‘Petty Act by a Petty Govt’: Twitter on Govt Revoking Taseer’s OCI
The 38-year-old writer is the son of late Pakistani politician Salman Taseer and Indian journalist Tavleen Singh.
The 38-year-old writer is the son of late Pakistani politician Salman Taseer and Indian journalist Tavleen Singh.(Photo: The Quint)

‘Petty Act by a Petty Govt’: Twitter on Govt Revoking Taseer’s OCI

British-born writer Aatish Ali Taseer stands to lose his Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card as he allegedly concealed the fact that his father was of Pakistani origin.

A Home Ministry spokesperson said Taseer becomes ineligible to hold an OCI card, as per the Citizenship Act, 1955, as the OCI card is not issued to any person whose parents or grandparents are Pakistanis and he hid this fact.

Taseer has clearly not complied with very basic requirements and hidden information, the spokesperson said.

As per the Citizenship Act, if the registration as an OCI card holder was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact, the registration as OCI card holder shall be cancelled. The person will also be blacklisted thereby banning his or her future entry into India.

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The 38-year-old writer is the son of late Pakistani politician Salmaan Taseer and Indian journalist Tavleen Singh.

The home ministry spokesperson said Taseer was given the opportunity to submit his reply/objection regarding his Person of India Origin/OCI cards, but he failed to dispute the notice.

The spokesperson also denied that the government had been considering revoking Taseer's OCI card after he wrote an article in the Time magazine, which was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the news was a "complete misrepresentation and is devoid of any facts".

Reacting to the home ministry statement, Taseer wrote on Twitter that he was not given 21 days to reply to the home ministry notice, as standard. Instead, he was given just 24 hours.

"This is untrue. Here is the Consul General's acknowledgment of my reply. I was given not the full 21 days, but rather 24 hours to reply. I've heard nothing from the ministry since," he said.

Twitter Suspects Revenge for ‘Divider-in-Chief’ Article

As Taseer is set to lose his OCI card, journalists and politicians on Twitter came out in support of the writer, with most saying that the government has snatched his overseas citizenship because of his article in TIME magazine, labelling Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the “Divider-in-Chief”.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor asked the government if its so weak that it feels ‘threatened by journalists.’

Soutik Biswas, a BBC journalist pointed out that Taseer has lived in India for a good amount of time and has local bank accounts, an Aadhaar number and has even paid taxes in the country.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also pointed at the government, indicating that this is their way of getting back at Taseer. He said that Tavleen Singh, Aatish’s mother has targeted Ramesh in many of her articles. However, he said “Kyunki Tanashahi ka dusra naam Amitshahi hai.” (Amit Shah is synonymous to tyranny.)

Journalist Barkha Dutt wasn’t very impressed with the Government’s justification of the step.

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