Karl Rock, a New Zealand based YouTuber has been making headlines for claiming that he has been blacklisted by the Indian government. But if you find yourself wondering why, we will tell you why the Indian govt has blacklisted the NZ YouTuber.
The absolute truth is still murky, given that certain reports are claiming that Rock was anti-establishment and others not sharing enough evidences for his issue with the government. However, we will try to untangle the mystery and shine the light on truth.
Edward Rice aka Karl Rock is a YouTuber who has a channel where he shares tips to foreign nationals who want to travel to India. Recently, he has been making buzz for alleging that the Indian government has blacklisted his visa and he has been blocked to enter his country.
Further, he also claims that he has not met his wife for several hundred days. His wife is an Indian who lives in Delhi. The issue has now moved to the Delhi High Court.
Karl Rock’s Allegation
Recently, Karl stirred controversy by sharing a video called “Why I haven’t seen my wife in 269 days”. In the video, he claims that since his visa has been blacklisted by the government, he has been estranged from his wife, who resides in Pitampura and his in-laws.
In the video, Karl claimed that in October 2020, he left India to travel to Pakistan and Dubai. Further, he claimed that when he left the New Delhi International Airport, his visa was cancelled. Upon arriving to Dubai, he went to Indian High Commission where he was told that his visa had been blacklisted.
He further added that he and his wife, who’s in India, have written multiple emails to the Indian home ministry.
Watch Video Here
Video Courtesy: Karl Rock
Multiple Reports of Half-Truths
Now, an Indian Express reports cited certain Home Ministry officials who said that Karl has been restricted from coming back to India as he had violated the terms and conditions of his Visa. Karl allegedly engaged in business activities while he was on a tourist visa in India.
Meanwhile, a report from OpIndia outrightly alleges that the reason Karl has been restricted is because he took part in multiple protests in India, which as a foreigner, is something he was not permitted to do. It should be noted that Karl did participate in a ground report video of the Anti-CAA protests that took place in New Delhi.
The report from OpIndia claims that taking part in a protest in India can attract punishment under Section 121 of the IPC (Waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India).
Further, a foreign individual, who attends a protest against the ruling government, may be the reason for straining the diplomatic relations of the two respective countries, and hence, can be deported.
What does the constitution really say?
However, Article 14 of the Indian Constitution guarantees equality to each person in India before the law. The Article states “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.” Article 14 is applicable to not just Indian citizens – but also to anyone within the Indian territory.
Further, Article 21 – which states, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”, is also a fundamental right that applies on both Indian citizens and foreigners. It means that protesting is a person’s personal liberty, and hence, if it’s a peaceful protest, its well within a person’s right to do so.
But it should also be noted that its Indian government’s prerogative as to what it seems as ‘breaking the law’ when someone indulges into an ‘anti-establishment’ activity. Several foreign citizens in 2019 and 2020 were slammed with ‘Leave India’ Notice due to their involvement in Anti-CAA protests.
It may just be that Karl too was considered to be indulging in anti-establishment activities as he was present in the anti-CAA protests.
Did Karl Rock actually break laws? Is him being blacklisted justified? Or is he blacklisted for a completely different reason?
More importantly, is separating him from his family a clear violation of human rights?
The answer to that will come from of the Honourable judges of the Delhi High Court who will be hearing his plea in the coming weeks.