I was in throes of misery last week when I found out that Malaysia had scrapped the Visa-on-Arrival facility that it extended to Indian citizens. Not that I blame them. After all, 40,000 Indians had abused the system and disappeared into the netherland of Malaysia. Naturally, the Malay aren’t feeling terribly welcoming towards us.
But what I want to know is this. How many Indians visited Malaysia in the same period and did not flout the visa regulations? I am sure that the figure was much higher than the much-maligned “40,000” figure. But now, all those people who kept to the right side of the law, including myself, will be penalised.
Is that fair? Will I always have to answer for the actions of my lawless compatriots? Does my good behaviour account for nothing?
Sid says he has the perfect solution to the problem.
The Indian government should have a two-tiered system of passports. Everyone is granted Passport B to begin with, which is like our passports as the moment – with no visa-on-arrival facilities. But if in the next five-to-ten years, they rake up an extensive travel history without flouting any visa regulations, they should be upgraded to a Passport A, which will be allowed visa-on-arrival facility.
After all, if someone’s objective is to go AWOL in America, they are not going to wait five years, visit the country several times, get their Passport A and then do it. They will probably do it the moment they are granted their very first visa on their Passport B.
Now Leo-with-an-Afro (see followers) says this will amount to grading of citizenship into Class A & Class B, and as much as he would like it, he cannot support the idea. But Sid says it amounts to rewarding good behaviour because everyone has to start at the same level – and then, whether they move up or not will depend on their own actions. According to him, the problem in India is not just that bad behaviour goes unpunished, it is also that good behaviour goes unrecognised.
As for me, I am undecided. But I so do want that visa-on-arrival…
Have your say:
The blue bits are the travel option available to a non-visa holding Indian. For a closer look, go here. (Remember to remove Malaysia out of the blue bits now.)