Goans’ herd mentality in applying for Portuguese passports and nationality to enable them to work in the United Kingdom or within the European Union countries has had a tremendous impact on the Goan population, as some of our villages have been ‘filled’ or ‘replaced’ by migrants from other parts of India. Goans holding Portuguese passports could possibly be taking undue advantage of the Indian system. Goans acquiring Portuguese nationality and their subsequent decision to settle in the countries of the European Union countries reflects the pros and cons of the present global scenario, especially the lack of job opportunities in Europe. Many Goans holding Portuguese nationality sell their immovable properties to raise enough capital to settle in Europe. This move by the natives, has been capitalised by the real estate developers who then are ready to erect mega structures and sell the apartments or bungalows at a considerably higher price that is beyond the reach of ordinary working class Goans ~ and even some of the NRI/NRE Goans. The Government must insist that the passport is the document that must be compulsorily produced on all property deals in Goa as a proof of their Indian nationality as the Indian government doesn’t allow dual citizenship status. The money trail should also be rigorously followed to check any abuse of the system. These are the same Goans who when they are in Europe, and are somewhat better off financially pretend to be Europeans forgetting their roots, language and culture. And, whenever they return ‘home’, they make negative statements against the migrants, mega structures, the garbage issue et al without analysing the initial source of the problems and who are really to be blamed.
Some of these Goans travel to Portugal to acquire Portuguese nationality, and thus avoid the legal formalities of surrendering the agricultural properties, election card, ration card and other documents of identity. Some of these Goans even have bank loans taken on their names that are pending, but the banks are unaware of the ‘defaulters’ present status of nationality.
The immigration authorities together with the CBI, MEA and local police should ensure that these Goans don’t enjoy any state benefits and rights. And whatever privileges these Goan Portuguese passport holders enjoy should be according to the rules governed by OCI law.
Can Intelligence agencies of India cross check with all Indian missions abroad about the acquisition of Portuguese passports in Portugal by the Indian passport holders, and pass the information to the local police in Goa so that all the loopholes aforementioned can be checked thoroughly and rectified?
Another method to rein in or prevent such occurrences altogether, is to attach their properties and bank accounts until they surrender their Indian passport as well as election card and ration card. Also , while processing the OCI application, the Indian embassy should demand the surrender of the original copies of election card, ration card and Indian passport of all the Goans who have applied or will in future apply for the OCI card. The Indian missions should also send the names of these Goans to the local police in Goa to verify their compliance with law, and only then should they be granted the visas or the OCI card.
The Government of Goa should check the status of its retired employees who are drawing government pension to ascertain their present nationality because some of the elderly Goans who have crossed 60 years do hold the Portuguese passport. Some of the Goan Portuguese passport holders may be beneficiaries of the DSSS scheme and subsidies too, for which they are not eligible upon acquiring foreign nationality.