Chandy slams Centre’s proposal for orange passports, says it will be discriminatory
Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday strongly condemned the proposed move by the Centre to come out with an orange colour passports for those who have not passed their Class 10 examination, calling it discriminatory.
"No way this proposal should go forward. This is creating two different types of citizens, one with education and one without, discriminating Indians based on educational qualifications," said Chandy.
"If this becomes a reality, the moment an orange colour passport holder lands in a foreign country, he will be treated with disdain and it will have a telling impact on such people's character and individuality. This should not happen at all."
He said many of our countrymen toil hard in extreme conditions in various Middle East countries and it's their hard work and their remittances that help the state and the country to progress.
S. Irudayarajan, head of the migration department at the Centre for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram, also denounced the proposed move. "If in Kerala, according to our studies, around 15 per cent of the 2.5 million Kerala diaspora haven't qualified Class 10, in other big states it would be more than 50 per cent . "Dividing citizens based on education is the last thing that should happen in our country and it should be dropped.”
Earlier on Friday, the External Affairs Ministry decided to do away with the last page of the passport that contains the names of the spouse, parents and address of the passport-holder while changing the colour of ECR passports, largely availed of by unskilled workers, seeking employment abroad.
"As the last page of the passport would not be printed now, the passport holders with ECR status would be issued a passport with orange colour passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport,” a spokesperson of the Ministry said.