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A DIY citizenship test to sift out the true Indians

Image: Getty Images/ iStock

Image: Getty Images/ iStock  

How can you be sure, as in really sure, that you are indeed an authentic Indian — and not a Mughlai, Chinese, Lebanese or Tandoori — citizen? Take this test

Suppose a bunch of Indians who went to bed in 1920 were to wake up 100 years later, say this morning, they would go right back to sleep. The first thing they hear would be cries of ‘Azaadi!’ and ‘Inquilab zindabad!’. They would conclude, naturally, that the people of India were still fighting for freedom. If that’s the case, then why not stay put in bed, and wake up only on that bright sunny morning when every Indian would be truly free — free from poverty, hunger, disease, Aadhaar, CAA-NRC?

Sorry folks, that sunny morning ain’t coming any time soon. Get used to it. We have to deal with what we’ve got. And what we’ve got is a citizenship problem. This may be an unpopular opinion, but trust me, the government is right. Be honest. Think about it for a second. How can you be sure, as in really sure, that you are indeed an authentic Indian — and not Mughlai, Chinese, Lebanese or Tandoori — citizen? I can’t.

In my case — and I am being totally frank here — there has always been a part of me that has wanted to be a citizen of a country whose nationality can’t be derived from its name, like ‘Indian’ from India. Or ‘Pakistani’ from Pakistan. So I’ve often dreamed of being Monégasque. A part of my soul is permanently Laotian, while another is obsessed with everything Tuvaluan. Hope you enjoy searching for Monégasquoia, Laotia and Tuvalua on GoogleMaps.

My point is that citizenship is not such a simple thing that we can automatically assume all Indians to be your brothers and sisters. That is why we need the CAA-NRC — to sift out the true Indians from the pretenders. I do believe, however, that there ought to be a cheaper way to conduct the citizenship test. I read somewhere that the government has allocated thousands of crores for a pre-NRC exercise in which you have to provide your father’s birth certificate, grandfather’s address proof, and great-grandfather’s horoscope. All that is unnecessary.

A two-minute quiz

I have a simple solution: a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Citizenship Test that the government can make available online. It’s a two-minute quiz. You respond with ‘Agree’ or ‘Disagree’ to every statement. The answers will reveal whether or not you are an Indian. Lying is not an option because 360-degree surveillance and real time data capture of every aspect of your miserable animal farm existence would ensure that any falsehood would be exposed sooner or later. So here, take the test:

1. On at least 10 of your last 50 trips by air, you were the first passenger in the entire plane to open the overhead cabin, grab your oversized, misshapen baggage and poke a co-passenger in the eye as you dashed to the aisle — all while the seatbelt sign was still on.

2. The first thing you ask when you meet someone is, “What do you do?”

3. You have littered through the window of a moving vehicle on your way to, and return from, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

4. What India really needs is a dictatorship.

5. Women should enjoy all equality with men, but within the limits prescribed by Indian culture.

6. You are a custodian of Indian culture.

7. You were born with the knowledge of what ODF stands for.

8. You have gleaned the true meaning of life from the golden words of your favourite billionaire godman.

9. You don’t believe anything you read in the papers unless it comes to you as a WhatsApp forward.

10. There is no difference between India and the government of India.

11. When the people and the government disagree, the government is always right and the people who disagree are anti-nationals.

12. Protests are fine so long as daily life is not affected, all permissions are taken in advance, and the protesters stage their protest in the privacy of their homes.

13. The police who beat up some people are the victims of the people the police beat up.

14. You will joyfully pay ₹295 for a coffee at Barista but will badger the sabziwala for half a kilo of free dhania patta every time you buy 25 grams of onion.

15. A man in uniform can do no wrong.

16. You have paid a bribe, taken a bribe, and joined an anti-corruption march, all on the same day.

17. No matter how much you love India, if you had a choice, you would any day exchange Indian citizenship for the citizenship of the U.S./ U.K./ Australia/ Canada/ New Zealand/ Bahamas/ Bournvita/ Malta.

18. Regardless of your age and sex, you are, at heart, an uncle.

If you answered ‘Agree’ to all the 18 statements, congratulations, you have won an early bird membership in the soon-to-be-implemented NRC. If you answered ‘Disagree’ to even one, don’t panic. An executive will soon contact you with everything you need to know about life in a de-radicalisation camp.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 3:07:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/a-diy-citizenship-test-to-sift-out-the-true-indians/article30701341.ece

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