The Background: The Centre has announced that it will revoke the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card of author and journalist Aatish Taseer on grounds of him having concealed information in his PIO application and failing to dispute a notice sent to him by the government in this regard.
In a series of tweets, Home Affairs Ministry spokesperson refuted a media report claiming that the government is considering revoking the New-York based journalist’s in OCI card over his article in Time magazine criticizing the Narendra Modi government. The spokesperson said that Taseer concealed in his Person of Indian Origin application the fact that his late father was of Pakistani origin, and failed to dispute the notice sent to him in this regard, thereby making him ineligible to hold an OCI card, as per the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Taseer, meanwhile, has denied the spokeperson’s assertion and tweeted an image of an email of Consul General acknowledging his response to the objections by the government.
Taseer is the son of Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and the late Pakistani politician Salman Taseer. The decision to revoke his OCI status had the literary world abuzz.
Writer-activist Arundhati Roy has termed the move “outrageous and dangerous”, while poet and novelist Jeet Thayil called it “a vindictive and unfortunate tactic.”
Politician-author Shashi Tharoor tweeted,
Historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted, “…vindictive act of a petty and vindictive Government.”
In the meantime, Taseer wrote a moving piece on losing his homeland,
Noted journalist Rana Ayyub extended her solidarity.
The decision to revoke his OCI status came seven months after he wrote an article titled “Divider-in-Chief” in TIME magazine on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Noted journalist Rajdeep Sardesai wondered whether it was done to settle scores.