New Delhi: New York-based author and journalist Aatish Taseer announced Monday that he had obtained US citizenship, a few months after the Modi government revoked his Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card for allegedly failing to comply with the “basic requirement and hiding information about his father’s Pakistani origin” required for renewal.
The author took to Twitter to make the announcement.
“Some news: at an oath-taking ceremony today in lower Manhattan, I became a US citizen. Less than a year after the Modi govt stripped me of my status in India, it is amazing to be part of this great country. I hope to vote in Nov—my first time!—for the bigheartedness I saw today,” he tweeted.
Some news: at an oath-taking ceremony today in lower Manhattan, I became a US citizen. Less than a year after the Modi govt stripped me of my status in India, it is amazing to be part of this great country. I hope to vote in Nov—my first time!—for the bigheartedness I saw today. pic.twitter.com/TEM6dWQdyF
— Aatish Taseer (@AatishTaseer) July 27, 2020
From ‘Time’ article to revocation of OCI card
Taseer, who is the son of senior Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and former governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province Salmaan Taseer, made headlines in India over a year ago when he was attacked by several BJP leaders for authoring an article for the magazine Time on 9 May 2019, where he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “Divider-in-Chief” of India.
A few months later, in November, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that since Taseer “concealed the fact that his father was of Pakistani origin” and despite being given “the opportunity to submit his reply or objections regarding his PIO/OCI cards”, he was no longer eligible for an OCI card.
However, in response, Taseer had accused the MHA of denying him the mandated 21 days to respond and said that he was just given 24 hours to file his response.
This issue gathered immense traction on social media and several prominent people also came out in support of the US-based author.
More than 260 prominent people, including scholar Homi Bhabha and authors Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood, had also signed a letter addressed to Prime Minister Modi urging the government to review its decision to revoke Taseer’s OCI card in November last year.
Taseer is an acclaimed writer and author and his books include Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands (2007), The Temple-goers (2010) and The Twice-Born: Life and Death on the Ganges (2018).
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