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Charnjit Moudgil: Estonian is easy to learn

Charnjit Moudgil
Photo: Markus Sein
An enterpriser Charnjit is an employer for three people and he raises two nice Estonian children. He is an Estonian citizen since 2010 and active member of Kaitseliit since 2014.
Martin Mägi
India is a symbol of hope and spirituality. Should India and Estonia be compared in an animalistic way, we compare the elephant and fox of India. Having talked for a while, I try to direct him at a bit uncomfortable topics like politics, international relations, and intrigues, but the self-confidence of Charnjit makes me feeling like a fox wishing to push the elephant out.
You smile a lot more than Estonians.
„I have been told a lot like that and I am used to it. Estonians are not at all closed as usually told. You must give them a chance and then they freely smile at you.“
Tell me about your family.
 „I have a brother and sister. Our parents gave us the best possible education and they educated us so that we would have various chances. They never told us what we must do and what we must not. We had a free will to grow up as we wished.“
Sounds like parents of dreams?
 „Yes, that is what they are. Now my brother is in Australia, I am in Estonia and my sister is in India.“
How do you meet each other?

 „We meet once a year,“ Charnjit laughs. „Yet my father travels a lot and he visits us a lot. Now he is right in Estonia.“
What was the most difficult thing when arriving in Estonia?
 „The only difficulty was the language barrier but I came over it quite quickly. According to myself, I speak Estonian quite well. This is a simple language and easy to learn because it is spoken as it is written.“
 „Estonians are not at all xenophobic. It seems to me that someone is trying to push people up against immigrants or each other. Estonians are like all other Europeans. Who wants to be integrated with the Estonians or have a better contact, should start with the National Library of Estonia. There is a very friendly personnel and there is a lot of good literature available. Also the song festival is very cool and I like it very much. This is a culture given from the older generations to the younger.“
What motivated you to join Kaitseliit?
 „Events of Ukraine. At the same time, Muslim extremists cut through a throat of a soldier in England. Then I searched for Kaitseliit in the Internet and I contacted them and this is how it turned out.“
 „Members of Kaitseliit were positively surprised about me wishing to join but it took a long time to revise my application. In the meanwhile I was in America for several months and someone from Kaitseliit had got my American phone number and then they called and told me that I was accepted.“
 „They also asked what motivates me to join Kaitseliit. I answered that perhaps I could be useful for Kaitseliit and I have an authorisation of driving trucks. I can cook. In addition I have studied communication in the civil service and they told me that such men are extremely useful for Kaitseliit.“

 „Finally I was called and told to come to the SBK in February. However, it was a so-called summer SBK, February was still very cold and the equipment was old and worn out. We had to buy many other things ourselves in order to make the life more comfortable in the forest.

Our instructor treated us in a quite rough manner and some men complained for having to do this all. Then I reminded that the instructors train us for the worst. I talked to my friends who are active in service, and they told me that this was nothing at all compared to the active service.“

What did you like the best in the training?
 „Shooting. Fire and movement. Battle shooting. However, topography was the least I liked. I am surprised why people do not come to Kaitseliit just for fun. Can you see, it is possible to shoot so much for 12 € a year, and to have a ride with an army car and to learn new things. Maybe they are scared of training or they think they must pay too many weekends to Kaitseliit.“
How is your attitude towards the people thinking we should separate from the NATO and EEC in order to be independent as a country?
 „I really dislike to comment the political topics but I can no way agree with this statement. The alliances are very neccesary. Ukraine is now in its state because it had no alliances.“
What do your family and children think about that you are a member of Kaitseliit? They have less time to stay with you, don’t they?
 „Sometimes it is very difficult because my wife was in a hospital and I had no one to look after my children. Yet I could not miss it because then my SBK would fail.

Also Estonians asked why I do this and leave my children alone when my wife is in hospital. However, my co-members were very helpful and friendly and they helped me when I had a problem because of a language barrier.

In the case of attack we can not escape anywhere. We must fight. Here is my family. I have an Estonian citizenship and I have no chance other than to fight.
Being a member of Kaitseliit is not just a help for the country but also for yourself. You grow as a personality and you will be a better person.“

In Kaitseliit as a foreigner

A foreigner  can be a member of Kaitseliit as a supporter by contributing by special training, introducing his/her country or intermediation of cooperation. According to the rules, it is also possible to get an equipment  for a supporting member, including a weapon. The support members are about 70 foreigners.

If a person with foreign roots has got an Estonian citizenship, he/she can become an active member of Kaitseliit. It is not counted how many there are citizens with different mother tongues.