No citizenship please, we're phirangs

Actress Katrina Kaif, supposedly the queen bee of Bollywood and one of the highest earners, is not an Indian national. And she does not even wish to be an Indian citizen.

Today’s TOI had an interesting report that talked about how most of the prominent people are on work permits. Some are earning in crores. What are the tax liabilities? Whenh they shoot overseas, don’t they need to get visas from their home country? Since most of them are from places that are exempt from many struictures, it might not pose a problem, but one wonders about the lenient policy of our government.
Yana and Katrina
Among those who have been staying in India and working on an employment visa include UK national and actress Katrina Kaif, US national Dipti Nawal, UK national Salma Agha and Yana Gupta from Czech Republic. “Most of the actors and other foreigners working in Bollywood prefer staying here on an employment visa. Sometimes they come asking for an extension in visa period. We consider whatever is correct as per the law,’’ said a police official from the immigration department.

Deepti Naval is not doing much work, perhaps out of choice. How does the employment visa apply to her? What is Salma Agha doing? Yana Gupta was married to an Indian, but it appears she chose an employment visa. She is a model. It is a freelance job as are films. What are the strictures for such cases where there is no employer and contracts can change with every assignment?

As per the bilateral treaty between India and the US on tourist visa, an American national can stay in India on a tourist visa for as long as 10 years and the same tenure is applicable for Indian citizens in America as well.

I think this is not correct. One can get a 10-year visa, but it is multiple entry. Indians can live there upto six months and then return.

Pakistani singer Adnan Sami is staying in Mumbai along with his German national wife.
Adnan and new wife

Adnan Sami and his wives at different times seem to get some special treatment. He is of Pakistani origin; his ex-wife was from the UAE; his current wife is half-Afghan. He works here, buys properties, fights divorce cases here, buys dogs, the spouse fights for custody of the dog. Great. And then Indians have the audacity to questions Muslims in their own country.

I could not resist that. The important point is none of these people want to become Indian citizens. It is not only those from the glamour world, though. I know people working in NGOs who do the same.

Do Indians get the same treatment abroad? No. If the UK and US are now worried about their jobs, then India isn’t really flush with employment vacancies that Indians cannot fill. It is pretty disgusting that even the dancers in the background in our films are now whites, and don’t tell me that our girls are shy. We have seen item numbers and know they can jiggle and wiggle and bare as much as anyone else.

And just in case you did not know, to counteract the policies of these countries and due to our foreign obsession some of our prominent Indians make sure that their offspring are born abroad so that they become naturalised citizens. These are people we respect as Indians. Go figure.


  1. FV,
    Most MNCs hire expats , most of them are Indian Returning home and their biggest perk is "hardship allowance" that these companies offer ....I wonder what Hardship does a Gujju Bhai get to work as "Derivatives Analyst" in Mumbai ...you will be surprised .
    That being said, I have worked as an expat in an asian country but it isnt the same , taxation rates for Americans in Asia are different to ones from India ....
    on a lighter note, good you picked up on Adnan sami ...I am damn upset with him despite being a fan of his music...the bugger looses weight ....has women falling on him from all over ...Bugger ..I am so bloody jealous .
    I miss the blog but at times the responses from some folks were killing the crisp bouquet of thoughts you present .... you need to give one tight slap ..it is a blog for God Sake, if they wish to debate , they should get elected and go to parliament :)

  2. Indians themselves are in a hurry to shed off their Indian passports. The most common reason is of course "settling abroad" so that their offspring's could be Americans, British , Aussie etc. But I have noticed that people of Indian ethnicity are still referred to as Indians ( as well as the Chinese) even if they happen to be the 2nd or 3rd generation there.

    Oh the most bizarre reason that I have heard from someone giving up their Indian passport is that, if they are citizens of US, UK etc., in case of a terrorist attack in a third country, their respective consulates will bail them out, whereas India will leave them at the mercy of the terrorists!

  3. Manish:

    I thought Hardship Allowance was only for real foreigners, not expats returning home. I guess hardship for Gujjubhai working in Mumbai would be not getting the right 'snakes' in the work 'hole'.

    Ah Adnan Sami...ok, you has me cackling. I don't think his losing weight was a good idea; the last wife returned to him because of that aur kutte ke peechhhe padh gayi. Adnan got nothing. And women could throw themselves at him because gaddey ka kya kaam hai?

    Re. this blog, as the Bollywood character would say, unki jurm ki sazaa mujhe kyon de rahe ho?

    for God Sake, if they wish to debate , they should get elected and go to parliament :)

    And here I was thinking we have a mini Parliament here...

  4. RBaruah: This was posted but did nto appear. Sorry...

    Welcome back again!

    Indeed the "settling abroad" is one of the pulls. It is also true that Indians are referred to as Indians, as are the Chinese, but from what I have noticed the Chinese don;t go overboard in their 'loyalty' to the adopted country. It is practical decision and they don;t make a big deal of it.

    The example you gave is hilarious and sad at the same time. I guess they don;t spend much time at the airports and are busy in their ghettos watching gharelu DVDs.

    Posted by FV to Cross Connections at 9/2/10 5:17 PM


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