There are many Indians of foreign origin, who will cast their vote during the Lok Sabha poll
George Chiu, 62, sits comfortably in his shop in Connaught Place, scanning the election related news in newspapers even as his staff deals with customers.
Chiu is hungry to read more. While he is ready to discuss political combinations and permutations shaping up and vote bank politics, Chiu has no ill feeling that his Chinese community failed to get attention from any party. Not ready to reveal the party he would vote for in the forthcoming elections, Chiu says he ensures that he casts his vote as early as possible as he has to open his shop. He is a second generation Chinese of Indian origin. Chiu’s father migrated to then Calcutta in 1920 from Canton in search of greener pastures.
Now meet Katsu Sain, 75, a Buddhist scholar, who came to India way back in 1956 from Japan to explore Buddhism and peace. When you speak to her in English, she answers in ‘Shuddh Hindi’. “I have learnt Hindi from Kaka Saheb Kalekar in the Capital.” She took Indian citizenship more than two decades ago. Closely associated with a Buddha temple in the Capital, Katsu says “I hope that any party which takes over the reins of the Government post Lok Sabha elections, would serve the interests of people. They ought to be sensitive towards our people. I only hope that the new Government would not leave any stone unturned to eradicate poverty and injustice.”
Well, Chiu and Katsu may not be like you and me, but they are proud Indians. There are a large number of people of foreign origin who are either born here or have come here and embraced India. Parents or fore-fathers of some of them came here and adopted India.
The likes of Chiu faced no hurdle in getting Indian citizenship as they were born here only. According to one estimate, India should have more than two lakh people of foreign origin with voting rights. Many of them also cast their votes in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. It is a different matter that after Sonia Gandhi refused to accept the Prime Minister’s post, one cannot find any person of foreign origin who is likely to even become MLA leave apart MP or Minister.
Meanwhile, the large Tibetan community is also exuberant . They can also vote this time. Karten Tsering and his fellow Tibetans in various parts of the country are excited to cast their vote in the polls. Sitting in his home close to ISBT, Karten says that the Election Commission had last month issued a directive that all Tibetans born in India between 1950 and 1987 would be eligible to vote in the coming Lok Sabha elections for the first time. There are thousands of Tibetans in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and others parts of the country.
Gillian Wright, a celebrated translator of English to Hindi and Urdu, regrets that she will not able to cast her vote as she has yet not got the Indian citizenship though she has already applied for it. What are her expectations from the new Government? “I hope that the new Government would work hard to make our rivers clean. When I came to Delhi, the Yamuna was very clean and the Capital was truly a green capital. Since then Yamuna has turned into a stinking river. I only hope that the new Government would chalk out a plan to clean the Yamuna.”
Like any other Indian, Edward, a young Chinese origin Indian youngster, expects that the new Government would control inflation though he argues that inflation is not bad all the time. How? Edward explains, “When the price of onions or tomatoes hiked just by Rs.10 or Rs.20, all of us dubbed our Government as anti-people. When the value of our flat touches the sky, we feel happy and never say that inflation is bad.” Point well made.