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Citizenship on sale : Protection racket demeans sovereign nations


Active member
The rich from developing countries can effortlessly circumvent the law of their land by purchasing a safe haven in another country, usually the West or countries under its security umbrella. Fugitives Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi were welcomed with open arms in the UK; absconder Mehul Choksi acquired citizenship in Antigua.

This is not a new phenomenon. Neither are the double standards: the UK or the US armtwist or bully other countries into turning in fugitives from their laws but ignore the colour of money while sheltering runaway criminals from other nations. The roster is not confined to economic offenders; Canada and the UK have been generous to several rogue Indians who have been known to use foreign shores to mount subversive action against their motherland.

Countries often justify protection money for citizenship on flimsy grounds — apprehension of religious or ethnic persecution, political vendetta, perceived threat to life, possibility of death sentence or the bad conditions of Indian prisons.

It is understandable that cash-strapped nations like Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Malta allow direct citizenships to the loaded from across the world, but there is a need for moral benchmarking.
The Caribbean nation has justified its shelter to Choksi because there was no adverse information against him in a background check with the Indian authorities months before the multi-crore PNB scam was exposed. Now that Antigua knows that Choksi is an absconder, it should immediately revoke his citizenship.

Hopefully, the UK would set the precedent by deporting Mallya and Nirav Modi. New Delhi has several questions to answer on the manner in which its fugitives are enconsced in other countries. But countries such as the UK and the US must not make a distinction between their fugitive and those from other nations.

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Indian citizenship has been on sale or given for free for several decades....

Going by the data prepared by central agencies, 40 lakh illegal Bangladeshi immigrants live in india...

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