India bans journalist after criticizing Modi in TIME article


Aatish Taseera British Asian journalist who was born in the UK and is a British citizen, but was raised, between the ages of two and 10, in Delhi by his Indian motherhas been banned by the Indian governmentand stripped of his “overseas citizenship” status.

In May 2019, the novelist wrote a Time magazine article which criticized Narendra Modi, India’s right-wing, nationalist prime minister. In the piece Mr Taseer criticised the Modi government’s populist policies and its treatment of religious minorities, including Christians and Muslims.

The author’s Wikipedia page was later vandalised after the article was published. The bit about Taseer being “the PR manger [wrongly spelled]for the Congress” was added to the ‘career’ section of the page, reported Alt News.

Four months later, in September 2019, the Indian government stripped Mr Taseer of his Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) status and effectively blacklisted him from the country.

Despite its name, the OCI does not confer citizenship or dual citizenship of India.Instead the document functions as a permanent visa to the country, allowing holders to travel to India easily, to stay indefinitely in the nation and to buy property there.

OCIs are held by millions of people of Indian descent around the world, who are citizens of other nations but also belong to the Indian diaspora.

“I had expected a reprisal, but not a severing,” MrTaseer wrote in a piece in Time.“With my grandmother turning 90 next year – and my mother 70 – the government has cut me off from my country and family.”

Officially, India has accused Mr Taseer of defrauding the government by misleading officials about his father’s identity.

He is also accused of failing to respond to the initial allegations.Authorities claim not to have known that the writer’s father was Salman Taseer, a well-known Pakistani politician.

Hostilities between India and Pakistan have worsened in recent years. The younger Taseer is not a Pakistani citizen and was famously estranged from his late father.

“Not only was I not a Pakistani, but my relationship with my father [was]complicated,” MrTaseer said, adding that he only met the politician aged 21.

He has been told that he may not be allowed back into India at all, even on a normal tourist visa.

The writer lives in New York, with his American husband. (Source: Independent UK/The Week)