ORANGE : THE NEW COLOUR OF DISCRIMINATION
“Education is our passport to the future , for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Said Malcolm X. Today, our nation is giving these words a whole new meaning by issuing passports based on educational qualifications. Citizens with ECR status in India, who have not been able to pass their 10th grade certification ( for whatever reasons), will be issued Orange passports.
The idea appears to be good , time saving and will increase the pace of emigration process as the colour of the passport will make it clear if emigration clearance is required or not . But it comes with its own stigma .There must be other better ways by which the same can be achieved without revealing the educational standards of people.
The Government and concerned authorities need to deliberate more before implementing this decision because it comes with a hint of discrimination as it seems to divide people on the basis of educational qualifications. It may also increase the vulnerability of orange passport holders as it announces to one and all that they are not well educated.
Colour of passport selected by a country is a matter of national identity. The members of EU have Red passports, many Islamic countries like Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have Green coloured passports due to religious significance. Blue passports have been selected by members of the ‘New world' and Black passports by countries like Zamibia, Newzealand as black tends to look more official and is also considered as their national colour. India presently has passports in three colours ;
Maroon for diplomatic, White for Govt. Employees who travel on national duty and Blue for all others.
One can only hope that this new proposal of adding another colour 'orange' has nothing to do with the idea of ‘ saffronisation'.
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