Short Essay on India’s Commonwealth Citizenship
India’s Commonwealth tie is reflected in the Citizenship Act by providing for the status of a Commonwealth citizen. According to this, every person who is a citizen of a Commonwealth country, by virtue of that citizenship, has been given the status of a Commonwealth citizen in India.
Further, the Central Government is empowered to make provisions on a basis of reciprocity for the conferment of any of the rights of a citizen of India on the citizens of Commonwealth countries.
During the discussion on the Citizenship Bill in parliament, it was stressed on behalf of the Government that the privileges extended to Commonwealth citizens would be available only to the citizens of those commonwealth countries which extended to Indians the same privileges.
The Citizenship Act, on the whole, is one of the most liberal enactments of its kind anywhere. Not only does it provide for the acquisition of Indian citizenship in a comparatively simple and easy manner, but it even recognises dual nationality under certain circumstances.
The attacks on the provisions dealing with Commonwealth citizenship and the criticism that Indian citizenship has been made very cheap do not stand serious examination in the light of India’s relationship with the Commonwealth, and the modern conditions and circumstances which facilitate social mobility on an international basis.