On November 8, the government revoked Taseer’s OCI card, accusing him of concealing the fact that his late father Salmaan Taseer was a Pakistani national.
Suggesting author Aatish Taseer “appears to have been targeted for an extremely personal form of retaliation due to his writing and reporting that has been critical of the Indian government”, more than 250 writers and activists including Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh and Margaret Atwood have requested the Indian government to review its decision to revoke Taseer’s OCI status.
“We urge that the spirit of the OCI regulations, which are designed to provide status and connection to their roots and family to citizens of other countries with Indian heritage, are upheld, and do not discriminate against single mothers.
Denying access to the country to writers of both foreign and Indian origin casts a chill on public discourse; it flies in the face of India’s traditions of free and open debate and respect for a diversity of views, and weakens its credentials as a strong and thriving democracy,” said the letter, whose signatories include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Christophe Jaffrelot, Zadie Smith, David Remnick, Anita Desai, Loise Edrich, Steven Pinker and Gloria Steinem.
The letter, under the umbrella of PEN America, English PEN and PEN International, was addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.