Mr Rahul Gandhi, please tick your answer: Did you apply for British passport at any stage? Yes/No
All it needs is one call to the UK Foreign Office to get confirmation about whether this accusation against Rahul Gandhi applying for British citizenship has any merit
How difficult is it really to go through official channels and find out if Rahul Gandhi was ever British? It literally is just a case of picking up the phone and making a call, rather than waving pieces of privately-acquired paper around.
We have a massive High Commission functioning in London.
We have 1.6 million Indians in the UK — working in government, media and even the intelligence services. By that token, we have our own intelligence services working across the globe.
We have Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is good chums with his counterpart David Cameron, and three days ago we saw tangible evidence of that friendship.
Both nations are members of the Commonwealth and share information.
In this hi-tech age nothing is secret.
Surely, all it needs is one call to the UK Foreign Office to get confirmation about whether this accusation against Rahul applying for British citizenship has any merit. This is the number of the Foreign Office on King Charles Street: +44 20 7270 3000.
They are closed now but will reopen in the morning (GMT). Give them a call.
If the UK government issued him a passport or can show an application under his signature, he is toast. Dump him, make him pay the penalty, whatever the law says. The paper trail will be thick and impossible to cover up. He is the son of a former Prime Minister of India and with the BJP in the current bilateral flow of affection, even the Brits would be hard-placed to wipe away the trail.
Let’s go a step further. Where were our agencies these 10 years of which we can for the sake of argument, concede that the Congress strong-armed Whitehall into submission, but the BJP has been in command for 18 months and it's only now that this comes up.
You cannot get a visa to the UK as an Indian without jumping through multi-coloured hoops and doing the most humiliating Q and As possible, and we are to believe that this guy strolled in and got British citizenship, and the whole of the Indian administrative system never had a clue?
Try getting a British passport. Half the guys working there in the passport services are Indian and no one said, "Uh-oh, isn’t this that Rahul Gandhi fellow?".
There is no mystery, no great intrigue. Either he did or he didn’t apply for a document that made him a British passport holder. Even the Mohamed al-Fayed couldn't get one, and he owned Harrods... and his son was dating Princess Diana.
Does Subramaniam Swamy have any idea how vicious the tabloid press is in the UK? And does he really think they would pass up a story like this for a decade and nobody would know? Heathrow probably has more Indians in the airport than Delhi, if you get the drift.
Throw the book at Rahul by just demanding, not asking, but demanding an answer. Summon the British High Commissioner to the External Affairs Ministry and ask for an official clarification. Is that so difficult? You should get an answer in a day.
Ask Rahul directly. He is on Indian soil, so what’s the problem? Besides, he loves microphones.
Having his name on some company document without legal or official declaration is not evidence and that is plain common sense.
When you can print currency, what is the big deal in producing some company document with wrong information?
That said, there is one area of grey. That striking out of the nationality from 'British' to a handwritten 'Indian' is odd. And clumsy. And foolish. And amateurish.
Surely, if Rahul was guilty someone on his side would have had the common sense not to be so obviously stupid.
What it boils down to is simply finding out the answer officially and ending this speculation:
Attn: Rahul Gandhi
Did you at any stage apply for a British passport? Yes/No
Have you ever filled in any form requesting British citizenship? Yes/No
Were you, at any time a British passport holder? Yes/No
Have you ever been abroad from India on any passport besides an Indian one? Yes/No
Have you ever been rejected by the British government in an application to be a British citizen? Yes/No
Frankly, I would be a lot more concerned about about Mani Shankar Aiyer and his mouthings in Pakistan.
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