Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Kamila Shamsie in her own words. The most thought provoking are these words below:

If you had asked me my feelings about the union jack, I suspect I'd have said the image with which I associate it most closely is Jessica Ennis smiling her beautiful smile with a flag around her shoulders at the Olympics – a joyful thing to think about for even those of us who roll our eyes at all nationalism. But I had spent the last couple of years writing a novel set during the Raj, and as the camera clicked, I found myself remembering pictures of the union jack strung along the streets of Peshawar in the days of empire. It brought about a strange unease, which wasn't in any way about my feelings toward Britain, but rather my feelings towards Pakistan, a nation of which I would continue to be a citizen. 

I had thought dual citizenship would feel like a gain, not a loss. Instead, as I took my seat in the chamber I found myself reflecting on what it means to be from a country in which acquiring a second passport is regarded across the board as reason for celebration. Weeks later, I was trying to explain this to British-Libyan writer, Hisham Matar, who knew exactly what I meant. "In that moment you are betrayed and betrayer both," he said. "You're betraying your country by seeking another passport, and you're betrayed by your country which makes you want to seek another passport"

IMO it is a good thing that India does not permit dual citizenship. Naturally a "best of both worlds," "cost-free" dual citizenship seems like a perfect choice. But this I firmly believe, citizenship is not an entitlement, nor should it be easy to attain (or buy). Also that your (original) country needs you more than your (adopted) country. Today, in her own words, Pakistan has lost more than Britain has gained.That is a pity.


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