By PR Pradhan
Nowhere in the world is citizenship distributed like a candy but in this “loktantra“ era in Nepal, it has become so easy to acquire a Nepali citizenship for foreigners, specially to those individuals coming in from India. At a time, when the citizenship amendment bill was under consideration at the Federal Parliament, the Home Ministry sent a circular to all the 77 Districts Administration Offices with the direction that citizenships by descent be issued to the children of those parents who have obtained citizenship by birth here.
Against the government’s malicious circular, which is against the nation’s interests, senior legal expert Balkrishna Neupane had filed a petition at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court issued a stay order against the circular but the next bench of the very Supreme Court approved the Home Ministry’s circular.
From the next day of the SC’s consent for distributing citizenship, big crowds were witnessed at the District Administration Offices, specially in the Tarai districts. Astonishingly, the crowd was dominated by those youths staying across the Nepal-India international borders. They arrived at the offices by riding motorbikes with Indian No. plates.
Understandably, those Indians who are residing in Indian towns bordering Nepal, have already obtained Nepali citizenship and now, by taking benefit of the government decision, have rushed to Nepal to obtain Nepali citizenship for their children.
Nepal and India enjoy open borders and there is free flow of the citizens of the people from one country to the other. The Indian government has a covert plan of sending its citizens to stay in Nepal as there is no provision for any work permit for the Indian nationals here in Nepal. According to the Indian reports, from 1952 to 1962, the Indian population residing in Nepal was 3.8 million. Out of them, 2.387 thousand Indians were able to obtain Nepali citizenship. Every year, the flow of Indian citizens has continued and the number has already crossed above 15 million. Indian home minister Rajnath Singh, addressing the Indian parliament, disclosed this number. Singh addressing the Indian parliament had said that the Indian government has concern about its citizens residing in Nepal.
Since the Panchayat days, every time, the Indians put pressure to provide Nepali citizenship to the Indians residing in Nepal, the Nepali kings refused to do so as they were very sensitive with the citizenship issue a tiny country like Nepal and it would face different problems in the long-run if citizenship were distributed to foreigners so abundantly.
Nepal witnessed the people’s movement in 1989; then a ten year long bloody “people’s war” killing above 18 thousand innocent Nepalis; again, in 2006, the country witnessed another uprising suspending and then removing of the institution of monarchy. All these movements were solely sponsored by India. The ultimate aim of the Indians was to remove hurdles in Nepal in distributing citizenship for the Indians residing here. Meanwhile, the Nepali people witnessed the Royal Palace massacre in 2001 killing the entire family of King Birendra. This incident took place after King Birendra sent the citizenship amendment bill disguised in finance bill to the Supreme Court. In accordance to the constitution, the King could not reject the finance bill. However, King Birendra sent the bill to the Supreme Court for the Court’s advise on whether the bill was a finance bill or not. The Supreme Court informed the King that it was not a finance bill and thus the bill was kept pending in the Palace. One among the possible reasons for the Palace massacre is thus taken as King Birendra’s rejection on amendment of the citizenship bill.
Nepal, more than a decade later, witnessed an Indian blockade in 2015, which was imposed in support of those pro-Indian political parties demanding all the constitutional rights to the naturalized citizens and granting on-the-spot naturalized citizenship to the spouses of those who got married to Nepali citizens.
Besides, the Indians were always putting pressure on the government for more representation of the Tarai community in the then Rastriya Panchayat and after introduction of the multiparty democracy, their increased representation in the parliament.
Why the Indian government is so keen to get Nepali citizenship for their citizens, it is very much clear. All the agitations in the Tarai districts were for empowering the Indian nationals residing in Nepal.
Indeed, the real Tarai people have been exploited by those migrated Indians. With the support of India, the migrated Indians are enjoying political power and wealth in the country.
Understandably, the ultimate Indian plan is to make Nepal like a Fiji or annex this independent and sovereign country, maybe, through a referendum like in Sikkim after there will be a dominating presence of the migrated Indians as Nepali citizens.
After the so-called second people’s movement in 2006, the India-puppet government, by sidelining Nepal’s monarchy, distributed citizenship to the Indians. Now, the Home Ministry has sent a circular to distribute citizenship by descent to the kids of those people who have already obtained citizenship by birth. In this way, above 100 million people is expected to be the new citizens of “loktantrik” Nepal.
It is not a surprise that the leaders in the government with two-thirds majority have shown their real face. The patriotic people, who are worried about Nepal’s existence as a sovereign and independent nation, were happy from the first order of the Supreme Court, but they have become desperate from the second order of the very court. Our so-called patriotic leaders are intent to end the glorious history of their own motherland.
Is citizenship like distributing a candy?
By PR Pradhan