According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday, all Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders must seek special permission from the central government before engaging in any missionary, ‘Tabligh’, or journalistic activities.OCI is a form of permanent residency that enables people of Indian ancestry and their spouses to live and work in India indefinitely.
OCI status, on the other hand, does not confer citizenship or the right to vote in Indian elections or hold public office. It only allows for multiple entries and lifetime visas for those visiting India for any reason.
According to the notice, starting March 4, OCI cardholders will be able to:For any research, missionary, tabligh, mountaineering, or journalistic activities; internship in any foreign diplomatic missions or foreign government organisations; or employment in any foreign diplomatic missions or foreign government organisations, a special permission or a Special Permit from the competent authority or the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or the Indian mission concerned is required.
The announcement follows a crackdown on activists from the Tablighi Jamaat, an organisation dedicated to encouraging Muslims to practise Islam as it was practised during the time of Prophet Mohammed.
One of their meetings in Delhi during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country turned into a super spreader case, escalating tensions in the country.