Indian Citizenship

The Indian Constitution, which came into force on 26th January 1950, provides for single citizenship for the entire country. Matters concerning Indian citizenship are contained in Articles 5 to 11 in Part II of the constitution of India. The law states that any person born in India on or after 26th January but before the commencement of the 1986 Act was a citizen of India. A person born in India after 1 July 1987 was a citizen of India if one of the two parents was a citizen of India at the time of birth. The law further states that those born in India on or after 3rd December 2004 are considered citizens of India only if both of their parents are citizens of India or if one parent is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of birth.

Under the category of citizenship by descent any person born outside India on or after 26 January but before 10 December 1992 are citizens of India by descent only if their father was a citizen of India at the time of their birth. Those born after 10 December 1992 are considered citizens of India if either of their parents is a citizen of India at the time of their birth. However, according to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2003, any person born outside India after 3, December 2004, shall not be considered citizens of India unless their birth is registered at an Indian consulate within one year of the date of birth.

The Indian Constitution also provides the provision where by an application a person can be registered as a citizen of India under section 5 of the Citizenship Act 1955 if he belongs to any of these categories.

According to Indian Constitution there are few points:

  • A person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration;
  • A person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in any country or place outside undivided India;
  • A person who is married to a citizen of India and is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration;
  • Minor children of persons who are citizens of India;
  • A person of full age and capacity whose parents are registered as citizens of India by ordinary residence in India for seven years;
  • A person of full age and capacity who, or either of his parents, was earlier citizen of independent India, and has been residing in India for one year immediately before making an application for registration;
  • A person of full age and capacity who has been registered as an overseas citizen of India for five years, and who has been residing in India for one year before making an application for registration.

Citizenship by naturalisation can be acquired by a foreigner who has resided in India for twelve years. The applicant must have lived in India for eleven years in a period of fourteen years. Added to this is the point that the last twelve months preceding the application must be spent in India.

Giving up of Indian citizenship or renuncation is covered in Section 8 of the Citizenship Act of 1955. If an adult declares that he/ she wants to renounce Indian citizenship, then the person loses it. A minor child of that person also loses Indian citizenship from that date of renunciation. However the child has the right to resume Indian citizenship when he reaches the age of eighteen.Termination of Indian citizenship is covered under Section 9 of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Section 9 (1) of the Act provides that any citizen of India who acquires the citizenship of another country by naturalisation or registration shall cease to be a citizen of India.

In India there now exists the provision for a new form of Indian nationality, the holders of which are known as Overseas Citizens of India. Although the Constitution of India does not permit dual citizenship or dual nationality except in the case of minors where the second nationality was involuntarily acquired.An Overseas Citizen of India will enjoy all rights and privileges enjoyed by Non Resident Indians, excluding the “right to invest in agriculture and plantation properties”.

Source: Jupiter Informedia

Anglo – Indians

Anglo-Indians refer to those European Indians who are descendants of British men and women of lower-caste women from Hindu or Muslim community. During the nineteenth century the offspring of these unions were rejected both by the British and Indian societies but later on with the progress of time the group of Anglo-Indians sought marriage partners among others of the same caste. With the flow of time the group of Anglo-Indians acquired a special niche for themselves in the postal, railroad and custom services. Several factors contributed towards the development of a strong sense of union among the Anglo-Indian community. They are regarded as a minority community before the independence of the Indian subcontinent but in the recent times, more live, outside than within.

In fact during the independence movement these Anglo-Indians were assumed to identify with the British reign and therefore incurred the distrust and hostility of the Indian nationalists. They also felt insecured in a nation where they had to put a premium on participation in the freedom movement in order to acquire important government positions. Many of them left India in 1947 to settle down in other Commonwealth of Nations like Australia and Canada but some of them returned back after unsuccessful attempts to find a place in the alien societies. Anglo – Indians Many of them however chose to stay back making whatever adjustment necessary to live a comfortable life in India. The Anglo-Indians especially occupied the urban areas to make a comfortable living. Few of them had attained high levels of education, possessed great wealth or achieved more than subordinate government positions. Towards the end of the nineteenth century Anglo-Indians became scattered out mostly in the larger cities of the nation.

The rights of communities guaranteed by the Constitution permitted the Anglo-Indians to maintain their own schools and to use English as the medium of instruction. The Government stipulates that a certain percentage of the student body should come from the other communities of India to ensure and encourage the integration of the community into the larger society. In terms of employment of Anglo-Indians in Government posts there is not evident official discrimination. There are some in fact who have scaled great heights in their career; some hold high designations in the military while there are few who are in the judicial services. Most of the Anglo-Indians are of the view that gaining employment in schools is very easy due to their fluency in English Language. To help this minority group in India many charities have been set up in foreign nations. The community of Anglo-Indians is the only one which has its representatives nominated to Lok Sabha in the parliament of India. The Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Bihar also have a nominated member each in their respective State Legislatures. The Anglo-Indian community will however remain distinct as long as its members marry only the alike from the same community and its European descent continues to be noted.

Source: Jupiter Informedia

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