Pakistan-born Bollywood singer and actress Salma Agha will get an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card that will offer her multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visit India and exemption from reporting to police. “We have decided to grant Salma Agha the OCI card after following the due procedure,” a senior Home Ministry official said today.
As the Home Ministry took the decision to grant her OCI card, Agha met Home Minister Rajnath Singh, apparently to express her gratitude for the gesture. Agha had applied for the OCI card a few days ago and her application was approved after taking into consideration various aspects, officials said.
The 59-year-old artiste is a citizen of UK. She had given her voice to few Bollywood films and acted in some of them including “Nikaah”. Agha had won Filmfare best female playback award in 1982 for her rendition ‘Dil Ke armaan aansuon me beh gaye’ in “Nikaah”.
Agha has applied for the card that gives multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visit India and exemption from reporting to police authorities for any length of stay in the country.
The OCI card gives parity to an individual with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
As per rules, a foreign national who is a child, grandchild or a great grandchild of Indian citizen is eligible for registration as OCI card holder. There are few other conditions to get OCI card.
However, no person, who or either of whose parents, grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan and Bangladesh shall be eligible for registration as an OCI card holder.
In her application, Agha is said to have referred to her Indian roots in her maternal grandfather Jugal Kishore Mehra. Mehra was a noted actor and his wife and Salma’s grandmother, Anwari Begum, was a star singer in the 1930s and 1940s.
Agha’s mother Nasreen was cast opposite K L Saigal in “Shahjehan” (1946). Agha, in her request, had also claimed that though she was born in Pakistan, she is a British citizen and hence, her request should be looked into. Pakistani singer Adnan Sami was in January given Indian citizenship.
Among others who have been staying in India and working on employment visa are Katrina Kaif (UK citizen), Deepti Naval (US citizen) and Yana Gupta (Czech citizen).