PIOs for dual citizenship, and the governments current urge to provide it, make much more sense, especially when the class bias inherent in the demand is revealed. This comes out quite sharply from the fact that not all PIOs are to be so favoured, only those from certain countries. The list of such countries is completely revealing: The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, a large part of (western) Europe and Singapore.

Note that most of the emigrants to these countries are now from the rich or professional categories, and are very much part of the power structure in India through extended families. No such privileges are to be granted, for example, to the descendants of indentured labour in the West Indies or Fiji (even though, in sheer political terms, they may end up in greater need of it). Nor is there any apparent intention to provide dual citizenship rights to PIOs in Africa who do not have the same elite contacts back home. Citizenship frequently carries with it legal obligations relating to taxes, military service, and/or travel restrictions. Again, since countries usually insist on dealing with their citizens without regard to any other citizenships they might hold, and tend to frame their laws regarding citizenship obligations without regard for the laws of other countries, a dual citizen could find that a country which considers him a citizen, but in which he does not live, expects him to pay taxes (possibly in addition to taxes he is already paying in his country of residence); considers him liable to be drafted into its army (even if he has already served or is currently serving in the other country's army); and may forbid him to travel to certain countries, including possibly his other country of citizenship. In practice, such situations are often smoothed over via tax treaties and the like, but conflicts could (and sometimes do) occur.

An Ethical Viewpoint The issue of dual citizenship taken from an ethical point of view would require not differentiating among the Indians living in any country incase the Indian constituency decides on granting the privilege of Dual citizenship to NRIs and PIOs. Granting dual citizenship to Indians in only 7 countries is the kind of enigmatic decision that only Indian governments can take. This won't hold up if challenged in the Supreme Court. If they have genuine concerns regarding some countries, allow for ALL countries with some exceptions As mentioned earlier that the Indian Government plans to grant Dual citizen ship to those living in countries like the US and the UK which are from the rich or professional categories, and are very much part of the power structure in India through extended families. No such privileges are to be granted to the descendants of indentured labour in the West Indies, Africa or Fiji even though, in sheer political terms, they may end up in greater need of it and who do not have the same elite contacts back home. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas would be an exercise in futility if we are unable to build bonds of solidarity between India and the Diaspora. The whole event should have a specific focus and direction. Many matters were discussed, but nothing shows the recommendations or decisions that will be put to the Government of India and to representatives of the Diaspora will lead to any concrete action. While the idea of dual citizenship is good, there is a real danger of this event being just a great gala event without producing tangible benefit to the Diaspora. We come from diverse backgrounds though we have a common heritage. We come from different countries; our needs and expectations may not be the same. It differs in different countries according to the situation. A mechanism should be worked out for consultations between the Diaspora and the Government of India on issues of concern. This will help so that specific measures can be taken to address those issues of concern. The big agenda in this conference is trade between India and countries being represented by Persons of Indian Origin/Non Resident Indians. Our struggle and our issues have been raised in different forums. We need PIOs and they need us. If India can't help them when they are down and out, then when will it help them? All talk about the Diaspora becomes useless when it cannot help the people concerned.

There are many Pakistanis, Bangladeshis staying in India without any fear due to the faulty administration of the state governments like West Bengal, MP etc. As long politics overrides the priorities of national interest any thing is bad. Dual citizenship is beneficial to the country in the sense the PIO believe that they are the part of India at present and future also. The fear of national security being imperilled by dual citizenship is a childish view. The government has not bothered to explain HOW this is the case. Misuse of dual citizenship: Constitutional rights can be and are misused. So far national security is concern, NRI Indian passport will be the tool to track them down. It is a WIN -WIN opportunity for NRI as well as motherland. The Indian Diaspora is the half-forgotten side of Indian history. If foreigners have reached out to us, then we too have reached out to them. If the globe is a part of India, India too is a part of the globe.