‘Blood and Belonging’<sup>1</sup>

Anupama Roy

in Mapping Citizenship in India

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780198066743
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080069 | DOI:
‘Blood and Belonging’1

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This chapter looks at the most recent amendments in the Citizenship Act, that is, the Citizenship (Amendment) Acts of 2003 and 2005, which introduced the category of Overseas Indian Citizenship. While mapping the legal-political processes leading up to the amendments, it examines the manner in which legal recognition of the category of overseas citizens of India was accompanied by a consummation of the association of citizenship with blood ties and descent, and a corresponding trajectory of disenfranchisement, dispossession, and illegality of the migrant. It also shows how the claims to de-territoriality of citizenship are deceptive and that this deception is confined not only to changes in citizenship laws in India, but is a global trend where claims to inclusive and border-free citizenship are accompanied by closures. The chapter examines, in particular, Supreme Court and High Court judgments on the question of the legality of Sonia Gandhi's citizenship to highlight the contradictory ways in which the question of belonging unfolds in legal and political practice.

Keywords: Citizenship (Amendment) Act; Overseas Indian Citizenship; citizenship; Indian law; descent; migrants; Sonia Gandhi; de-territoriality

Chapter.  11146 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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