Goans born abroad before 1961 deemed Indians
TNN | Apr 9, 2013, 04.50 AM IST

READ MORE Union Ministry Of Home Affairs|Born Abroad|Manohar Parrikar|Goa Legislative Assembly

PANAJI: The Union ministry of home affairs recently confirmed to the Goa government that persons of Goan origin who were born abroad before liberation shall be deemed to have become citizens of India. This is provided their parents or their grandparents were born before December 20, 1961 in Goa, Daman and Diu and they had not made a written declaration to retain the citizenship they had immediately before December 20, 1961.

This was stated in the Goa legislative assembly by chief minister Manohar Parrikar in reply to a calling attention motion by Tivim BJP MLA Kiran Kandolkar. The MLA said there was fear in the minds of people that Goans born outside India are being denied Indian passports on the grounds of citizenship. He wanted to know what steps the government is taking to address the problem.

In his written reply, Parrikar said that the commissioner for NRI affairs had taken up the issue with the Union ministry of home affairs in July 2012.

Parrikar also said that persons of Goan origin who were born abroad to Goan parents holding Indian citizenship after liberation, provided their births have been registered in Indian missions abroad.

The ministry clarified that Section 4 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, provides Indian citizenship by descent to persons born outside India between January 1, 1950 to December 9, 1992, if their father was an Indian citizen at the time of their birth, and those born outside India on or after December 10, 1992, if either of their parents is a citizen of India at the time of their birth and their birth has been registered with the Indian mission abroad within a period of one year of their birth or with the permission of the central government after the expiry of one year and they had not held the passport of another country.

Accordingly, persons who were born abroad to Goan parents holding Indian citizenship as per Goa, Daman and Diu (citizenship) Order 1962, shall be citizens of India provided their births have been registered in Indian missions abroad.

Parrikar’s reply also gave the following details. The ministry of home affairs vide notification dated March 28, 1962, had notified the Goa, Daman and Diu (Citizenship) order, 1962 under powers vested in the central government by Section 7 of the Citizenship Act 1955. The order envisaged that every person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born before December 20, 1961, in the then union territories of Goa, Daman and Diu, shall be deemed to have become citizens of India on that day, except where any such person had made a declaration in writing within one month that he had chosen to retain the citizenship which he had immediately before December 20, 1961.

A Mumbai priest remembered, in new Pope’s act

Mumbai : Even as traditionalists took umbrage at Pope Francis I washing the feet of two young women on Maundy Thursday, some Mumbai Catholics on Sunday recalled the pioneering spirit of late Father Hugh Fonseca.

late Father Hugh Fonseca

Among those whose feet the new Pope washed as part of the ritual prayer services of Maundy Thursday were prisoners at a detention centre in Rome, including a Serbian Muslim woman.

Welcoming the Pope’s move, Dolphy D’Souza, former president of the Bombay Catholic Sabha, reminisced on Sunday about a similar incident that took place here in late 1990s.

The Bombay Catholic Sabha is an organisation that works in the civic, political and social sectors for the all-round development of the community.

An elated D’Souza said that Pope Francis I has set the tone, and laid down an example. The gesture would go a long way in women’s empowerment within the Catholic Church.

“In the late 1990s, the late Father Hugh Fonseca, one of the few activist priests in his time, was the parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Malad,” he said. D’Souza was then chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council of the same parish.

“At the Parish Council meeting, it was decided that during the Maundy Thursday ritual, at the mass, the priest would wash the feet of 12 female domestic workers. However, some parishioners complained to the bishop about this, and Father Fonseca was told by the bishop that the said act was against Cannon Law, and directed to abandon such a move,” D’Souza reminisced.

D’Souza said that while Father Fonseca relented, in keeping with his vows of obedience to the bishop, he did not abandon the idea entirely.

“Father Fonseca washed the feet of the 12 male domestic workers at the altar, but directed me to wash the feet of the selected female house workers at the same time in the midst of the community below the altar,” D’Souza said.

Stating that Father Fonseca’s actions at the Holy Thursday ritual set an example long back, D’Souza said he was glad that the new Pope was sending out a clear message to ensure that women are given their due by today’s church.

Maundy Thursday marks the time when Jesus laid down the ritual practice of the communal meal, as a coming together of disciples. The Sunday mass is a re-enactment of that meal.

The Bible describes how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, as a mark of the humility with which those who lead must serve.

Traditionally, elderly people in a parish are called to the altar, and their feet washed during Maundy Thursday mass. – IANS

PS The Late Fr Hugh Fonseca is the brother of our member Mark Fonseca