From Britain to Bihar, looking for ancestral roots

By Imran Khan, IANS,

Patna : His father migrated to Britain from India decades ago and he speaks only broken Hindi. But Michael Luis Jans, a London-based software engineer, is in Bihar with his entire family looking for his ancestral roots and long-lost relatives.

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Michael, in his 50s, says his family is the third generation descendant of Radhamohan, who lived and worked in the railway factory in Jamalpur town, about 200 km from here, in the early 19th century. And that’s where he arrived last week.

“My father Albert Luis migrated to England along with an English official before India’s independence and settled there. We lost connection with our relatives decades ago in the last century itself. Now we want to know them and are visiting Bihar,” Michael told IANS over telephone.

“We will meet government officials in a day or two and seek their help to collect some information about our roots in Bihar,” said Michael who is here with his family, including his son and daughter.

Michael and his family members said they were proud that their roots lie in Bihar, the land of great heritage and historical importance. “We manage to speak broken Hindi thanks to our pride in Indian origin,” they said.

However, Michael’s family did not get much information from the railway factory in Jamalpur. “Our last hope is Bihar as our grandfather lived and died here. We are sure that our relatives will be here,” he said.

Michael’s son, Victor Luis, said his father and he were a little upset and sad for failing to trace their roots despite serious attempts. “We had inquired about ‘grandfather’ but we have yet to locate his place and other things,” Victor said.