Lok Sabha considering merger of OCI and PIO


The whole purpose of the new Overseas card visa seems to be to extend citizenship easily and without a long residence requirement:


The Bill proposes the following changes:

  • The Bill replaces the words “overseas citizen of India” with the words “overseas Indian cardholder” (OIC). An overseas Indian cardholder is defined as a person registered as an overseas Indian cardholder by the central government under section 7A.
  • The Bill enlarges the categories of persons eligible for OIC. It proposes to include (i) a great-grandchild of any person who was a citizen of India; (ii) a minor child of parents, both of whom are, or one of whom is, a citizen of India; and (iii) a spouse of an Indian citizen who has been married for at least two years before making the application for registration.
  • The Bill also sought an amendment to bring within the scope of citizenship a person “who is ordinarily a resident” instead of the person who has been residing in India for a specific period
  • The registration of the spouse of an Indian citizen will be canceled if (i) the marriage has been dissolved by a competent court; or (ii) during the subsistence of such marriage, the spouse has married any other person.
  • If a person renounces his or her overseas Indian card, his or her spouse and minor child will also cease to be an OIC.
  • The central government may relax the requirement of being a resident in India for 12 months as one of the qualifications for a certificate of naturalization. This period cannot be extended beyond a period of 30 days.

There is no certainty regarding the time frame within which the Bill will be brought into force. Although the purpose of the amendment seems to be to correct the lacunae in the Act, it has, in a way, demoted the status of an OCI from being an overseas “citizen” to a mere cardholder. Although an OCI has never had full privileges of Indian citizenship, such as the right to vote, when the law was initially passed, OCI status was thought to be a first step toward dual citizenship. Further, by bringing the spouse and the minor child within the ambit of an OIC and by making registration for them compulsory, the whole purpose of easy and fast implementation of the OCI process is defeated.”


The Economic Times reports wide-spread anger among overseas Indians with foreign citizenship about the Government of India’s proposal (The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2011)  to merge two categories of long-term Indian residence visas – the Persons of Indian Origin visa (PIO) and the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI).

Both categories of visa started out with the stated purpose that they would be life-time visas or very long-term visas that would grant benefits similar to citizenship of India to Indians who had become foreign citizens.

Some people even called the OCI a type of “dual citizenship.”

In practice, the two visas have been plagued by perception problems, red-tape, and confusion. For example, although it was billed as a life-time visa, the OCI actually requires holders above the age of 50 or under 20 to reapply when their passports come up for renewal.

Any change of address or occupation also has to be changed on the original document.

Apparently in an effort to smooth things out,  the Prime Minister announced in 2011 that it would be merging the two.

In effect, the merger would bring the PIO (the 15 year visa) to parity with the OCI (which doesn’t need annual police registration, among other things). The merger would involve creating a new category of visa – the Overseas Indian Card.

However, that’s upset many OCI and PIO holders who fear that instead of stream-lining what already exists, the GOI is about to make new problems for existing OCI and PIO holders who would be obligated to go through a cumbersome application with expensive fees for a second time.

Despite the complaints, the bill has been approved by the Rajya Sabha and is now being considered by the lower house.

In the article linked, there was also this interesting insight into the politics behind the bill tucked away at the end:

“As the Bill was being discussed in the Upper House, the Opposition sought to embarrass the government by pointing out that no Cabinet minister was present in the House other than Ramachandran, who moved the Bill for consideration and passage.” (my emphasis)

The issue at the heart of the OCI/PIO/OIC complications is the contested nature of the state – is it territorial or not?

Is it a political contrivance or a cultural reality? Who gets to be a citizen and why?

While OCI’s cannot vote, even if the live in India, groups like the Overseas Friends of the BJP want non-resident Indians – citizens of India who don’t live in India – to be able to vote.

The larger question is whether a state is territorial or not.

That is the  real source of the confusion in the smaller questions about visas.

Then, there’s also the issue of security.

The new Overseas Card wouldn’t be open to citizens of Pakistan, for instance.

In light of all this, it might be wise for those considering applying for the OCI or PIO to put off doing so until the new bill, currently pending before the Lok Sabha, is either scrapped or declared the law of the land.

The Lok Sabha session that ran from Feb 5 – Feb. 21 was the last one before elections and so far the bill has not passed.

No wonder, since the parliament faced some 39 important bills.

One that did pass was the division of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh (heavily influenced by Western corporate, religious, and political lobbies) into two, recreating the old state of Telegana.

Telengana’s rebirth has everything to do with the conundrums over the nature of the state and the state of the nation out of which the question of overseas citizenship arises.

For instance, just as it happened with the passage of the Citizenship Bill of 2011 in the Rajya Sabha,  it happened with the creation of the 29th state in India:

“When Indian lawmakers voted to create a new state in the world’s largest democracy on Tuesday, they did so off camera and behind closed doors.

Just as the lower house of Parliament was about to decide whether to make Telangana a separate state from Andhra Pradesh – a move that has faced violent opposition even among members of Parliament in recent days — the live feed from inside the house went dead.

Lok Sabha Television, the only broadcaster allowed to air proceedings in the lower house, said the blackout during the voice vote was caused by a technical hitch.

The timing of the shutdown though led opponents of the new state to suspect something more sinister.

Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, leader of the southern state’s regional YSR Congress party, which has fought to maintain the status quo in Andhra Pradesh, said that the cut feed was an “example of how democracy can be killed in broad daylight.”

“It is a black day in the history of India,” Mr. Reddy added.

Sushma Swaraj, the leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in the lower house, who voted in favor of the bill, said in a tweet from her verified account that the blackout was a “tactical glitch.”

11 thoughts on “Lok Sabha considering merger of OCI and PIO

  1. Hello. Interesting. Thank you.

    Can I lend some overarching context to it?

    Two books published in 2002 put the spotlight on how corporations came to rule the world.

    [1] Thom Hartmann’s Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Domination and the Theft of Human Rights


    [2] And David Korten’s When Corporations Rule the World


    [3] John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hitman followed on their heel in 2004 to show how the superpower state used corporations as their agents to exercise global hegemony


    [4] Walter Burien’s masterpiece video: CAFR – The Biggest Game in Town, 2008, showed in a remarkable expose how government entities at every level in the United States, district, city, state, federal, agencies, retirement funds, etc., were the single largest stockholders in the wealth of the global corporations on Wall Street. These stockholders are listed as the opaque “Institutional Investor” in the corporations’ annual reports. Walter Burien carefully explained the CAFR — Comprehensive Annual Financial Report — and like Eustace Mullins who had explained the Secrets of the Federal Reserve before him, this poor fellow by his own admission also did not fare too well in life’s circumstances “created” for him as “happenstance”.

    Watch the video to understand CAFR, a report filed by every agency of the government from local to federal, with the United States Treasury department annually. The CAFR report is available to the public free of charge — but you never heard about it in the 7 o clock news, or in the academe, and despite your Ph.D. in economics from MIT, MBA from Harvard, and CFA from LSE, you remain ignorant of the largest wealth owner in the world while you chase the Forbes list of billionaires. I had observed about the CAFR in my financial terrorism report in 2009:


    ‘The one key central point in this astounding CAFR documentary which has shocked me concerning the level of ‘fraud by statutory design’ built into the United States system, is the following. I do not know if such parallels exist in the other G-7 developed nations, but since the US government is operationally set up as a federal corporation, as are all its various operational subsidiary entities at federal, state, and local levels, and all of which make financial investments and also have expenditure budgets, it commonsensically follows that these governmental corporations also ought to follow the financial accounting principles of regular corporations which are governed by the stringent Securities and Exchange Commission rules and regulations for reporting their financial statements. Whereas, what Walter Burien reveals of the CAFR, this is not the case. What he reveals is not only shocking, but outright institutionalized kleptocracy in plain sight but with a conspiracy of non-disclosure to the public [despite the CAFR reports being freely available].’

    The video does not exist anymore on Google video. Google search found it on youtube:

    “The Biggest Game In Town” about the Government CAFR wealth shell game



    [5] Here is a link that explains how the United States Government is even registered as a Corporation:


    [6] The “not knowing” I had expressed in my 2009 financial terrorism report mentioned above: “I do not know if such parallels exist in the other G-7 developed nations,” was made known at the 2009 Lawful Rebellion Conference by John Harris in his mind-blowing presentation titled: It’s an illusion.

    Yes, the United Kingdom is also a Corporation:

    JOHN HARRIS : It’s an Illusion
    Lawful Rebellion Conference in Stoke-on-Trent on the 24th January 2009.


    [7] The seamlessness between state, and corporation is to the point that it is difficult to tell the difference in fundamentals.

    Structurally however, the administration of the principality would depend on the geography and society. For some places, smaller municipalities, run by political thugs and mercenaries, and controlled by MNCs (multinational corporations), will continue to serve the same rulers of the world who control those funds and policy-strings in the West under the umbrella of unification.

    The interlockingness of this enterprise, which makes it difficult to pin it down to individuals, is completely institutionalized. It is thus able to survive from generation to generation with a life of its own. This phenomenon of power has never before existed in the history of mankind. This style of rule is new.

    The article in Foreign Policy cited by “R” in his comment above prognosticating “neomedievalism” — FP is CFR’s official mouthpiece read throughout the world to learn what’s to come down the road of “happenstance” ten years down — is like Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book: The Grand Chessboard – American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives. It is deceptive:


    [8] What is the deception?

    I have explained it qualitatively already, and here is the link for those who wish to understand that everything, yes everything, in modernity comes wrapped in layers upon layers of deception. Fortunately, just a bit of commonsense, and the ability to reason based on evidence and empiricism instead of indoctrination and self-interest, can make that apparent to anyone — it does not take a rocket scientist to understand modernity:


    [9] What we are doing, endlessly, “studying”, was shameless predicted, anticipated, and made in-effective by design, by the “history’s actors”:

    ‘“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”’ (Ron Suskind, New York Times, Oct. 17, 2004)

    [10] How can the public get out of that trap set by these “history’s actors”?

    How can we stop merely our ex post facto study of the reality left behind by these “history’s actors”, and for once start doing something to interdict their loot, plunder, misanthropy, wars, pestilences, subversions, and the agendist manipulation of the public mind, BEFORE it all becomes fait accompli?

    [11] I think India is still well-positioned to do something about it. Its large landmass, and its “backwardness” in terms of scientific advancement and social control (I put backwardness in quotes to emphasize the point that India not a scientific society like most of Westerndom) are its assets.

    This becomes apparent when one understands how the scientific society is necessary in order to create the dystopias being discussed here. Any non-modern non-scientific society can still rebel against the forces now running the world by choosing to go its own way dictated by wisdom rather than global forces. India can still do that!

    Unfortunately, Pakistan is entirely lost, just like the United States and most of Western nations are entirely lost, to full spectrum oligarchic control. Despite being no more scientifically advanced than India, Pakistan is full controlled by outside forces unlike India. Heck, they even bomb us by drones without the Pakistanis being able to lift a finger. The country is almost entirely privatized, and what remains of it is happening as we speak. India should not remain complacent — that fate can, and will, also be theirs.

    India and China today remain the only real holdouts. Both ancient civilizations, both pregnant with a great deal of historical and cultural wisdom, and both societies being largely rural, backward, non scientific. Please see the two books: Impact of Science on Society by Bertrand Russell, 1952, and: Between Two Ages by Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1970, and one will understand why scientific advancement is necessary in the social fabric itself in order to control society as a scientific dictatorship. The West is going that way. The East can still escape it. Especially, India.

    Today, India is difficult to administer as a police state under a scientific dictatorship precisely because it is not a scientific society.

    Which is perhaps why India is making more provinces to enable control on smaller scales. It makes sense. Whereas, no such division will occur in the United States. A NAU is being planned, Regionalism laws for the North American Union are already on the books, only waiting to be rolled out under a suitable crisis; and the separatist movement by an odd state here and there as previously discussed, is just a red herring Hegelian Dialectic.

    Best Wishes,

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

  2. Zahir,
    India will do nothing. Its media is owned by foreign corporations. The present leaders are a bunch of frogs in a well with no vision. There is a rapid devolution of culture and society going on. Except for a real miracle, nothing will save India. Question is does it deserve the miracle. The young crowd is imitating the West. For a few dollars the current crop of Indian politicians will sell their mother.
    I have no hope. Actually I see immunization caused mass sterilization as the future of India. Vaccines are being developed which don’t even need to be injected. They can be taken orally like candy or applied on skin with soap or shampoo.
    Nobody cares in India, it is a jungle my friend. Total chaos of a country. I had to escape from Kashmir in 1990 and know I will probably never return to my homeland. What did the Indians do when we were forced out from Kashmir. I left India at the first opportunity I got. The US has its own set of problems but tell me is there an alternative? Will I ever be able to go back to Kashmir my motherland. Does the Indian government give a ….
    All is lost when the soul of a country is extinguished by the power of money and usery. Sorry this country is toast.
    Best wishes,

  3. @ Hi R,

    Although I agree with a lot you say about India, I think it applies only to the “creamy layer” and the Westernized elites..

    But that is a tiny fraction of the Indian population.

    I still have great faith in the Indian aam admi, the many people who are quietly holding up standards there in abominable conditions.

    Remember India is still a young country.

    Even in the US, I haven’t given up hope. There are many sincere people here, who know what is going on. They might not be vocal “activists”.

    That doesn’t mean they are not actively fighting the good fight.

    AGlobal Research (Chossudovsky) is excellent, but it is the left controlled opposition.
    (second-level, beyond the obvious leftist gate-keepers like Greenwald).

    So it is wishful thinking on their part to argue that the US will break up.
    It won’t happen….at least, not so easily or so thoroughly.

    Remember, CIA, Mossad and MI6 all have convergent and divergent goals…internationalist and nationalist factions.

    I suspect the dream of US breaking up is nurtured by Israel, since some faction of US nationalists do stand in the way of the Israeli-led internationalist empire..

    BTC comes out of left-liberal, communitarian thinking and from Israeli defense research.
    Pretty sure of that. NSA doesn’t like it, although.
    Yet NSA also has backdoors to Israel.

    Analysis of these things must taken into account many layers of complexity and contradiction.
    There are no simple answers even to the simplest question.

  4. Thank you “R” for the dissent. I suspect that my statement you quote: “” no such division will occur …..” really should be read with a “in most likelihood” prepended to it implicitly. I don’t have any crystal ball that is clearer than anyone elses.

    The only validity of prediction is when it is along a trajectory which is visible in the present and causaility driven. Singularity points and other chance events can alter it. So can the butterfly-effect I am told, but have yet to see that myself.

    But in any case, the point of focus for analysis and rectification, at least for my thinking, is primarily the loci of power and its poynting vector (meaning, how power flows). It is only secondarily in the structural methods it adopts temporally.

    It makes little difference, I am sure you will agree, whether it is NAU, or smaller states, that who is in charge. The flag can be yours, the currency is ours, laws are ours, and so is our policing apparatus. In your scenario, all these states are still members of NATO, the UN, and all use the same base global currency. A thorn by anyother name still pierces the skin.

    I would also like to add “Iran” to that list of nations with large landmasses, largely self-sufficient, and ancient non-scientific societies. My thinking on how Iran, China, and India can come together in full spectrum alliances to deter the West’s quest for full spectrum dominance is in my writings on my website. It can undo the globalist agenda by really playing on the grand chessboard rather than being mere pawns that are moved around. That requires people with real courage and vision to come to power, and able to make the public mind.

    My only comment for you, myself, and others, who are in angst about our nations, is really to restate what Kennedy said: ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

    I would simply replace “country” with “people”, “nation”, “beliefs”, “attachments”, and so on, meaning, anything that is of importance to us but we expect it to do something for us.

    Just look at the weekend internet warriors that congregate on websites like Lila’s, and at Lila and myself and the million others like us who write under our own names in our own private Speaker’s Corner in this cyber Hyde Park?

    What do we really contribute towards that which our heart aspires? Merely talk. Of course in the attempt to interdict the narrative control by power, but nevertheless, still mere talk, and more talk.

    When things get hot for us, we run away from the kitchen — instead of staying put and fighting on.

    Some of my best friends in Pakistan returned home after completing their education abroad and stayed on to fight the good fight. I admire them.

    Imagine, just a imagine for one moment, if all the expats living abroad today, Indians, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Iranians, and other South East Asians, instead of complaining about this and that bad thing about their country, their people, their nation, their government, as in this article by Lila the Indian expats are all up in arms about some benefit to be denied them, they all returned home and instead of being merely bystanders and on the sidelines, focussed on what they could do instead.

    I now live in Pakistan and visit the United States every six months (before that term in fact) to keep my green card valid. One day, I may even stop doing that.

    Not that I have figured out what I can do there that is meaningful, even useful, but nervertheless, I have deliberately bound my destiny with my nation and my people. I willingly do not wish to escape the fate that is to befall Pakistan. And if I could alter destiny, I would today undo all that the British empire did. A united Indian subcontinent playing on the grand chessboard is far more a formidable weapon than one that is at war with each other.

    See how India-Pakistan partition was Machiavellianly engineered, and the Kashmir you mentioned as your homeland was a deliberate part of that calculus


    There are many historical documents there, and some of my writings, which show how British most diabolically engineered the sub-continental split for their own hegemonic purposes.

    For every story of a Hindu having lost his homeland in Kashmir, I have ten stories of Muslims having been subjected to even graver, more existential fate. Why should we continue, as peoples, to pay that price, that which is not of our choosing, and can easily be reversed?

    Today, the reality of India-Pakistan makes going back in-comprehensible. But not the going forward.

    What that going forward may look like, well, let’s begin with forging Full Spectrum Alliances among the ‘untermensch’ to principally deter the quest of the ubermensch from their Full Spectrum Dominance.

    SCO with NATO like teeth and EU like economic cooperation…. for instance.

    That takes a new breed of people coming into power. People who are intellectually un-afraid, un-co-opted, savvy, perceptive, not simpletons, not useful-idiots, and principled.

    Back to Kennedy’s quote.

    Thanks for reading.

    Best wishes,

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

  5. Hundred percent agreement.
    It’s one reason I blog less and less unless there’s a crying need to deconstruct something.

    But I am going home…now, when I have some ability to be outside the system there and survive.

    Had I stayed, I would have been swallowed up by system.

    It’s not so simple. You have to have a foreign eduction/degree to get certain positions in India and without those positions, you’d be hard put to survive, let alone mount any kind of challenge in a place like India.

    Talk doesn’t have an immediate effect, but it is education and if someone didn’t write it, where would people read what they need to know.

    I understand why you are upset and cynical, but I’m actually not a cynic at all. I am only cynical about the controlled opposition, not the real opposition. I am cynical about fake activists, not real activists, of whom there are legion. And many have given their lives too, in this country, in this cynical, supposedly dollar-worshiping place.

    Have you read Atanu Dey? He has had a foot in both camps for years, trying to reform India from India and he threw up his hands.

    So, I for one am very glad not to be struggling in some ill-paying job in India, where I would have neither the time, money, or leisure to learn anything but would have been a pawn controlled by the opinion of NGOs and others.

  6. Lila,Zahir. Thankyou. I know I am in company of very wise and learned. That is why I visit Lila’s site so often. Love it here. Zahir, I will talk about race some day since you mentioned Ubermensch, Untermensch. I have some interesting thinks to tell. Later…
    Best wishes to you both.

  7. @R

    My mom would dispute the “wise” bit…
    but I’m so happy to have my readers to talk to.

    Gets lonely chatting with oneself, however much I enjoy the company!

    I think the best antidote to getting depressed is to work on improving one thing in your life at a time.

    Even a very tiny thing. It will cheer you up and give you the power to take the next step.

    When I am very depressed over something in life, that’s what I do.

    For instance, once, I told myself I was going to change my habitual delay in opening mail.

    And I did.

    Today, I open mail as soon as I get it.

    That’s a major achievement for me and means a little more control over my life…which is a step closer to real freedom, because it’s no use to talk about external freedom when we are slaves to our bad habits and attitudes.

    You can have real pleasure in such a small step. That gives you the incentive to take the next step.

    I make vows now to fight with my family. And I break them all the time, with the best will in the world.

    But you just don’t give up. You try again, and again…unto seventy times seven (which is symbolic for eternity). You don’t stop treating each day as new and then you don’t find yourself depressed.

    There’s no goal to reach. There’s only a process you have to love…or learn to love.

    “Sheer plod makes sillion shine
    And blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
    fall, gall themselves and gash gold-vermilion.”

    (Plodding feet tramping on soil make it shine; fire leaps from dying embers..)

    (Gerard Manley Hopkins)

  8. My tenet & Family last seven year left India
    they do not change resident status now they
    citizen USA how to change legally residential

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.