The life and times of Tragicomix.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

One of my friends recently took up Singaporean citizenship. Aforementioned friend claimed it would be easier to go to the US on H1B if one is a Singaporean. Other arguements included annulling of the Bond (otherwise known as leash/slave tag), I found an interesting Singaporean take on immigration. The whole idea appalled me. Is citizenship merely a matter of opportunistic barter ? Is it all about a machiovellian manipulation of immigration systems ? What constitutes a better life and greater opportunity? The friend casually dismissed the concept of nationality as a tribal atavism. In an era of global citizens, nations are but a baggage. The whole conversation left me shaken. Have emotions and patriotism been conquered by cold hard logic ?
What is the one's alleigance to one's nation ?

7 Comments:

Blogger nmk said...

Hey:

Why does one have to have an Indian passport to be patriotic to India? If patriotism is a sense of belonging and a sense of identity whats wrong with blending it with opportunism and becoming a citizen of another country.

Think about it. An indian decides to take Singaporean citizenship and then move to the US to work. Whats wrong with that? In an ideal world we would have our talents and abilities and go where we want using those. However if I am the same person but carrying an Indian passport I am an unwanted potential immigrant, with a Singaporean passport I would just be a guy coming to work.

3:36 PM

 
Anonymous viv said...

I think citizenship is the most basic sign of patriotism... What is patriotism if not an unexplainable reason for you to support all things Indian (or whatever else your nationality might be)? If it has it's disadvantages, so be it... that's part and parcel of patriotism.

Trust me... there are times when you think Aussie cricket supporters have a much better time than Indians... but still we hope and pray that India wins... and when we lose, we try again!

10:50 AM

 
Anonymous divya said...

nmk:

The thought of "patriotic and not a citizen" smacks of irresponsibility towards owning your nation. What kind of person would be "patriotic" but not take up citizenship? Then why claim to be patriotic at all?

It isn't like it is bad not to be patriotic, but dont attempt to mask it by simply "rooting" and using passionate words while your actions on the ground dont match any of those.

5:41 PM

 
Blogger Drops Of Jupiter said...

Personally, I am pretty strict about this citizenship thing. Its bad enough we bastardized NRIs introduce ourselves as "Oh, I am Indian, I studied in Singapore, now I work in Timbuctoo" ...If you change citizenship,its gonna be"Oh, I used to be Indian..now I am a Singaporean with a P.I.O card..."Its so opportunistic to change citizenship,the motive is driven by the incentives...Isnt it bad enough that we are contributing our intelligence to the economies of other nations? Do we have to wear their brand as well?

2:36 PM

 
Blogger Lehmunade said...

What a load of nonsense.

You take up citizenship of a country if you want to. That does not mean you dont love your country of origin.

I think the word 'patriotic' has been romanticised a li'l too much in Bollywood. Patriotism simply means being able to respect your country, and maybe adopting some of its ideas. Any country that says taking up another citizenship is betrayal is not worth being a part of.

2:12 PM

 
Blogger Casablanca said...

"Patriotism simply means being able to respect your country, and maybe adopting some of its ideas."

Oh really?? Yes I respect Australia because they play good cricket. I also dont mind adopting their idea of saying Mate for everything... So is that wat constitutes patriotism??

Atleast the guy who has taken Singapore citizenship had the guts to do that. The ones who claim to be patriotic, yet cant wait to jump boats are seriously irritating.

5:08 PM

 
Blogger nmk said...

Coming back to this discussion after a long while.

Let me ask a simple question. We all claim to be patriotic Indians. Other than hold an Indian Passport and donate to Tsunami relief, what have we done for India?

If we want to do something for India, does having a Singaporean / Aussie or US passport prevent us from doing so. Why must patriotism be defined by the passport you hold rather than your thoughts or deeds.

Lastly, this whole concept of you are a citizen of this country and hold its passport is a recent historical concept which gained wide spread acceptance after World War 1.

Before that your nationality and identity did not always have to match. You could be an Irishman in the US and call yourself Irish first and American next (as was usually a case with the irish immigrants to the US).

12:23 AM

 

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