The Immigrants Anthem

Very lovely words from the Irish Times:
You can love a second country just like you love a second child. Wholly and completely. You just wrap your arms around it and embrace it. New love opens up for the second without there being any less love for the first. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. I will find a red dress. And we will swear allegiance. Hand on heart.
This explains my idea of national identity very completely. I don’t see it as either/or but rather more of an “and” proposition.
0

7 Replies to “The Immigrants Anthem”

  1. So beautifully expressed. I wish it were a position that more people could grasp. Intellectually, I completely agree with it, yet emotionally and practically, I’ve chosen the either/or path for myself since India does not recognize dual citizenship, and it’s not something I’d ever want to give up, despite having immigrated when I was two (the allegiance quoted above references citizenship, rather than national identity, which aren’t the same thing obviously)…

    1+
  2. “You can love a second country just like you love a second child”

    Ins’t it a running theme , that parents actually like their second(younger) child more than the elder one and so.

    “I’ve chosen the either/or path for myself since India does not recognize dual citizenship, and it’s not something I’d ever want to give up,”

    I would say for non Indian passport holders , India has probably one of the most lenient “residing in India” rules . All my American uncles and aunts practically now live in India while being american citizens.

    1+
    1. @Saurav

      Residency for NRI’s is certainly straightforward, but running for political office, or for those who need it, getting the right security clearances to access certain govt research institutes and facilities would not be possible without being an Indian citizen. Not to mention holding on to the right to vote in the world’s greatest exercise in collective self determination.

      I guess it’s somewhat implicit that the ability to hold on to one’s passport comes from a place of privilege, professional or otherwise — with it, you can more or less live the life you would have lived as an immigrant in western countries anyway, the only difference is a lot more waiting in line and bureaucracy (and perhaps the insecurity inherent in living from residence permit to permit, but you get used to that).

      It’s a very personal thing for everyone. I totally understand why one would acquire another passport, but to me personally, citizenship comes with responsibilities that I take very seriously, perhaps naively. There’s also the skin in the game thing. I find that I’m taken a lot more seriously by Indians when I opine on certain topics or involve myself in certain efforts in India, since the implicit statement of intent is that I too, am a stakeholder in India’s future. I’ve noticed a similar dynamic among Israelis as well vis a vis dual nationals (there, I’d say the stakes are much higher though).

      2+
      1. I get what you are saying . What entails citizenship and what it means to someone is purely a private matter and it differs. But i would still not compare Israeli citizenship with any other country, i mean you really have to have “skin in the game” (Conscription) for that one.

        “Not to mention holding on to the right to vote in the world’s greatest exercise in collective self determination.”

        Its funny you say that, my American relatives have never ever voted in USA, but would want to vote again in India (even though its more tiresome to vote in India). And not being Indian citizen hasn;t ever stopped them to opine on every dam thing in India , LOL. Make of that what you will.

        Perhaps , for some , you cannot ever take their “identity” away, irrespective of their citizenship status. I am told it changes with the 2nd gen and so forth where you really think of yourself of that country and so forth. But i am skeptical of that, considering how much “Indian” even 2nd gen Indians are in USA.(Even the woke ones)

        1+
        1. “Perhaps , for some , you cannot ever take their “identity” away, irrespective of their citizenship status. I am told it changes with the 2nd gen and so forth where you really think of yourself of that country and so forth.”

          I think you really hit on something there: in my case, my Indianness is so precarious (unless you spoke to me in my native tongue, you’d peg me for a coconut), you could say that I hang on to my passport as some sort of validation, whereas those who may be more secure in their Indianness feel no need to have it confirmed by a small blue book :/

          It’s complicated and there’s many layers to it, some of it veering towards the confessional, so I should probably just leave it there…

          1+
  3. “You can love a second country just like you love a second child”

    Ins’t it a running theme , that parents actually like their second(younger) child more than the elder one and so.

    “I’ve chosen the either/or path for myself since India does not recognize dual citizenship, and it’s not something I’d ever want to give up,”

    I would say for non Indian passport holders , India has probably one of the most lenient “residing in India” rules . All my American uncles and aunts practically now live in India while being american citizens.

    1+

Comments are closed.