Karl Edward Rice, a national from New Zealand and a content creator has been restricted from entering India by the Indian government for “Violating multiple visa norms”. The vlogger has uploaded two videos to his social media accounts. The first one titled, “Why I Haven’t Seen My Wife in 269 Days #Blacklist” uploaded on 9th July, and the second one titled “Asking the Indian High Commissioner for HELP When My Wife Has COVID” where he talks about what, when and why happened was uploaded today, ie. 11th July.
Karl, who goes by the name ‘Karl Rock’ on Social Media has been visiting India since 2013. The New Zealand national makes vlogs by travelling around countries (mostly India, Pakistan and New Zealand). He met his current wife, Manisha Malik, in Delhi in October 2014 and they got married in April 2019.
After getting married, Karl was granted an X-2 Visa meant for spouses/children of an Indian citizen. The visa was valid up to May 2024 with a condition for him to exit India every 180 days or to intimate the Foreigner Regional Registration Office concerned. To comply with this rule, Rock had left to visit Dubai and Pakistan in October 2020 after which, his Visa was cancelled.
“I left India in October 2020 to travel to Dubai and Pakistan. When I left through the New Delhi International Airport, they cancelled my Visa. They would not tell me why they were cancelling my visa,” Karl said in the first video.
After getting back to Dubai, Karl applied for a new Visa and got called by the India High Commission in Dubai and was personally informed that he has been blacklisted.
In this video, Karl talked about how the couple, separated, tried everything they could to solve the issue. “We’ve written multiple emails to the Home Ministry, no reply. My wife turned up to their doorstep in Delhi, Ignored,” he said.
Karl turned to the Indian High Commission New Zealand in Wellington but got no response from there either. His wife has approached the Delhi High Court to challenge the Centre’s decision, calling it “arbitrary and unreasonable”. Citing Article 21, which guarantees one the fundamental right to life and dignity, Manisha now awaits a hearing next week.
Manisha’s petition states that Karl has dual nationality – New Zealand and the Netherlands, and has been visiting India since 2013, strictly abiding by the laws of the country and the conditions of the visa. There hasn’t been even a single allegation against the petitioner’s husband.
“The petitioner has been running from pillar to post and no reasons are communicated to either Rice or to the petitioner herself as to on what basis her husband’s request for issuance of visa has been rejected,” her plea claimed.
In the first video, Karl mentioned his love and passion for India and how he and Manisha can’t live anywhere else as India is their “Dream Country”. He said that his wife is a ‘Desh Bhakt’ in the purest form and he loves that about her. He talks about how he received praises from the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arwind Kejriwal for donating his plasma for COVID-19 patients, twice, and how he loves India so much that he said “Jai Hind” to a Pakistani man, in Pakistan, when he was asked to say that Pakistani tea is the best. “No bro, I know what you are trying to do, Indian tea is better,” Karl replied to them.
In the second video, Karl updated that he got into touch with an official of the Indian High Commission New Zealand and is hoping to get a reply from ‘His excellence, the Indian High Commissioner New Zealand, Mr Muktesh K. Pardeshi.’
NDTV reported that Officials in the Union Home Ministry were quoted as saying, “He was found to be taking part in business activities on a tourist visa and also violating other visa conditions”
Karl has filed a petition on change.org which says, “My name is Karl Rock and the Government of India has stopped me from returning to India by adding my name to the Ministry of Home Affairs Blacklist. Thereby separating me from my wife and family in New Delhi.” The petition has been signed by more than 120,200 people by Sunday evening, ie. 11th July.
The petition ends with, “We request my name be removed from the blacklist so I can return home. Please help us, Karl Rock & Manisha Malik”
Meanwhile, on various social media, people have come up with their own arguments about why Karl has been blacklisted. While some believe that he should be given entry into India again and be united with his family and some said that he should stay out of the country.
Screenshots of Karls tweets against the controversial CAA bill are being shared and stated to be the reason for him to be blacklisted. But one Instagram Handle by the name of ‘@Theskindoctor’ shared a thread of his argument, reasoning that his protests against the CAA bills was not the reason for Karl being blacklisted. The post is captioned as, “#karlrock a factual argument.”
Though there are different reasons, arguments and opinions cooking up on social media, Karl says that he himself doesn’t know why he is blacklisted and waits for the moment for the Indian Government to solve the issue and help him reunite with his family.
“I want to sort it out with the government rather than fight the government,” Karl has said in his video.