Over 8.5 lakh Indians gave up citizenship in 7 years
As many as 8,81,254 Indians renounced their citizenship over the last seven years until September 30, 2021, the central government informed the Parliament on Tuesday. Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai cited information available with the Ministry of External Affairs to present the figure in the Lok Sabha (Lower House). Here are more details on this.
Most people did so in 2019
As per the government data, 1,31,489 Indians gave up their citizenship in 2015. The next year, 1,41,603 people renounced citizenship while the number was 1,33,049 in 2017. In 2018, the figure was 1,34,561. The number of Indians who gave up citizenship was the highest in 2019 at 1,44,017. In 2020, it dropped to 85,242 but surged to 1,11,287 this year.
Citizenship can be renounced online
A question in this regard was raised by Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) leader Kotha Prabhakar Reddy on Tuesday. He asked if efforts have been made to simply the process of renouncing citizenship. Rai replied, "The online portal for renunciation of Indian citizenship has been activated in August, 2021. End to end processing of renunciation of applications is carried out in the online Citizenship Module."
Why do people give up citizenship?
"Citizenship of India may be renounced under provisions of Section 8 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 read with rule 23 of the Citizenship Rules, 2009," Rai said in a written reply. India does not offer dual citizenship meaning a person seeking citizenship in a foreign country must give up their Indian passport. However, they can still apply for an Overseas Citizen of India card.
Government yet to frame rules under CAA
Separately, on a related note, the Ministry of Home Affairs had earlier this year sought time till January 2022 to prepare rules under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The controversial law seeks to provide Indian citizenship to people from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The law had triggered massive protests across the country for making religion a basis for citizenship and barring Muslims from applying.