[:en]Our opinion about a recommendation of the Portuguese embassy in New Deli[:]

[:en]According to some Indian newspapers, the Portuguese embassy in India has recommended to the Portuguese Government that it no longer recognize Portuguese nationality to persons born in the territories of Goa, Daman and Diu before December 20, 1961.

Does this recommendation respect the Portuguese Constitution?

I do not believe that any Portuguese diplomat could make such a recommendation. I can only hope that this article as being false. If it is true, I would argue that this diplomat should be dismissed, because for his ignorance.

The Indian – Portuguese history represents some of the most remarkable Portuguese history.  This is more than a political issue and is an emotional issue.  It would also have a huge effect on our laws.  We, the Portuguese, in Europe are the equivalent of the Indians, and we are very proud of it.

The Portuguese of Goa, Daman and Diu are always known as “Indians,” and have never been called indigenous.  They were always considered full citizens, just as someone from Lisbon or Coimbra.  In civilization terms, Portugal has received much more of India, than what Portugal has given in return.

Citizens of the Portuguese colonies in India never suffered the limitations of citizenship endured by people of other Portuguese colonies.  When the colonial colonies ceased in 1975, the law gave the descendants of citizens born in Goa, Daman and Diu have the same rights as the descendants of people born in Portugal.

This situation is completely stable, and only someone with racist mentality might want to change these laws 40 years later.  There is no reason to discriminate against the descendants of those born in Goa, Daman and Diu in relation to the descendants of those born in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea, Cape Verde, Macao and Timor or by relation, the descendants of Portuguese born in Brazil, the United States or Australia.

If such a measure were to be adopted would be objectively before a gross violation of article 13, 2 of the Constitution, which states that “no one can be privileged, favored, prejudiced, deprived of any right or exempted from any duty on the basis of ancestry, sex, race, language, territory of origin, religion, political or ideological convictions, education, economic status, social status or sexual orientation.”

What we would seek, according to this recommendation, would be to seal off a group of people, the descendants of those born in Goa, Daman and Diu, their rights that were secured as descendants of those born in other former colonies and, in general, the descendants of the Portuguese born abroad.

Is there a racist element in this recommendation?

I do not believe that this recommendation exists, but if one does exist, one would have to conclude that it has a racist basis.

I have never heard of any diplomat to believe that Portuguese descendants born in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, France or Germany, just to name a few, should be denied access to Portuguese nationality.

How would this issue affect India and Portugal diplomatically?

As stated before, I don’t think this will ever be an issue, since I cannot believe any Portuguese diplomat dared to have a position that offends the dignity of the people concerned and reopens a war stupidity and uselessness.

Publicizing this article makes one obviously question the reputation of any news company that would publish this.  The Indian government should at a minimum call the Portuguese ambassador and request an explanation.  Although India does not accept dual citizenship, there are tens of thousands of PIO (Persons of Indian origin) in the territory of India, who have rights and deserve explanations.

The Republic India always treated the so-called questionable people of Goa with good judgment and without racism and have conducted themselves in a much wiser fashion than the Portuguese.  India conferred Indian citizenship to all people born in their territories after they gained independence, but never imposed the loss of their Portuguese citizenship.

Whoever wants to assert themselves as a Portuguese citizen in an Indian territory, must renounce their Indian nationality, without prejudice to the power to have the status as a PIO.

But the same happens in a sense to Indians who are also Portuguese in a Portuguese territory. In Portugal they are only in Portuguese and in the European Union are only Europeans.

Both Portugal and India gain by recognizing dual nationality of their citizens. This is the best formula we have to celebrate relationship we have for over 500 years.

So it seems that the recommendation referred to in the newspapers is a manifestation of stupidity and is absolutely unacceptable.  These diplomats should worry about the forgery of documents and corruption that is evident and notorious.[:]

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