The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has revoked writer Aatish Taseer’s Overseas Citizen of India status, on the grounds that he allegedly concealed the fact that his late father Salman Taseer was a Pakistani national. The move by the MHA came months after Taseer had written an article critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Time Magazine in May this year, calling him the “Divider-in-Chief”. However, the MHA spokesperson denied any such link, saying that the media report signalling such connection was a “complete misrepresentation and is devoid of any facts”.
Who is Aatish Taseer?
Taseer was given an OCI card on the basis of the fact that he is a child of an Indian national. While his father Salmaan Taseer was a Pakistan national, his mother Tavleen Singh, senior journalist and columnist at The Indian Express, raised him as a single mother and the sole legal guardian as they were never married and were estranged.
This is untrue. Here is the Consul General’s acknowledgment of my reply. I was given not the full 21 days, but rather 24 hours to reply. I’ve heard nothing from the ministry since. https://t.co/z7OtTaLLeO pic.twitter.com/t3LBWUtkdi
— Aatish Taseer (@AatishTaseer) November 7, 2019
Singh, his mother, had given an affidavit in 1982 that she was the sole guardian. He never met his father till he was 21, in 2002, and after a few years, in 2005-06, he was estranged again from his father.
Salmaan Taseer was born in undivided India, in Shimla, and his mother was a British passport-holder. Salmaan was a prominent politician of Pakistan and was assassinated for raising his voice against his country’s blasphemy law.
Also read | Aatish Taseer after OCI revocation: ‘India my country… had never before felt it necessary to articulate it’
Taseer was first given a PIO card in 1999 and then in 2016, he was issued the OCI card, following the merger of the PIO and OCI cards.
The author holds a British passport and a Green Card in the US. He grew up in India, but he was never stamped an Indian visa.