I am a kid of Corporate America … even though I was born and raised in India.
I drank Coke or Pepsi, ate Americanised Pizza and waited for the day that McDonalds would open in my city.
I played with G.I. Joe’s and not with Jai Jawan Rathore (this doesn’t even exist).
It most certainly threw a wrench into how I thought I identified with myself. I was a citizen of India, born and raised, my ancestors took part in the freedom struggle and fought for the identity of a country.
The next few generations saw migration to the West, vying for visas and the fabled foreign passport.
What does it even mean to be a citizen?
The term ‘citizen’ came from the Greek city-states. It meant that an individual had certain rights and duties. Although, this definition did not include women and further recognised slavery. Following which came feudalism that established a class system within our species; of Subject and His King and Servant and His Lord. It was during the Renaissance period when the shift took place between being subject of a King to a citizen of a city-state or nation. Yet this format of governance still carried with it the innate ability to discriminate amongst our own species.
While the term ‘citizen’ has been modernised to cover a larger array of rights and individuals that can potentially claim to be such a ‘citizen’; the common factor has always been a foundation in geographical location. The concept of citizenship has been developed and modified so much that it scarcely will be able to recognise itself.
Yet how can such a term be used to be the basis of governance?