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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Aaja Re Pardesi 

With our elections just around the corner, there may be reasons for the 58% or so of those among us who vote would have a momentary sense of alignment and self-congratulatory righteousness associated with participation in this massive exercise. Of the rest, most would get on with their lives unfettered by any feeling of remorse with the overall process or result seemingly able to absorb this non-participation. To his credit, Abhinav Chandrachud is not one of the group of the blasé masses.

Yet, his overarching sense of propriety and order that he seeks to imbue his arguments with and forlorn petulance at being systemically overlooked do little to present his case for according overseas Indian citizens the right to vote in a cogent light. In his article “Overseas Citizens-a horse with no name” , he arrays a motley group of sentiments and pronouncements attempting to bolster his side and comes away in the manner of a child who has had his lollipop taken away.

While one can appreciate the earnestness of his intent, his blind faith in “impecunious students” and “others who left only temporarily in search of financial fulfilment” seems misplaced. His invocation of legal underpinnings to the right to vote, and his comparing India’s position with those followed by countries such as Estonia and Luxembourg among others rob his position of the credence it needs. Towards the last legs, logic falls away in a flailing last throw of the dice as he returns to the time-tested “monetary returns’ angle that OCs are purportedly assisting the nation’s economy with.

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