Monday, March 28, 2011

Passport Woes - my encounter with Indian government's epic quixoticism!

Being honest and upright in India, is a bitch - its a royal pain in the ass that's worse than being ass raped by 200 rabid goats and bulls!
the ultimate epitome of the trial for the honest indivividual, is the task of obtaining a passport in india.
my 4 year long ordeal is an epic example of the same. recently imoved to bangalore, so i decided to attempt applying for a passport again...
but this time, im blogging my journey - let's see how it goes.

first i go to the site of the regional passport office - it states that i need to have a long list of documents to get a passport - lemme check now:

(a) Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC);
i have it. but it is of my mumbai address - where btw, i do not live anymore - and was a rented house anyways, so i bet it wont count.

(b) Service Identity Card issued by State/Central Government, Public Sector Undertakings, local bodies or Public Limited Companies;
wtf is that? if you mean a pan card, yes i have it. but again of an address where neither me nor my family lives anymore. so i guess that wont count either??
will it Shri SM Krishna, Minister of External Affairs????

(c) SC/ST/ OBC Certificates;
im neither. so dont have them.

(d) Freedom Fighter Identity Cards;
no, i dont have any of these. move on.

(e) Arms Licenses;
these neither. im not in politics nor was i brought up in delhi you see. im just a 25 year old advertising bitch!

(f) Property Documents such as Pattas, Registered Deeds etc.;
i have all house documents for the past two years - but i've been living on rent as im independant.
but i don't believe the indian goverment gives a fuck about independant people, coz from my enquiries at the mumbai office, they say i need to have owned the house or lived there for atleast 3 years.
now, if i could afford my own house at age 22, i wouldnt be independant and trying to make a living, would i?
oh, unless you want me to live in an illegal chawl, lick a corrupt politicians ass and get myself a proof of residence like many people i know have done - successfully!

(g) Rations Cards;
well, the adress on the ration card is that of mumbai - and of a house in which my family lived 14 years ago. i dont think that counts. since we moved out of that house, we never made a ration card again, coz we never owned a house again. and i've been travelling and moving homes due to my work and coz of the fact that i live alone. is that my fault?
and our incredible government dosent allow me to make a ration card on a rented house... what am i to do about that???? go live in a chawl again??? or suck up to another politician?

(h) Pension Documents such as ex-servicemen’s Pension Book/Pension Payment order, ex-servicemen’s Widow/Dependent Certificates, Old Age Pension Order, Widow Pension Order;
at 25, i dont think i qualify for pension. so NO i dont have this.

(i) Railway Identity Cards;
Bangalore has a railway???

(j) Income Tax Identity (PAN) Cards;
yes i have it. but again the address registered on it is of a house i dont live in anymore. my tax returns are filed by my CA in mumbai and he manages my accounts and collects my returns. i'm sure i can't give his address as my permanent address now. can i?

(k) Bank/ Kisan/Post Office Passbooks;
my only steady bank account is the one that one of my 6 employers had made for me 6 years ago. it is registered on their office address. so i'm sure that wont count either.
the rest have had mailing address based on the houses that i lived in - with friends, on rent and provided by my work.
i'm sure that are of no help to you guys either. right?

(l) Student Identity Cards issued by Recognized Educational Institutions;
i quit college 6 years ago. so.... well u get the drift.

(m) Driving Licenses; and
again, driving licence is of the mumbai house i lived in back in 2005... nobody lives there anymore. and it was rented. so i guess that wont count either? right?

(n) Birth Certificates issued under the RBD Act.
oh wow! finally one document i do have! my birth certificate!
will that help?
oh, maybe i should mention that it states that i was born in Boisar. but i have lived in mumbai. and now bangalore. does that make a difference?

so, can anyone help me get a passport so that i can finally travel abroad to collect the international awards i've won for my work?
so that i can finally travel abroad to shoot the films that i've written?
so that i can finally visit a place out of my own country and own a passport that says that I've lived in india for the past 25 years and am yet stupidly emotional enough to say that I'm proud to be an Indian????

Someone? anyone? Mr. Manmohan Singh, are you listening?

- Pushkaraj Shirke


  1. i registered my queries on the PASSPORT SEVA PROJECT website:

    let's see if i even get a reply!

    Your Request is logged successfully and Your Transaction Id is 111000218349.

  2. You can actually get your company to write out a letter for you stating your name, PAN card number and that you currently work with them (ask them to include how long you've been working with them, if it's longer than 6 months, you shouldnt have a problem) and where you currently reside. I used this to get my passport done from Bangalore when i lived in a rental in Mangalore.

    Also a rental / lease agreement works if you've lived there for longer than 6 months.

    What's your permanent address?

    Just a bit of advise, get a passport agent to get it done, it's not expensive at all and they do it super fast. It's legal too.

    I've recently gone through this so i know the frustration but i figured it out and the passport office helped me out too.

  3. the company i currently work for has been my employer for only the past 4 months.

    plus, i have no permanent residence - NONE. coz i moved out and have been living independantly since i was 18!

    my parents too live in a rented house.

    and when i approached the mumbai passport office 6 months ago - for the third time, they gave me a brand new list of documents to bring - which was simply impossible - one of them was a letter from all three of my ex employers stating time and duration and address of the time when i worked there!!!! i cant remember those details, how will my ex employers remember that???

    1. OMG! Why are they making it so difficult for you?
      I wonder!

      I am in Thailand now, and I plan on returning to Delhi soon. I wouldn't have any address proof in India (as i've moved away, and not in touch with my family)Mine will be the same story as yours! :(

  4. and @PUNKPOLKADOTS: i presume u HAVE a permanent address and a ration card with ur parents. i do not.

  5. What about a family home? Even if it is a grandmothers? You can then show identification like PAN card to show proof of your fathers name and then his proof of his parents.

    I don't have a permanent residence either. Neither do my parents. I used my grand-ma's.

    I know it's a frustrating process and my heart goes out to you. Are you currently in Mumbai or Bangalore? I could put you in touch with a few passport officials.

  6. my grandparents died. we sold that house.
    and no, my parents also dont own a house.

    and yes, im in bangalore now. moved here 4 months ago.
    -pushkaraj shirke

  7. Saket Iyer: Well...if you want to add to the list. There is an option of taking an appointment online to go to the passport office to save time. Guess what, that is an appointment to stand in the queue(which they dont mention on the website at all), so you meet the concerned person to get your passport. And I am not joking!!

    Pushkaraj Shirke: I know you are not joking saket, I have been through that twice!!!!

    Pushkaraj Shirke: Abbey... Mera ration card hi nahi hai... Pan card toh govt khushi khushi banaati hai kyonki usssey govt ko pisa milta hai!!! Aur raha savaal driving licence ka, woh to. Motor school wala bina kisi paper ke bana ke de deta hai!!! Passport ke liye alag hi paapad belney padtey hai!

    Saket Iyer: You will have to give your rental agreement doc along with the electricity bill of the rented place, to make a driving license and/or a new bank account on your name. Once you get those you can submit them as proof of residence for applying for a passport.

    Pushkaraj Shirke: they ask for a bank account that's been active for three years on the same addressss - which means i'll have to stay here for three years and then get a passport! bloody crap!

    Saket Iyer: Then you can either give the rental agreement docs, with the elec bill to change the address of the bank account or you can make a driving license too, a bit less hassle that way.

    Pushkaraj Shirke: the bank account has to be active for 3 years. and now i've moved to bangalore. so the bombay account is closed. bangalore account is opened.

    Saket Iyer: I guess driving license is the only way

    Pushkaraj Shirke: my driving licence has an address where no one lives anymore. the building dosent exist - it was torn down for a new building to come up.

    Saket Iyer: You can apply for a new one in a different state. :D They have no digitized records to check if one person applies multiple times. :)

    Saket Iyer: Heck, you can do the same in one state too. :) Tried personally
    2 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Saket Iyer Since you are trying the legal way, you can actually apply for a address change, and go through the entire shitty hassle of going to the office which issued you the original license, which requires coming back to mumbai might I add.

    Even if... you do cross all the hurdles, you will be stuck at police verification unless a few of your neighbours know you and they state that they know you in person when the police come knocking on their doors. SO best of luckSee More
    about an hour ago · LikeUnlike.Pushkaraj Shirke travelling to mumbai twice = 16,000 + 16,000 = 32,000 in air fares.

    Pushkaraj Shirke: getting an illegal passport made by paying an agent/magistrate = 20,000

    Harshal Dungarwal: Hey, even i have never stayed at one place for a longer time..My whole education is out of my hometown. So I dont have authentic address on any of the doc. But while i was pursuing my engg i got it done through an Agent. I am sure they can help you. For residential proof, I had submitted elec bill of rented home on which my name was nowhere mentioned and i had no agreement also ;)

    Pushkaraj Shirke: you got an agent... agent knows how to forge papers.... i want to do this without forging any papers - THAT's the catch.
    dude, plus your parents or grandparents must be owning a house - mine dont. we never bothered to own a house!

  8. given INDIAN LAWS that need papers to prove evrything, if i murder someone, would i be aquitted if i dont have all the long list of essential papers to prove that i exist?
    -pushkaraj shirke

  9. e-mailed Basant Gupta (Additional Secretary; Consular, Passport and Visa; Ministry of External Affairs) the details of my adventures of trying to get an indian passport without forging papers or bribing people. hope it helps!

  10. Update? Please give us good news!

  11. UPDATE:
    I STILL DONT HAVE A PASSPORT. why? coz my ex landlord who is a corrupt cop - refuses to give me papers! as the papers would prove that he has black money and undisclosed assets.

    details as per my mail to BK GUPTA:

    Dear sir, Mr. Gupta,

    as instructed by you, i met Dr. K.J Srinivasa. He asked me to provide 2 pairs of papers as adress proof.
    1. previous address proof : affidavit/rent agreement and phone/gasbill 2. current address proof : rent agreement and phone/electricity bill.
    so all seemed good until...

    CORRUPTION RUINED MY EFFORTS AGAIN: now it turns out my previous house owner is a corrupt cop who's built the house wid black money. i have a copy of the leave and licence agreement, but not the original of it. and he is refusing to sign papers that prove that i lived there for a year as it will prove him guilty of owning undeclared assets. and he is refusing to give me the original copy of the rent agreement too.

    thus, im back to square one. without a proof of residence!

    what do you suggest i do now?
    yours sincerely,
    and still trying to get a passport without involving any illegal means...
    Pushkaraj Shirke
    mobile: 8095095600

    PS: the corrupt cop who owns the mumbai residence i lived in is Mr. SURESH N DATKHILE, Mumbai Police.
    but lodging a complaint against him to get the papers will take eons again - and my passport woes will only be elongated by another 5 years more! right?

    which means i again wont be able to go for my film shoot which is in south africa next month.
    seriously... what is it with this country and this system???

  12. This is how I did it...I was staying in my Mumbai residence for only 8 I told my land lord that I need a lease of more than one year to get my passport...he said that can't be done as it is on stamp paper but...I can give you a society letter that you were staying as a Paying guest before the lease for around 6 months...That solves everything as I had lease papers, Letter from the land lord and my previous passport...

    your situation is screwed up are only 4 months old in the new house, you don't have a bank account for 3 years, a post paid cell phone bill coming to your house for 1 permanent residence and on the top of that you fucking want it the right way...GOD BLESS YOU.

  13. today, more than a month after applying for my passport for the 4th time.... i do not have a passport yet.

    i was called for police verification on 16th may 2011 - i took the papers myself to the police on 17th may.
    since then, no one has come to my place for a PV. and i have no clue of its status.

    what i do know though that i am STILL without a passport.

  14. TODAY 2 months after i applying for a passport, i try to track why i havent recieved it yet.
    When i track it online, it shows no results.
    Then i call Passport officer Dr. Srinivasan... who takes all numbers and details from me.
    two hours later i get a call from some assistant or someone who says that my application has been rejected because my RESIDENCE PROOF PAPERS are only 6 months old - which i i may remind you were checked by PASSPORT OFFICER DR.SRINIVAS himself! for which reason i had attached my ex-mumbai residence papers too.
    And now they turn it all over again into the same wheel that has been there since ages. ie: saying that my address proof is not valid.

  15. Hi dude,

    I am not going to give you any advice on what your next step should be! clearly you are screwed! But when I was reading through your blog and reading the comments the one thing that struck me was you are missing out on working abroad which means you career is on the line here!

    Fighting corruption??? is that what you trying to do? Do you have enough money to waste by running around trying to prove who is guilty? I am not saying support corruption BUT I am saying you to be realistic. After 2 months your back on square -1 and you have wasted at least a couple of opportunities to go abroad.

    Kneel down to corruption accept it pay the travel agent move on with life! Yes I might get replies here saying how can you say that! BUT for everyone who says that all i have to say is Good Luck living in India!

  16. @vimal: you bet! i have let go of offers from singapore, muscat, kuwait and france - just because i don't own a passport. I have not gone abroad to collect awards i won for my work - just becaus i dont have a passport.
    And honestly, i want to travel the world, but i'm happiest being in india. and this passport thing is not about just me anymore - its become a matter of integrity over and against the system. I'd rather keep fighting for my passport and never get it, than to give in to the very mediocrity i loathe in humankind.
    that's me.

  17. Finally, i got my PASSPORT!!!
    it took 4.2 years, numerous application attempts and over Rs. 30,000 in expenses. That's the price of being honest, not paying a bribe and not forging any papers.

    This, is India.

  18. Wow @ Pushkar - impressive without kowtowing to the dark line of corruption. Congratulations!

    @ Vimal - There are ways...and then there's a right way. It's hard and bruises u, but you can look back at it with pride, rather than worry and live in constant threat of getting caught.

  19. Hi Pushkaraj Shirke - can you tell me how you managed to get the passport? i have the same permanent address - i dont own a house ANYWHERE....i am from mumbai, have been living on rent in my current house for over 5 years with all agreements in place...the landlord refuses to give an NOC coz hes a dimwit! i have all papers except this god damn NOC which they require...coll leaving certi, marksheets, birth certificate, pan card, driving license, bank stmts. PLEASE HELP!

  20. write to the foreign affairs minister and the regional passport officer. you can find them on twitter and online. keep writing to them and tweet about it, facebook it, get it known that you are writing to them.
    in the end, if need be, camp right at the passport office and refuse to move till you get your passport or a word with the pasport officer - i did that.

    1. OMG! All that? Wow!

      India hasn't changed, it seems :(

  21. I am a student having only 6 months proof of residence from parents live on rent...but they have shifted numerous times in past few years....can i use my close relative's address (who resides in the same city as my parents')as permanent and also the one at which i can show i had stayed before my college to make full 1 year proof of residence...helpp???landlords at my rented house are not so helpful...

  22. If you are still in the country, and the same address as your passport says, get the Adhaar card done or the entire saga will repeat again.

    The Adhaar process is a mess, yet the government is starting to dovetail that as a requirement into all government business.

    Good luck.

  23. i am currently shifted to bangalore since 1 month before,,,and currently working in an mnc,but while applying for passport they ask to give current address proof and house owner denied to give rental agreement.what i do ???suggest me frnds


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