Citizen and Citizenship | Ways to achieve citizenship | Dual Citizenship

Citizen and Citizenship

Concepts of citizen and citizenship originated in ancient Greece 2500 years ago. In ancient Greece, small city-states existed, called city-states. In those small city-states, those who directly participated in city-state governance were called citizens. They had voting rights. But in the city-states, women, foreigners, and domestic servants were not treated as citizens. With time, the concept of citizenship has changed. At present, to be a citizen, no discrimination is made between individuals.

We are the citizens of Bangladesh because we are born in this country and are enjoying all kinds of state-given rights (social, political, and economic) and carrying out our responsibilities and duties to the state. So the person who lives permanently in a state and admits his/her allegiance to the state enjoys state-given rights and performs duties to the state is called a citizen.

Some people use the concepts of citizen and citizenship synonymously. But, they have different meanings. 'Citizen' is the identity of an individual. For example, our identity is that we are Bangladeshi citizens. As a citizen of the state, the status and respect one receives is one's citizenship.

Ways to achieve citizenship

There are two ways of getting citizenship:

a) by birth

b) by approval

a) Methods to achieve citizenship by birth: Two principles are followed for attaining citizenship by birth, such as birth policy and the place of birth policy.

Birth policy: According to this policy, the citizenship of the children is determined by their parents' citizenship. In this case, wherever the children are born, their citizenship is determined by their parents' status of citizenship. For example, a Bangladeshi couple has a child in the UK. Then he or she will be a Bangladeshi citizen as his or her parents are Bangladeshi citizens.

Place of birth policy: According to this policy, whichever country's citizens' parents are, the citizenship of their children is determined by the country in which they are born. For example, if children of Bangladeshi parents are born in the USA, they would be US citizens. Here, to determine citizenship, the state is given priority. According to this policy, if children of any parents are born on a ship or inside another country's embassy, they would be citizens of that country that owns the ship or the embassy mentioned above. It can be noted here that most counties in the world follow the principle of birth policy in granting citizenship. Bangladesh is one of them. On the contrary, the USA and Canada follow the place of birth policy principle in granting citizenship.

Getting citizenship by approval: By fulfilling some conditions, citizens of one country can achieve citizenship in another by approval. Generally, the conditions that need to be fulfilled to get citizenship in another country are as follows:

1) to marry a citizen of that country;

2) to be employed in a government job;

3) to show honesty;

4) to know the language of that particular country;

5) to purchase assets of that country;

6) to live in that country for a long time;

7) to join the army.

These conditions may vary from country to country.

If a person fulfills one or more of such conditions, he is eligible to apply for citizenship. When the government approves his application, he becomes a citizen of that country. The citizens of many countries globally, including Bangladesh, are enjoying citizenship by approval in such as the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia. In addition, citizenship is also granted on humanitarian grounds. For example, if a person takes shelter in any other country due to persecution, that country may give his/her citizenship upon his/her application for citizenship.

Dual Citizenship

Generally, one person gets an opportunity to get citizenship in one country. When a person simultaneously holds citizenship of two countries, the phenomenon is called his / her dual citizenship. As two principles relating to birth exist regarding citizenship achievement, in some cases, it may result in dual citizenship.

For instance, Bangladesh follows the birth principle to grant citizenship, while the USA follows both birth and place of birth principles. So when children of Bangladeshi parents are born in the USA, they become US citizens according to the place of birth principle. Again, they become Bangladeshi citizens according to the birth principle. But after being an adult, he or she has to become either a Bangladeshi or a USA citizen.

Good Citizens

All citizens in a state are not good citizens. Those who are intelligent could solve problems easily, distinguish between good and evil, and stay away from bad deeds. Those who are self-controlled and could sacrifice petty interests for the cause of larger ones are called good citizens. In light of the above discussion, we find three main qualities of good citizens:

1) intelligence,

2) conscience and 

3) self-control.

1) intelligence: Intelligence is one of the best qualities of a good citizen. Intelligent citizens can identify multifaceted family, society, and state problems and make the right decisions to solve these problems. The success of a democratic state depends upon the intelligence of good citizens. Therefore, intelligent citizens are the best assets of the state. Every state should make its citizens wise by imparting proper education to them.

2) Conscience: Citizens of a state have to be conscientious. By dint of this quality, citizens can distinguish between justice and injustice, honesty and dishonesty, and good and bad. Just as conscientious citizens, on the one hand, enjoy state-given rights, so they perform duties and responsibilities properly to the state and stand by justice. For example, conscientious citizens remain loyal to the state, abide by laws, pay taxes in due time, and cast their votes for competent and honest persons in the elections.

3) Self-control: Good citizens should have self-control. In other words, keeping him/herself above all kinds of greed, he/she discharges all duties and responsibilities with honesty and dedication. To give up petty interests for the cause of greater social interests is self-control. Those among us having this quality can express their opinions freely. They are tolerant of other peoples' rights. In addition, every citizen must keep themselves above corruption, nepotism, and a partisan attitude. In this way, democratic values emerge.

You may like to read

Next Post Previous Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url