Voting rights to NRIs — for whose benefit?

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By Arun Patel

Duluth, GA: Several  Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are elated now that Indian government has agreed to allow them to vote.   This was evident from the news report — NRIs’ mixed response to voting rights in India — published in India Tribune issue dated December 11.  It looks like a victory on the     face of it, but if one looks beneath it, one will find that it is not  a victory at all for the following reasons:

Since most NRIs living abroad have more money than most Indians, the politicians will target them for their campaign contributions. Like politicians elsewhere, Indian politicians, who run for the office always, give false promises that they can’t and won’t deliver. Hence, they will say what we want to hear, but never act on their promises once they aree lected. Even if one politician may try to do something, it will be impossible without the cooperation of others because it needs a super majority to pass any  legislation.

Also, whatever legislations they may pass will benefit  only the people of India and not the NRIs. It is possible that one day they may pass a law asking NRIs to pay income tax just like ordinary Indians; otherwise they will threaten to repeal the voting rights.

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