27 September, 2020


You might have noticed that small countries give you a more difficult time when it comes to visas. A bona fide traveller can get a visa for Britain or the US in a day. But you need a good deal of patience to visit the postage stamp-sized Czech Republic, the better half of former Czechoslovakia. Getting a visa from its embassy in New Delhi involves an enormous amount of paper work and a lot of running around. After failing twice I gave up and entered Prague without a visa. It can be done, but you need guts!

Why would anyone in his right mind want to be there illegally? It's a fair question. The unemployment rate is high and the economy is in a shambles. Indians, in fact, have settled all over central Europe, uninvited, since the fifteenth century. Our nomadic banjaras travelled west overland. Today there are at least two million of their descendants all over central Europe, three lakh in the Czech Republic alone. These Gypsies are a dark people, still look very Indian and speak a language distantly related to Hindi. They face enormous discrimination and hordes of them...



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