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Is India Really Welcoming?

Welcome to India

Welcome to India

India is a beautiful country. Here, we have everything available to us in abundance. The Himalayas protect us from the chilly winds of the north, and we are surrounded by three majestic seas on our sides. We have a beautiful forest cover, full of exotic animals and birds. India is very unique when it comes to history. Our history is magnificent and charming. The Indus valley civilisation is till today, considered to be one of the most well organised societies in the world. We were captured and conquered by many foreign invaders. But the magic of our country is such that these people too, forgot their origins, and became a part of India.

India’s heritage is as magnanimous as its past. India is every architect’s delight. There are many fantastic structures – the Taj Mahal, Sanchi Stupa, Agra fort, and the many thousands of temples of the south have charmed its visitors throughout the ages with their dazzling beauty. In addition to all this, the topography of our land is extremely suited for people. We get abundant sunshine, heavy rains and experience good weather for most part of the year. Our deserts are not as intensely unbearable as the Sahara, and our hill stations are not unfriendly and freezing like the countries in the temperate zones.

Due to all these reasons, India should be the hottest tourist spot in the world. We receive millions of tourists every year. But still, our country’s tourism has miles to go. What could be the reason behind this?

The reason is that people in India have unfortunately not inherited the class and the hospitality of our ancestors. Indians still have to learn the most important aspects of social behaviour – etiquette and decency. Foreign women especially, get the worst of it. They are stared at, and whistled at by the local crowds. Men openly leer at them, pass lewd comments, and make obscene gestures. It is not the fault of these innocent tourists that their culture is so different from ours. They come from developed nations, where women are allowed to wear whatever they feel like, and live life in their own way. Indians forget that about them, and treat them worse than the way they treat local women.

Hawkers and vendors are fully aware that foreigners are usually rich, and are used to calculating the price of things in their local currency. They sell them cheap quality stuff at completely ridiculous rates. They don’t realise in the least the damage this does to the image of the country. The products which they sell are usually of terrible quality, which the foreigners are bound to realise in a few weeks’ time. They don’t realise that by selling them cheap products at exorbitant rates, they change the perception of foreigners towards our country’s standards. This ultimately affects their businesses in the long run. But nobody ever thinks that far.

Indians don’t even show any respect or regard for their own country’s heritage. What would you think, if you had travelled seven seas afar to see the spectacular pyramids of Egypt, only to discover that the locals are busy spoiling their beauty by spitting paan, or scribbling idiotic messages across the walls?

Foreigners do however; fall in love with the land if they stay long enough. They realise that apart from the leering, the open staring, the day light robbery and sheer disregard, Indians are warm, friendly people, who would do anything to help them. Unfortunately, they never stay for that long. And events like the Scarlett murder case only make things worse.

Protect the sanctity of our culture. At least to protect our country’s image, we must help tourists and make them feel as comfortable as possible. If you see anyone misbehaving with a foreigner or trying to cheat them, do try and set things right. A simple gesture could go a long way. People will perceive India only in the way we show it to be.

About Anindita Chatterjee

Career and Education: I am currently PGDM 2nd year student (operations) from K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and research, Mumbai. I had a prior work experience of almost 2 years at Verizon Data Services India, Hyderabad, where I served as a server administrator. My work involved troubleshooting all kinds of OS and Hardware problems with Windows 2003 servers. My graduation consists of BE in IT from CBIT, Hyderabad. Social: Born in Mumbai to Bengali parents, raised in Hyderabad, studying now in Mumbai, I am pretty much the PAN Indian. I love making friends and meeting new people, although I wouldn’t really call myself a social butterfly. I love writing, and am a voracious reader – be it fiction or non-fiction. I think that one of the biggest comforts in life is being able to curl up on the couch with a great, exciting new book after a day’s work. I also enjoy all kinds of music, and I am a complete movie buff. I realise that there are grey areas in most issues, but I do call a spade a spade, when it’s glaringly obvious. I believe in God, but I’m not religious. I feel that it’s important to focus on the purpose rather than the medium used to achieve the purpose.

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