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Double standards

Union Minister of State for tourism K J Alphons has come up with contradictory ideas to promote the tourism sector in the country. He has made a singularly mystifying statement when asked about the lynching of beef eaters by cow vigilantes and the restriction in large parts of the country on the sale and consumption of beef. His ideas are very nebulous about the impact on tourism of these developments. It is in total contradiction of his anger about the view which is common about his government imposing a dietary regime in the country. He said that tourists can eat beef in their own country and come here. It is not merely offensive to tourists but also contradicts the slogan, “atithi devo bhava.”  Tourists should be welcomed with a smile as they bring in foreign exchange. Alphonso had said earlier that Goa was a beef eating state and would continue to be so. His logic is his own. And the lynching by cow vigilantes has been strongly condemned by the Supreme Court and by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Double standards apply to non-Indian tourists in other ways. India charges different rates of admission for foreign and national tourists for admission to heritage monuments. How can that be justified? The special position of Goa and Kerala is also hard to explain. These states attract the largest number of tourists visiting India. But they do not come to these states to eat beef and standards cannot be different from other states of India. Alphons has spoken eloquently about the history and culture of India. That is what attracts tourists to this country. It may be noticed that even in hill stations foreign tourists do not make a beeline for liquor shops. The point to emphasise is that restrictions are odious and do not promote a national culture.  

 

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