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Click here for Resolutions passed at the First Global Convention of People of Indian Origin

Resolutions at Global Indian Convention '99 September 24-26, 1999 New York, NY, USA

Resolution on Guyana

WHEREAS all citizens of Guyana are duly entitled to equal justice and freedom as provided under United Nations charters, AND recognizing that on January 12, 1998, Indians were brutally attacked and harmed for bring Indians, AND cognizant of the accusations of independent organizations such as the Women's Progressive Organizations (WPO), the woman's arm of the ruling People's Progressive Party (PPP), denouncing the public stripping of an Indian Guyanese woman on January 12th, 1998, AND the Guyanese Indian Foundation Trust (GIFT) investigation and documentation of 228 cases of Indians being cursed, beaten, molested, robbed and terrorized, WE, the delegates of the 10th Conference of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) call upon the Government of Guyana to set up an Independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate such incidents in the future and to ensure ethnic balance in all Government bodies, including the security forces.

Maintenance of First Language

It is generally recognized that our first language is intimately related to our culture, our value systems, our folklore, our traditions, our community - in fact, as much that we hold dear in our hearts. No matter how many foreign or second languages we might subsequently acquire, there is nothing to beat the first language in the profundity and subtlety it affords us as a means of self-expression, social communications and, most of all, as a powerful instrument to define our national, religious and spiritual identities. We also note in this context that for people of Indian origin, English has long occupied a nodal role in their lives. This role has, to be sure, benefited us in a variety of ways. It has opened to us innumerable vistas in science, technology, modern thought and world literature. Furthermore, it has played a critical role in knitting out country together where linguistic diversity has prevented inter-regional communication and national cohesion. This 10th Anniversary Conference of GOPIO strongly recommends that we Indians, wherever we live, make special efforts to maintain out respective languages of birth. We must deliberately choose those languages to communicate within the four walls of our homes, in our social circles and - most important - we must ensure that our future generations never, ever loose touch with them.


This 10th Anniversary Conference of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin held in New York on September 24-26, 1999 commends the Government of India for its promulgation of the much-needed PIO identification card. While this card falls seriously short of the goal of dual citizenship that has successfully been adopted by various other states, it certainly is step in the right direction and one that must, sooner rather than later, lead to dual citizenship. Furthermore, the PIO card, which is currently limited to the third generation of Indian expatriates, should be extended to cover up the sixth generation. For people of Indian Origin who migrated in large numbers over 150 years ago should not be discriminated against. At the same time, we strongly feel that the fee required for the acquisition of the card is too enormous and is beyond the reach of tens of thousands of Indians living abroad. We urge the Government of India to reduce the fee to no more than $250, so as to make it accessible and useful for a majority of our expatriates. We hope the Government of India will accord due consideration to this proposal.

Spousal Visas

People of Indian Origin living in the United States are experiencing a serious problem in an important area of their lives. Because of a paucity of available matches in this country, those of marriageable age often need to travel back to India to find life partners and generally they succeed in doing so. However, after marriage their spouses need US visas to be able to immigrate here and join their husbands or wives. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a long-drawn-out process extending, in some cases, to 6 or 7 years. Such a long period is wholly unacceptable to the newly married and is prone to lead to many misunderstandings, misgivings and suspicions. In a number of cases, it leads to even divorce. In order to alleviate the situation and reduce unnecessary separation and suffering for this group, the US government needs to accord special priority to the visa applications of the newly married. "Family reunion," a recognized international human right, is accepted by the US government also, but it needs to be applied more assertively and effectively to sanctioning visas speedily to the newly married. This 10th Anniversary Conference of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin urges the US Immigration and Naturalization Service to make sure that the visa applications of the newly married in India are processed as a special case within one year from the date of application.

"Yeh Mera Ghar Yeh Tera Ghar"

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