The debate so far would appear to have focused on the issue of ‘dual citizenship’ almost instinctively from a political perspective, understandably so – taking into account the manner in which it initially arose in December 2018.
Certainly the writer does not recall any earlier deliberations on the subject; and while one understands the rush to conclusion by most commentators, there nevertheless seems a case for indulgence in more reflective examination.
This would possibly result in the identification of variations of ‘dual citizenship’ which might fall under two broad headings (however loose the descriptors), i.e.:
The first situation that comes to mind is being born in a ‘foreign’ country which offers automatic citizenship.
At what stage one is assumed to have rejected country of birth – a circumstance beyond the individual’s control, regardless of whether he or she becomes a parliamentarian or not?
The next set of circumstances could include parents who would have accessed residence in another country, when the individual concerned was a child unable to make any decision for his/herself.
So that if and when citizenship is conferred, the latter may not be of age to understand or make a decision – regarding a future that cannot possibly be predicted.
Then, there is the stage when the individual is old enough to decide on his/her future livelihood, and must choose a professional career that, in the absence of appropriate local academic programmes, is forced to seek overseas educational opportunities.
It is not unknown that the periodicity of some high level developmental programmes must require residency to be approved – in the form of citizenship. It is hardly a choice that can be refused, taking into account the predetermination to return to one’s country to contribute a specific expertise – evolving, albeit in selective circumstances, into being a parliamentarian. There may be other variations to this theme.
At this stage, the individual is a mature decision-maker, more likely with a professional record of some kind, and ambition to being a high level decision-maker.
In the process, however, he or she hedges his/her bets, accesses other citizenship as a fallback mechanism in case ambitions are frustrated at some point in time.
Again, there could be variations to this scenario.
However, intricated in these variations is the substantive enquiry regarding ‘allegiance’ to one’s home country. It is not as if ‘single citizenship’ automatically connotes absolute ‘allegiance’ anyhow. Even now, in the world’s greatest democracy, the U.S.A, there are publicly portrayed identifiable groups of cultural and political dissidents. One vivid example is the NAZI cult.
Of course, there is no similar activity here. On the other hand, too many are sensitive to the separate espousal of being African and Indian respectively. Where does ‘allegiance’ lie first?
There is no righteousness being suggested in the foregoing perspective. Quite the contrary, all that is being asked is that we reflect much less hastily on creating more splinters in an already broken governance and social structure. Our population is simply much too small to be able to afford the possible decimation of skills and experience so desperately needed.
What criteria are to be used to evaluate ‘allegiance’? Who would be qualified to conduct the evaluation and what, even if effective, would become of the discards?
The more one reflects the more counter-productive the emotional intelligence appears.
Can we now agree to make the appropriate amendments to the Constitution?
Feb 17, 2019It was a quiet afternoon at the Georgetown club on yesterday afternoon as quarter-finals for the plates were played. First up were Ian Mekdeci (5) and Lydia Fraser (10). Fraser started off in good...
I didn’t use “reason” in the plural deliberately. There is one fundamental cultural, sociological and psychological... more
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