In India, there is a big rift between the rich and the poor. Critics fear that the new rule of differently colored passports will deepen the divide between the two groups.
On Friday, India’s Foreign Ministry issued new rules regarding passports, which said that citizens requiring emigration checks will now carry orange passports, while the other lot will carry blue ones.
The new orange passports are mainly designed to protect vulnerable laborers from exploitation abroad, but this color coding could increase the discrimination.
India is the world’s largest exporter of migrant labor. One in 20 migrant workers worldwide are born in India. Indian emigrants sent home $69 billion in 2015, making India the world’s top receiver of remittances. But many who provide cheap, unskilled labor, are quite vulnerable to exploitation.
In the past few years, scandals in Persian Gulf countries involving Indians have shaken the citizens.
Indian Embassy in Doha reported that more than 500 Indians died between 2012 and 2014.
Unskilled Indians have to get clearances from the Indian government before traveling to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Malaysia and Yemen.
But skilled or educated workers don’t need to get clearances for travel, as they are less likely to be exploited abroad.
The new passport design would make use of colored covers, which would help in differentiating so that it will become easier for immigration and law enforcement officers. Human trafficking would also become more difficult as officials would immediately know who needs the extra permission to travel.
Oomen Chandy, former chief minister of the southern state of Kerala believed that if this turned out to be real, the moment an orange color passport holder lands abroad, he will be looked down upon. He even added that character and individuality of a person should not be pointed at finger at.