बीबीसी के पूर्व पत्रकार ‘मार्क टली’ आजकल कोलकाता म्यूनिसपल कॉपोरेशन में कुछ ढूँढ रहे हैं. आप सोंच रहे होंगे कि शायद किसी रिपोर्ट के सिलसिले में तथ्यों की तलाश कर रहे होंगे. लेकिन ऐसा बिल्कुल भी नहीं. दरअसल उन्हें तलाश है अपने जन्म प्रमाण पत्र की और उसी की तलाश में उन्हें कोलकाता म्यूनिसपल कॉपोरेशन का चक्कर लगाना पड़ रहा है. गौरतलब है कि उनका जन्म कोलकाता में ही हुआ था. लेकिन कोलकाता म्यूनिसपल कॉपोरेशन का कहना है कि जन्म प्रमाणपत्र का यह रिकॉर्ड उनके पास उपलब्ध नहीं है. यदि अपने जन्म के बारे फर्स्ट क्लास मेजिस्ट्रेट से वे लिखवा कर दे दें तो कोलकाता म्यूनिसपल कॉपोरेशन उन्हें प्रमाण पत्र मुहैया करा सकता है. मार्क टली को जन्मप्रमाण पत्र की जरूरत इसलिए है क्योंकि वे बिना वीजा के भारत आना – जाना चाहते हैं और उसके लिए उन्हें ओवरसीज सिटीजन ऑफ इंडिया (Overseas Citizen of India ) का दर्जा हासिल करना होगा. इसके लिए जन्मप्रमाण पत्र अनिवार्य दस्तावेज है. उम्मीद करते हैं कि वरिष्ठ पत्रकार मार्क टली को जल्द ही प्रमाण पत्र मुहैया करा दिया जाएगा.
द टाइम्स ऑफ इंडिया में प्रकाशित खबर :
KOLKATA: Mark Tully, the BBC’s ‘voice of India’ for nearly half a century, needs a birth certificate from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) that may prove to be tougher than any assignment that the Kolkata-born British journalist may have faced in his career.
Tully, a known name in the well-heeled section of society, reported on all major incidents in South Asia since 1965: Indo-Pakistan conflicts, Bhopal gas tragedy, Operation Blue Star, assassinations of Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv, and demolition of the Babri Masjid for BBC.
The reportage won honours including the Padma Shri and the Knighthood. But when it comes to bagging the bragging rights from his city of birth, Kolkata seems unwilling to oblige.
In the letter dated August 5 to mayor Sovan Chatterjee, Tully introduced himself as a British journalist who was fortunate to have been born in Kolkata and spent most of his life in India.
“I was born on October 24, 1935 and my full name, which should be in your records, is William Mark Tully. My father’s name was William Scarth Carlisle Tully and my mother’s name Patience Treby Tully. I was born at 6 Regent Park, Tollygunge. My birth was registered by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Alipore, 24-Parganas on November 21, 1935. I would be most grateful if you could assist me in obtaining the copy of my birth certificate,” Tully wrote.
That will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, said member mayor-in-council (health) Atin Ghosh. “Since we are governed by The Registration of Births And Deaths Act, 1969, there are constraints. With Tollygunge being a separate municipality and not part of KMC at the time, we do not have records. Hence, the document, if issued will be a no-birth records certificate. But he can apply for it only after producing an affidavit from a first class magistrate after convincing him that he was born in Kolkata,” said Ghosh.
Speaking to TOI, Tully said he needed the birth certificate to apply for the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status that would enable him to visit India and stay in the country without the need for visa. “I am eligible for OCI but need a birth certificate as part of the documentation. Since I have lived all my working life in India and love the country of my birth, I wish to continue staying here without worrying about visas,” the British citizen explained.
Though Tully has sent the letter by post and emailed as well as faxed it to the mayor on Monday, Chatterjee said he had not heard of it till Wednesday evening. “I will enquire with my secretariat as to what happened to the letter,” the mayor said.
Tully was born in Kolkata under British rule in 1936. Son of a wealthy accountant, he was brought up by a strict European nanny and didn’t go to Britain till he was nine.
“I was born in Kolkata and grew up in Bengal. But we were discouraged from playing with Indian children. An English nanny brought me up, and I saw more of her than my parents. We were discouraged from speaking either in Hindi or Bengali. I was sent to a British boarding school in Darjeeling when I was about five. My mother would come up to meet me twice during a term; then we would go and stay in the neighbouring tea estate, which was owned by my father’s company,” he recounted.
Tully landed in England, it seemed a very miserable place, dark and drab place, without the bright skies of India. He studied at Twyford School, Marlborough College and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in England and intended to become a Christian priest. where he studied Theology, Tully intended becoming a priest in the Church of England.
“I was very good with languages and learned both Latin and Greek. But beer became my weakness. I would often entice my fellow students to accompany me to pubs. I also enjoyed the company of women. So, beer and women stood in my way of becoming a priest,” he recalled.
Tully joined the BBC in 1964 and moved back to India in 1965 to work as the India correspondent. He resigned from BBC in July 1994 and has since worked as a freelance journalist and broadcaster based in New Delhi.