A part of the citizenship oath of Canada says this, “I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors.”
That is the oath every person should take to become the Citizen of Canada after completing other procedures. Here begins the dilemma. After reading history of how India won freedom from the British, and 63 later, Indians who wish to take citizenship of Canada have to swear their allegiance to the Queen again. How ironic could this be? The irony gets deeper for those Indians,who still retain strong feelings of being an Citizen of Independent India. Because taking up Canadian citizenship mean giving away Indian Citizenship and one has to do it by swearing allegiance to the Queen of England. And to rub on the wound, allegiance has also to be sworn the the heirs of the queen and successors. These are the same people against freedom loving fore fathers of us have fought against in their fight for Independence and present day Indians who come to Canada are queuing up to swear allegiance to the queen of England. The irony has taken a full circle! This irony is something that is common to all common wealth nations citizens of the world.
Monarchy Vs Republic debate:
Many Nations have moved away from monarchy while Canada is still with the same system. Like India has president, Canada has the Governor General and all government institutions like Postal services, Railways are called crown services. Not that Canadians are happy about this. There has been fierce debates, but then monarchy cannot be said to be symbolic. The queen appoints the Governor General who is equivalent to the president of India. In case of parliamentary crisis queen has the final say. This was almost demonstrated in 2010 when the Prime Minister Mr.Stephen Harper pro-rouged the parliament. There were rumors that the Governor General may not give into the PM’s plan. It was later reported that the prime ministers office would have approached the Queen in case of a problem.
To the credit of all who queue up to take the oath are not aware of the oath till they actually turn up at the ceremony and its a shocker for them when they see it first. But oath taking ceremonies are done in public ceremonies and it is over so fast that only a few actually have the time to realize the meaning of the oath. (To the credit of Immigration Canada, the oath is given before hand to all ) But for those who know what it means, this is deeply offensive. One of the Gentleman is Mr.Charles Roach, a lawyer in Toronto and who is an immigrant from the Caribbean. He has filed a case in the Supreme court of Canada challenging this provision of the Citizenship oath. It is believed that there are thousands of other immigrants who have refused to take the citizenship oath in this present form.
Benefits of & Questions on Citizenship!
One gets to vote in all elections of Canada. It is said that with a Canadian passport one is entitled to travel to more then 100 countries around the world without the need for a Visa. And yes one does not get to be deported that easily.The next most important question is, does citizenship mean that integration as a Canadian is complete? Officially it does but there is a long long way to go before the integration of an immigrant in the main stream Canadian system becomes a reality. For example anti immigrant rhetoric pops up in some way or other during elections. There are radio and TV programmes that rack up the issue in subtle ways. Such broadcasts seems to have their own audience. There are other questions? Will the main stream Canada ever accept an Immigrant as their own? In general there seems to be an smoother assimilation of immigrants from countries like Western Europe into Canada. However immigrants from other nations of the world stand out due to the variations in their melanin content. So would an immigrant ever be accepted as a loyal soilder if he / she gets into the armed forces of Canada? How would that soilder operate if Canada has political differences with his country of origin?
It appears as long as supply and demand are in balance things would be fine.In case the supply falls short, then it appears that immigrants would be asked to move down the line. A classic example came through during the H1N1 flu problem in 2009. When all people of Canada were asked to take the flu shot, issues of shortages arose. It was reported that flu shots were allocated to “some areas” first. You know what we mean. Other questions also arise. It appears that Canada wants to bring in the best qualified, able and fit people from developing countries and work for the economy of the Nation. If the nation senses that a person / family is a drain on the resources they get deported.
Another important thing is the recognition of Education that one earns in Non Canadian Universities. Degrees that are earned abroad are not recognized. They face accreditation barriers and have to pass relevant exams again in Canada. Which mean they have to go to college again? It is expensive and many have turned to regular jobs including cab drivers. Hence Canada can also boast of the distinction of having the most qualified cab drivers in the world. It is believed that some of the cab drivers in Canada also have PhD’s! So the question is would you prefer to have first class facilites and be a second class citizen in an alien country or do you choose to be contend with second class facilities but hold your head high as a first class citizen in in your country of birth. You know what we mean?
If there is no corruption in India, and infrastructure is good many people would not immigrate to Canada or other countries. In fact reverse migration has already started, with many NRI’s returning back to India.
Undercurrent salutes those who have stood up and have
refused to take the Citizenship oath in its present form &
it is time Canada also stands up to itself.
For example brother USA is a republic and that does not come in the way of strong ties between USA & GBR.