To offer NRIs the right to exercise their franchise by e-postal ballots or through proxy voting, the government on Tuesday called for an all-party meeting to discuss the proposal.
Law Minister, DV Sadananda Gowda, acknowledged the demand of Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha that their views should be taken into consideration while enacting legislation to award voting rights to NRIs and domestic migrant labours.
Leader of Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, moved a motion in the house on this issue. Gowda, in response to the motion, said that the government was working on the Election Commission report regarding voting rights of over one crore NRIs and not as directed by the Supreme Court.
The debate heated up as the Opposition members blamed the government that it is acting against the Supreme Court’s directions. Azad said that the Opposition is not against the voting rights for NRIs, but it is the way the government has moved the proposal without even discussing it with the political parties.
“Today government has said goodbye to all consultation process. Parliament is being made aware of developments from newspaper reports. It has become the habit of the government to bypass the Parliament and the standing committees. When we object, we are being criticised,” said Azad.
Gowda stated that the report advocated the options of the e-postal ballot system and proxy voting. “E-postal and postal ballot voting methodologies are being worked out for the voting rights of the NRIs,” he said.
On the other hand, the minister agreed for an all party meeting as insisted by DMK, BJD, CPI, AIADMK, SP and JD-U. Gowda said, “I (will) request Election Commision to hold all party meeting to get their feedback.”
The Indian diaspora is a generic term representing the people who migrated from the Indian territories to the other parts of the world. It includes the descendants of these groups. Today, over twenty million Indians which include Non-Resident Indians and People of Indian Origin are residing outside the Indian territory as Indian diaspora. According to a UN survey report of 2015, India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world. In 2005, Indians formed the world’s third-largest diaspora. The Indians who settled overseas in the 1960s for more developed countries such as US, UK, Canada, Australia and Western Europe formulate the category of the New Diaspora.
What are the popular host countries for the Indian Diaspora:
The 2010 estimates of Census data of US, UK and Canada suggest that Indian diaspora constitutes three million people in US, 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom and one million in Canada. Indians are the fourth largest immigrant group in the United States. Also, five million emigrants from India residing in the Gulf region at present.
The History of Indian Diaspora:
A brief overview of the history of Indian diaspora suggests that the first group of Indians immigrated to Eastern Europe in the 1st century AD from Rajasthan during the reign of Kanishka. Yet another evidence of migration was witnessed in 500 AD when a group immigrated to Southeast Asia as the Cholas extended their empire to Indonesia and Malaysia thereby spreading the Indian culture in these states. Thus the early evidence of the diaspora was found during ancient times. The medieval period witnessed the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism during the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. Mughals took Indians as traders, scholars, artists, musicians, and emissaries to the other parts of the country.
The first wave of the Modern Indian Diaspora, also called the Old Diaspora, began in the early 19th century and continued until the end of the British rule. The Dutch and French colonizers followed the suit. Indians were sent in large numbers to become the bonded labourers for sugar and rubber plantation in their colonies.
Indians in Caribbean, Africa, and Asia:
By the end of World War 1, there were 1.5 million Indian laborers in the colonies in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. At present, around 60% of Indian diaspora is constituted of this Old Diaspora.
Impact of Immigration policies on Migration from India:
After the Indian independence, a large number of unskilled and some skilled Punjabi male Sikhs migrated to the UK from India due to favorable immigration policies in the United Kingdom. Similarly, the 1990s onwards, due to software boom and its rising economy, H-1B was introduced in the US immigration policy that allowed the entry of highly skilled IT specialists, doctors, scientists and engineers in the US. Further, the 1970s witnessed oil boom in the Middle East that led to significant growth of Indian diaspora in the Gulf region.
While the low skilled and semi-skilled workers are moving to the Gulf region for better economic opportunities, highly skilled labor is moving from India to US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Has Indian Diaspora started impacting the economies and societies:
With the growing rate of international migration since the beginning of millennia, there is a significant impact of diaspora on the economies and societies of the world. In recent years, the diaspora is influencing the economic, political and cultural affairs in their homeland. It is so because the influence of the diaspora communities increases as they organize themselves and accumulate resources in their host countries for several years. The mobilized diaspora are now influencing the affairs of the homeland countries. A common form of exchange is the financial remittances provided to the relatives by the diaspora community. Overseas family networks of the political elites in India are shaping the political landscape as well. Culturally, the diaspora is influencing the music and literature trends in India as the content is consciously structured to cater to the tastes of the diaspora.
What actions have been taken by the government of India to tap the potential of Indian Diaspora:
The first Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was organized in 2003 by the Government of India to expand and reshape the state of India’s economy by the use of the potential human capital which the Indian diaspora reflects. Clearly, Indian diaspora has a larger role to play in the Indian economy over the coming years as the efforts to mobilize them increase in the homeland.
Andhra Pradesh, Sep 27, 2017: Kothavalasa, a tribal village near Araku saw an influx of sporting enthusiasts wailing and whistling in joy as a result of the ‘Tribal Development Project’ that got executed in less than 20 days.
With a vision to bridge NRIs to their native land, India’s Sunrise State, AP Janmabhoomi has spread its wings by launching various campaigns revolving around the holistic development of the rural public. AP Janmabhoomi’s prime focus areas include creating – Digital Classrooms, Anganwadi Centres & Crematoriums.
Kothavalasa, of Dumbriguda Mandal, Vishakhapatnam District happened to be their first integrated Tribal Development Project. The Special Representative for North America, the team that is actively involved in this mission, after pondering upon various ways to impact the lives of the rural public came up with an offbeat approach.
According to the team, for any community to move forward, they need to stay united and what better than sports can teach people to stay united. Creating a sports facility is not an easy task, and it needs a lot of resources, especially money.
In alignment with their vision of involving NRIs in the overall gamut – AP Janmabhoomi, kicked off a fundraiser
campaign and has collected a sum of almost 1,30,000 rupees in just five days. It should be noted that the whole fundraising was carried on the official website of AP Janmabhoomi, where 51 NRIs from various parts of the globe have participated. During the team’s physical inspection to the site, they’ve partnered with ThinkPeace, an NGO which has already been impacting the people living there for more than 5 years till now. As part of their integrated Tribal Development Project, AP Janmabhoomi also donated an amount of Rs. 3,00,000 for the construction of an Anganwadi school.
Shri Sarveshwar Rao, MLA of Araku and Shri Ravi Subhash, I.A.S graced the inauguration ceremony with their presence
and distributed the sports equipment which is set to unite and empower the youth and children of tribal villages around Kothavalasa. The equipment included outdoor sports equipment like volleyball, throw ball and cricket kits. The indoor equipment included table tennis, carom boards, and chessboards. A tournament named after the great freedom fighter, Shri Alluri Sitaramaju, was organized in the ground which saw participants from 12 Mandals.
Sep 14, 2017: The quandary of the outcast wives is evident in a country like India. NRI husbands have been known for leaving their wives in India and flying to abroad. These wives are being shunned by the society as well. While the problem is grim and sincere, some NRI husbands are also succumbing to the victimization of blackmailing from their wives. Such is the perplexity of the USA based Sachin Jain, who claims that he was erroneously accused of rape charges in India.
Newsgram contacted Sachin Jain for further inquiry into the matter.
According to him lakhs of NRI’s face immediate arrest on account of false complaints of heinous crimes by disgruntled wives.
In a unique case of its kind, an NRI, Sachin Jain who is residing in the USA for last 9 years, has been accused u/s 376 on charges of Cohabitation in the USA with his own legally married wife. A FIR u/s 376 (Rape) has been registered in this regard by the Delhi Police on the orders of Metropolitan Magistrate Chhavi Kapoor of Karkardooma Courts of Delhi. Under this case, the wife allegedly filed a complained in the Karkardooma District court claiming to have cohabited with the NRI man after ex parte divorce obtained in the USA. The couple that is still married as per applicable Indian Laws got a divorce decree from Superior Courts of New Jersey, USA on the grounds of ‘Irreconcilable Differences in marriage.’ This type of Divorce decree also known as ‘No Fault’ Divorce in USA and European Countries is granted by foreign courts without arguments and submission to the court by another party.
As per the Hindu Marriage Act, such tribunal is not functional in India and hence, the couple who got divorce decree in the USA are still legally married in India. The Divorce Decree granted by USA Courts on account of ‘Irreconcilable Differences in marriage’ is unrecognized in Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and section 13 of Civil Procedure Code. This has been iterated couple of times by various High Courts of India after the landmark judgment of Supreme Court in the case of Y. Narasimha Rao And Ors vs. Y. Venkata Lakshmi And Anr on 9 July 1991
As per section 44a of Civil Procedure Code 1908, India has reciprocal agreements with only 11 countries in the world which allow India and the other country to accept each other’s court judgments as it is. There is no reciprocal agreement in place between India and USA for accepting each other’s judgments. Due to no reciprocal agreements, India does not give any recognition to the judgments and decrees passed by the USA.
The Humble Metropolitan Magistrate of Delhi District court, without knowing this fact that the judgments provided by USA court can not be taken into cognizance, and the fact that couple is still married as per Indian Laws ordered the Delhi Police to register a FIR u/s 376 which gives unlimited power to Delhi Police to arrest the accused immediately, open Look Out Circular (LOC) against the accused, issue Red Corner Notice taking help of Interpol. This makes an innocent person terrorist and criminal jeopardizing his career, job, and life.
After a FIR u/s 376 is registered against an NRI, he is faced with another challenge of corruption, extortion, blackmailing in the name of this legal terrorism. The complainant wife and her lawyer start blackmailing the NRI husband asking for an exorbitant sum of money in crores to settle the matter out of court.
Sachin says, “I request to the Supreme Court of India, to create special courts for dealing with NRI related matters where expert judges with full knowledge of International Private Laws should take up the matter for hearing. The lower judiciary would also be saved from passing erroneous orders against applicable Indian laws”
He concluded, “Due to complex International Private Laws, the lower judiciary in India without full knowledge of applicable laws governing marriage and divorce in India sometimes commit grave errors and passes unbelievable orders jeopardizing the career and life of innocent NRIs living far away from their country of birth for livelihood.”
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