India Revoked Citizenship Of Aatish Taseer Due To Pakistani Father

Aatish Taseer, a New York-based Indian journalist, is on the verge of losing his Indian citizenship. While Indian Home Ministry claimed he concealed the Pakistani origin of his father, social media claims it otherwise, he has been punished for his anti-Modi article.

Aatish Taseer

The Indian government has repealed the nationality of Mr. Aatish Ali Taseer, a New York-based author and journalist, son of former Governor Punjab Salman Taseer and Indian journalist, Tavleen Singh.

The spokesperson of the Home Ministry of India announced the decision on its official Twitter account on Thursday, 7th November. The ministry claims the overseas citizenship of Aatish Taseer has been rescinded after he was found guilty of concealing information, which was a breach of India’s Citizenship Act 1955.

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The Home Ministry of India claims they were uninformed about his late father, Salman Taseer, who was of a Pakistani origin. The Home Ministry claimed that Aatish failed to respond to the objection raised by the Indian government.

The spokesperson of Home Ministry denied the perception that his citizenship was revoked in vengeance to his critical article on Prime Minister Narendra Modi published in TIME Magazine in which he called him the “India’s Divider In Chief” and asked whether India can endure five more years of his government.

Social Media Fury

Social media went haywire following the Indian Home Ministry’s decision to rescind Aatish Taseer’s Indian citizenship. They challenged the claims of the Home Ministry and expressed support with Aatish Taseer. The voices within India proclaims the act of rescinding Aatish Taseer’s citizenship has exposed the Indian government’s enmity and intolerance towards dissent.

Aatish Taseer’s Rebuttal

Mr. Aatish Taseer, however, rebutted the claims of the Home Ministry, shared the screenshot of the confirmation he received from the Home Ministry after submitting his response, on his Twitter account.

“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 tweeted.

Despite denial from the Home Ministry of India, the perception continues to flourish on social media that the Indian government has revoked his OIC in retaliation for his anti-Modi article.

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In May, during India’s contentious general election, Taseer had penned down a cover story profiling Modi for TIME headlined “India’s Divider in Chief.” The article sparked fury in India and provoked online harassment and an official complaint from India’s consular general to TIME magazine.

In September, Taseer received the notice that the Indian government warning him of revoking his Overseas Citizenship of India documentation. That status allows foreign citizens of Indian heritage to live and work in India indefinitely – Taseer was born to an Indian mother and grew up in the country.

Once granted the OIC can be canceled under limited circumstances. Once canceled the holder of OIC card can be placed on blacklist blocking their future entry into the country.

Aatish Taseer has penned down a fresh article on the Indian government’s attempts to exile him. In his latest article, he elaborated on his broken relationships with his late father due to being born out of wedlock. He said he has been brought up by his mother, a well-known journalist, Tavleen Singh in Delhi. His mother is his sole guardian ever since his birth.

Read more: Millions in India’s north-eastern Assam state at risk of losing citizenship

‘She had raised me on her own in Delhi and was always my sole legal guardian, and the only parent I knew for most of my life. It was why I had always been viewed as Indian in India and why I had been granted an OCI. The story of my parents’ brief, the passionate relationship had in part been the subject of my first book, Stranger to History, which was published in 2009 and widely reviewed in India’, wrote Aatish Taseer in his latest article published in TIME magazine.

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