The Englishman whose heart beats for India

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by RPK, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    The 
Englishman whose heart beats for India


    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/weekend...y/weekend_February38.xml&section=weekend&col=

    Denise Marray (IDENTITY CRISIS)

    11 February 2011

    For years, Indians have been scrambling to get British citizenship; 
Daivid Hopkins is a British citizen who has been scrambling for an Indian identity for a few decades now — without much success. but he lives in hope


    Daivid Hopkins. British citizen, born in England. White Caucasian Male of Welsh descent. Aged 60. Currently resident in the city of Durham, Northern England. So far, so normal (except for the unusual spelling of his Christian name).

    But wait. Listen carefully, and you will notice a lilting intonation to his English accent more usually associated with India than the land of his birth. Enquire further and you will find that he speaks fluent Hindi and follows the Hindu faith. To top it all, he wants to become an Indian citizen as he feels more at home in India than 
in England.

    If all this is a bit hard to take in — let’s go back to the beginning of Daivid’s life. Born in Swindon in the South West of England into a conventional family of Welsh descent (and one French grandparent), he attended school and did his ‘A’ Levels.

    He doesn’t recall any member of his family or any teacher fostering his interest in India, though his father had some books on other cultures in the house. But Daivid, who was in fact christened David, had an enquiring mind from an 
early age.

    “When I was fourteen I started philosophising on my own and I worked out Determinism from the science I learnt at school,” he explained. He added that one of his school friends noted a change in him from around this time.

    After his ‘A’ levels he set out in 1968 on a trip to Afghanistan and India. This gap year, he admits lasted not just the conventional 12 months but twenty years! Eventually, he found peace of mind at an Ashram in Moradabad where he stayed for fifteen years.

    To many, he must have appeared like just another naïve Brit on the hippy trail. Certainly, his parents were not pleased with his lifestyle which they saw as ‘opting out’. But in fact, his immersion in the language, religion and culture of India sets him apart from the ‘dabblers’ drifting around ashrams in search of quick enlightenment. His sincere interest is also borne out by his later decision to study for Master of Philosophy Degree in Classical Indian Religion at Oxford University.

    Here, as a practising 
Hindu, he found the dispassionate study of his faith quite difficult, but he acknowledged that is useful to have an academic perspective.

    Daivid might have lived out his days in India had it not been for a 1984 change in visa requirements by both the Indian and UK governments. After 1984, it was no longer possible for British citizens to travel to India without a visa, and likewise for Indian citizens to travel to the UK without a visa. So, faced with having to travel on short term tourist visas which could not be renewed in India, Daivid was in a position of having to return to the UK on a regular basis which was very disrupting.

    So, as a long term resident of his adopted country, he decided to apply for Indian citizenship. This, however, has proved a long and so far fruitless endeavour. He has gone on two hunger strikes in India to plead his case but despite receiving sympathy he has made no progress. His 1994 hunger strike was staged at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, a famous place of protest near the Parliament.

    Now back in Durham, an austere university city in the North of England, Daivid feels like a fish out of water. He finds the English a ‘cold race’ and believes that Indian society is much warmer and accepting.

    He feels that Indian people who migrate to the UK find it difficult in English society to manifest their natural warmth. In India he says, “people 
are first and foremost members of a group and secondly individuals, whilst in the 
UK people are first and foremost individuals.”

    Daivid practises his Sanskrit with a friend who is a Hindu British Army chaplain and cooks his own version of Indian vegetarian food. His modest income comes from renting out some flats in the nearby city of Newcastle. He invested in the flats with a legacy left by a family member. He is considering moving to France but hasn’t entirely given up his dream of gaining Indian citizenship, though he admits his case “is not looking too good.”

    A 1990 letter to Daivid from The High Commission of India in London, makes his position clear.

    “Under section 5 (1) © of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955 no rule has so far been framed for registration of British Citizens of non-Indian origin as Indian Citizens.”

    With the door seemingly closed against him, Daivid remains in the frozen north of England while his Indian heart longs to belong to the country he calls home. He accepts he might not fulfil his dream in this lifetime but true to his belief in reincarnation, he hopes for better luck next time round.
     
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  3. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    File a petition with the courts. Though it is a long and tedious process, atleast the Indian citizenship act will become more complete, and he may also have his way.
     
  4. warriorextreme

    warriorextreme Senior Member Senior Member

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    An American national disturbed over denial of Indian citizenship allegedly committed suicide by immolating himself on a hill at Virat Nagar, around 75km from Jaipur, in the wee hours of January 26. Jeff Knaebel, 72, had been living in Shimla since 1995 and had repeatedly tried to get Indian citizenship. He was from San Francisco in California.



    Superintendent of police (Jaipur rural) Mohan Singh said on Thursday, "The deceased has left behind a suicide note which mentions, 'January 26, Republic Day, 3/4 moon. In protest of cruel incidents of the US and the Indian government, please don't disturb until the police comes, documents are in the handbag' (sic). Apart from some papers, Rs45,000 was recovered from the handbag which Knaebel, as per suicide note, wished to be distributed among poor widows."
    Police have recovered five bottles of a chemical, which Knaebel is suspected to have poured on himself, and a lighter from the spot.
    The SP said preliminary inquiry revealed Knaebal was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.
    Had moved SC
    On May 14 last year, Knaebel, a veteran of the Vietnam War, had approached the Supreme Court seeking political asylum in India.
    Knaebel had torn his passport at Rajghat on June 19 in 2009. "After tearing up my passport, I'm stateless," he had told HT. Arguing his case, Knaebel said US policies were based on war and destruction.


    http://www.hindustantimes.com/American-kills-self-blames-India-US/Article1-655464.aspx
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    How does Mark Tully remain in India so long or is he an Indian citizen or does he return and his visa renewed?
     
  6. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Sir, Mark Tully was born in India.
     
  7. venkat

    venkat Regular Member

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    sir,Mark Tully was BBC correspondent in India..and who will mess with a news reporter ? I read somewhere that his children got married to Indian in Newdelhi...
     
  8. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Give him Indian citizenship. He's more an Indian than someone like arunadathi roy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  9. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    there are many ways first marry indian women ,stay for 5 years ant then apply or just visit various regions in india donot go for police verifications , police would auotmatically loose their trail

    third declare oneself bangaldeshi , i am sure congreesmen would come and do everything to get u a membership.

    what a pitty here people a are trying to get legally settle in india but still denied whereas score of illegal bangladeshi are converted to indian citizens and that to illegally for mere few votes
     
    Tshering22 likes this.
  10. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    What's all the fuss with our citizenship policy for non-Indians ? People should find easy to apply for citizenship here depending on the country they are coming from, in this case, UK. On the other hand, Indians are flooding every damn corner of the world, from America to Australia, many of them illegally as has been heard in recent news reports. And, when those countries object, we bring in the racism bogey, totally disregarding the issues that country faces. What bullshit !
     
  11. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Couldn't agree more. We could include Geelani, Mirwaiz, Mehbooba Mufti and Suzanna Arundhati Roy in that package packed off to outside India in exchange. The man is certainly sincere. He is welcome.... all while we kick the 4 scumbags out. :D
     
  12. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    Only Bangladeshis are eligible for Indian citizenship it seems.
     

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