As of June 2023, the Ministry of External Affairs’ data has shed light on a significant phenomenon: 87,026 Indians have made the decision to relinquish their Indian citizenship and acquire citizenship in 135 different countries worldwide. These include prominent destinations like the United States, Germany, Pakistan, and even Tonga. The revelation came in response to a query raised by Karti Chidambaram, a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, sparking discussions about the factors driving this trend.
Over the past two decades, there has been a noticeable surge in Indians exploring global opportunities and pursuing foreign citizenship. Many individuals opt for foreign citizenship due to personal convenience and various opportunities presented by other nations. In response to this trend, the Indian government, under the guidance of External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, has taken note of the development and initiated focused efforts such as the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The objective is to retain and harness the talents of these skilled individuals within the country’s borders, contributing to India’s growth and development.
Moreover, the government acknowledges the tremendous value of the Indian diaspora and the immense potential it holds for the nation’s progress. In recognition of this asset, the government has undertaken substantial measures to engage and utilize the diaspora community effectively. While the number of Indians acquiring foreign citizenship remained relatively stable in the previous decade, there was a significant upswing following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, a staggering 225,620 individuals relinquished their Indian citizenship, as per the Ministry of External Affairs’ data.
Foreign Minister Jaishankar reiterated the importance of a thriving diaspora and its profound impact on India’s standing in the global arena. The government’s approach is centered around leveraging the diaspora’s networks and expertise for the nation’s advancement. Efforts are underway to foster knowledge and expertise exchange, which plays a pivotal role in contributing to India’s overall development