According to an article from a Tibetan professor, the Tibetan government in exile is alleged to be seemingly applying double standards over the issue of Tibetans seeking Indian citizen. The JNU professor accused in the article that the Central Tibetan Administration while favouring Tibetans seeking citizenship in the West, it does not favour Tibetans seeking Indian citizenship.
“The government-in-exile seems to be applying double standards. On the one hand, it has been encouraging Tibetans living in other countries, especially those in the West, to take up the citizenship of their host countries and labels them as Tibetan Ambassadors to distant lands. On the other hand, it does not favour Tibetans in India adopting Indian citizenship. This double standard is creating disquiet and division among the Tibetan community in exile.” writes Dr. Yeshi Choedon in an article on IDSA.
Following the failed Tibetan uprising against the Chinese invaders in 1959, thousands of Tibetans followed His Holiness the Dalai Lama into refuge in India. Under the support of Indian government, the Tibetan administration then led by His Holiness developed separate Tibetan settlements and schools across India, enabling the preservation and propagation of the distinct Tibetan culture and traditions in exile over the last sixty years!
However, since the Delhi high court ruled in favour of an India born Tibetan refugee seeking Indian passport, the government of India has okayed Tibetans to seek Indian citizenship as per the Indian Citizenship Act (Amendment) of 1986 which allows for the acquiring of Indian citizenship by anyone born in India between January 26, 1950, and July 1, 1987. However, Government of India further notified those Tibetans to give up all the privileges as refugees, essentially robing off their right to dwell in the Tibetan settlements across India, rendering them homeless once again!
According to the article, CTA had maintained a neutral position in all this, it has also been known to have actively discouraged Tibetans seeking Indian citizen. It also argues that while India eased the process of foreign travel for Tibetan refugees in India recently, in an effort to discourage them from applying for Indian citizenship, such a policy could also enable Tibetans to migrate abroad, rendering the Tibetan settlements in India abandoned, ultimately weakening the Tibetan struggle.
“Another issue to ponder is whether those Tibetans who migrated to other parts of the world surrendered the house and field allotted to them in the Tibetan settlements in India and whether those getting a pension from the Tibetan government-in-exile surrendered their pension once they started getting pension and allowance from their new host countries. As the Government of India, through its four conditions, is proactive in depriving all these facilities and privileges to those Tibetan refugees applying for Indian citizenship, it requires to consider this issue as well.” the article added.