Adnan Sami and the much cherished Indian citizenship

Kiren Rijiju awarding Indian citizenship to Adnan Sami.

The New Year began on a happy note for the erstwhile ‘Pakistani,’ and now an ‘Indian,’ singer Adnan Sami.

His happiness was visible and it was for all to see when the singer shared this picture with his Twitter followers:


For many political pundits, the move to grant citizenship to Adnan Sami is one of the masterstrokes of the BJP government as it has successfully deflated the ‘intolerance’ campaign being run by certain sections in India.

But howsoever wise the move may seem at present, the discontent will now be monumental for the government to check as several cases of citizenship from persecuted minorities, like Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, are still pending.

The failure on the parts of the successive governments to bring even the whiff of relief for the people who are now known as the ‘West Pakistan’ refugees is perhaps one of the most vulgar and cruel jokes, that has been played in the history of the country.

Many in India are even unaware of the hardships, and the fact, that these people, like many thousands, chose to come to India in 1947 and settled in Jammu and Kashmir. But due to certain political and regional manoeuvrings, they have been unable to get citizenship till now. What will happen to them? Where will they go? No one knows.



The hardships that they face despite living in India for decades has yet not earned them the patronage of any human rights group and these poor and disadvantaged people continue to suffer as governments after governments have turned deaf to their pleas.

In short, there are many who ‘need’ Indian citizenship for their very survival but still cannot get it for no other reason other than the very apathy that runs deep inside the country when the victim seems hapless.

Adnan Sami may have wanted the Indian citizenship for the emotional value but his life did not depend on it, he could have chosen to live anywhere in the world, and he could have lived there without people even questioning the move like some people are doing it in India.

Also, Pakistan and India have hardly been on positive terms. Can Adnan Sami’s inclusion in the Indian fold not pave the way for more people from Pakistan?

Because let’s be clear here, Adnan Sami faced no persecution  in Pakistan due to his religion which is the case of minorities such as Hindus and Sikhs. So didn’t this make his case weaker? And what about Taslima Nasreen or other citizenship seekers who have been living in India for a much longer spell and need a liberal state for their very survival?

But keeping aside all these thoughts, there is little doubt that government has scored a political point over its detractors and also showed Pakistan its place rather easily.

It is common for stable countries to provide citizenship to artists or opinion makers who find their lives more secure and happy in countries they adopt.

If Adnan Sami chose India, despite his citizenship request being turned down once, then it actually proves what has been an open secret for long; India’s growth story and its democracy stand on a solid foundation, and no amount of made-up ‘intolerance’ will drive away people who would want to make the country their home.

Yet, India needs to set its priority right when it comes to granting citizenship and do it on ‘need’ basis alone to ensure that there are no heartburns for those who do not get it.

Image credit 1:

Image credit 2: Twitter

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