On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, Deepan Budlakoti and Stan Kupferschmidt talk about the work of the group Justice for Deepan. The former was born in Canada and is being threatened with deportation to a country where he has never lived; the latter is a member of his support committee.
Borders are not only sites at which governments claim the right to dictate who gets into a given territory and who does not. They also can be used by governments to mark people — who within the territory has or is deprived of certain rights, who gets treated as fully belonging and who does not. Deepan Budlakoti was born in Canada, which in almost every instance confers Canadian citizenship. The Canadian government has, in the past, issued him a passport, which is something they only do for citizens. They did not contact him when he was 16 years old to tell him he was not a citizen, which is what they do if that is the case. It was only after he had some trouble with the law — something for which he has paid his debt to society, as determined by the courts — that the Canadian government decided to reverse their previous recognition of his citizenship and to claim on technical grounds that he is not a citizen. They are proceeding to try to deport him to India, a country where he has never lived and where has no family. Moreover, the Indian government has made it quite clear that they do not regard him as an Indian national and will not accept him.
Budlakoti and Kupferschmidt talk about the details of the case, and about the political support work that the Justice for Deepan committee has been doing to oppose the threatened deportation as well as to draw attention to the broader, racist practice of double punishment.
For more information about Justice for Deepan, click here.
Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.
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Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.